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Is the weekend really already over?! Did it go by super fast or is it just me? Not that I’m complaining… I really don’t mind the weeks now that I don’t have school. One of the perks of enjoying my job! I’m actually looking forward to seeing my kids tomorrow 🙂

Unfortunately, the spring-like weather did not last 😦 T’was rainy and cold today but it was nice to have a taste of the amazing weather anyway. I spent the day at church and then shopping at Whole Foods and Earth Fare for dinner this week. And FYI, I’m currently banning myself from Whole Foods – how do I ALWAYS manage to spend an insane amount of money even when I have a list?! Meh. Oh well. And then I came home and attempted to make sushi. Major fail. Why, do you ask? Because apparently I suck at cooking rice. I burnt not one, but two, TWO pots, of rice. Microwavable rice pouches and boil in a bag rice, I can handle. But sushi rice? Not so much. I need a rice cooker… pronto. And let me tell, burnt rice does NOT make your house smell very nice. Nope.

But it was ok because I then went to plan B, Mae’s Cook’s Mission, Week 1. You can find more about it by clicking on the link. It’s basically based off of the Food Network show “Chopped.” in which the contestants are given mystery ingredients and they must create a dish using ALL of the ingredients. Well genius Mae, being the genius that she is, created a version of this for the blog world! Sounds fun, right? This week’s ingredients are pretzels and apricots. Well, my first instinct was to make up a recipe using oats and the secret ingredients but I decided to challenge myself… and I came up with the following recipe:

Pistachio-Pretzel Encrusted Tuna with an Apricot Glaze and Apricot-Pistachio Quinoa

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For the Tuna:

  • 4 oz. fillet of Tuna
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves or jelly, warmed until liquidy, separated
  • 1/3 cup pretzels, crushed
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted pistachios, crushed, divided
  • ground black pepper
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of dried cilantro (optional)

For the Quinoa:

  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (or you can just use water)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp. mint, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. pistachios, chopped
  • ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place chopped apricots into 1/2 cup hot water to re-hydrate.

Prepare the quinoa by cooking it with 1/4 cup pineapple juice and 1/4 cup water (or equal parts water and pineapple juice according to the measurements on the package) and cook according to package directions (mine was brought up to a boil and simmered for about 15 minutes). Once the quinoa is done, add the re-hydrated apricots, mint, pistachios, pepper, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat half of the apricot preserves until liquidy. Mix the crushed pretzels, 2 tbsp. crushed pistachios, pepper, cinnamon, and cilantro. Season the outside of the tuna with ground pepper and then coat the tuna on both sides with the apricot preserves. Then, coat the tuna on both sides with the pretzel/pistachio mixture. Sear the tuna in a skillet on Med-High for a few minutes on each side. Transfer the tuna to the pre-heated oven until done to your preference and depending on the thickness of the tuna (my fillet took about 10 minutes in the oven for a medium doneness).

To assemble, place the quinoa on the serving dish and top with the tuna. Drizzle the plate with the rest of the apricot preserves and the remaining tbsp. of pistachios. Best served with a leafy green, like Kale. Enjoy!!

(Makes 1 serving)

(This recipe would also be great with tofu or chicken in place of the tuna)

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Ok, I know it may sound a bit weird but I promise you, PROMISE, it’s amazing!!! The pretzels give the tuna the crunchiest crust ever and the pistachios and the apricot glaze balance out the saltiness of the pretzels by adding a hint of sweetness and nuttiness. And then the quinoa is just out of this world good, all on it’s own. I’m telling you… you MUST try this dish!!!!!

And I would most certainly appreciate you visiting Cook’s Mission sometime this week after the recipes are posted and sparing me a vote, if you are so inclined! Thank you!

 

Now let me back track a bit…

I started the day with a bowl of whipped banana oats.

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It had a base of the usual oats that I added 1% cottage cheese (accidently got the normal cottage cheese instead of whipped but I actually like it!), raspberries, and TJ’s salted creamy almond butter.

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I’m currently obsessed with raspberries… I used to hate them (like cottage cheese) and now I can’t get enough!

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I came home from church starving and threw together the quickest and most filling thing that I could think of.

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This wrap was in whole wheat tortilla and had a Morningstar veggie burger, light laughing cow, baby spinach, and tomato. And I dipped it in ketchup and mustard.

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This was my first time trying Morningstar veggie burgers and I really liked it! A lot! YUM!

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I also had some more cottage cheese that I topped with raspberries and blueberries.

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Told you I was obsessed!!!

 

I then tried this Luna Bar for a snack. I wasn’t too big of a fan of Luna Bars in the past but I thought I’d give them another try since this bar sounded amazing. Right?

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Wrong. I know, I know. I hear many rave about these bars but I just don’t like them… don’t know what it is. I guess I’m just too loyal to my Cliff bars! Anyways, I ate a few bites and then decided it wasn’t worth it.

And so glad! Because look what I found at Whole Foods!!!

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Peanut Butter and Jelly LaraBars!! [insert super loud squeal here]

Now, I generally also think LaraBars are overrated too but this flavor knocked my socks off! It tasted JUST like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! No kidding! YUM! I wish I had stocked up on these babies…

I then had dinner, see above. Or you can just look at another delicious picture…

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And then for dessert I had… you got it. Another yogurt mess. I know, I know. But they are SO GOOD!!!

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I had some Greek Yogurt that I topped with 1/2 a muffin from Whole Foods. I think it was a Morning Glory Muffin (it wasn’t labeled) but it tasted like Carrot Cake! It had chunks of dried fruit and nuts and was kind of cinnamony. And the yogurt was almost, almost, like cream cheese frosting. YUM!!!

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Well I am about to go get some rest in preparation for my gym trip tomorrow!! Random fact – my calves are SORE today but they weren’t yesterday. Not that you really needed to know that… I think I pushed myself a bit too hard with the swimming on Friday so I’m planning on doing weights tomorrow and seeing how I feel about swimming. But at least I’m doing something, you know? I just don’t want to push myself too far, it’s a thin line.

Good night!

"Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different."
– Katherine Mansfield

P.S. Major congratulations to the many bloggers who ran a race today!!!! Even though I’m slightly jealous 😉 , I’m so happy for each and every one of you!

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