Sunday, 5 October 2014

Recipe corner: Pepper crusted tuna with mustard cucumber "spaghetti"

Most of the recipes that I am posting at the moment are pretty high in points which is indicative of the way in which I eat and it is getting problematic.  When you have a daily allowance of 32, an evening meal in the late teens or 20, as this one is, is a bit too high and makes for very hungry days. If I'm hungry, I'm grumpy.

We try and counter this as best we can; once a week we have "soup night" where tea consists of...well, soup.  And generally fresh supermarket soup rather than homemade soup as well, the point being to have a night off from kitchen duties and to have a low point evening meal to allow more flexibility during the day.  Which is nice.

But we keep coming back to the simple fact that most of the meals that we like to cook and eat are a bit pointy.  And we don't really want to compromise at dinnertime which can sometimes be the absolute highlight of the day. So, we're back to hunger...the only other solution being that I could get off my wobbly arse and earn some activity points to supplement my daily allowance (this, like Scott Mills winning Strictly this year is unlikely to happen.  Sorry, Scott).

I begin to wonder, incidentally, if I am just plain greedy.  I never thought so but I'm noticing an increasing number of people on the WW message boards who claim that they cannot possibly eat all their points and they cannot believe how much FOOD they can eat and still lose weight and they don't want to eat a chocolate bar for the sake of it.  When I see posts like this, while grimly drinking tea and trying to "fill up" on an apple it makes me want to throw something (possibly the apple) at the computer screen.  Perhaps they should make this recipe for their tea?

I’m going to share this with you anyway, and will no doubt cook and eat it again because it is delicious and probably worth a few hunger pangs.  Plus, it was a dish that D first cooked for me many years ago when we were newly living together, so it is something I associate with youth and romance.  Not two words you often hear applied to tuna. 

When I was looking at the ingredients list, I thought it doesn’t read as if it should work…too many flavours all vying for attention.  It somehow does though.  I love it. 


2 tuna steaks
Zest and juice of half a lime
Tsp of dried thyme
1/2 tsp of black peppercorns, crushed
1/4 tsp of salt
Tsp olive oil

2 cucumbers
Tbsp Dijon mustard
Tbsp coarse mustard
60ml olive oil
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
Shallot, finely chopped
Tsp fresh dill, minced

110g (raw weight) wild rice (to accompany)

Serves 2, 20 pro points per portion

First of all we are going to salt our cucumbers to draw the water out.  Take a potato peeler and reduce them both to long, slender ribbons (hence the spaghetti of the title).  Place in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt ad set aside for at least half an hour.

Meanwhile, combine the lime zest, thyme, pepper and salt in a bowl.  Brush the tuna steaks with olive oil and then coat with the spice mix.  

You could also prepare the dressing for the cucumber; combine the mustards in a bowl, add the maple syrup and then gradually whisk in the olive oil until you have a loose dressing.  Stir through the dill and shallot and season to taste.

When ready to serve, bring a non stick frying pan up to a high heat.  While this is warming up, rinse the cucumber ribbons to get rid of excess salt, and then wring out.  It won't be bone dry by any means, but you should be able to squeeze out a decent amount of water.  Add to the dressing and toss well.

Place the tuna steaks in the hot pan and sear for 1 minute on each side.  Pour over the lime juice while it is still in the hot pan and allow it to bubble down to almost nothing.  Serve, with the dressed cucumber and some wild rice.


  1. God I hate women like that (& I'm afraid it almost always is women). They do it to show off - bet they're mainlining haribo smothered in melted mars bars. Grrr.


  2. I love this blog!! The flash up the top is awesome!! Juliana