Recipes

What’s for Breakfast? (Tuna Cakes)

Let’s talk breakfast.

If you’re like me, you’ve got four or five go-to choices that you rotate through for your morning meal (and you’re probably getting tired of them), but what are they and how different are our choices from someone else’s?

I never really thought much about it until this past week at work when my boss and I shared a funny moment. First thing in the morning, I had to make a Tex-Mex salad that contained cilantro (not one of my favourite herbs) and jalapeno. As a chef, I have to taste everything I make and salad is no exception. Testing for seasoning, I jokingly commented ‘there’s nothing like eating cilantro and jalapeno first thing in the morning’ and made a nasty face as I tasted my forkful. My boss looked up and said ‘this from the girl who has tuna for breakfast.’

Tuna Cakes, Chef at Heart

Gluten-Free Tuna Cakes, Chef at Heart

It’s true. I eat tuna for breakfast. Tuna cakes are one of my go-to options in the morning. Full of chopped vegetables and quinoa flakes, they’re a perfect breakfast option for me: sometimes with an egg, sometimes with toast, sometimes on toast as a tuna melt.

I’m not a cereal or pancake person so I guess I don’t have your standard breakfast favourites. Typically I rotate through:

  • tuna cakes (with or without egg or toast)
  • toasted salmon salad sandwich
  • breakfast burrito
  • breakfast hash (with sweet potato, red peppers, onion, egg, salsa…whatever)
  • poached eggs and toast
  • egg on an English muffin, sandwich style
Disney's Kona coffee and donuts

Disney’s Kona Blend coffee and donuts

These are my norms and I think nothing of them (none of them contain cilantro or jalapeno), and all of them are always accompanied with a big mug of coffee (for the safety of others of course).

My one rule is ALWAYS breakfast. I never skip it. Sure there are days I don’t want much or I don’t feel like cooking something, but on those days I’ll grab or defrost a muffin, some berries, a banana with peanut butter, or indulge in my favourite treat, a Disney-style donut. But always something.

Even when we go out for breakfast, I stick to the old stand-by of eggs and toast, but I think that has more to do with being gluten-free and the lack of safe options more-so than anything else. Unless of course I’m at Walt Disney World where I can get a buffet of choices… but that’s a whole other post for a later date.

I’m sharing my tuna cake recipe with you and hopefully you’ll share some of your favourite breakfast options as well. I’m always looking for new and different ideas!

TUNA CAKES

  • 4 x 170g cans of flaked tuna, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes (or you can susbstitute gluten-free breadcrumbs)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • finely chopped vegetables of your choice *optional (I like to add red peppers & celery)
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Combine the tuna, eggs, quinoa, vegetables, and mayonnaise in a bowl. Feel free to make it your own here..add lemon zest, parmesan cheese, chives, whatever you like.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Gluten-free Tuna Cakes, Chef at Heart

Gluten-free Tuna Cakes, Chef at Heart

Divide the mixture and shape into 8-10 cakes (depending on your size preference).

Gluten-free tuna cake patties, Chef at Heart

Gluten-free tuna cake patties, Chef at Heart

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the cakes in batches, approx. 3-5 minutes per side, or until browned and heated through. Serve.

You can also cool the browned cakes on a rack, wrap individually with plastic wrap, and freeze. Thaw them overnight in the fridge and reheat in a skillet.

Note: I tend to just lightly brown mine knowing I will freeze and reheat them again later in order to avoid overcooking the cakes. If you are cooking them to serve immediately, you should brown them as needed, ensuring they are heated and cooked through.

Gluten-free Tuna Cakes, Chef at Heart

Gluten-free Tuna Cakes, Chef at Heart

Grilled Pizza

It’s amazing what a difference a grill makes when it comes to pizza. And it’s the perfect summertime food: it’s easy, it’s fast, and you keep the heat outside where it belongs!

I’ve BBQ’d pizza for clients in the past, and it’s always met with shocked looks at first as I throw the dough on the grill, but inevitably that’s followed by ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as everyone takes that first bite. It’s a whole different (and delicious) flavour.

When I started to eat gluten-free, I thought my grilled pizza days were over. Sure, I could use the frozen pre-formed crusts in the freezer section at the grocery store, but it wasn’t the same. But then I found a gluten-free dough that worked. I could actually shape it the way I wanted and put it straight on the grill like ‘real’ pizza dough. It was well worth the wait, and now I can’t get enough!

While the whole process is quite easy, the key to success here is to have all of your toppings ready to go beside the grill before you start.

You will need:

  • Pizza dough
  • Toppings of choice: sauce, cheeses, meats, vegetables.. whatever you like
  • Tongs and a large spatula
  • Baking sheet
  • Olive oil and a brush

The first step is to make or thaw your dough. If you’re using a frozen dough, you will need to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or while you’re at work that day.

While the dough is resting, pull out and prepare all your toppings. Grate your cheese and slice whatever meats or vegetables you want to use. Preheat your BBQ to med-high heat. You need to cook the dough over indirect heat so only turn on one side of your burners.

When you’re ready, roll out and shape your dough.

GF pizza dough

GF pizza dough

With the gluten-free dough, I find this easiest to do on a sheet of parchment dusted with gluten-free flour so you can then transfer the parchment to a cookie sheet to carry outside to your grill.

When the grill is preheated and you have your toppings ready to go, brush the top of the dough with some olive oil. Gently lift the dough and place oil side down onto the grill. It will only take a minute or two to brown so don’t walk away. Once the dough is lightly charred, gently turn the dough over using your tongs and/or spatula. Arrange all your toppings on the charred side and close the lid.

pizza2

This is the hard part… wait 5 minutes. Open the lid and check your crust. When it’s lightly charred and your cheese has melted, you’re good to go!

gf grilled pizza

Gluten-free grilled pizza

Gently remove the pizza from the grill, slice and enjoy!