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Blackened and Seared Tuna with Jicama, Cilantro, and Pineapple Slaw

I adore the art of gastronomy. Next to my writing craft, cooking is truly my passion. Yet, in the last couple of years, I’ve been forced to revamp my diet so that I may still don an itty-bitty bikini. No one ever said getting older is fun.

For the longest time, I nixed starch carbs five days a week with the exception of breakfast. Unfortunately, after a while, that wasn’t doing the trick. Perhaps I wasn’t getting my butt to the gym enough or maybe I was devouring too much cheese…or bacon…or cheese. God, I love cheese. So, I bit the bullet and hopped on this thing called Paleo (5-6) days a week, eliminating all dairy, starch carbs/grains, and legumes.

I must admit; cooking has been kinda lackluster lately. I catch myself preparing the same recipes over and over, as I just haven’t had the inspiration to create new “carbless” and dairy-free cuisine. Eliminating ingredients I’ve always swooned for (cheese and pasta) is well, kind of a pain in my, ahem, tail. But every so often, I muster some motivation and prepare a noteworthy dish. Most recently, My Blackened Seared Tuna with Jicama, Cilantro, and Pineapple Slaw was that deliciously memorable dinner.

Ever since I visited Hawaii with my beau, I’ve been on an Ahi (and Yellowtail) Tuna fanatic. Give it to me wild-caught, fresh, and seared rare. When I bought a large filet of Yellowtail at Whole Foods last week, I knew instantly what I’d make. Though I’m not much of a recipe follower, I do check out Paleo blogs for ideas. Cavegirl Eats got me salivating with her refreshing Coconut Pineapple Slaw. However, since I refuse to ever be a complete copycat, I cut the coconut and added jiccama, cilantro, and red cabbage.  Adorned with some fanned out avocado slices and this dish was picture-perfect and absolutely divine with its great diversity of flavors and textures.

Blackened Seared Tuna with Jicama, Cilantro, and Pineapple Slaw


1 pound wild-caught, fresh tuna (cut into 2 steaks)

2-3 tablespoons Blackening seasoning (I like Chef Paul’s brand)

For the Slaw:

1 cup shredded red cabbage (cut with large knife or sliced in food processor)

2 cups Broccoli slaw (I just bought the package from the produce section)

1 Jicama root, peeled and grated into large shreds

¾ cup fresh pineapple, diced

1/3 cup red onion, diced

½ cup chopped cilantro

1/3 cup lime juice

3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tablespoons EVOO

2 tablespoons black or white sesame seeds

Salt and pepper


1. Mix all slaw ingredients and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.  Check for taste, you may want a little more limejuice depending on how dressed and tangy you like your slaw.

2. Take out your tuna and let sit for 15 minutes to take the “chill off”. Remove any extra moisture by patting it down with a paper towel.  Then, liberally rub the blackening seasoning on all sides of the tuna.

3. Coat a large pan with your preferred oil (Coconut is best for this recipe) and bring to very high heat.

4) Once pan starts to sizzle but isn’t smoking, add your tuna and remove from the burner. Sear for 1 minute on each side.

5) Remove tuna from the pan and let cool on a cutting board for 3-5 minutes. Then, slice into ¼-1/2 inch slices.

6) Plate your slaw and fan out your tuna on top. Garnish with avocado slices (I like to make bites with all three).

***For non-Paleo peeps, try this recipe with Jasmine Rice. Prepare 1 cup rice and mix in a hefty sprinkling of cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice, ¼ cup diced pineapple and a pinch of black sesame seeds.

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