From contributing writer Low End Larry-follow his posts
Quick Family Dinner Ideas create Family Values
You do your best. Every day offers a chance for you to show your children what their family’s values are. We had our children with us for 365 dinners a year, for about 20 years. In our 7, 300 meals together I would hope that our boys came to appreciate sausages, pasta, pierogies, and even broccoli. We tried to find quick family dinner ideas but occasionally, there was a little branching out, even to sushi. However, it was never stated, but certainly understood, that sushi was a faux healthy way of consuming lots of rice.
Beer becomes part of new quick family dinner ideas?
When the kids left our home, we knew that the greater society would influence their eating. Therefore, it was not a total surprise that beer became an important food group unto itself. Beer goes well with all of our food, so that wasn’t that out of our realm. At thirty, a time when even American kids must become adults, the oldest decided to celebrate his birthday. He and his fiancé went to Sushi Yasuda, in NYC. They came back raving about the meal, and they left me pondering, where and when did we go wrong?
Where did we go wrong with eating family dinner?
Sushi Yasuda. He told me that the eel was out of this world and that the tuna was flown in from Japan daily. They ate judiciously, so the bill, sake included, was under $150.00! Per person! For twenty years he whined for tuna noodle casserole. How many cans of tuna could we have bought for the price of a delectable tuna roll? And, does the tuna roll make full use of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup?
I went to Yelp to see if my son’s narrative had omitted a more positive side of Sushi Yasuda. Quickly, I discovered that it had a minimalist, bamboo décor. When the bill approaches $300.00, does one really want the adjective “minimalist” to be included? Bamboo décor? Are pandas amongst the clientele?
Still, a night out in NYC is supposed to be expensive. Oh, wait, it wasn’t a night out. It was a sort of pre-game experience. When you make the reservation, I’m told that it becomes very clear that you can hold the table for only an hour and a half. I guess when you sell things for these “bargain” prices, you have to depend on quick turnover of the tables.
Usually, when a place wants you out, they don’t offer free appetizers. So I was surprised to read that Sushi Yasuda does provide a complementary snack, shrimp heads. Apparently, their largesse actually helps people leave sooner rather than later. I’m sure, “No thank you, I don’t think I can eat another shrimp head,” is heard early and often.
Perhaps I am too hard on the restaurant and on my son and was use to the days of searching for quick family dinner ideas for our family. All the reviewers wrote that the restaurant was fantastic. Many wrote that, having tried Sushi Yasuda, they could never eat sushi anywhere else. Could this be true? Can their eel be that good? I’m not going near the place. My son’s DNA is much like mine. Perhaps we share an eel and bamboo addiction. If so, I’ve fought it off for 60 years. Vigilance must be maintained.
My Focus was on the Family Eating Dinner
Soon after his birthday, we invited my son over to celebrate his having entered his fourth decade. I asked him if he’d prefer tuna noodle casserole or something more innovative, perhaps something that relied upon shrimp heads. He turned down my generous offer. We can never give up on our progeny, can we?
To show that our kitchen had some pizazz to it, our casserole was accompanied by Holly’Seared Tuna with Avocado Salsa on Rice Crackers from KITCHEN 101 (so you know it was easy)–simple, amazing and better than a sushi restaurant! There was no bill, and we let him stay longer than an hour and a half. In the end, he left happy. His Sushi Yasuda experience was behind him. No eel, no hefty price tag, and a décor that is more likely to be called “cluttered, “ than “minimalist.”
Seared Tuna with Avocado Salsa on Rice Crackers
This amazing blend of flavors easily comes together by preparing avocado salsa and searing tuna ahead of time. Just assemble when ready to serve.
Makes about 12 (4 cracker) servings
1 (12-ounce) about 1/2-inch thick tuna fillet
Pepper and salt to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped avocados
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons lime juice
48 rice crackers
1/2 cup sweetened chili sauce
1. Season tuna heavily with pepper and salt to taste. In nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, heat oil and sear tuna quickly on each side (sushi-rare tuna in middle). Cool. Slice tuna against grain into 48 small squares.
2. In bowl, combine avocados, tomatoes, red onion, and lime juice. Season to taste.
3. To assemble: place small amount of avocado salsa on rice cracker, top with tuna slice, and drizzle with chili sauce.
Nutritional info per serving: Calories 135, Calories from Fat 31%, Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 11mg, Sodium 182mg, Carbohydrates 15g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Total Sugars 6g, Protein 8g, Dietary Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat
Terrific Tip: Sweetened chili sauce is usually found jarred in the Asian section of the grocery store.
Rice crackers are the perfect tasting cracker for this recipe. I LOVE rice crackers and if you haven’t had them, this is what they look like: here’s rice crackers.