Papaya Salsa with Grilled Yellowfin Tuna

September 28, 2012

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Spa Day Becomes Dinner

Not too long ago my daughter gifted me with a day at the spa for my birthday. She knew that my summer had been quite stressful and since we do not live in the same city, she arranged a special treat for me. She also knew that I had been neglecting my Self.

Although I tend to consider a spa treatment a “treat meant” for special occasions, I’ve also come to think of it as a necessity. These days, as we are bombarded with all kinds of non-stop stresses – work, relationships, exes, environmental, hormonal, financial, emotional and so many more – gifting myself with some spa time is critical. It helps me to regain my inner equilibrium.

Whether I go to an actual spa for a service or schedule in a couple of hours of pamper-time at home, I do believe that nurturing myself on a regular basis is key to holding it all together. Stopping the craziness of Life to intentionally spend time in deep awareness and appreciation of my body and my journey and my spirit is the highest form of love I can give myself.

At home it can be a long soak in a tub with detoxifying marine salts, or a facial scrub and mask, or a moisturizing foot treatment. It’s also lighting candles and meditating. Some days it’s just sitting, listening to my favorite music and journaling with my thoughts and feelings. What I most enjoy is to get lost in time with nature: quieting down and deeply breathing in the sounds, scents and beauty that surrounds me; it always delivers me to a place of awe and appreciation.

So there I was at this peaceful spa in town. My first treatment was a fresh lime juice and sea salt body scrub. Sublime. I felt all the accumulated toxins being released. Grateful. Moved to the next room for a body massage with fresh papaya and Shea butter cream. Letting go. Bliss. Lastly, a ginger oil scalp massage. Divine. I ended my spa day with lots of water and a final detox in the steam room.

As I slowly showered and dressed, I took note of how every cell in my body felt totally relaxed and at peace and my mind began to slowly review the day. Lime, papaya, ginger … those ingredients would make a wonderful fresh salsa for the beautiful yellowfin tuna my girlfriend’s daughter recently caught in Cabo and had gifted us with. A quick trip to find the ripest papaya and I was home creating this spa dinner based on my wonderful day.

Oh, I forgot to mention: for me, one of the healthiest and favorite ways I unwind is to play around in the kitchen coming up with new recipes to eat and share with you!

Papaya Salsa with Grilled Yellowfin Tuna

Although I created this salsa for grilled yellowfin tuna, it also tastes so yum with: any grilled fish or seafood, grilled tofu, grilled chicken, as a dip with tortilla chips, and even spooned over vanilla coconut milk ice cream for an unusual dessert!

For the Salsa:

3 cups small-dice fresh, ripe papaya

Zest of 1 lime

Juice from 2 limes

1 medium ripe tomato, seeded and diced into small pieces

2/3 cup finely diced red onion

½ – 1 teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne

½ – 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

½ cup finely chopped cilantro

How to make the Papaya Salsa:

Mix all of the ingredients together in medium-sized bowl. Easy!

I think the salsa tastes Amazing as is, however – as always – please taste for personal seasoning, adding more salt, cayenne and/or minced ginger to taste as desired. (Note: the flavor of the spices will intensify over time, so add with this in mind.)

Makes approximately 3 ½ cups

For the Tuna:

4 gorgeous wild-caught yellowfin tuna filets

Olive oil

How to make the Tuna:

Heat grill pan (or cast iron pan) on stovetop or your barbeque to medium-high heat.

Coat each tuna filet lightly with olive oil. Sear filets in hot pan, or on barbeque, for a few minutes on each side.

Grill time depends on how you like your fish cooked. I like mine still juicy and a bit rare in the center, so I cook fish about 3-4 minutes per side. If you like yours more cooked through, then the general rule of thumb is about 10 minutes total cooking time per inch of fish.

How To Make Papaya Salsa with Grilled Yellowfin Tuna:

Remove fish to serving plates, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and top each filet with some papaya salsa.

I like to serve this with fresh grilled asparagus and lime wedges. Any whole, gluten-free grain you prefer (brown rice, millet, buckwheat groats) would be lovely alongside this dish.

Makes 4 servings



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