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Recipe Challenge: Gabe’s 5 Minute Dinner

Kathy Pariani, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ April 1, 2021

When my lovely friend Gabe told me this was on the menu, I thought it was the oddest combination of ingredients I had ever heard of. But, seasoned just right, and ready in 5 minutes, it is now one of my favorites. Feel free to substitute another protein if you aren’t an ahi tuna lover. You may notice this dish has a higher fat and lower carb content than most of our VLCD meals, although it still comes in around the 300 calorie mark. It’s a great opportunity to practice awareness of satiety signals after eating a higher fat meal.

Makes 1 serving


  • ¾ cup chopped beets – purchase pre-steamed for a super quick meal
  • ½ cup cubed avocado
  • 1 oz shaved parmesan 
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 3 oz ahi tuna, sashimi-grade*
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Coarse salt to taste

Directions: Sear the ahi or leave raw and slice if you prefer. Mix all ingredients together.

Nutrition Facts: 320 calories, 18g carbohydrates (7g fiber, 9g sugar, 0g added sugar), 28g protein, 16g fat

*The term ‘sashimi-grade’ isn’t officially regulated but it’s typically used to denote fish of the highest quality that can be eaten raw. When selecting tuna for sushi, the most suitable types include yellowfin (ahi), bigeye, and bluefin, with yellowfin being the most commonly used due to its slightly sweet flavor and firm texture. It’s crucial to inquire about the freezing practices of the seller as most sushi-grade fish is frozen to kill any parasites. The process of “super-freezing,” where fish is frozen at extremely low temperatures, ensures better safety for raw consumption. Lastly, when purchasing, always look for products that are clearly labeled as “sushi-grade” or “sashimi-grade.” If this labeling is missing, ask the seller to confirm its quality and suitability for raw consumption. Always prioritize buying from reputable sources to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.

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