ingredientsSpring is here but I’m already thinking about the summer.

Summer means short(er) shorts and bikinis one piece bathing suits.

And unfortunately, I’m trending about eight pounds over my fighting weight.

Especially since I spent last week on Spring Break.

The kids and I traveled to see my brother and his family in Northern California. I went on a carbohydrate overload: pizza, pasta, bagels and sandwiches. (Sure everything was organic and artisanal but a carb is a carb.)

I even had a late night out there that may or may not have included two slightly dirty martinis, a few bottles of red wine and a jam session where my brother lived out one of his fantasies of being a rock star drummer. (One of the best nights EVER!)

I returned home to Florida only to be greeted by a case of Dirty potato chips from the Restaurant Depot, a chocolate ganache belated birthday cake for my son and a family size package of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. (How can something that bad taste so good?)

So I’m craving some clean foods. But I couldn’t go cold turkey and bring out the juicer. Not yet, at least.

I remembered this really unique dish that my cousin posted on her Pinterest page and that my husband made for us last summer when we were all at the beach.

You take the best tuna sashimi you can find, add in some crunchy cucumbers and toasted coconut. Then drizzle the whole thing with a slightly sweet, salty and spicy coconut milk based sauce.

Chunk of tuna

Whisking coconut milk

toasted coconut

plated tuna

And it was just what I needed to start my way back to eating healthier.

I have no regrets about my indulgences. (Well, except for maybe the mac and cheese.) After all, isn’t that what vacations are for?

Fresh Tuna and Cucumber Salad (Topped with Coconut)
Adapted from Food & Wine

1 pound fresh sushi-grade tuna, cut in to 1/2 inch dices
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame-chile oil
1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 medium seedless cucumber, julienned
Lime wedges

In a large bowl, combine the chile oil and the soy sauce. Gently add in the tuna and toss to cover. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the coconut flakes by placing them in a skillet large enough to hold them in an even layer. Heat the skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the coconut is evenly browned. Coconut burns easily so keep an eye on it.

Combine the lime juice, the fish sauce, the brown sugar and coconut milk in a bowl and whisk until combined.

On small plates, place mounds of the cucumber and top with the tuna. Then drizzle the coconut sauce over the mound. Top with the toasted coconut and serve with a wedge of lime.