Chilean Sea Bass with Tomato Herb Butter

Thanks to a general boredom of eating the same thing over and over and wanting to provide fresh content for Tuck & Tate, we are constantly trying out new and different variations of recipes. As our husbands like to say, we rarely eat the same thing twice! As much as we love fish, we realized that we don’t cook it very often at home, and when we do, we gravitate to the same recipes and types of fish (salmon ). To expand our recipe book, we challenged ourselves to get out of this rut and try something new. “White fish with tomato butter” has been on our recipe brainstorming list for a while now, and it felt like it was meant to be when an email came for a Whole Foods sale on Chilean sea bass. If you are unfamiliar, this type of sea bass is ultra decadent; when cooked correctly it almost tastes like butter itself. We don’t buy it too often because it does have a hefty price tag, but every once in a while it is worth it for a special treat. That makes this recipe a great choice for a date night in or a small dinner party. If you cannot find Chilean sea bass, you can easily substitute halibut or cod. We love the addition of the tomato and herb butter, which brightens up the buttery fish with an acidic and earthy kick, making it a great recipe for the spring and summer.

Chilean Sea Bass with Tomato Herb Butter

  • Servings: 4
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A rich and decadent fish dish that is perfect for a dinner party or an at home date night.  


  • 4, 6 oz pieces of Chilean sea bass
  • 4 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • a pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 tbs butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. While the fish is cooking, heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tbs olive oil to the pan and saute the shallot and garlic in the pan for 2-3 minutes, or until the ingredients become fragrant. Add the cherry tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, and red chili flakes to the pan and toss everything well to coat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to pop and the juice is running out of them.
  3. While the tomatoes are cooking, lay a piece of foil on a large cookie sheet. Pat the fillets of sea bass with a paper towel so that they are dry on all sides. Lay the fish skin side down on the foil and drizzle with the remaining 2 tbs of the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 13 minutes.
  4. When the tomatoes are bursting, add the white wine to the pan and stir the tomatoes well to break them down. Remove the rosemary and thyme sprigs from the tomatoes and discard. When the wine has reduced by half, remove the tomato mixture from the pan and place it in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the tomato mixture back to the pan but do not keep any heat under the pan. Add the butter and whisk well to combine. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  5. After the fish has cooked for 13 minutes, remove it from the oven and distribute the tomato butter evenly over the top of each of the four pieces. Put the fish back in the oven and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the fish is firm on all sides. It will flake easily with a fork when it is done cooking. Serve immediately.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chimichurri

The weather is getting warmer by the day, which means that it is almost grill season in the Lavarnway and Cardillo houses. We love cooking on the grill as an easy way to get outside and add a little smoky char to whatever we are cooking. If you’ve been around for a while, you know that one of our signature dishes is our steak with chimichurri. In that recipe, we blended the ingredients of a traditional chimichurri into a smooth and delightfully zingy sauce. For today’s recipe, we have stuck to a more traditional variation. 

Chimichurri is a loose, herb based sauce that is held together by olive oil and red wine vinegar. It has a ton of flavor thanks to the additional of garlic, a pinch of chili flakes, and some shallot. For this recipe, we like to marinate the chicken thighs in the chimichurri for a few hours to help break down the meat – making it incredibly tender after cooking. To make sure that the chicken has the ultimate punch of flavor, we reserve 1/3 of the chimichurri before we marinate and drizzle it over top after cooking. 

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chimichurri

  • Servings: 4
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Char grilled chicken thighs with a zesty chimichurri. We can’t imagine a more perfect and quick summer entrée.


  • 8 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup packed parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 tbs fresh oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 small red chili, stem and seeds removed
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put the dry chimichurri ingredients (parsley through red chili) in a food processor. Pulse the food processor to break down the ingredients. The ingredients should be finely chopped but not pulverized. Remove the ingredients and place into a large bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil and red wine vinegar to the dry ingredients and whisk well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour 2/3 of the chimichurri into a large ziplock bag and leave 1/3 of the chimichurri (about 1/2 cup) in the bowl. Cover the 1/3 with saran wrap and set aside.
  3. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Submerge the chicken into the chimichurri in the ziplock bag. Make sure that all of the chicken is coated in the sauce and that the air is removed from the bag before sealing it. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to overnight, before grilling.
  4. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 15-20 minutes before you want to cook it. Preheat the grill to 500 degrees. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until the juices of the chicken run clear and the internal temperature is 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Drizzle with the remaining 1/3 chimichurri and serve immediately.

Breakfast For Dinner Bowls

“Breakfast For Dinner Bowls” used to be our fancy way of saying, holy crap we didn’t buy groceries and have absolutely no idea what’s for dinner. This is precisely what has happened on a number of occasions; so many, in fact, that Breakfast For Dinner Bowls have now become a request instead of an accident. What exactly goes into one of these bowls changes from time to time, but the general gist is bacon, soft boiled eggs, a grain like quinoa or farro, and lots of vegetables. The result is a hearty breakfast bowl that easily satisfies for dinner. No matter what combination of ingredients we use, it’s a crowd pleaser every time.

Breakfast For Dinner Bowls

  • Servings: 4
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A healthy version of breakfast for dinner, complete with all of our favorite breakfast essentials.


  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, farro, or your favorite grain
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2-3 springs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 6 cups lightly packed kale, large stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, feta, or goat cheese (optional)
  • your favorite hot sauce (optional)


  1. Heat a medium pot with 3 cups of water to a boil. Add your grain of choice and cook according to package directions, adding more water if your grain requires it. Cook until done and set aside in a separate bowl, covered.
  2. While the grain is cooking, heat a second large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until it starts to get crispy, about 8 minutes, flipping once half way through. Remove the bacon, leave about 2 tbs of the fat in the pan, and discard the rest. Keeping the heat on medium, add half of the garlic (2 cloves) and cherry tomatoes to the pan. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst. Add the balsamic vinegar, honey, and thyme to the tomatoes. Chop the bacon and add it back into the pan. Reduce the heat and cook another 5 minutes or so, until the tomato mixture has a jam like consistency. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan, and keep covered and warm until you are ready to serve.
  3. It is time to cook the eggs. Gently put the eggs into the boiling pot of water from Step 1. Depending on how you like your egg, cook the egg for 6 minutes for a thick runny yolk or 7 minutes for more of a jammy yolk consistency. Keep the water at a gentle boil while the eggs are cooking. Immediately transfer the eggs from the boiling water to a bowl of ice water. Peel the eggs when they are cool enough to handle, trying to do this process quickly so that they don’t over cool, and set the eggs aside until you are ready to serve.
  4. While the eggs are boiling, begin cooking the mushrooms. Using the same pan that the tomatoes were cooking, add the olive oil, remaining garlic, and mushrooms. Let the mushrooms and garlic cook for about 5 minutes before adding the kale to the pan. Give everything a good toss, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook the mushrooms and kale for another 3-5 more minutes, or until the kale is nice and wilted.
  5. Now you are ready to combine all of the elements to serve. Divide the quinoa or bulgur evenly amongst the four shallow pasta bowls. Add the kale and mushrooms to the plates, making a little nest in the center. Put a large spoonful of the tomato bacon jam into the nest and top with the soft boiled egg. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired, and serve. We like our bowls with a little bit of hot sauce, as pictured.

Rick and Cathy’s Chopped Salad

When we told our parents that we were recreating “Rick’s” chopped salad for the blog, both of our parents insisted that this was actually “Cathy’s” chopped salad. Since the owner of the salad is an even 2 to 2 split vote in our house, they both are getting credit. Welcome to the blog, mom! We love this salad because it is lettuce free! Don’t get us wrong, we enjoy our lettuce salads, but there is something special about a salad that is filled with just the ingredients you love and no fluff. Because there is no lettuce, this salad can be made in advance and also holds up great as leftovers. No seriously, it does. As two people who will always throw leftover salad away, this is our one exception because nothing will wilt or change in texture overnight. We will serve this as a side salad for dinner one night and then top the leftover with chicken for lunch the next day. A perfect salad to add to your weekly rotation.

Rick and Cathy's Chopped Salad

  • Servings: 8 side portions
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A lettuce free salad that is a go-to for lunch or dinner!


  • 1 stalk celery, stem and leaves removed
  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black olives, sliced in half
  • 1 can hearts of palm
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Prepare the vegetables by chopping everything into bite sized pieces.
  2. Place all of the vegetables, chickpeas, olives and heart of palm into a large salad bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Add the olive oil, salt and a few turns of black pepper. Toss the salad to combine the ingredients. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Sausage, White Bean & Greens Soup

If you follow us in Instagram, you know that we started getting produce deliveries from Misfits Market a few weeks ago. We love picking different produce and challenging ourselves to find inventive ways to use it. Insert this soup recipe. When in doubt, soup is the easiest way to use up a bunch of vegetables and call it a meal. Everyone has eaten some variation of this soup in their lifetime, but what we like about this recipe is that we were able to utilize the full vegetables, like the chard stems, so that we didn’t just discard them. This soup is pretty dang healthy and makes a great meal prep recipe. We like to make a big batch and have it to ready heat up for weekday lunches. If you have eaters with big stomachs in your family, serve this with lots of grated parmesan cheese and a big chunk of crusty garlic bread.

Sausage, White Bean, & Greens Soup

  • Servings: 4
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A healthy, weekday soup that is packed with veggies and tons of flavor.


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large bunch of green chard, stems separated from the leaves and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 stems thyme
  • 1 stem rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 14 oz turkey sausage kielbasa, diced (you can substitute with any other kielbasa you like)
  • 1 can white beans, drained
  • 1 large chunk of parmesan rind
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese for garnish, optional


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, carrot, and the diced stems from the chard to the pot. Stir to combine and let the vegetables start to caramelize. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until everything starts to brown… this is where a lot of flavor from the soup comes in, so don’t rush this part!
  2. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, red chili flakes, and kielbasa to the pot. Sauté another 3-4 minutes to brown the kielbasa.
  3. Add the white beans, parmesan rind, and chicken stock to the pot. Cover the soup and let it cook for 15 minutes on a steady simmer. While the soup is cooking, dice the chard leaves into small, bite-sized pieces. After the soup has cooked for the 15 minutes, remove the parmesan rind, thyme, and rosemary from the pot. Give the soup a taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the chard greens to the pot, cover, and cook another 5 minutes. Serve the soup hot out of the pot topped with a bit of grated parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

Super Simple Arugula Salad

Whenever we are cooking a complex main entrée for dinner, we like to keep the other dishes simple and easy to put together. This recipe will come in handy for just that – bringing you a great salad that is made in under 10 minutes. Salads don’t always need to have a long list of ingredients and complicated dressings to be delicious. This peppery arugula salad is made tangy from the red onion and feels bright and refreshing on the palate from the lemon and olive-oil dressing. We eat this salad almost every week and use it for everything from an appetizer for a coursed dinner to a side dish with veggie burgers. It pairs well with just about everything and we know it will become one of the “go-to’s” in your kitchen as well.

Super Simple Arugula Salad

  • Servings: 2
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A simple, tangy and refreshing salad that pairs well with just about any meal.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 3-4 cups arugula
  • 1/4 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, lemon and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper to your liking.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the arugula and onions. Toss with the salad dressing and top with the parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Shrimp Taco Salad

We love mixing up our protein options by incorporating fish and seafood into our menu planning. This salad is the perfect way to bring shrimp to your lunch table in under 30 minutes. Tajin is a Mexican seasoning blend of chili powder, lime and salt. We eat it on just about anything – fruit included! Using the tajin gives the salad a citrusy punch that is complimented by the yogurt and avocado crema salad dressing. We have intentionally made this salad to be on the lighter side, but if a salad just won’t cut it for your appetite, this recipe can easily be put in taco shells or tortillas and topped with cheddar or cotija cheese to bulk it up. For us, this is a perfect weekday lunch to have while working from home.

Shrimp Taco Salad

  • Servings: 2 lunch servings
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A lunch salad that is filled with flavor and comes together in under 30 minutes; a great recipe for a weekday lunch while working from home.

Shrimp Ingredients

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs tajin

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 package (8 oz) coleslaw mix
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 single serving package (5.3oz) non-fat Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Season and cook the shrimp. Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and tajin. In a medium pan, heat the olive oil and cook the shrimp fully through (about 3 minutes per side). Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and 1/2 avocado and mix until the avocado is fully blended with the yogurt. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, tomatoes, beans and cooked shrimp. Toss with the yogurt/avocado dressing.
  4. Optional – if you want to make this dish more hearty, you can put the salad mix in a tortilla to make a wrap or serve as individual tacos.

Tortellini Minestrone

This recipe for minestrone soup has been in our winter rotation for almost a decade. Minestrone is something that we usually wouldn’t order at a restaurant because quite frankly, we are busy eating pasta and other Italian dishes we crave. We love to make this soup at home because we can pack it with vegetables and rich herby flavors. If we are watching our food choices, we usually make this soup with butternut squash. But to make it a little more kid friendly (and frankly more crowd pleasing for everyone) we have chosen to add tortellini. Who can say no to cheesy pasta being added to everything? The tortellini adds richness and decadence to the soup and makes it a favorite for everyone in the family.

Tortellini Minestrone

  • Servings: 4-6
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Our favorite recipe for minestrone, made kid friendly with cheesy tortellini!


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, small dice
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and small dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 24 oz chicken stock
  • 3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 package pre-made cheese tortellini (about 16 oz)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • sliced basil, for garnish


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven soup pot over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic to the pot; saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions become translucent and fragrant. Add the rosemary, thyme, and cannellini beans; sauté another 3-4 minutes or until the rosemary and thyme are fragrant.
  2. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock to the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and add the tortellini. Cover and bring to a low simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the tortellini is cooked through. Uncover and add the spinach to the pot. Stir it around and cook a few minutes for it to wilt.
  3. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in large bowls with a bit of grated parmesan cheese and some fresh basil.

Larb Lettuce Wraps & Bowls

Larb is a traditional meat salad found in Laos and Thailand. It is one of our favorite dishes to order on a Thai menu when we are trying to eat healthy because it’s light and really refreshing. What makes this dish bright are the many herbs and spices mixed into the meat mixture. It is usually served with sliced cucumber and sliced jalapenos for some kick. With everyone having different goals this time of the year in regards to their eating habits, we’ve made this recipe a little bit of a choose your own adventure story. Watching the calories? Serve the larb in lettuce wraps with lots of added vegetables. Needing a bit more? Serve the larb over a bed of white rice. This is a great weeknight dinner and made extra fun when everyone gets to make their own version!

Larb Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 8 lettuce wraps
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Our quick and easy variation of larb – a delicious, healthy and herby salad found in Laos and Thailand.


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sambal oelek or your favorite chili paste
  • 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • juice of one lime
  • bib lettuce – divided into 8 cups
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • jalapeno, sliced for garnish (optional)
  • cooked white rice, if you plan to make rice bowls


  1. Prepare the vegetables. Mince the garlic, ginger and shallot and set aside. Thinly slice the red onion and set aside in the same bowl as the garlic mix.
  2. In a large sauté pan, sauté the pork over medium heat. You do not need to add any oil to the pan, the fat from the pork will start to render as it is heated. Use a spatula to break up the ground pork into bite sized pieces.
  3. Sauté for five minutes and add the garlic, ginger, shallot and onion to the pan and continue to stir and sauté for another 5 minutes. The onion should start to soften and the pork will be completely cooked through.
  4. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and sambal oelek. Stir completely so that all of the ingredients are combined. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the sauce is mostly soaked up by the pork. Remove the larb from the heat, set aside, and add the lime juice.
  5. Lettuce Cup Preparation: Place a 1/4 – 1/2 cup serving of larb into each lettuce cup. Top with sliced cucumbers, cilantro, and jalapeno.
  6. Rice Bowl Preparation: Place 1/2 – 1 cup cooked rice on the bottom of a bowl. Layer with a 1/2 cup of larb and top with sliced cucumbers, cilantro, and jalepeno.

Potato and Leek Soup

We love soup pretty much all year round, but right after the holidays we have them on our menu regularly. Soup is great on a cold day, easy to make, and an ideal option for a healthy meal when we have our hearts set on January resolutions. The crunchiness of the leeks combined with the creaminess of the potato makes this soup taste indulgent without adding any dairy. You can have this soup as a full meal or pair it with a side salad or sandwich for a delicious lunch option during your workweek.

Potato and Leek Soup

  • Servings: 4 entree servings
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A healthy soup recipe to kick off January resolutions with easy substitutes for vegan and vegetarian food preferences.


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 5 leeks, chopped – whites and greens separated
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4-6 cups chicken stock (option to use vegan stock)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, shallot and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the whites of the leeks and sauté an additional 5-10 minutes or until the leeks start to soften.
  3. Add the potatoes, greens of the leeks, and 4 cups of the bouillon to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer with the soup covered for 15-20 minutes or until you are able to easily poke a fork through the potatoes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to your desired consistency. We like to have about 1/4 of the mixture remain whole and blend the remaining. The different textures of the whole potatoes and leeks bring a nice crunchiness to the soup. Once the soup is blended, add additional stock if you prefer your soup a little thinner. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the soup hot and top with cheddar cheese (if desired).