My husband is nuts for fish tacos and, in an effort to provide a more fun Friday night meal, I made them a couple of weeks ago. (I usually take Friday afternoons to create something gorgeous and time-consuming that requires a knife and fork to eat.) Fun to him means protein between big pieces of some sort of grainy holders or, alternately, anything that gets dipped or is spicy or is slathered in bacon and barbecue sauce. These tacos were so good that I then made them at work and brought leftovers home. While leftovers from work aren’t typical, they are when the weather is as it’s been for the last week.
(below: look closely–Tucker’s watching a doe in our yard)
Days of snow and cold drove us indoors where we were sustained by those leftovers followed by vats of barley soup I’d frozen ahead and no small amount of nightly red wine. When the tortillas were gone, I made a salad we maybe liked better than the tacos. Maybe. If you’re eating fish on Fridays for Lent or if you’re just looking for a tasty healthy dinner, try this salad. Even if it’s as cold at your house as it’s been at mine. You’ll have room for dessert if you do!
If you’re following along on my Lenten blog, here’s today’s post.
(below: there she goes)
FISH TACO SALAD
Get your bowls, set the table, chop all of your vegetables, and sauté the mixed vegetables before you cook the fish, as the fish is done in just a few minutes. Quick and healthy. Could you skip the vegetable sauté? Of course. Just add more fresh veggies of your choice and make yourself happy.
Serves 2 Easily doubles or triples. Leftovers are lovely.
- 2 cups mixed vegetables, such as onions, zucchini, green beans, bell pepper, mushrooms, etc.
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 1 cup shredded cabbage or purchased coleslaw mixture
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
- 2 small tomatoes, sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1/2 a cucumber, sliced
- 1/4 cup grated very sharp Cheddar cheese like Cabot or a British white cheddar
- 3/4 pound fresh tilapia
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- Dressing: 2 tablespoons salsa whisked together with 2 teaspoons olive oil and seasoned with a pinch each of salt and pepper*
- 1/2 lime
- 1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips, optional
1. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil; add 2 cups mixed vegetables and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until softening. Spoon the vegetables into a bowl and reserve.
2. Around the outside perimeters of two large, shallow salad or pasta bowls, divide evenly and arrange attractively the greens, cabbage mixed with cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, and cucumber. At the center add the sautéed vegetables and top with the Cheddar cheese. Season all of the vegetables with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Leave some room for the fish.
3. Heat the skillet over medium flame once more with a tablespoon of olive oil; swirl pan to evenly coat with the oil. Place fish in pan and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, then with half of the chili powder. Cook 3 minutes or until golden on the bottom; turn fish over. Sprinkle with remaining chili powder and finish cooking. Fish should be fork tender, but firm and opaque. Chop into 1 – 2-inch pieces right in the pan with a spatula.
4. In the meantime, whisk together dressing ingredients as fish cooks.
5. Add cooked, chopped fish to the bowls with the vegetables and drizzle everything with the dressing. Squeeze lime juice over each salad and sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips, if using. Serve immediately.
*I also like ranch dressing mixed with some salsa on salads like this if that appeals more.
WINE: Oregon Pinot Gris
DESSERT: Warm chocolate pudding
(below: WHO IS IT? IT #SNOWBUNNY. Look closely to find my little friend trying to keep warm in the front yard.)