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No Fry Fish and Chips

I began a pretty intense workout regiment about a month ago. The idea was to get my butt off the couch and get my body summer ready. I didn’t need to lose any weight, but I was completely out of shape. All definition that I once had from playing sports and working out was gone, and I started feeling tired all the time, eating out a lot; I was pretty lazy.

So, Marc and I started a workout program, pretty basic; weight training, cardio, yoga, etc. We also cut back on the fatty foods we were eating so much of. With the cut back of certain foods I have found it difficult to make meals that make my taste buds jump for joy. I drool over CakeSpy and pray we never get bakeries like these within walking distance because I will be doomed. I can no longer look at Pioneer Woman, her love of butter sends me into sensory overload. Let’s face it, not everyone can convince their taste buds that flax seed and raw food is the way to go.

In my quest for finding delicious, healthy foods I have found a new love for fish, and not the kind of fish my mom used to get where I had to pick bones out of my mouth as I was eating. Sorry mom, but that was gross. This is the grocery store fish. I know not the freshest fish in the world, but it’s not expensive and there is a pretty good selection. When I didn’t care what was eating I would chow down on fish and chips like nobody’s business. Now, I like my fish and chips a little less fattening; no fry fish and chips.

Ingredients:

1 lb cod fillets, divided
Cooking Spray
2 large Russet potatoes cut into thin slices
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup skim milk
1 large egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Coat a large baking sheet lined with foil with cooking spray. Arrange potato slices on baking sheet and spray them with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper; I also add a little garlic powder. Bake for 25 minutes, or until potato slices are golden brown.

In a shallow dish, combine flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, and baking powder. Whisk tin milk and egg. Add cod fillets and turn to coat with batter. Add cod to a baking sheet that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and tender.

Adapted from the Food Network

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Grilled Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

Fish Tacos

Last night was TACO NIGHT! I really dig Taco Night because Marc and I work together in the kitchen and usually it goes quite nicely. Well, until it is time to clean up. Marc is not a cleaner upper. Taco night usually is chicken or steak tacos with all the fixings, but last night I decided we were going to have fish tacos.

I haven’t always been a fan of fish tacos. At first, I thought the idea sounded a little strange. About 2 years ago I started seeing fish tacos on restaurant menus. I just could not imagine fish with all the taco goodness,but that all changed when Marc and I spent 2 weeks in Hawaii. Not only is Hawaii absolutely beautiful, but fish taco huts are everywhere. Marc obviously wanted to eat at one, so I gave it; if I was going to try a fish taco it was going to be in Hawaii. Let me tell you that first fish taco took me by surprise. I was hooked. I ate a fish taco everyday we were there after that. To be honest, I didn’t even like guacamole until Hawaii. I’m telling you that place will change your life.

Grilled Fish Tacos

Ingredients:
1 ½ lb firm fleshed fish fillet
¾ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 8 oz can of corn
¼ teaspoon salt
8 corn tortillas
3 cups lettuce, shredded
1 lime

Fish Taco Sauce (stir together)
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder (substitute regular chili powder)

Method:
Preheat your grill. We used the George Forman last night, but however you choose to grill you will first need to combine the olive oil, paprika and garlic salt into a bowl and toss the fish. The fish should take too long to grill; only a few minutes each side.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you are using an outside grill, you can do this on the grill instead.
For oven: on a baking sheet lay corn tortillas flat, maybe only 4 can fit at a time. I butter the tortillas and add a little salt for taste. Bake for about 5 minutes then flip and bake about another 5 minutes.
For grill: During the last 2 minutes of grilling the fish, throw the tortillas on the grill and flip to grill the other side.

After the fish is done, cut into pieces, enough for 8 tacos. I like lots of small pieces myself, but whatever works for you. Assemble tacos with lettuce, fish, spoonful of sauce, corn, squeeze of lime, pico de gallo, and a little guacamole or lots in my case.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

I have to stop Marc from eating all this before the fish is done.

Ingredients:
2 tomatoes
¼ cup finely diced red onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced (the seeds are spicy, leave them out if you want your pico de gallo mild)
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
½ lime, juiced
½ teaspoon salt

Toss all ingredients in a small bowl and let stand at least ½ hour before serving.

Guacamole

Guacamole

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 large avocados
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely minced
1 tablespoon of small fresh cilantro leaves, optional
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion, optional

Method:
Combine the onion, lime juice, and the sea salt in a small bowl, and smash with a pestle or fork to a coarse paste. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits and scoop the flesh into the bowl. Add the cilantro and mix and mash, leaving some lumps. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt.

Sprinkle the guacamole with the cilantro leaves and/or chopped onion and serve immediately, if possible. To keep the guacamole at room temperature for up to 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface. To keep the guacamole for up to 3 hours, do not add the cilantro until just before serving, and cover and store in the refrigerator. Makes about 2 cups.

Panzanella

I made this completely on a whim. Some friends of ours, Tasha and Rich, came over for dinner the other night and I had no idea what to make for them. It had to be great because Marcus, being the wonderful husband he is, brags so much about my cooking. It puts a girl on the spot when she has to live up to those fine, loving words. I have been eying this recipe for quite sometime, but my concerns were that Marc is never going to accept this as a side dish and seriously? another salad I might die from starvation. Alas, this is another to chalk up to my serious lack of saladary expertise. Yes, saladary is a word, it’s my word. Panzanella, which comes to me from Barefoot Contessa is absolutely divine. I am awful at describing flavors, but the combination of the onions, basil, pepper, oil and vinaigrette sent my taste buds a flarin. Panzanella is so easy to make and a great side dish for the spring or summer. The idea is to add whatever it is you like, olives would be really good in this too.

Panzanella

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained (optional)

Vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Drunken Chicken Kabobs

Summer is supposed to be the time for grilling, right? Well, Marc and I really have not done too much grilling this year. Marc has been working really long days, and when he gets home he is dead on his feet. I could attempt the grilling, but then the thought of flames shooting out of the knobs crosses my mind and I chicken out.

Last night for dinner though, it was time for the cobwebs to come off the grill. I decided to make some chicken kabobs with tomatoes, green peppers and onions. A few months ago I used a Tequila Lime marinade on some chicken for a salad and thought it would be perfect for my kabobs. I tossed the veggies in oil and some spices from the pantry and let all it soak up the flavor for about 45 minutes in the refrigerator. In the mean time my skewers were soaking in water so they wouldn’t burn up on the grill.

Tequila Lime Chicken Marinade

We skewered the drunken chicken and veggies and Marc grilled them until they were ready (no idea how long that takes).

I served the Chicken Kabobs with Jamaican Rice and Beans, which I make pretty often because it is so good!

Jamaican Rice and Beans:
2 cups instant white rice
1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk
1 cup water
1 (15 oz) can red beans, drained
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon finely grated lime zest
¼ cup chopped scallions
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium sauce pan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, beans, thyme, and lime zest. Set pan over high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low cover and simmer for 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Fold in scallions and season to taste with salt and pepper.