So Easy Fish Tacos

(This is Tonya hijacking Scot’s blog again…)

We have a rule in our house:  Whoever gets home from work first is in charge of dinner.  Lucky for me, I often beat my husband home!  I am always looking for a quick meal, one which can be ready in less than 30 minutes and this is definitely one of those meals.  They are also a delicious healthy alternative to burgers this Memorial Day weekend. 

Cooking your fish in a heavy skillet (iron skillets work great) will keep it moist and help cook it more evenly.  If you would rather cook on the grill simply wrap fish, oil and spices in aluminum foil and cook over medium high heat approximately 3-4 minutes per side.  We love this fish served on a tortilla with kale or cabbage and topped with avocado and pico de gallo.  Enjoy!

So Easy Fish Tacos

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: less than 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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4 tilapia fillets

2-3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp paprika

Salt and pepper

Tortillas, avocado, salsa, shredded kale or cabbage, pico de gallo, or any other of your favorite toppings.

 

Pat tilapia fillets dry with paper towel.  Heat olive oil 1 to 2 minutes over medium-high heat in a large heavy skillet.  Stir in spices.  Reduce heat to medium.  Place fish fillets in pan and cook on one side 3 minutes.  Carefully turn fillets and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until fish is white and flaky.  Reduce heat to low and break apart fish in skillet.  Your fish is ready for tacos!

 

Back to Scot…

As I stated when I started this blog I am a lucky guy!  And traffic is awful so I usually get home around dinner time which means Tonya has probably created a wonderful dinner with an aroma that immediately hits me as I walk in the garage.

So I will contribute a beer pairing.  Truth be told, I don’t actually worry about the pairing because  I KNOW dinner will be great!  I like to recommend beers I have tried and enjoyed with the meal and hope others will like them as well.  IMG_5651 (002)

Take this suggestion:  Miro Miel Honey Blonde Ale by East Nashville Beer Works.  It’s a light and crisp beer using local honey and actually compliments the fish tacos and balances the saltiness of the fish and tortilla chips!  If you are in Nashville make sure and visit the brewery’s taproom!

Vegetable Stir-Fry with Cauliflower Rice

(Scot:  My blog has been hi-jacked by Tonya)

My husband loves rice and stir-fry…a lot.  In fact whenever it is his turn to cook dinner, it is pretty much a 50-50 chance we will be having something stir fried. His theory:  Chop it up, season it up, cook it up, put it on rice!

(Scot:  Yup!  My “trinity”:  hot oil, red pepper flakes and teriyaki sauce…yummmm)img_5267

I love cauliflower.  Raw, sauteed, roasted, it really doesn’t matter.  One of my favorite Indian appetizers is Gobi Aloo, which is breaded and roasted spicy cauliflower.  In fact, I could happily be a pescetarian and survive on beans, veggies, fruit, and fish.  

(Scot:  I grew up a presbyterian and love seafood but still crave meat…to Tonya’s credit she does recognize the benefits of portion control and practices healthier eating habits, hoping this thought process transfers to the family…)

img_5271I found this healthier alternative to traditional stir-fry, substituting rice with finely chopped cauliflower.  Scot was skeptical at first but this was a perfect blend of both.

(Scot:  Wait, what?  Cauliflower instead of rice?)

Yes, cauliflower instead of rice.  If you are clever, you might even be able to do the substitute without anyone knowing.  Delicious and nutritious!

(Scot:  Tonya didn’t really trick me…It was a really tasty dish and the cauliflower had basically the same texture as rice.  Chopped, seasoned and cooked in a wok with my “trinity”!!)

Vegetable Stir-Fry with Cauliflower Rice

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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3 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 head cauliflower, finely chopped (can be grated or pulsed in food processor)

¼ cup diced red pepper

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

½ tsp red pepper flakes

Teriyaki sauce

Soy sauce

img_5283Heat olive oil (sesame oil can be substituted) over medium heat in large skillet or wok.  Add garlic and onion and cook over low/medium heat until onion is tender.  Increase heat slightly and add red pepper and asparagus, stirring constantly.  Lastly, add cauliflower and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Season with teriyaki and/or soy sauce.

Add cooked shrimp or chicken if desired.

Emma’s Powerhouse Peanut Butter Smoothie

Well, it’s that time again!  The leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping. The days are growing shorter (boo) but so is the grass!!!  And what else is happening?  It’s the unofficial start of “Eating Season”. Starting with Halloween, as the kids go door-to-door soliciting neighbors for candy to give to Dad and the parents hang out eating bowls of chili, moving through November and the much anticipated Thanksgiving meal (and leftovers!),  surviving the Christmas holiday parties loaded with eggnog and desserts, and culminating in New Year’s Eve, New Years Day and (it should be a holiday) Superbowl.

We decided in our family to get a little ahead of the upcoming “eat-fest” and baking season by incorporating some regular exercise in our schedule.  Emma already began when she started high school with daily fitness classes  and has now pulled us into her routine by creating a family workout schedule complete with planks, lunges, push ups, working with bands, leg lifts and wall squats, to name a few.  There will also be some various yoga sessions, walks and runs and visits to the Rec Center.smoothie

Emma also realized the importance of having energy to make it through these workouts, so she created a smoothie that was inspired by our morning breakfast smoothies, Pinterest and her love for chocolate and peanut butter!  It’s a very easy recipe with a few simple ingredients. The result is a fantastic tasting smoothie that can help provide a bit of extra energy as you work those muscles in an effort to shed a few pounds from all the exercise and prepare for…candycornturkeyanddressingcakescookieschilinachos…!!

 

Emma's Powerhouse Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 banana

2 tbsp creamy peanut butter

1 tbsp cocoa

1 tsp honey

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2-3/4 cup crushed ice

dark chocolate chips (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a smoothie machine or blender.  Blend until smooth.

For a lower-fat version, substitute powdered peanut butter (yes, there is a ‘powder’ for everything!)

 

 

Fresh Tomato Pesto Chicken-What My Daughter Made For Dinner

After burning some calories at the gym Sunday (a sadistic workout she devised which included cardio, floor work and weights…I bombed out on the crunches…) our 14 year-old daughter Emma declared “I am going to make dinner tonight!”  She has made several dishes this summer and her culinary skills have blossomed so we certainly encourage this type of behavior.  Sunday dinner is usually either Clean Out the Fridge Night or take-out sushi as we wind down from a typically busy weekend, so we took her up on the offer.

Emma has become a fan of the website myfridgefood.com  (a fun site where you simply check off the various items already in your fridge and a bunch of recipes are suggested) to find interesting dishes,  as well as the ever-popular Pinterest, where you…well, find anything…

FullSizeRender (002)Emma wanted to zero in on a dinner that would include items we already had on hand, be enhanced by fresh produce, and not be an all-afternoon event.  The deciding factor was the chicken breasts we bought at the store earlier in the day, the fresh tomatoes from the farmers market and the home-made pesto that is a staple in our fridge during the summer.  The result was Fresh Tomato Pesto Chicken!

I have to say, Emma pulled it off swimmingly!  Having all the ingredients ahead of time allowed her to put this together in
about an hour.  The pesto was a great compliment to the fresh tomatoes, the chicken was moist and juicy, and the baked mozzarella cheese created a crusty topping that would appeal to Chicken Parm lovers!  She served the dish with penne pasta and pan-cooked asparagus along with a side of fresh fruit.

Fresh Tomato Pesto Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1hr 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Easy Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves

¼ cup pine nuts (raw or roasted)

2 garlic cloves

½ cup extra-virgin olive oilFullSizeRender (007)

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic in food processor and process until minced.  While processing, slowly add olive oil until smooth.  Add cheese and process until combined.

Fresh Tomato Pesto Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/3 cup pesto

2 large fresh tomatoes, sliced

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 tsp Italian seasoning

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly cover the bottom of a casserole dish with olive oil and place the chicken breasts in the dish.  Cover the chicken with pesto and lay the fresh tomato slices on top of the chicken.  Add salt and pepper on the tomatoes and chicken and cover with mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle the Italian seasoning and bake for 40 minutes until chicken is done.