Oh, it’s blackened on purpose?!
I’m on a mission. A mission to find the healthier me that is trapped inside these extra 50-60 pounds I found (did anyone lose their pounds? I’ll gladly return them!) I’d rather not do a complete overhaul of my life (and this blog) by taking on any drastic diets or following some crazy fad, because honestly those plans aren’t good for your body and don’t work long-term anyway. I also have a boyfriend who isn’t interested in joining in the weight-loss adventure (but it’s not too late, babe!) and a 6 year old who eats well, but can be a bit finicky. Plus, cooking is fun! Using fresh ingredients, choosing organic and local, and consciously putting the items together yourself really does make for a better, healthier meal. With that being said, the majority of my coming posts will be recipes I’m tracking down to meet my needs for low carb/low fat choices, while still having enough flavor and flair to appeal to the other two in the house (and all of you). Nobody but the tree-bark granola companies ever said good-for-you had to taste so bad-to-you!
As I’ve mentioned before, The Pampered Chef currently offers 3 fresh and healthy cookbooks, 2 of which are comprised completely of vegetarian dishes. I also have an old cookbook called It’s Good For You, which is where I found my lunch for today. Blackened Fish Tacos! It’s funny that I’ve only ever purposely had blackened fish or chicken maybe twice in my life; all the many other times were because my need to do 18 different things simultaneously (once known as being easily distracted, now has the fancy name of ADHD) usually resulted in extremely overcooked food. I’m getting better, and I try to limit my activities to 3 or 4 at a time now. Since I’ve never actually blackened anything, I didn’t have a magical bottle of pre-mixed seasoning to wave over the fish for instant cajunosity. It’s ok because rather than go buy some, I got to make it myself! Of course, I googled blackened seasoning and found one that looked good on about.com, but I cut the recipe in half (and I still have enough to blacken a whole school of tilapia or give a mermaid a really good tan).
Now I don’t usually choose to eat or recommend tilapia. Although it’s cheap and easy to find, they aren’t raised in very good conditions, so I tend to go for a better quality of fish. Just so happens, though, that we have a Costco bag of individually wrapped fillets (like I said, cheap and accessible) so I stuck with the recipe. Since it was just me and I’m attempting to eat less than my usual pachyderm-like self, I cut the recipe down to just one serving (2 tacos). The only thing I added was a good sprinkling of Tequila Lime Seasoning from Grizzly Joe’s (all of their seasonings are like warm hugs in your mouth) before shaking the homemade blackened seasoning on top. I skipped the pan and threw the tilapia in my George Foreman while I warmed the tortillas (on the stove, not in the microwave) and made the slaw.
Buying a pre-shredded bag of broccoli slaw mix from Fresh and Easy made the prep for this meal ridiculously simple. I did start to panic, however, when I pulled a dripping bag that was supposed to be cilantro out of my fridge (cilantro is life! I have thrown tantrums and stopped cooking when I didn’t have the cilantro I needed!!), but I am not above separating whatever good green pieces I can salvage from the middle of the bunch and washing them really well. Hey, if it works with cheese…
These tacos were flavorful, filling, and absolutely perfect for my revised dietary goals. They’re also dairy-free for those of you intolerant people. 🙂 I grabbed a few extra whole radishes to munch on with the tacos, and I grabbed our gigantic bottle of Tapatio and applied liberally (no calories!). I’m quite proud of the food choices I’ve made so far the past few days, and I will definitely be enjoying these tacos again soon. Hopefully you do too!
Blackened Fish Tacos
1/4 cup sliced green onions with tops
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cajun or blackened fish seasoning
2 cups broccoli slaw mix
1 pound tilapia fish fillets
1 tablespoon Cajun or blackened fish seasoning
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
3 medium radishes
Additional snipped fresh cilantro (optional)
1. For slaw, in Small Batter Bowl, combine green onions, cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic pressed with Garlic Press, sugar and Cajun seasoning; whisk until blended. Add slaw mix; toss to coat. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Heat 11″ Square Grill Pan over medium heat 5 minutes. Moisten fish fillets with water and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Lightly spray pan with vegetable oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Place fillets in pan; cook over medium heat 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork, carefully turning once. Remove from heat. Flake fish into bite-size pieces.
3. Using Avocado Peeler, cut avocado in half lengthwise; remove seed and cut flesh away from skin. Cut one avocado half into slices. (Reserve remaining half for another use.) To warm tortillas, place in Large Micro-Cooker. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 1 minute. Top tortillas evenly with slaw mixture and fish. Grate radishes evenly over fish using Rotary Grater. Top with avocado slices and sprinkle with additional cilantro, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 300 (26% from fat), Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1.5mg, Cholesterol 55mg, Carbohydrate 32g, Protein 26g, Sodium 320mg, Fiber 6g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 3 low-fat meat (2 carb)
Tilapia is a native fish of Africa, but it is now farm-raised all over the globe. This low-fat fish is available fresh or frozen. Tilapia has a semi-firm texture and light, sweet flavor.
If desired, catfish fillets can be substituted for the tilapia fillets.
Although avocados have a reputation for being high in fat, don’t eliminate them from your diet. sixty percent of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated, which is the same type of heart healthy fat found in olive and canola oils. In addition, avocados are cholesterol and sodium-free and are high in beta carotene, fiber, folate (a B vitamin) and potassium.
Avocados have a thick, pebbled skin that changes from green to purplish black as the fruit ripens. Choose avocados that are free of bruises and store them at room temperature until they reach their full flavor and ripeness. Once ripe, they can be stored in the refrigerator.