Sunday, July 14

Grilled Fish Taco Bowls

Hi. Happy summer time greetings you ya. Hopefully you are staying a bit cooler than we are in southern Az. Its a bit cooler today at 100 degrees but I am guessing its due the recent wind/ thunder/ lightening/dust storms and cloud cover.  I am just thankful to have a.c.,  yummy food, and my family around.

I want to introduce to you the best thing I have made in the last 6 months. Serious. The picture of the recipe when I first saw it made me instantly start to drool. Thankfully this colorful dish is as easy on the eyes as it is on the scale otherwise I would be in deep trouble (laugh). A wonderful cook/chef/blogger Lindsay came up with this one. You can find the original and many other tempting tasty things on her website Pinch of Yum. You should definitely check out her desserts.

I did adapt it a bit to keep the carbs at a minimum and to degrade the heat level that she was playing with to not overwhelm my kiddo. When I am scouring my cookbooks and magazines and pintrest for new recipes I have a list in my head that I usual go through to determine if its something I should try. THIS colorful flavorful fish dish hit every single thing on my list with a resounding 'Yes'. I hope you eat and enjoy this yummy, easy, grilled fish meal as much as we did. See my list to see if it fits your family.

4 yr old boy friendly check

budget friendly check
 (rice, seasonings, tilipia, & frozen & fresh veg - no fancy ingredients here)

Nutritious check 
(none or only 1 processed food involved - rice okay 2 if you count the old bay)

Easy cook time: check 
(30 minutes or less total)

Summer time friendly check
(grab your grill or bbq)

Make ahead check
(can make the seasoning rub and put it over the fish and refrigerate it a few hrs in advance)

 Not fried nor breaded check 

Grilled Fish Taco Bowls
serves 3
adapted from: Pinch of Yum

1/2 Tbs chili powder
1/2 Tbs ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp old bay seasoning (lol threw threw this in here just trying to use it up)
1/2 Tbs smoked paprika
1/4 tsp herbes de provence   (surprising - herb blend goes well with Mexican flavors)
4-5 tilapia filets (or other white mild fish) 1 or 2 per person (we did 5 - see picture below)
1/2 Tbs minced garlic
1 cup of frozen corn**
1/2 red onion, finely chopped**
1 red pepper, diced**
1 cup of white rice*
2 cups of water
1 tsp of salt (for the rice)
fresh cilantro, chopped avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa (optional)

*I really liked that the original recipe called for brown rice... love the more natural, nuttier flavor that brown rice gives in addition to a bit more nutrients. I just didn't have it on hand. Brown rice does take longer though so do that first if you are using it.

**If you are bbqing outside see the note below about optional grilling the veg outside instead of chopping it and sauting it on the stove in step 6. 

1. Combine the first 6 seasonings in a flat bowl. This is your rub. I can't wait to try it on other stuff...  onion powder, mexican oregano, or garlic powder would probably be good in it as well.

2. Dunk, dredge, and/or cover all the fish with the seasonings - rubbing it on both sides of each fillet... This was a fun activity for my 4 yr old. I am pretty sure he enjoyed it because it was messy. If my hands weren't covered with chili powder at the time I would've gotten a super cute picture.  Set this aside - let the flavors mingle.

3. Start your rice. Make rice... in a small pot add water, rice, and salt. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover 15-20 minutes. When it looks like it is done. Turn off the heat. Let it sit there with the lid on until everything else is ready.

4. Chop up any sort of toppings that sound good... basically anything that would be good on a fish taco, burrito, or nachos would be very well suited for this dish. Be creative and add as much heat as you dare.

5. Heat up your bbq or grill pan and start grilling the fish. I used an inside grill pan since it was 105 the day I made this. I used cooking spray to help but a good tip I learned is that if you leave fish alone it will become unsuck when it is done. Moving fish before its done = mess. Just don't. So don't try to flip it more than once and let it cook all the way through - should only take a few minutes on each side (3-5 minutes).  Once they start to flake easily and are completely white remove them and let them cool.

6. While the fish is cooking, heat the oil in a small skillet and saute the red pepper, corn, and red onion for 3 minutes over very high heat. You want the edges to start to char and get a nice smokiness to them.

**If you are bbqing you could also grill the veggies outside without having to chop and saute in the house.

First do the corn. On one piece of corn, pull the silks and outside green corn stalk down but not off the cob completely. Then rub oil (1/2-1 tsp) and a couple shakes of salt and pepper on the kernels. Last pull the layers back up to the top to protect the corn. And throw it on the grill - indirect heat is best for 15-25 minutes.

Second grill the veggies: Put some oil (1-2 tsp on each veg), sprinkle of each salt and pepper over the red pepper, and red onion cut in large chunks. Separate the different layers of onion but not so it will fall down through the grill or bbq. On an outside grill over medium heat it should take anywhere from 8-15 minutes. Watch it and turn it as it starts to get those lovely charred black edges. If you do this... chop and remove seeds after the food cools a bit to not burn fingers. Remove the corn from the cob and do a quick saute with the garlic. You have added an amazing layer of smokiness that only summer time bbqing can do... brownie points.

7. Add the minced garlic to the pan with the red onion and red pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and let it cook for another 3-5 minutes to soften everything and not burn the garlic.

8. Dish up and eat. We layered everything in bowls...  Rice, veggies, fish, toppings.
Eat with a fork, spoon or dip chips into it and scoop it up on chips. This would also be awesome in a pita pocket bread,  or in a tortilla.

Seriously. Try it. Its perfect for summer. Perfect for summer produce. Totally going to veg it up next time with some fresh zucchini or delicate yellow summer squash sauteed in with the corn. You know me... always trying to sneak another vegetable in.

From my kitchen to yours
Happy Eating. 

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