Tag Archives: summer dishes

Island Tacos

I could live on an island.  Blue skies, palm trees, hammock, sunshine, umbrella drink and a stack of books.  And fish and fruit for dinner all the time.  It doesn’t sound too bad.  Okay, I’d probably be sick of it after a few weeks and miss the trees and rain, but I’m a little crazy like that.  But sometimes on rainy days (in June!) I pretend I’m on an island and cook something tropical.  And it makes me smile.

Island Fish Tacos

Island Fish Tacos

3 tilapia filets
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper
1 cup pineapple, diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup diced red onion
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Corn tortillas
Salsa (optional)

Make pineapple salsa by combining pineapple, pepper, jalapeno, onion, lime juice and cilantro in a bowl.

Pineapple Salsa. Use on tacos or eat by itself!

Sprinkle fish with seasonings on both sides.  Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the fish 1-2 minutes per side until browned and cooked through.  They cook quickly, so keep an eye on them.

Tilapia cooking

To build tacos, put a piece of the fish (each filet will make 2-3 tacos) on a tortilla and top with pineapple salsa.  For some extra zip add a spoonful of your favorite tomato salsa on top.  Take a bite and let your taste buds dance the hula!

 

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Pasta with Roasted Beets, Spinach & Goat Cheese

Beets are one of those things about which nobody has a mild opinion.  You either love them or you hate them.  Me? I love them.  They are actually one of the few vegetables I will buy in a can.  I like them pickled and not pickled. But the best way to eat them is of course to buy them fresh when they are in season and roast them in the oven.

In case you’re wondering, beets are terrific for cardiovascular health, contain significant levels of Vitamin C, potassium and B vitamins, among other vitamins and minerals.  Some people even believe they are an aphrodisiac.  The greens are also very nutritious.  And incidentally, if you have small children, this is a great veggie to introduce while the kiddos are young because it’s sweet and they love it.  At least, my daughter used to love it.  Now not so much.  But Luke and I are big fans.

One of the most fun (and sometimes annoying) things about beets is that they turn everything pink.  Never cook beets while wearing white.  Of course, I don’t cook anything while wearing white.  But especially not these.  In this pasta, the more you stir it up, the more pink the sauce gets.  I just barely tossed it so it was more of a pink swirl.  And I chose campanelle pasta because it looks like a flower so it would be pretty when it’s pink. 🙂

Pasta with Roasted Beets, Spinach and Goat Cheese

Pasta with Roasted Beets, Spinach & Goat Cheese

8 oz. Campanelle (or other smallish-shaped pasta)
1 cup sliced roasted beets
3-4 cups fresh baby spinach
5 oz. goat cheese (1 small package)
Salt & pepper

To roast beets, I leave them whole, with the skin on (less juice everywhere when you do it this way).  Trim the greens (some people eat those too), drizzle with a little olive oil and roast in the oven at 400˚ for about 30 minutes until tender when stabbed with a fork.  Let cool, peel and slice.

Cook pasta until tender but not overcooked.  In a large serving bowl (or you can do individual servings if you have some beet haters) place spinach.  Scatter sliced beets over the top along with dollops of goat cheese scattered about.  Drain pasta (reserving a bit of the pasta water).  Add pasta to serving bowl along with 1/4 – 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Toss lightly to combine.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.

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