It gets so hot in our house in the summer, even with the air conditioning running full-blast, that the thought of turning on my stove makes me break into a sweat. (Thank you, older home with poor insulation.)
Suffice it to say, we’re big fans of grilling once the temperature starts to climb. And now that we’re both on this State of the Weight wagon, we’re also fans of finding healthier alternatives to our usual fare.
Enter one of our new favorites: Grilled Fish Tacos with Avocado-Cilantro Dressing.
Growing up, I didn’t eat a lot of fish. It just wasn’t something we bought and prepared. But I like it, and it’s good for me, so over our years together, I’ve slowly incorporated fish dishes into our menu. (Okay, total honesty: Dan has incorporated more fish dishes into our menu because I was scared to prepare it for a long time.)
A few weeks ago, I bought tilapia at Trader Joe’s and decided to make fish tacos. Dan gets them when we go to Barberito’s on Fridays, so I knew I had a decent chance of having a hit on my hands.
I had no idea what I was doing since I had never eaten fish tacos before much less cooked them. I just looked at what I had and what I thought would go well together and threw things into the Ninja and crossed my fingers.
Dan was floored. I basically knocked these out of the park. (Winning!)
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 flaky, white fish filets (tilapia and swai are both good choices)
fajita or taco-sized flour tortillas
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 oz. plain Greek yogurt (about half the container)
2 to 3 cloves fresh garlic, depending on size
To prepare the dressing:
1. Halve your avocado and score it so it’s easy to remove from the shell.
2. Put avocado in food processor with (roughly) 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. black pepper. Liberally sprinkle in the dill. Peel and slice the garlic cloves and toss those in, too.
3. Add the juice from half of the lime, reserving the other half of the lime for the fish. Add your yogurt and mayonnaise to the food processor. (Note: To make this low or no-fat, use low-fat mayo or skip the mayonnaise altogether and use double the amount of Greek yogurt. Your sauce might be slightly more tart, but it will still work well with the dish.)
4. Add the cilantro. This is more or less to taste. I use about 3/4 of the bunch in the container. If you want a mild cilantro flavor, add only the leaves. If you want a heavier cilantro flavor, add some of the stem pieces, too.
5. Process. The consistency will be a little more like mayo/yogurt than a pourable dressing. Taste it. If you want more of a particular flavor, add it and process it in. Put it in the fridge so the flavors can “marry” and then prep the fish.
For the fish:
1. Preheat your grill.
2. Season both sides of your fish with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and cumin. Easy on the cumin. A little goes a long way. (If you add paprika, this is basically the seasoning mix used when blackening fish or chicken.) You can play with this mixture a bit. If you like chiptle seasoning, add it. Cayenne? Fair game. Have fun.
3. Grill your fish, flipping your grill basket at around the 7 minute mark. (A grill basket isn’t required, but it definitely makes grilling fish, which tends to stick, much easier.)
4. After the fish is cooked, flake it. Squeeze the juice from the other half of the lime over the flaked fish.
Warm your tortillas. Layer the flaked fish and coleslaw in the tortilla and top with the dressing. Devour. Go back for seconds.
We serve this with corn on the cob and black beans, or sometimes no sides at all. Rice would also work nicely. With a main dish as good as this one, sides become really unimportant.
This dressing is really a multi-purpose condiment and is what makes the dish. Last night I used it to top blackened chicken and quinoa. You could mix it into the coleslaw and serve the slaw as a side for carne asada or fajitas. It would also make an excellent veggie dip.
To use a cliche’, the possibilities are endless.
Welcome to summer!
If you give this recipe a shot, let me know what you thought! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!