Elyse Kopecky is a social media consultant and whole foods chef based in Portland, OR. After 10 years working for NIKE and EA SPORTS she left her desk job for the chance to study culinary nutrition at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. Follow her adventures in the kitchen and on the trail at www.freshabits.com and @freshabits.
Foodist Approved: Fabulous Fish Tacos with Fiery Peach Avocado Salsa
by Elyse Kopecky
If you’ve just finished reading Foodist you’re probably inspired to cook more at home, but are wondering where to begin. Fret not. I’ve got you covered. As a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, I know how to make healthy food taste amazing. And amazing food that satisfies and keeps us energized is the key to giving up all that barcoded junk once and for all.
In the spirit of Foodist let’s try to get more seasonal produce and sustainable seafood onto our plate without sacrificing flavor or fun. We’re in luck because right now it’s the peak of summer and that means endless options at the farmers market. On one of my usual Saturday trips to the Portland Farmers Market, I was inspired by the local farmers and fisherman selling juicy peaches and fresh caught Pacific cod. These two purchases resulted in a craving for my favorite summertime meal… fish tacos!
These fish tacos are nothing like your typical restaurant version overloaded with sour cream and under-filled with a few tiny pieces of fried fish. They’re made with sustainable fish, seasoned with oregano and chili powder and baked perfectly en papillote (in parchment paper), then topped with a fiery peach avocado salsa.
The salsa turned out so good that another option, if you’d like, is to pile the salsa directly onto the fish and skip the tortillas altogether. I also decided to up the health factor by adding as a side a red cabbage slaw made with yogurt. It’s the meal’s perfect crunchy accompaniment.
I promise you that Darya isn’t trying to pull one over on us. You can eat more and lose weight. Once you start filling up on nutrient dense whole foods your body will be so happy that your devilish mind will no longer make you reach for another cookie.
Serves 2 hungry adults
- ¾ pound Pacific cod, or other mild white fish like rockfish, tilapia, halibut*
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano**
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ lemon, thin slices
- 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
- sea salt
- 4 tortillas (I buy locally made stone-ground corn tortillas)
- 1 large avocado, diced
- 1 juicy peach, diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, minced (for mild salsa remove seeds)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Divide fish on two squares of parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle fish with oregano, chili powder, sea salt and pepper. Place lemon slices and cilantro sprigs on top of each fillet.
Fold parchment over fish to create packets. Roll edge of paper to tightly close each packet. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Roast in oven until parchment puffs up and browns lightly,12 – 15 minutes (depends on thickness of filet).
In a large bowl toss together avocado, peach, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, jalapeño, salt and pepper. Taste and add more jalapeño (if you’re brave) and/or salt and pepper.
Warm tortillas in the oven (wrap in foil) or in a frying pan on the stovetop with a drizzle of olive oil.
Remove fish from oven and carefully cut open packets. Insert fork into thickest portion to check for doneness. Fish should flake easily and be opaque in color. If it needs a few more minutes, reseal parchment packet and place back in oven, but be careful not to overcook.
Top warm tortillas with pieces of baked fish and a heaping spoonful of salsa. Chow immediately.
*Check the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch to select a fish that is sustainable and low in contaminants.
**Dried herbs loose potency with age. For best flavor in the kitchen buy your herbs in small quantities and replace every 6 months.