Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Confession:

I am not a summer cook.

When it comes to variety, I am so lacking during the hot summer months. I myself would be content to eat only salads, fresh from the garden, every single night, but for the rest of my family, however, this is not really an option! Granted, we still have a salad or a vegetable with every meal, but growing children and already-grown, hard-working husbands need more of a protein laced meal, one that carries them through to the next morning.

This summer, with my morning sickness and exhaustion, I have been even worse at attempting variety. We grill probably five nights out of the seven, to keep the house cooler, but I even have trouble being creative with that- Oh. Hot dogs again, Mama?

However, fish tacos are always a hit, and one of my favorites for a summer evening- I would love to share the recipe with you here!

Fish Tacos

Creamy Ranchero sauce ingredients:

10 oz. tofu
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 garlic clove (or more, if you like!)
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. cumin (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp. dill weed
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients in a blender until creamy and chill.

Oil for skillet
6-8 tilapia fillets
Creole/Cajun seasoning
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Paprika
Salt
One package of chopped cabbage (coleslaw mix is fine) or 1 small head of cabbage, chopped

Oil your skillet, and get it nice and hot. Lay tilapia fillets on a pan and pat dry, then sprinkle with cajun seasoning, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and salt to taste. Lay carefully in the skillet and sear the fish just until cooked through, turning once. (Fish cooks quickly- watch closely!) Remove the fish to a platter and break apart into chunks.

Turn heat down to medium-low and add a package of cabbage* (or a whole head chopped) to the oil and seasonings in the pan. Turn every couple minutes until it cooks down, then remove to a bowl.

To assemble:

Heat corn tortillas according to package directions, so they're nice and soft to roll around the filling. Add some fish, a scoop of cabbage, and a couple of tablespoons of sauce, roll up and enjoy!

*My kiddos don't like the cabbage in their fish tacos- which is fine- I just make sure I have a veggie on the side for them to enjoy.
So now, I look forward with great joy to the cooler autumn months! Our family favorite is beef stew and homemade bread or rolls to dip in the thick broth, but I hope to perfect a healthy, savory chili this year- before the baby comes! Along with my favorite season a new child will bring delight to this house, and I am anxious to begin doubling up on dinner recipes to put by the extra in my freezer. My afternoon naps are becoming a necessity more often now, so preparing in the morning will be vital to my being able to draaaag myself out of bed to put a warm, delicious dinner on the table.

What are your favorite autumn/winter recipes?

8 fellow travelers shared:

wendybirde said...

Hi Elise,

Prayers on the wing for a continued safe and peaceful pregency for you.

And i just wanted to share something, that some folks actually ~need~ to eat only a small variety of foods at a time. I am one of them, though it took me a while to figure that out. It has to do with not overstimulating your body too much...variety is stimulating. And some folks can handle alot of stimulation, other folks not....or different periods of time for a person may be different there too.

Could you perhaps use a small amount of ingredients and just make different things with them? That way, your body would have a small amount of ~ingredients~ to deal with at least. (I may actually post some ideas there later on the blog, but ive been posting alot less so not sure when exactly)

Well my freind, a very peaceful week to you : ) Wendy

wendybirde said...

PS That stew (and i can imagine the bread smells wafting up beside it too) looks soooo yummy. Care to share the recipe perhaps : ) ?

Anonymous said...

Oh, have I got a yummy chili-type dish for you! It is a family recipe--handed down through my DAD--who, let' just say, doesn't cook much. This is good, though! It does not have measurements, though, so it's 'to taste.' Every fall, as soon as it gets cool enough, I make a HUGE batch and freeze it. It's even better after having been frozen! You just put the frozen "Squaw Corn" in a saucepan with a little water, put a lid on, and simmer until it's warm. It's good with either cornbread or rice. The end-product is a little like a sweeter and more veggie-rich chili. Here is the basic idea:

Cook 1/2-1 pkg. bacon. Crumble bacon and set aside. Brown GROUND BEEF (about 1 lb.). Towards the end, add 1-2 diced bell peppers (red or gold sweetens it quite a bit) & an onion. Saute until soft. Add seasonings--lots of oregano & chili powder, garlic, salt, pepper, and maybe a little cayenne if you like it hot. Saute for another minute or so until very fragrant. (A little cumin might be good, too.) Experiment here, and mess with it until it smells really good. Now, add 4 cans of beans (I use 2 kidney, 2 black), a package of frozen corn, the crumbled bacon, and a BIG can of tomato puree, maybe even more. (You might need a little water, too.) Mix it all together, and let it simmer until warm, and up to all day (replacing water as necessary). Oh, yum. I'm longing for fall now! Serve it over rice or with cornbread.

Bekki said...

YUM - so now you need to invite us over for gyros, fish tacos, AND stew! LOL - jk. I am totally going to try that taco recipe. Sounds fantastic.
(We really need to invite y'all over for dinner sometime - after Labor Day!)
I have an awesome Italian turkey sausage/tortellini soup from WW - its not the cheapest soup but it is scrumptious. (Ryan's fav!) I can get it to you if you want it.

~nanashouse~ said...

Oh my, sickness this far into your pregnancy? Sounds like me. I remember the only thing I could eat was my mother-in-law's spanish rice with a little bit of white meat chicken in it. I craved it. It was the only thing I could keep down--and--it forged a bond we would keep forever! Blessings to you :-)

Kate said...

I hope you start to feel better soon!! What worked for me while I was pregnant was fresh lime juice squeezed over crushed ice. It settles the stomach. I'm glad you are finding some neat things to cook. Those recipes look great! :)

rautis2 said...

Wild rice. mushroom, and sausage soup from Rachel Ray. It is so yummy and makes a lot so that you can make a couple meals out of it which is something we do a lot of. Also another one from her is buffalo chicken pot pie. You use hot sauce over the chicken and blue cheese crumbles in the cornbread topping. Oh so yummy!

Carrie at dumptrucksandteacups said...

I am the same way as you... for some reason summer time just does not invite the same yummy meals the same way that fall and winter do. Although, we do love a summer bbq with friends. :)

Here is a chili recipe that we love:
ground beef
brownstew meat-1-2lbs. (cut in smaller pieces)
1 chopped onion
1 bell pepper
*brown above together

salt & pepper several
cloves of garlic chopped
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 cup of Ketchup
2 small cans tomato sauce or 1 large can
Paprika
chili powder to taste
2 large cans Kidney beans-drain
4 cans Pinto beans

We cooked over low heat for 6-8 hours, although the recipe calls for you to cook 3-4 hours.Serve with sour cream and grated cheese.This makes a large pot full and will last days.
***
I also have a wonderful recipe for white chili that I will have to get you. I'll come back and post it later... :)

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