July 4th, Vegaquarian Style – Baja Fish Tacos!

DSC00494Holidays are tough. I’ve had my first birthday since the diagnosis, that was rough, but we got through it. Went to a wedding, that was tougher, but, I also got through that! Now the regular holidays – the latest being Independence Day, and this has the addition of needing to be gluten-free. Our usual tradition included BBQ ribs and/or brisket, corn, potato salad, bacon/cheese/jalapeno cornbread, coleslaw, cobbler… Now it’s (obviously) needing some change. “M” was looking around at ideas and came up with baja fish tacos. That actually sounds pretty darn good, and summery and not “exclusion-y” at all! We had a couple friends over, and we all thought it turned out awesome.

For the marinade, put the following in a shallow dish (like a pie plate, or even just in a large zippie):

  • juice of 1-2 limes
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 T ancho chili powder
  • 1 T sweet chili powder (I used aleppo, or just double the ancho)
  • 2 T cilantro, rough chop
  • 2 T high-heat oil (like canola or sunflower)
  • 1 t salt, 1 t pepper
  • 1.5 lb fish suitable for grilling (mahi-mahi, halibut, opah, maybe snapper of some sort)

grilled to perfection

Marinate for only about 10 minutes before placing on a med-hi heat grill (perhaps in a grill basket, if you want to), and cook until the internal temp reads 135 degrees.

Our friends’ dog came over, too, and he got to enjoy some tasty bowser beer – he thoroughly enjoyed it.DSC00506

He spent most of his time in our back yard, spazzing out on the moss that was all over the place (moss is the new grass, or so I like to think). He kept stealing food from us (from my hand as I held it to his face)… Then hung out with us as we watched fireworks by the lake. I think he had a good time, too!

I served this with a slaw:

  • 1/2 small head of cabbage, sliced thinly (or use a mandoline)
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t ancho or aleppo chili powder
  • pinch salt, pepper

Toss all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

For the chipotle sour cream, I chopped a chipotle in adobo and put it, and about 1 t of the chipotle/adobo sauce, in to about 1/2-3/4 a container of Toffuti sour cream. Tiny squeeze of lime, and set aside.

DSC00488Other things you’ll need for these tacos:

  • avocado, diced or mashed
  • cilantro
  • tomato salsa

To make the tacos – use good corn tortillas (I actually really like the Trader Joe’s ones, and they are GF). Toast these up on the grill right before serving to warm up and make pliable.

booze and tacos

booze and tacos

On a tortilla, layer some sour cream sauce, avocado, fish, and top with the slaw, some cilantro, salsa. Voila! Delicious flavor.

As a side, I made my trusty sofrito beans. Essentially, heat up in a pan 1/2 C sofrito (recipe)* with 2 drained & rinsed 15oz cans of beans (I used a combo of black and pinto) and 1 15oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Season with salt to taste.

* Note: I make a huge batch of sofrito, separate by 1/2 C into zippies, and freeze until I need to use it. It’s also great making Spanish rice – just dump 1/2 C sofrito in with your rice/water in a rice cooker or on the stove, and it’ll flavor the rice amazingly (and easily!).

Lastly, for dessert, I threw together a quick fruit crisp. In a baking dish, I poured various fruit – I had a papaya cut up, some fresh blueberries, and then threw in some frozen berry medley, as well, as I wanted a good heap of fruit. Typically, I’d sprinkle the fruit with a touch of (gf) flour and sugar, but by this point, I had a couple drinks and forgot. But it still turned out very tasty! For the topping:

  • 1/4 C gf flour
  • 1/4 C gf rolled oats
  • 1/4 C sugar (maple sugar is good; or even a couple T of agave instead)
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 vegan butter (I used my home-made, recipe here), cubed into bits

DSC00511Put in a bowl and smoosh the butter into the other ingredients; you can use a pastry cutter thingy, or I just use my hands and literally smoosh the butter so it gets coated in the flour/sugar/oats. Sprinkle this evenly over the fruit, bake at 375degrees for about 30-45 minutes until bubbly and browned lightly. Let cool a few minutes before digging in, as the fruit can be nuclear hot. Serve it with some vegan ice cream/sorbet and/or whipped cream, and you have a nice closure to the meal.

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