Fish is a great source of protein for athletes as it is low in saturated fat and high in omega-3s fatty acids -which are heart healthy fats. Some of my athlete friends are afraid to buy fish as they aren’t sure how to prepare it in a way they might enjoy. Enter fish tacos… I truly believe these represent the best post workout food ever created with the added bonus of being almost idiot-proof in simplicity. The flavours are rich and satisfying, and the ingredients (from this recipe at least) are light and healthy.
The best recipe I’ve found appears in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook It’s All Good. The recipes in her book are mostly winners for athletes, as they are healthy and balanced. There are options for athletes choosing to eat vegetarian and even vegan in many cases, but the cookbook still contains a number of great recipes for meat, chicken and fish.
This fish taco recipe is all about the sauce. Cooking the fish itself is quite simple, you can choose to fry it, as the recipe suggests, or you can grill it on the BBQ if you prefer. If you are absolutely frightened of raw fish, you could even substitute canned tuna for the fish and have a saltier version of this recipe as well. Anything goes.
You might choose to make your own salsa, guacamole and pickled jalapenos if you want to be a complete gourmet, or simply grab those from the grocery store. Pickled jalapenos are very easy to make. I grow them in the garden and pickle them as soon as they are ready to keep in the fridge for these types of occasions. They last for a year. (I have included a recipe for the jalapenos from the same cookbook below the taco recipe.)
The amazing thing about this dish is it holds up very well as leftovers, so don’t be afraid to overestimate how much you’re going to eat. You can save tonight’s dinner for tomorrow’s post-ride snack. You’ll thank me when you’re really hangry and it’s ready and waiting.
Crazy Good Fish Tacos from It’s All Good
1 small poblano pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded
1/2 yellow onion peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound cod, halibut or tilapia, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Shredded red cabbage
Warm corn tortillas
Roast the poblano in the oven until the skin is charred on all sides. Place in a plastic bag while hot and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel, remove the seeds and roughly chop. Place pepper, onion, garlic, lime juice and cilantro in a Vitamix or food processor and puree. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add fish to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and add puree, stirring thoroughly to combine.
Serve the fish with warm tortillas, avocado and salsa.
¾ cup white wine vinegar
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
A pinch of celery seed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
8 large jalapenos, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Combine the vinegar, water, salt, celery seed, coriander seeds and peppercorns in a saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil then remove from the heat. Pack the sliced jalapenos, garlic and bay leaf into a large, wide mouth mason jar. Pour the vinegar over the pepper ensuring all of the peppers are covered in liquid. Place the lid on the jar and allow it to cool before storing in the fridge. Peppers will be ready in a week and will last up to a year.