Spicy Fish Tacos

These are the fish tacos of my dreams: a combo of spicy seared fish and zippy slaw tucked into a corn tortilla and drizzled with creamy sauce.

Spicy Fish Tacos

1-½ tablespoons light sour cream
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
1-½ teaspoons lime juice
½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
Sea salt, to taste

Spice Mix:
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons hot paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Remaining ingredients:
2 (6-ounce) white fish fillets (catfish, halibut and long-line caught swordfish all work great, but you can use any firm, white fish)
2 tablespoons Spice Mix
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
8 small corn tortillas
2 cups Essential Coleslaw
¼ cup cilantro, or 8 sprigs
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

In a small bowl, whisk together Sauce ingredients and set aside.

Combine all Spice Mix ingredients in a small bowl (extra spice mix can be kept, tightly sealed, for up to 3 months). Rub each side of fillets with Spice Mix. Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fillets and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove to a plate and tent with foil.

Have a 16-inch square of foil ready by the stove. Heat 2 tortillas in a large, stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat for 60-90 seconds per side, until slightly blistered. When cooked, wrap them (together) in the foil. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

When tortillas are ready, place two on each plate. Divide fish, slaw and cilantro between the tortillas. Spritz with lime and drizzle with Sauce.

Serves 4

Give Your Camp Kitchen a Gourmet Upgrade

We just got back from an incredible camping trip in Hope Valley, Calif., and I wanted to share some of the tricks and tips we’ve gleaned about “gourmet camping” over the years (to see our full five-day menu, click here).

With the right camping gear you can turn out amazing, easy camping food in mere minutes, which leaves lots of time for Uno, stories and s’mores. And, when your gear is strategically doing double duty, you’re not loaded down with an excess of camping equipment. Here’s how we set up our camp kitchen.

gourmet-camping-foodPhotos (clockwise from left): Our big helper, Noemi. Our trusty Coleman in the foreground, and our “drying rack” in the background. Awesome first night dinner of Sticky-Spicy Eggplant over a Village Harvest wheat berry mix. (I heated the wheat berries first, then put them in a bowl above the pot to keep warm while reheating the eggplant that I’d made at home and packed in the cooler in a zip-top bag)

1) Make everything you bring do multiple duties. Tongs = fire pokers. Metal mixing bowls = pot lids. Foil = wrapper and makeshift cookie-esque sheet for grill grates.

2) Get a knife roll to hold your kitchen equipment. Trust me, it is by far the best (and safest) way to keep your kitchen gear together.

camp-kitchen-gearPhotos (clockwise from top left): Our “drying rack” of screen mesh. The top loose ends of the mesh folded over the rope and secured with clothes pins. Our knife roll … everything for the camp kitchen together in one place.

3) Set up a drying “rack.” Here’s how: String a rope between two trees roughly 8 to 10 feet apart. Fold a 5-by-4-foot piece of standard window screen mesh in half so it measures 2-1/2-by-4 feet. Fold both edges of the long side opposite the fold over the rope by 3 inches and secure every 6 inches with clothes pins. Tuck clean, wet dishes into the mesh pocket to dry.


4) Think of “evolutionary meals.” Our Greek salad turned into a panzanella for a picnic the next day with leftover stale bread, which then disintegrated into a sort of rustic gazpacho that Noemi gobbled up as an appetizer before dinner.

5) Make hurricane votives from mason jars.

gourmet-camping-mealsPhotos (clockwise from left): Hurricane mason jar “votive.” The beginning: Greek Salad. The end: rustic, post-panzanella gazpacho.

6) Cook for more than one meal when you can. When you’re boiling pasta, make enough–and plan for–another meal as well. Pasta, rice, oatmeal … all double super well and can be dressed up with different toppings the next day for an almost instant meal.

Camp mealsPhotos (clockwise from top left): Cooking double the pasta–half for the melted squash, half for tomato sauce the next day. Grilling a breakfast peanut butter and banana quesadilla over the morning campfire. Pasta with “Melted” Summer Squash (I’d made this ahead of time and packed it in the cooler in a zip-top bag … it’s even better after a few days. Then just reheat in the pot with the pasta).

7) Use the campfire when you can. For s’mores, of course. And souvlaki, cheese–and even peanut butter and banana–quesadillas, too. Place a piece of foil on the grates above the fire for extra gooey dishes, or to keep foods warm.

8) Bring two wash tubs. One for hot, sudsy water and one to rinse.

Camping in Hope Valley

Our Camp Kitchen Equipment List

  • Coleman 2-burner stove (plus propane)
  • Skewers
  • Cast iron griddle
  • Medium skillet
  • Medium pot
  • Large black kettle
  • Cutting board (1 large, 1 small)
  • 3 metal bowls
  • Mesh food covers
  • Knife Roll
    • Tongs (2 pairs)
    • Spatula
    • Stiff spatula
    • Stirring spoon
    • Can opener
    • Small serrated knife
    • Small chef’s knife
  • Foil
  • Zip-top plastic bags
  • 5-by-4-foot screen mesh
  • Mason jars
  • Votive candles
  • Plates, bowls, cups and cutlery (1 set for each camper)
  • 2 wash tubs
  • Environmentally safe dish soap
  • sponges
  • Towels


Summer Camping Menu Planning

We’re packing up for a trip to Hope Valley in Tahoe (click here for a peek at our camp kitchen), and as we were planning our menus it occurred to me that y’all might enjoy seeing what’s on our list. Planning meals for a camping trip is a lot like planning meals for a busy week … only with a heck of a lot less refrigerator space. I have to give big props to my husband for taking the lead this year. Thanks, honey!

For breakfasts, we’ll keep it simple with oatmeal, granola and cereal with nuts and fruit. Lunches will be strategic amalgamations and re-vamps of our dinners. And dinners themselves need to be as close to one pot (or grill) as possible. So here’s the plan:

Molasses-Cranberry-Granola* SUNDAY NIGHT — I’m making Sticky-Spicy Thai Eggplant before we leave with the bunches of Asian eggplant we have hanging in the garden. We’ll heat that up Sunday night with some quinoa I have leftover in the fridge. Dessert will be fresh plums from the farmers market.

* MONDAY LUNCH — I’ve got a big batch of this “Melted” Squash on the stove right now, and it will play a couple of different roles on our trip. For Monday lunch, I’m going to cook up an omelet with half the squash as a filling and a bit of feta cheese (the rest of which will be used Monday night in the Greek salad).

* MONDAY DINNER — Souvlaki has somehow become a camping standard for us. Christopher has cubes of pork marinating in olive oil, garlic and oregano, all ready to go onto skewers and over the campfire Monday night. He’s making a garlicky Tzatziki and I’m making Melizansalata Eggplant Dip, both of which will only get better over time. We’re also bringing up the makings for a Greek salad from our garden. Dessert … s’mores.

south-melizansalata* TUESDAY LUNCH — Leftovers from Monday dinner–marinated Greek salad, Tzatziki and chopped pork–will go into pitas for an easy lunch.

* TUESDAY DINNER — The rest of that Squash will get tossed with pasta tonight (we’ll make extra pasta for Wednesday lunch), and any leftover feta.

* WEDNESDAY LUNCH — Christopher is making a nice, chunky tomato sauce that he’ll freeze (one of our strategies for keeping the cooler cool). We’ll toss it with the leftover pasta on Wednesday for lunch.

* WEDNESDAY DINNER — The last night is our classic “cookout night.” Hot dogs, sausages and baked beans. I’ve got a big batch of beans frozen, along with the hot dogs and sausages, that we’ll let thaw Wednesday. Dessert … definitely s’mores again.

baked-beansYou might notice an “arc” to these menus. First, the perishable dishes are used right away. Second, “marinated” stuff–dishes that gain flavor as they sit–gets used mid-trip. Third, frozen items help keep the cooler chill, and then are defrosted and used at the end of the trip.

I’ll be checking in with pics on Facebook if I can get service. Otherwise, I’ll post pics of our sweet kitchen setup (wait until you see our “dish rack”) next week.

How I Lost My Peach Virginity

A crazy ripe peach is the epitome of all that is good and wonderful about eating what’s grown close to you, which is, by definition, seasonal. Of course, we can get peaches all year ’round now, as we can with just about any food. But whether you do or not comes down to how you define “peach.”


If your definition of a peach stops at “blushing orange orb,” then why wouldn’t you buy one in February (even if it is a bit firm)? But if “peach” to you means a “blushing orange orb that epitomizes the warmth of the summer sun and should come with a footnoted warning: Excess juice and high danger of drippage. Best eaten over a sink or outside on a stoop,” then it would make no sense at all to buy one in winter. And it wouldn’t irk you to wait for it, since your very definition of the fruit is inextricably tied to the whole experience of summer.

This may all sound grandiose, but I’m really just describing the shift that happened to my own perception of “peach” a few years back.

It had been a scorcher of a day, cooled at dusk by a breeze so refreshing it felt like taking a dip in a pool. I took a walk up to the orchard behind the house we were renting just to be outside. With each footfall, the earth exhaled the scent of warm straw and clay. In the orchard, shadows stretched across the rows of trees and one ruby-golden fruit with fuzz as rich as velvet called to me. It was like it had taken on the radiance of the sun and now glowed from within.

I picked it. I took a bite. And I’m not kidding you, I swooned. I’ve never liked being sticky, I think in large part because my mom never liked me being sticky. But I’ll tell you … I didn’t give a lick when that ambrosial nectar dripped down my forearms and off my elbows and into my hair. The farmer/poet/philosopher Mas Masumoto calls that moment “losing your peach virginity.” When I’d nibbled every last bit of flesh off that pit, I just stood there, trying to wrap my head around how freaking good that peach was. That moment painted the picture of “seasonal” for me like no magazine article or seminar sermon ever could, and I came away a changed woman.

So when should you make this Fiery-Sweet Salsa? Now … while the peaches are at their peak. Where should you get those peaches? From a farmer–or orchard–near you.

Our Nourishing Pick of July 4th Recipes

We’ve put together a nourishing plate for you with these July 4th recipes. All your favorite barbecue food–potato salad, baked beans, tomato salad … even pickles and ice cream–along with one of our best BBQ recipes (try Lia’s Best Barbecue Ribs). Happy July 4th from NOURISH Evolution!

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Getting into the right mindset: The July 4th is a celebration, and some of these dishes are heftier than everyday fare. But not to worry–it’s a good, healthy thing to enjoy a celebratory meal once in a while. Here’s our plan for how to load your plate so you don’t feel stuffed: Pile up with the tomato salad and cucumbers (the lightest picks of the bunch); enjoy a dollop of beans and potato salad and few heavenly bites of corn bread (a good bit heavier) with a few barbecue ribs (a little goes a long way) in which you take unbridled pleasure. Then finish with a bowl of cool, refreshing sherbet — all part of our nourishing collection of July 4th recipes.

Lia’s Best Barbecue Ribs Recipe

A pressure cooker makes this sublimely tender, shot-through-with-flavor-to-the-bone barbecue ribs recipe possible in under an hour using the same technique as our Last-Minute Corned Beef From Scratch. Given their quick and easy nature, and the proliferation of really good bottled barbecue sauces out there, I opted not to take the extra step of making a sauce from scratch. When choosing your sauce, look for as few ingredients as possible (ideally all “real” words) with real sugar or honey or molasses or maple syrup as a sweetener, rather than high fructose corn syrup.






Tomato Salad with Green Beans, Corn and Bulgur

This tomato salad is the perfect fresh-from-the-garden all-purpose summer side dish for the season. It’s bursting with green beans, tomatoes, corn and cucumbers, with toothsome bulgur adding just a touch of heft (and healthy whole grain) while soaking up the tangy dressing.



Tangy Smashed Potato Salad with Goat Cheese

This potato salad recipe is a bit like a Nourishified stuffed potato. It’s got all the fixins you love — sour cream, bacon, chives, and even goat cheese — but in proportions that amp up flavor without making you feel like you just ate a house. Take it to your Fourth of July picnic, or serve it with barbecued ribs and Slow Cooked Molasses-Honey Baked Beans.



Fregola Salad with White Beans and Arugula

Fregola is an Italian rolled pasta similar to Israeli couscous, and it’s wonderfully toothsome in this summer salad. Think of it as a new twist on old-school pasta salad. If you can’t find fregola (or wanted to go gluten free), millet would be a great substitute. Top with a few chunks of good quality tuna packed in olive oil (unless you want to keep it vegan) and you’ve got a nice, hearty, nourishing meal.


Fudgy Black Bean Brownies with Sea Salt

I love these fudgy, black bean brownies, which I originally found here on Minimalist Baker, for many reasons. For one, all you do is blam a few ingredients in the food processor, spoon the batter into a mini muffin tin and bake (now that’s my kind of baking recipe). For another, the whole baking-brownies-in-a-mini-muffin pan thing is genius–no breakage, no muss, no fuss, and they’re cute to boot. And yet another, they’re made with black beans in lieu of flour. There’s all kinds of fiber and goodness in this gluten-free brownie recipe, and yet all you’re going to hear on the receiving end is “man, these are AWESOME.”