Spicy Salmon Tacos With Watermelon Salsa

Have you seen hints of its arrival? On Yahoo news? Huffington Post? Twitter? VariousIMG_4352
food-related blog and web sites? That ubiquitous (albeit lovely, warm) flavor that takes over everything, every autumn? Pumpkin spice latte, bread, beer, cookies, cake, dog treats, pumpkin spice everything! Hey, I love pumpkin spice as much as the next girl, but I also love those light, fresh, cool summertime citrus-y, fruity flavors. While we’re still in grip of  August, held fast by bright sun and heat that still sing notes of high summer, we can delay the pumpkin spice extravaganza that accompanies the fall season and still enjoy light, easy, fruity, flavorful dishes such as this this salmon taco recipe, served with watermelon salsa and a light coleslaw with avocado dressing.

IMG_4350I love the flavors of this simple dish. During the summer months, I run in the later evening in order to catch that sweet spot when the sun is losing its high afternoon aggression, but the humidity has not yet rising to its pre-dawn and early morning intensity. I never eat before I run, so if I want to eat a real meal after a run I have to prepare most (or all) of the meal before I run. To make meal time easier, I use pre-made items when I can. I like to accompany salmon tacos with some form of slaw. I always use a package of shredded cabbage to reduce preparation time. I add pumpkin seeds for nutritional value as well as for texture. When I have a little extra time, I make my own dressing for the slaw. When I have less time, I use a gluten-free commercial dressing of some sort (such as Cindy’s Kitchen Avocado Vinaigrette salad dressing thinned with a little lime juice or sweet vinegar) to reduce preparation time.

 

 

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For this dinner (as with most that I prepare to be eaten after a late run), I cook the meat and do whatever chopping cannot be done for me by Trader Joe, Whole Foods, HEB, or Natural Grocers before I leave the house. The salmon takes 10 – 12 minutes to oven bake, and the salsa ingredients can be chopped and mixed in the time the salmon takes to bake. The slaw can be put together in about five minutes. The end result is a light, healthy meal with a super delicious blend of seasonal flavors easy to prepare. A light white wine or hard apple cider goes well with this meal, if one is given to drinking wine. With the run for the day finished, loaded onto Strava and Garmin connect, and officially on the books, a glass of wine is certainly allowed!

Watermelon Salsa

2 cups Finely chopped watermelon
1 sm Cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 bunch of Cilantro, finely chopped
3 – 4 Green onions, finely chopped
1 Jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
zest of one lime
1 tsp Sweet white vinegar (champagne or honey vinegars will work)
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together the watermelon, cucumber, cilantro, green onions, and jalapeño. In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved; pour over the salsa. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Chill for at least thirty minutes.

Spicy Salmon Tacos

1 lb Salmon filet (from the fish counter in a grocer store – not from the frozen
freezer)
2 tsp Coconut oil
2 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 green onions, chopped
1.5 tsp Ancho chili pepper
1 tbls Orange zest
1.5 tsp Coconut sugar (or raw sugar)
1/8 – 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (according to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cotija or queso fresco, crumbled
Gluten-free Taco shells

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a shallow pan with foil. Place the salmon filet, skin down, in the pan. Pat dry with a paper towel. Rub the coconut oil over the surface of the filet. Rub the orange juice over the coconut oil. Mix the remaining ingredients together and sprinkle evenly over the filet. Place the pan with the filet on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Cook the salmon 4 – 6 minutes per half inch of thickness. The salmon is done when it easily flakes with a fork (or the internal temperature in the thickest portion of the filet reaches 145° F ). Remove from the oven and let rest 5 – 10 minutes. Using a fork, shred the salmon filet into small pieces, removing it from the skin as you shred. Place the shredded salmon in a bowl, ready to be placed into taco shells. To assemble tacos, place shredded salmon in a taco shell. Spoon watermelon salsa over the meat, and top the salsa with a sprinkle of cotija or queso fresco cheese.

Quick Slaw

8 oz Package of shredded red and green cabbage
1/3 cup Pumpkin seeds
2 tbls Cindy’s Kitchen Fresh Avocado Vinaigrette
1 tbls lime juice
1 tsp coconut or raw sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together pumpkin seeds and shredded cabbage. In a small bowl, mix together the dressing, lime juice, and sugar. Pour the dressing over the cabbage – seed mixture, stirring well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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