This past week has seen ice storms in the South, Snow storms in the North and record breaking temperatures. My family in Canada battled 38 BELOW while in South Carolina we broke a record low from when my Dad would have been 9 years old… it was a mere 3 degrees in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We made my vegetable soup, thinking in case the power went out we could heat it in the fire in a cast iron dutch oven. We had fun with the kids and visiting nephew roasting hotdogs (Applegate all beef, no nitrates organic dogs) We had homemade coleslaw & a can of chili (Annie’s organic) to top it like a pro, albeit a quick & easy pro. Grandmama Gwen even brought marshmallows & we made hot chocolate (sorry we didn’t make them, we burst open a bag of them full of high fructose corn syrup, but it’s a rarity). What fun it was camping indoors with the beautiful, icy, winter wonderland outside. Then, like a lingering last guest in the wee hours of the morning… the cold, nasty weather decided to stay. That ol’ wind did not care that we were over the cold temps and heavy foods. Spring was calling my name… I could here her from 27 days away! I was planning my garden and dreaming of a fresher, lighter fair to serve. You know, the days crisp salads, coconut shrimp & sweet fruity dipping sauce… the sand …the beach …THE …SWIMSUIT! Lord, these winter comfort foods make me most comfortable in snow suit but no one wants to be slowed down by winter’s chili, mac & cheese & marshmallow body. Thus, was born this dish. An ode to coconut shrimp from the islands and a taste of fresh with winter ready fruit & veggies. A dish that is meaty and satisfying while fresh & light enough to help you get ready for the speed you want be come Spring. Comforted that doesn’t weigh you down! I hope you enjoy and remember take each of these recipes and use them with other proteins, dishes build on them with your ideas… food is meant to be grown & shared.
COCONUT CRUSTED MAHI-MAHI
(Serves 4 & not complete w/out the sauce below)
2 cups coconut flour
1 package (thawed) frozen, unsweetened coconut
2 eggs (beaten)
*optional panko bread crumbs Can be combined with the coconut for crispier breading… I omitted it in the pictured dish to ride the carbs, and it was still marvelous. If you need that crunch, by all means add.
4 Mahi-mahi steaks salted on both sides (can cook as bitesize cubes)
1) Coat salted Mahi Mahi pieces in coconut flour first.
2) dip in the egg
3) Lastly, dip in coconut (or coconut/panko mixture)
Put on a hot, greased sheet pan and bake at 350. Time will vary if you have whole steaks or bite size pieces. The average steak size will be done in about 20 minutes (the pieces about 12 mins)
Orange Sauce: Is simply 2 parts orange marmalade to one part course ground mustard. Its AMAZING. You can use it as a glaze for chicken or a dip for chicken as well as this dish. I used MACKAYs a Scottish brand that dates back to the 1700’s and actually has champaign in it. It was a bit pricier and you don’t have to have this, but I enjoyed it so… that I thought I would tell you all about it. This is the very taste of a sauce I first had with coconut shrimp in the Bahamas.
I have been making coconut jasmine rice for years. I’ve had it published in a few publications, made it for live audiences and a couple tapings. It’s a HIT! For this dish, I wanted a skinnier, lighter version and so I used Quinoa. It is not the same but, it was a really good, warm comforting accompaniment for for the cool fresh salad I topped it with. (below)
1 cup Quinoa
2 tbspoons coconut oil (or any oil)
COOK the quinoa for 5-7 minutes and get a light toasting going, then add:
1 can of organic Coconut milk (you can use lite)
1 cup of water
1 tsp of salt (or more to taste)
COOK on stove stop at a simmer & stir often once the liquid id absorbed, take off heat, keep covered & steaming and fluff with a fork when ready to serve.
Winter is not the time for most fruits but oranges are everywhere, so this will be our fresh fruit. Cool, creamy avocados are also readily available in Winter and though I’m not always a fan of Fennel… it’s crisp, unique flavor really works well here. Need to know HOW TO CUT FENNEL <—
ORANGE FENNEL SIDE SALAD
1 avocado (diced in small bite size pieces)
1 lemon use the juice (stir in for both flavor and to keep the color)
1 stalk of fennel (use the bulb, any useful stalks and fronds)
3 oranges (peel and section)
1 tsp of Salt
“Be thrifty in life, but don’t skimp on your food” ~kk