Pepita Crusted Mahi & Ginger Maple Smashed Rutabaga

Do you ever buy an ingredient for one dish, and find yourself already more excited about how you can use the leftovers? That’s how I felt when I recently bought pepitas to make a copy-cat version of my favorite guacamole: a crunchy guacamole with jicama, soy nuts, smoked almonds and pepitas served at Mezcal Tequila Cantina. The guacamole is awesome and I was so psyched to recreate it, but I already knew those leftover roasted pepitas could make a tasty crust on mahi-mahi.

Pepitas, of course, scream both Halloween (sweet) and Mexican (spice) to me, so I wanted to focus on those flavors in this dish. My initial instinct was to serve a spicy-pepita crusted mahi over a sweet butternut squash puree – such a natural compliment. But in case you haven’t noticed, I cook with butternut (or any winter squash) practically all the time. I don’t want to bore you, or myself. So I decided to branch out a bit. Turnips and rutabagas are something I don’t normally cook, and I hear they have a natural sweetness as well, so I decided to challenge myself and try something new with a ginger-maple smashed rutabaga. And honestly, I’m so glad I did – the hubs agreed it was a vegetable I could add to our menus any time.

Finally, just to keep going with the seasonal flavors, I added a sweet and tart cranberry salsa. It may seem like a lot of flavors going on, but they really tied together quite nicely. And lastly, I’ll just mention, isn’t it nice that you can enjoy this whole entree for under 500 calories? I think so.

Pepita-Crusted Mahi with Ginger-Maple Smashed Rutabaga and Cranberry Salsa
Printable Recipes

1lb peeled, diced rutabaga
1/2 tbsp butter (1/4 oz)
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup nonfat milk

Preheat oven to 425F. Place the rutabaga in a glass baking dish along with the minced ginger. Melt the butter and combine with the syrup. Pour over the rutabaga and ginger and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Roast for 45 minutes, turning occasionally. When rutabaga is tender, puree in a food processor with the milk until smooth.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 145.6
Total Fat: 3.4 g
Cholesterol: 8.4 mg
Sodium: 62.9 mg
Total Carbs: 27.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.7 g
Protein: 3.8 g

Pepita Crusted Mahi
2 mahi-mahi filets, 5oz each
1 oz roasted and salted pepitas
2 tbsp (1/2 oz) panko bread crumbs
zest from 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
dash of cumin

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425F. Place a cooking rack over a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray (or, you could use a broiler pan with a rack if you have one). In a food processor, pulse together the pepitas, panko, lime zest, and seasonings. Pour onto a plate or into a shallow baking dish. Dip the fish into the egg white and then dredge in the pepita mixture, pressing to help it adhere. Place the fish onto the rack and press any remaining pepita mixture onto it. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until fish flakes easily and topping is lightly browned.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 271.4
Total Fat: 10.6 g
Cholesterol: 100.0 mg
Sodium: 417.1 mg
Total Carbs: 8.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g
Protein: 34.4 g

Cranberry Salsa
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp minced fresh jalapeno
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 scallion, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
salt, to taste
juice from 1/2 of a lime

Pulse ingredients together in food processor and let sit for about 10 minutes to blend flavors.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 74.3
Total Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 2.4 mg
Total Carbs: 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
Protein: 0.5 g

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2 Responses to “Pepita Crusted Mahi & Ginger Maple Smashed Rutabaga”

  1. 1

    Kelly — November 14, 2009 @ 4:25 pm Reply

    I agree with you. I also get excited about how to use leftover ingredients because for me it often breeds creativity and causes me to make something I might not otherwise.

  2. 2

    Susan (peebsmama) — November 24, 2009 @ 12:55 am Reply

    This looked so interesting I just had to try it. I did have to make a couple of substitutions due to availability (tilapia for the mahi, pecans for the papitas) and some for personal taste (sweet potatoes for the rutabaga and parsley for the cilantro). Overall this was very tasty. We loved the combo of flavors and textures. The salsa was so good I made a double batch to serve with cinnamon pita chips. Thanks for sharing this recipe. A definite "make again" meal.

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