Reflecting back on 2009, I learned quite a few thing. Among them, that I’m actually quite alright with my healthy eating & fitness fixation and I don’t need to look at these as a burden or something that makes me so different from others. I learned how wonderful my friends are and that I look forward to growing together and continuing with the next stages in our lives. And I learned that I like beets.
Why is liking beets so significant? Well, there are not many foods I can think of that I truly don’t like. And I mean, have tried several times and don’t like. For a long time, the beet was one of them. Somehow in 2009, my liking of beets started to turn around. A few times I could tolerate them. And then, one day, I truly started liking them – and finally, craving them. And then I knew it was time to bring them into my own kitchen rather than just enjoying them in others.
I could have started simple, with a baby spinach salad topped with roasted beets and goat cheese – a classic combination. I’ve had various versions of that, so I wanted to try something different. I decided that the seasonal beet might pair well with another so-right-now ingredient: the citrus. And that this earthy, tangy combination would compliment a seafood like salmon. And that’s how these salmon tacos with a beet-citrus salsa came about.
You might think that the orange slices in that salsa were colored by the beets (those babies like to spread their juice everywhere) but these were actually some lovely blood oranges I found at Trader Joe’s. A little bigger than a clementine but smaller than the average orange, these beauties have a swirly purple and orange flesh. They are also seedless, making them a perfect pick for a citrus salsa.
These tacos were overflowing but I’d rather the need for a fork to scoop up all the yummy filling than to have a skimpy taco. I was really happy with my first attempt using beets at home, the salsa was the perfect compliment to the salmon. Crispy corn taco shells, peppery arugula and salty, tangy feta rounded out the flavors. You might be wondering where I got those nicely rounded, crisp taco shells. I actually baked them myself from soft corn tortillas (instructions for this are included below.) A much better alternative than the small fried ones you might buy in the grocery store, and a little change from the soft tacos we usually have.
1 small orange or two small clementines (60gm segments)
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 small shallot, minced (20gm)
1 small jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tbsp each minced cilantro and mint
splash of Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Vinegar or lime juice
salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 375. Scrub the beet clean. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray, and wrap the beet inside it. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour, or until tender when pierced with a knife or fork. Remove from oven and let cool.
Peel the beet and dice to yield about 150gms.
Cut a small slice from the orange so that it can sit on a flat surface. With a paring knife, go around the orange, cutting away the skin and white flesh. Then, slice in between the “skins” of each segment to remove clean orange segments.
Combine the diced beets and orange segments with remaining ingredients; adjust seasonings to taste.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 215.2 mg
Total Carbs: 15.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
Protein: 1.9 g
Salmon Tacos with Beet-Citrus Salsa, Arugula and Feta
2 4oz wild Alaskan sockeye salmon filets
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp each cumin and chili powder
4 6″ corn tortillas
2 cups arugula
1 oz crumbled feta cheese
Preheat the broiler. Mix together the brown sugar, chili powder and cumin. Place the salmon filets, skin side down, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Rub the spice mixture onto the fish, then season with salt and pepper. Broil for 10-15 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Flake the fish away from the skin (the skin will stick to the foil to be disposed of.) Divide the arugula, fish, and salsa among the taco shells, and sprinkle with feta before serving.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 15.6 g
Cholesterol: 82.6 mg
Sodium: 517.8 mg
Total Carbs: 47.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.2 g
Protein: 30.6 g