When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Simple summer supper: grilled tilapia and colourful salads

May and June always seem to be incredibly busy months for us.  With all of the extra, special activities that pop up for the boys at school in the last weeks of the academic year, the swim meets and track meets and races and triathlons they participate in, and the fifty tonnes of yard work that suddenly need to be done by Matt and I all at once in the spring, it seems like we are always running.  I love all of these things we do, but I think we're all also really looking forward to life moving at a somewhat slower pace over summer holidays, and having a chance to relax just a little more!

Thankfully, one thing that seems simple during this hectic time is being able to prepare colourful, healthy, delicious meals for our family in a short amount of time.  Warm weather calls for lighter, fresher fare, and all we need is a few pieces of flavourfully seasoned meat or fish to throw on the grill, plus the ingredients to whip up a couple of nutritious salads, and dinner is served!

We recently enjoyed this quick but very tasty meal of grilled tilapia, black bean salad, and spinach salad with mango and sweet red pepper.  The recipe for the seasoning mixture is based on one from Canadian Living's The Barbecue Collection cookbook, and the cooking instructions come from Matt, who has some pretty mad skills with the grill!

Grilled Tilapia

4 fresh tilapia fillets
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
canola oil

Brush grill with canola oil, then preheat grill to medium heat.
Mix together paprika, sea salt, cumin, and pepper in a small bowl.  Sprinkle seasoning mixture over both sides of each tilapia fillet, then brush fillets with oil.
Place fish on grill.  Cook for 5 minutes on one side, then carefully flip fish fillets once and cook for another 7 minutes on the second side.
Squeeze fresh lime juice over fillets before serving.

The tilapia fillets paired with two summery salads make a beautiful dinner.  For the green salad, I simply tossed some baby spinach with some diced fresh mango and sweet red peppers, then added a simple vinaigrette made from freshly squeezed orange juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and a bit of dijon mustard, sea salt and pepper.  You can find the recipe for the black bean salad here.

Keeping supper simple when the weather is so lovely leaves more time to enjoy some less busy moments outdoors!  I hope you and your family are having a chance to enjoy the same this time of year.

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