A few weeks ago, I challenged myself to not waste food. I’m a girl on a budget and throwing produce-gone-bad out each week gave me a pit in my stomach and made me feel more like I was doing this. To keep myself accountable, instead of tossing out my grocery store receipt or wadding it up in my wallet, I cleared space on my fridge (I’m a magnet collector) and put my receipt front and center. No missing it. When I go through Trader Joe’s serrano salsa within 24 hours of purchase (that salsa is my weakness), I take a pen and cross it off the receipt. This way I know what I’m using and get a better sense of how many items I actually realistically go through. Cooking and stocking a pantry for one can be a tricky dance so it’s been helpful to get a clearer picture of how much produce and non-perishables I go through.
It’s definitely saved me money but the other fun side effect from this change is going out of my culinary comfort zone and coming up with creative ways to use what I’ve got. Like these chili-lime seasoned salmon tacos with watermelon feta salsa. I mentioned the other week about how I’m branching out with my protein (like these delicious Buffalo roasted chickpea wraps) and a friend suggested salmon. I bought a family pack from Wegman’s (🙌) in the frozen seafood section. These salmon fillets come individually sealed so in the morning, I simply put one in my fridge to thaw out while I’m at work. When I come home from barre, it’s ready for a quick marinade and sear on the stovetop. Super low-maintenance, super delicious.
Meanwhile, it’s summer, which means watermelon season. I could eat an entire watermelon all by myself and in fact, I’ve done so on multiple occasions. No shame in my 🍉 game. So I found myself with a freezer full of salmon and a large watermelon I had held in my lap on the Circulator bus. As one does.
Determined to keep my “Don’t waste food” challenge, I wanted to come up with a dish to combine the two. And when in doubt, it’s tacos to the rescue! Tacos are like a hug, you always could use one. So let’s chat about these salmon tacos.
First up, a wonderfully seared salmon seasoned with chili powder and a fresh squeeze of lime. Off to a solid start. Let’s add bite sized pieces of watermelon that’ve been hanging out with cool feta crumbles and some freshly chopped cilantro and just a sprinkle of salt to sweeten up the watermelon.
Grab a tortilla and line up the salmon chunks and top with watermelon-feta salsa to balance out the zip in the seasoning. And, because we’re being resourceful, sip on a mojito made with fresh watermelon juice.
And hug it out.
- ¼ of a watermelon, cubed
- 1 handful of chopped cilantro
- ½ feta
- 2 salmon fillets
- Coconut oil
- 2 tsp chili powder
- Juice of 1 lime
- In a bowl, combine the watermelon, cilantro and feta. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and toss again. Cover in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- In a skillet, heat your preferred cooking oil over medium-high heat. In a bowl, place the salmon fillets and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper, toss to coat. Once the oil in the skillet is hot, place the salmon fillets in the skillet.
- Cook until the light opaque pink line on the salmon reaches about ¾ of the way up the salmon fillet and then turn over. Cook for about another 3-4 minutes.
- Sprinkle the chili powder and squeeze ½ of a lime over each fillet. Let the salmon rest for 3 minutes.
- Assemble each taco first with salmon (I prefer to slice mine into chunks) and then top with the watermelon-feta salsa. Dig in!
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