Serves your right

Fish tacos with avocado mango salsa.

During this time of year, I find myself fantasizing about sitting on a warm beach under an umbrella with a slight breeze and my feet in the sand. After shopping at a funky outdoor seafood market, I feast on an oceanfront balcony.

Back to reality, unfortunately it is still February. However, I’ve found that purchasing frozen seafood and cooking up one of my beach recipes actually makes me feel better. Seems good for both mental and physical health.

Not only is fish a high-quality protein source, it contains Omega 3 fatty acids which are great for the heart and vascular system. Some studies have shown this type of fat may slow mental decline in aging, protect vision and even help fight depression.

According to the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, some of the fish we enjoy are in trouble due to irresponsible fishing and farming practices. A downloadable consumer guide that helps with responsible seafood choices is available on their website, www.seafoodwatch.org/.

These easy and quick-cooking fish tacos are one of my favorite recipes to enjoy at the ocean, or at home.

Fish Tacos with Avocado Mango SalsaThis recipe is for 1 pound of fish fillets of choice and makes 8 tacos, soft or hard.

First, make the salsa by combining these ingredients:

1 avocado, cut into cubes

⅔ cup ripe mango, chopped

¼ cup green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Salt to taste

Next, in a small bowl combine these flavorings for your fish rub:

1 tablespoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Rub on one pound of fish fillets of choice on both sides.

If using hard tacos, follow directions on the package to add crispness in the oven. If using corn or wheat tortillas, warm them.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once it is hot, add seasoned fish filets. May need to cook in two batches, depending on the size of your skillet. Check the bottom of the filet after two minutes, and flip if it is nicely browned. Cook on the other side until the fillet is brown and flaky.

To assemble tacos, place fish pieces first, then other toppings like cheese or tomatoes and finally the avocado-mango salsa.

Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with NC Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups. margie_mansure@ncsu.edu, (828) 264-3061.

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