I love the ease of grilling – it’s quick, uncomplicated and lends itself to the chef’s creative culinary flare. But how healthy is it and what happens to the precious polyunsaturated fatty acid content in food like Wild Cod? It’s thought that when the protein and fatty acids hit the flames, harmful compounds known to be carcinogenic, referred to as heterocyclic amines (or HCA’s) can form as well as advanced lipid oxidation endproducts (ALEs) that arise from the fragility of the omega 3 fats. For us women interested in staying healthy and looking our best, anything that accelerates our aging process isn’t good news. But you know what news is good? You can have your cake and eat it too. (Or should I say, your grilled fish?). Follow my rules of healthy grilling 101 and enjoy a super fun and simple taco night every once in a while. After all, a little fun is as healthy as broccoli!
Here are my tips to help you enjoy grilling without the negative effects on your health: Cook low, avoid slow (exposure to heat under 10 minutes is best for keeping the omega 3 fatty acid content in Wild Alaskan Cod intact). Add antioxidant-rich spices and polyphenols like turmeric, cumin, cayenne and top off with more life-preserving polyphenols such as broccoli sprouts, and cilantro to add further protection against oxidized fats. Just think when it comes to heat: less is more. When it comes to herbs and spices: Pour on the polyphenols.
Grilled Wild Cod Tacos with Collard Wraps
• Tea Seed Oil
• 1 pound fresh wild cod
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1-2 fresh limes halved, and ready to be squeezed
• 8 large collard leaves, rinsed and dried
• 1 cup broccoli sprouts, rinsed and dried
• 1 avocado, sliced
• 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, rinsed, dried, and chopped
• 1 heirloom tomato, diced
• 1/4 cup green onion, rinsed and diced
• Favorite hot sauce
Rub grill grates with tea seed oil, and preheat BBQ for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the chili powder, turmeric, salt and pepper into a large shallow bowl and whisk together. Dredge the fish in the spice rub, covering well.
Place the fish on the grill and cook for about 8 minutes, or until it is cooked just through and is no longer translucent. Remove from the heat, generously squeeze fresh lime juice onto the fish, and cut into 2” pieces.
Place a couple of pieces of fish in the center of a collard leaf, top with sprouts, avocado, cilantro, tomato, and green onion. Add a few dashes of hot sauce if preferred. Roll the edges of the leaves to form a taco, and enjoy immediately! Store leftover fish in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to two days.