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Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - Page updated at 02:30 p.m.

Recipes: Fish Tacos and Avocado Salad

By Linda Gassenheimer
McClatchy Newspapers

Tacos, a traditional Mexican dish, are becoming a favorite American sandwich.

I tasted a delicious fish taco recently at a Miami food truck, Que Pinche Taco, and asked the owner, Octavio Miller, how he made them. He told me he only uses the freshest fish and delicately seasons the fillets. He also makes everything fresh to order. I've adapted his recipe for home use.

Octavio uses sazon, a type of seasoned salt used in Latin dishes. A simple homemade recipe is to mix 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander and 1 teaspoon annatto (or paprika).

He serves the tacos open. You can eat them as an open-face sandwich or fold them over taco style. Either way they make a simple, delicious dinner.

To save preparation time, use already-diced fresh tomatoes and onions from the produce department.

Helpful Hints:

Old Bay seasoning may be substituted for sazon.

Any type of white fish can be used — the fresher the better.

If you like your salad spicy, add several drops hot pepper sauce to the avocado slices.

Fish Tacos

Makes 2 servings

3/4 pound white fish fillet (tilapia, sole, flounder)

1 tablespoon sazon or Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons lime juice, plus 1 lime as garnish

Olive oil spray

3/4 cup diced tomatoes

3/4 cup diced onion

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 (6-inch) flour tortillas

2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

1 cup shredded lettuce

1. Sprinkle both sides of the fillet with seasoning and paprika. Squeeze 2 teaspoons lime juice over the fish. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil.

2. Saute fish 3 minutes. Turn fish over and add the tomatoes and onion to the skillet. Saute 4 minutes. Fish should be opaque, not translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. While fish cooks, wrap tortillas in paper towel, and microwave 30 seconds. (Or wrap them in foil and place in a toaster oven or under a broiler for a minute to warm through.)

4. Spread mayonnaise over one side of the 4 tortillas. Place shredded lettuce over the mayonnaise, and top with fish. Spoon tomatoes and onion on top and fold tacos in half. Cut whole lime into quarters and place 2 on each plate.

Per serving: 464 calories (29 percent from fat), 14.8 g fat (3.5 g saturated, 6.1 g monounsaturated), 84 mg cholesterol, 41.0 g protein, 42.5 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber, 590 mg sodium.

Avocado Salad

Makes 2 servings

1/2 small, ripe avocado

2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

4 cups shredded lettuce

1. Peel avocado and cut it in half around the stone. Remove the stone and slice the avocado. Place in a bowl and drizzle with dressing.

2. When tacos are ready, divide lettuce leaves between 2 dinner plates and place avocado slices and dressing on lettuce. Per serving: 84 calories (70 percent from fat), 6.5 g fat (0.8 g saturated, 3.7 g monounsaturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 1.9 g protein, 6.7 g carbohydrates, 4.3 g fiber, 15 mg sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer's latest book is "The Flavors of the Florida Keys." Her website is dinnerinminutes.com.

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