Monday, June 21, 2010

Baja Inspired Dinner

This weekend I made a Baja, California inspired dinner for my parents, who are celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year. I was inspired by their fond memories of vacations to Cabo San Lucas, and the beautiful summery weather we've been enjoying (save for the frequent rainfalls we've been having!)

I decided on fish tacos for the main and chose a California salad and coconut rice as my sides. Of course we started with guacamole, tortilla chips and Coronas with lime, but we quickly moved onto the main course. To dress the tacos I cut up some extra avocado and made a mango salsa, some pico de gallo and a white sauce. All of my online resources told me to use shredded cabbage in my tacos, so I didn't question the majority and it resulted in a nice crunch in the taco.

red cabbage

pico de gallo

mango salsa

white sauce

Coconut rice may not be Californian or Mexican, but I felt it would be a good side dish to a beach-themed dinner. Light and fluffy Jasmine rice flavoured with coconut? How can you go wrong? It was a total hit, down to the toasted coconut sprinkled on top.

coconut rice

We washed it all down with a nice Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand and some mint, cucumber and lime-infused water.

Sauvignon Blanc

mint/cucumber/lime-infused water

Although there is quite a bit of prep, this is a tasty, summery meal and if I do say so myself, my parents really enjoyed it! Why not give it a try?

Baja Inspired Menu

Corona with lime
Guacamole with tortilla chips -- in my guacamole I use avocado, tomato, garlic, lime juice and red onion

Fish Tacos:
Soft tortillas
Grilled and flaked Cod (wild caught from the East Coast of Canada = a sustainable choice)
Pico de gallo -- plum tomatoes, white onion, cilantro, lime juice, Cerrano chilies or jalapenos
Mango salsa -- diced mango, red pepper, green onion, cilantro, lime juice
White sauce -- yogurt, cilantro, chives, lemon juice, garlic, hot sauce
Shredded cabbage -- red cabbage or Napa cabbage

California Salad:
Baby Spinach
Slivered almonds
Goat cheese

Lemon goat cheese dressing:
Goat cheese
Lemon juice
Olive oil
White wine vinegar
Fresh chives
Dijon mustard

Coconut Rice:
2 cups Jasmine Rice
2 cups coconut milk
1 3/4 cups water
2 tbsp shredded coconut
1/2 tsp coconut oil
top with toasted coconut

Why not re-live some of your own vacations with an aptly themed menu? Where have you traveled to lately?


  1. I am loving the food but I am also loving the tablecloth.

  2. Thanks! Although I usually try to avoid anything that resembles a "big box" store...I actually found that tablecloth in the Loblaws Superstore! $7.99!Wish it was fabric, though and not vinyl....

  3. I got a tablecloth for the backyard there as well!

    I love the cucumber infused water, I have been serving a sparkling water with strawberries, melon, cucumber and mint whenever we have people over, so simple, delicious and refined. mmmm.

  4. My goodness! Heather, all this look so yummy! I definitly have to try that! Thank you so much for sharing those recipes!
    Have a great weekend! Love