Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Deconstructing Family Dinner with Hearth Wellness

Wild Cod Tacos

I'm excited to share an easy recipe for a family meal with you, courtesy of Hearth Wellness. Julie, the founder, is a certified Holistic Health Coach and is a wealth of knowledge for busy mamas like herself.

Personally, I have struggled with what to feed my kids since we passed the puree stage and it's even harder with two picky eaters. (Maybe it's because I can barely pick out or decide on what I should eat for dinner!) This meal is one you can make for yourself and deconstruct for each family member. If fish isn't for you, you can swap in a different protein.

Julie is a popular resource in my community but you don't have to be local for a coaching session. She offers a 30-Minute Virtual Kids Healthy Eating Consultation with her go-to tips, meal prep ideas for quick weeknight meals and her favorite healthy kids recipes. Convenient now wherever you are, given the times.

I know from following Julie on IG she is also a frequent Trader Joe's shopper. Personally, I love when people share their TJ hauls and show the packaging because it makes my shopping easier since it's my grocery store of choice. I was finally able to find all of the ingredients on my last weekly run. I went with frozen wild cod. First time I have tried this Chile Lime seasoning, yum!

Ted and I loved the tacos. Chase at least tried everything on his plate - which was a win for me. He had never tried black beans or cod before. Lexi didn't want to eat anything at first but ended up finishing most of her plate. She even asked for fish a few days later. See the recipe below!


Despite being a decent cook, not everyone loves what I make for dinner! As a mom of two little ones, this is a reality that I have learned to accept. But, my goal is for all of us to sit down to a nice family meal a few times a week, and for several reasons, I want to avoid being a short order cook.

So, I come up with a meal idea and deconstruct a version of it for my kids! I’m in charge of making the decisions on what’s being served (and take into account their likes and dislikes), and then my kids then decide how much they’ll eat. This ensures they will always have something nutritious on their plates and builds an understanding about how dinner works and minimizes mealtime stress. It is also particularly useful in providing my kids’ exposure to new foods and an opportunity for us to show them what we like to eat!

Check out this recent fish taco meal, and how I break it down:


1-1.5 lbs wild caught cod filets (the thinner the better)
Quinoa and whole wheat tortillas (or similar)
Organic shredded Mexican cheese
Trader Joe’s organic shredded green and red cabbage (or chopped fresh)
1 can organic black beans, drained
1 avocado
1 large sweet potato, roasted
Organic avocado oil
Trader Joe’s chili lime seasoning
Adobo seasoning (or cumin/paprika/chili powder also work well)

Main Dish
1. MEAL PREP: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and transfer to a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little avocado oil and massage to coat. Place cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until caramelized on the edges and when you press on the top of the potatoes they have a little give. If prepped ahead, keep them covered in the fridge for up to three days.
2. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and season on both sides with chili lime and adobo. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat and add some avocado oil. When pan is hot, add fish and don’t move it for about three minutes — this helps get a good browned crust! Flip filets and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from heat.
3. Meanwhile, heat black beans in a small pot on the stove for about 5 minutes, being careful they don’t get too soft and break up. If needed, reheat the sweet potato with a little oil on a skillet.
4. Once fish is done cooking, carefully break it up using a fork, into small pieces. Pop the tortillas under the broiler for a minute or two, just until they warm up.
5. Divide fish among heated tortillas and top with cabbage, black beans, and avocado. Serve with a side of sliced sweet potatoes.

Kids' Meal Quesadillas 
1. Place a tortilla on a cutting board, and smear half of it with cooked sweet potato or avocado.
2. Top with shredded cheese and add additional toppings – in this case, I made one sweet potato black bean and one avocado, black bean. You can also add small pieces of the cooked fish in too!
3. Preheat a skillet with a little avocado oil. Fold the tortilla in half and place it on the skillet, cooking a few minutes each side, until the cheese is melted.
4. Serve with a side of fish and sweet potato or avocado. If your little one is just getting to know fish, keep the serving size small and place it next to something they love (in this case, avocado).

More Tips
All of the pieces of the meal don’t have to be the same! The goal is to get the kids used to the foods in the meal so that they can one day eat the same version as you (and you only have to cook one dinner!) If you only use one food from your version, that’s a good start!

You can easily switch out the proteins in this recipe (i.e. chicken, tofu, eggs)

Thank you, Julie, for sharing this recipe and tips!

Hearth Wellness


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