Father’s Day is a big day for grilling

Father’s Day is often associated with grilling.

Grilling accessories are a popular Father’s Day gift idea, and some dads use this time of year to purchase a new grill — with businesses often offering special sales.

Father’s Day also is a time when families often go fishing — with fishing gear also being a popular gift category for dads.

If your little ones don’t like the idea of grilled fish and veggies, try fish tacos instead. (https://unsplash.com/photos/IlAPq27FxZ0)

So, why not tie those two themes together for a Father’s Day meal?

Instead of serving up the standard hamburgers and hot dogs, why not try grilling some seafood?

It’s a good way to offer variety, and a healthier option.

There’s a reason why fish is part of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Studies consistently have  shown these diets to have positive outcomes when it comes to heart health.

After all, fish has the healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, while the hot dogs and hamburgers have too much of the unhealthy saturated fat.

Some people don’t like grilling fish. They think it sticks to the grill too easily, it’s too delicate to barbecue, or they aren’t sure about the flavor.

An easy solution: Grill it wrapped in tin foil.

This packs the flavor, makes it tender, and leaves for much easier clean up.

The grilled fish also goes great with grilling vegetables in the tin foil packet as well.

One thing to note though: Some studies have shown that putting aluminum foil on high temperatures can cause it to seep into the food, particularly with acidic and salty foods.

Our bodies know how to rid of aluminum in small amounts, but research is still being done on what overexposure can do. So when using aluminum foil on the grill, it is best to do so in moderation.

This recipe is for cod fish, but it works with all kinds of seafood.

Grilled cod fish with vegetables:

4 pieces of cod fish (serves 4)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


1 medium onion, sliced into rings

3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped

4 to 6 bell peppers, sliced

2 carrots, thinly sliced

Any other vegetables preferred, such as asparagus, mushrooms and so on.

Put one cod fish fillet on one large piece of tin foil.

Brush both sides of the fillet with olive oil and pepper.

Add breadcrumbs to the top, and herbs and spices to taste.

Place sliced onion and chopped garlic on top side.

Place sliced vegetables on the sides of the fish on the tin foil.

Wrap the tin foil tightly to make an enclosed cooking environment.

Grill at medium heat for 6 minutes to 7 minutes on each side. Close the lid. Make sure fish is cooked to 145 degrees.

Add salt, if desired.

You can eat it right out of the foil packet.

Now, there may be kids in the home who would prefer something else.

To make this more kid-friendly, try fish tacos.

You can still make the fish (or any white fish) as described above, but then easily break apart into bite-sized pieces to place in the heated corn or flour tortilla shells.

If you recall from last month’s column, the kids may be able to help with taco fillings, depending on their age.

Fish taco filling ideas: Diced onion, diced tomato, shredded cabbage and/or lettuce, avocado, cilantro, Pico de gallo, lime juice

For a taco sauce, mix the following (from NatahsasKitchen.com):

½ cup sour cream (can also swap for plain nonfat yogurt)
⅓ cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons lime juice from lime
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads! Whether you’re grilling, fishing, hiking, biking, or relaxing indoors with the kids, enjoy your special day.

By Shari Bresin

Shari Bresin is the Family & Consumer Science Agent for the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension Pasco County.

Published June 12, 2019

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