When people ask me what a typical day looks like as a solopreneur, I have a hard time answering.
Not only does every day look a little different, but I find that so does each month and year. The weeks have their own cycles of productivity that require various hats. But there are also much bigger macro cycles at play.
After reading this wonderful essay years ago, I came to recognize these waves of energy as belonging to the artist, the agent and the editor. On a weekly basis, I set aside a day for writing (usually, a Monday when I’m at my freshest), another for photographing my healthy fish taco bowls and other creations, one for photo processing and post inputting, and finally, blocks for emails and outreach.
The last prong is not the part I flaunt here—it’s the non-aspirational, but ever-important work that goes on behind the scenes when you’re trying to build a career and a business. In other words, it’s the agent hat that all of us artists need to learn how to wear in order to survive. That is, before we are big enough to get someone else to do it for us. Sigh.
This past year, as I brought my book into the world, I’ve been wearing my agent hat more than ever. At first, it was hard for the vulnerable artist within to let go of the reins for long enough to allow myself to shout from the rooftops about what I had created. In the early months before my release, I found myself procrastinating writing emails. I was a freight train with the parking brake on, too scared of judgement to capitalize on the momentum.
The more I put myself out there though, and left the sensitive artist at home to take a vacation, the more I was able to exercise my agent muscle. And doing so allowed me to fully take joy and pride in my work—to sing its praises as if it belonged to that of a close friend.
Lately, though, the agent hat has felt heavy. After a week with four speaking engagements in a row, I realized that it might be time to enter into the next part of my cycle. I’ve started procrastinating outreach emails all over again. When PR opportunities don’t work out, I feel a small sense of relief. Along with my adrenals, I’ve felt my self-promotion muscle become weaker and more exhausted.
These days all I want to do is sit in the bath, self-emerge in swaths of unstructured free time, and take solace in the words of others for inspiration.
You might not have even noticed a shift in these parts, but proclaiming it is its own form of accountability, so for what it’s worth, I want you to know that for the next few months I’m going to embrace the artist beret. I may be slower to respond to comments, DM’s and emails. I may fill my feeds with inspiration from near and far (luckily, there’s a lot of travel on the books!). And, as is the case with these fish taco bowls, I may rely more on friends to help me feed you.
Hopefully by the end of this little creative period I’ll have some new exciting projects to share with you. But first I need to tune in to what feels right and let myself follow my curiosity to unexpected places.
Ali is someone I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the years, and what I marvel at even more so than her ability to crank out bestseller after bestseller, is how well she switches hats between agent, artist and editor—not to mention, MOM! Her new book is filled with her signature veggie-centric meals, but as the title alludes to, goes beyond the art of spiralizing with other simple, creative techniques to enjoy your favorite comfort foods a little more healthfully.
Mimicking crispy Baja fish tacos, these bowls use a genius quinoa-coating to give the cod fillets a substantial crust without any batter or deep drying. The avocado Greek yogurt sauce also does double duty as a lightened-up slaw dressing for Napa cabbage and a creamy condiment to drizzle over the whole bowl. I used mayo instead of the yogurt to keep it dairy-free, but you do you.
Read on for this easy and healthy fish taco bowl recipe, and make sure to pick up a copy of Inspiralized & Beyond for more vegspiration. Also, tune into the blog later on this week – there will be a very cool celebration of The Wellness Project one year anniversary!!
With health and hedonism,
Healthy Fish Taco Bowls with Mango and Avocado Slaw
These healthy fish taco bowls are adapted from Inspiralized and Beyond. They combine all the best from Baja but with a gluten-free quinoa crust and tons of fresh vegetables. You can make the slaw with either Greek yogurt of mayo, depending on whether you want to keep it dairy-free. I added a little radicchio for color to the salad and it was delish!
For the slaw
- 1 ripe avocado pitted and peeled
- ¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 1 serrano chile or jalapeño seeded and chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more if needed
- 3 cups shredded napa cabbage
For the fish
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 cup cooked white quinoa
- 4 4-ounce cod fillets
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 2 limes about 4 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Fine sea salt and pepper
- 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 1 large ripe mango pitted, peeled, and cut into strips
Make the slaw. In a food processor, combine the avocado, yogurt, limes, cilantro, garlic, chile, and salt. Add ¼ cup water and purée until smooth. Add a little more water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Pour half the dressing into a large bowl. Add the cabbage and toss to coat.
Make the fish. Place the egg in a shallow medium dish or large plate. Spread out the quinoa in a separate shallow medium dish and season with salt. Dip the fish in the egg, letting any excess drip back into the bowl, then roll it through the quinoa to coat. Repeat to coat the remaining fillets.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the coated fish and cook until well browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fish and cook until browned on the outside and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lettuce and toss to coat.
Divide the lettuce among four bowls and top each with a fish fillet, some mango, and some slaw. Serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.
T I P / You can use this quinoa crusting method on chicken, pork, and even other types of fish, in this dish or any other.