Salmon Tacos with Tomatillo Guacamole and Red Cabbage

Tim making tacos

Speaking of tacos, I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to tell you about these salmon ones Tim and I made last month.

broiled salmon

We discovered them in the midst of that period of weeks where we’d been regularly testing new fish recipes, smoking out our kitchen and almost destroying our cast iron pan in the process. I already told you about those salmon experiments; I already told everyone about those salmon experiments. But, kind of in the same way that I’d find it more natural to tell you about the   time our toilet overflowed just before my father-in-law came to visit for the first time (it’s a great story! full of embarrassing moments!) than to tell you about two Sundays ago when new friends shared lunch with us at the last minute, I’m better at calling out awkward moments than I am at savoring beautiful ones. Maybe you are, too. There’s something about being a human that makes it easier to list our complaints than our blessings, do you know what I mean?

salmon tomatillos

In this life, pain and heartbreak are all around us: One day I’m sobbing because of cutting words; the next day, I’m saying them myself. Our bodies hurt. Work is hard. Relationships are frustrating. So-and-so seems to have it so much better than we do. But these real things, like the real things of fried eggs in skillets and friendly strangers and a hand-written note in the mail, are only partial things. They’re one part of the story, one side of what’s happening and who we are. Right alongside the failed test, the unemployment, the loneliness and the grief are other realities like a kind word, a friend who forgives you, a dinner you share with someone you love.

salmon tacos

I like to focus on the good gifts of travel and house-hunting and a kind husband—not because they are my only realities but because they are the ones I easily overlook. I like to post pretty pictures on Instagram and this blog—not because they show my complete life, but because they counteract the cynical complainer in my head and give more power to the eyes that fight for joy.

at the table with tacos

The truth is, there are so many beautiful moments, all around us, all the time, and I want to push towards seeing them—towards remembering the salmon tacos Tim and I ate a few weeks ago on a Sunday night, just me and him and May’s long daylight.

For the Tacos:
You can find the recipe for these spice-rubbed, broiled salmon tacos, along with the killer avocado-tomatillo guacamole that goes in them (and which is worth eating on its own with a big spoon!), over at Five and Spice. I only recently discovered Five and Spice, after it was redesigned by the lovely ladies at Wooden Spoons Kitchen, a great resource for partial or full blog redesign help. Both are worth checking out.


  1. says

    Oh, so true. I’m trying to get better and seeing the beauty in life and not get distracted by my grumbles and complaints all of which are, in the grand scheme of things, pretty unimportant. Here’s to beauty!

  2. says

    Love this: “…they counteract the cynical complainer in my head and give more power to the eyes that fight for joy.” Right there with you, friend, with eyes that fight for joy — even when they’re swollen with tears.

  3. says

    Shanna, I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this today. For all the pretty days this summer has brought so far, I’ve spent a lot of them trying to pull myself out of a funk. It seems like everything is a one-two punch these days. Focusing on brighter, joyful things is not to ignore the dark stuff- it helps balance my head out, too. Great post (and +900 for salmon tacos!)

  4. says

    Agreed! the power to focus on the good & the beautiful, instead of the bad & ugly mess, is what keeps us positive, despite having so many other reasons that we could use to complain. I’ve always been a “half-full” girl, and I like to see the the tiny streak of sunlight instead of focusing on the dark, rolling storm clouds. That’s why I’m so attracted to blogs like yours and Not Without Salt.

    Plus, am loving all your taco posts! Never tried fish in tacos, but definitely a great option compared to beef or chicken!


  5. says

    I love this post. Sometimes I feel bad, thinking I’m making life seem better than it is through instagram pictures or facebook albums or what not, but I think the truth is I do this because I am trying to make a point to remember those moments.

    • says

      Me too, Erin. I think there are a lot of people who will try to make you feel bad for sharing happy things, but as long as your heart is just to celebrate the beautiful, keep doing it anyway.

  6. says

    “more power to the eyes that fight for joy”. I love that phrase. Should be a book title. I have really focused more on the beauty in the little things, the ordinary things (the ten on ten is great in that spirit), and it has been a joy. Also an important thing to do as a parent, I think. How could our children appreciate the beauty of subtle things if we don’t?


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