Quick prep “fish taco” inspired Buddha bowls the whole family will love!
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Let’s give dinner a little change up!
I get it. We all have been there. Just because food bloggers make meal time look effortless, doesn’t mean we don’t struggle with meal planning sometimes. Many of us still have a houseful of kids with normal busy lives and schedules, and that means dinner ruts – even for a food blogger.
The busy mom’s answer to any meal!
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, when I’m in a rush and need something fast for a meal, the ever popular “Buddah bowls” are the answer. I consider myself somewhat of an expert at piling high my biggest bowls with whatever I can to make a meal – having 3 kids in the space of just over 4 years will do that to you!
Meal bowls, (or “Buddha bowls” if I want be popular 😉 ) are quick and easy to make, and can be customized to whatever is in season or in your fridge this week.
How to customize buddah bowls for little kids!
Listen, I love myself a good crisp, raw salad, or a buddah bowl crammed with crunchy coleslaw and slivers of raw veggies. And even though my kids are open to meal bowls with raw veg and salads/slaws, I am here to tell you that using roasted/cooked veg in your buddah bowls will get WAY more veg in the kids – especially the really little guys.
Don’t wait to serve buddah bowls to your kids until they are older and can handle chewing raw veg. Get a little bowl in front of those older babies and toddlers with a variety of roasted vegetables and meat, and let them have at it two fisted! They will be so used to eating them at those young ages, that they won’t bat an eye at this being a regular rotation in your meal plan – and that, dear momma, is a priceless time saver.
A little sheet pan love
Because most nights, I certainly don’t have time to sit at the stove at cook…I love my sheet pans!
Pile a load of your favorite veggies right on, and you are hands free while it roasts right along with the fish. Not only is this method time saving, roasting gives veggies a super kid friendly sweet flavor that irresistible. The meal possibilities are endless with that veggie bin full of produce!
Notes about swapping the fish type and sourcing
While we really love the mild taste and light texture of mahi mahi, if you don’t have access to a wild caught source of mahi mahi, by all means use what you have. Wild cod and wild salmon will work, and if there isn’t a safe source of fish near you, swap the fish for whatever quality meat you love to eat in your house.
We are pretty thankful to have sustainable source of wild caught fish mongers in our area, but that is definitely not the case everywhere. The demand is growing however, so don’t be afraid to look at even regular grocery stores. Our Meijer carries wild salmon, and many times we pick up our wild caught fish at Costco. If you don’t have access to beneficial fatty fish, using a quality cod liver oil in your house regularly will ensure you and the kids are getting the DHA and EPA oils that are so important for nervous system function.
A note about taco seasoning
One of my biggest goals for this particular meal, was to keep the ingredient list to a minimum. Which means go ahead and use that taco season blend you love, dear momma! I keep a tripled up batch of my DIY taco season blend in the pantry so it’s easy to scoop from, or you could keep your favorite brand on hand.
Here are some safe brands with no MSG, fillers, or starches added:
- My DIY taco season blend
- Primal Palate Taco Season blend
- Riega Organic Taco Season blend
- Oh My Spice Organic Taco Season blend
But this sauce though!!!
So let’s talk about this dreamy aioli to drown your fish taco bowl in!
Honestly, I’ve been putting it on just about everything I can lately, from this sheet pan fish taco bowl, to salads, wraps, and even as a dip for homemade french fries. Creamy and flavorful without the dairy or additives, it almost feels too good to be true! I have one “not” spicy fan in the house – this creamy sauce is mild enough for her and should work for most kiddos. You can halve the chipotle to start with just in case, however. All 3 of the girls were licking their bowls clean on this one!
Serving Options & Add-In Choices
The sky is the limit here! Our family tolerates an organic long grain white rice just fine, but there are so many different delicious options for serving your buddah bowls with! And while I would love to sprinkle fresh mango or pineapple over our bowls, winter in Michigan yields over priced fresh tropical fruit, so dried fruit is just as delicious, and keeps my budget happy. The brightness from the fruit also keeps the kiddos smiles around making dinner a bit more fun.
Here are some add-ins to choose from:
- Organic Long Grain White Rice
- Cauli-Rice (Make it yourself, or buy it – most health food stores carry it now!)
- Avocado Slices
- Fresh Salsa (don’t be afraid of that organic store bought brand momma – not everyone cans their own!)
- Fresh pineapple or mango (or dried!)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Guacamole (either make your own, or buy it!)
- Organic corn or tortilla chips
- Fresh chopped herbs
- FISH TACO BOWLS ::
- 4 wild caught mahi mahi fillets
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning to taste for the fillets (I use my MSG/starch free DIY Taco Season)
- ½ small head of purple cabbage, sliced
- ¼ small head of green cabbage, sliced
- ½ Spanish onion, sliced
- 2 jalepenos, halved, de-ribbed, and sliced (The heat lives in the seeds and ribs, so if you like more heat, leave it in!)
- 3 tbsp avocado oil
- Sea salt/pepper to taste
- Your choice add-ins to the bowl! :: tomatoes/salsa, fresh or dried mango, cauli-rice or long grain white rice, avocado slices, fresh sliced veggies like pepper sticks
- CHIPOTLE, LIME, & GARLIC AIOLI ::
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 small avocado, pitted
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tsp raw honey
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp chipotle powder (this leaves the aioli with a mild, kid friendly taste – feel free to add more if you like more heat)
- Pre-heat the oven to 425. You can also get your rice cooking at this time if you are serving your bowls with rice – it will be done by the time you finish the fish!
- Season both sides of the mahi mahi with taco season, and place on a sheet tray. Toss the cabbage, onion, and jalepeno slices with avocado oil, sea salt, and pepper and spread out on another tray.
- Place the veggie tray on the middle rack of the oven, and the fish on the rack below that. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, until the fish is cooked through, and the veggies are lightly caramelized.
- While the fish/veggies are baking, you can make the aioli. Place all of the aioli ingredients into a pint mason jar, and use an immersion blender to blend into a creamy sauce. If you do not have an immersion blender, put everything into your food processor EXCEPT the oil. Press blend, and then use the oil drip cup to slowly drizzle the oil in as it is blending so it can emulsify.
- After the fish/veggies cook, you can assemble your bowls. Veggies and rice (or cauli-rice) down first, and everything else surrounding it! Drizzle the aioli and serve with lime wedges.
More real food sheet pan and quick prep dinners you might like ::
- 30 Minute Sheet Pan Grassfed Mini Meatloaves & Roasted Veggies
- 30 Minute Sheet Pan Balsamic Salmon & Roasted Veggies
- Sheet Pan Honey Mustard Crusted Salmon, Restaurant Style French Fries, & Roasted Veggies
- Sheet Pan Herb Roasted Grassfed Meatballs with Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Butternut Squash Noodles
- Paleo Sheet Pan Fish ‘N Chips