Grouper with Mint-Red Pepper Relish

Cooking for One or Two, Food, Recipes, Weekend Cooking, Worknight Dinners
grouper with mint red pepper relish

grouper with mint red pepper relish

As the weather warms up, it’s hard to plan the perfect date night menu. To replace the hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare of winter, start in the grocery store and shop the perimeter or the outside edge of your market — especially for fresh produce and fresh seafood, like grouper. 

This is where you will find the freshest, healthiest and sometimes, even the least expensive food items. As you’re preparing your menu, whether it’s several courses or a more casual affair, keep some important tips in mind.

Use fresh herbs and spices

When cooking with herbs and spices, fresh are always best. If you’re using dried seasonings, make sure they are the freshest possible. The only dried seasoning I use is freshly ground pepper.

Use the freshest ingredients possible

Try to plan a menu based on ingredients that are available seasonally. Avoid canned, processed or preserved ingredients.

Don’t add fat to your menu

No one wants to feel weighed down on a special night.  Grill, steam, braise, stir-fry or roast foods instead of frying.  To add bulk to your meal without calories, add more vegetables and legumes (peas, beans and lentils) to your menu.

Skip the sodium

To avoid post-dinner bloating, use reduced-sodium soy sauce and tomatoes.  When you’re finished cooking, don’t automatically salt your food. Taste it first to see if it needs seasoning.

Slim down your recipes

When a recipe calls for cream, substitute with Greek yogurt, low-fat yogurt, skim milk or soy milk.  Select lean cuts of beef and pork. If preparing chicken, select skinless.

Use nonstick spray or olive or canola oil instead of butter or margarine. If you’re serving cheese as an appetizer or in recipes, select lower-fat options.  If you’re serving warmed bread, choose whole grain.

Make the meal a special occasion

Set the table and create a relaxing ambiance to enjoy your food. This will give you the opportunity to eat slowly and savor every bite. Of course, don’t forget why you’re there. Laugh, talk and have fun. The more you talk, the slower you will eat and enjoy the meal.

Date Night Dinner Menu for Two:

Grouper with Mint-Red Pepper Relish (recipe below)

watermelon basil feta salad

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Watermelon, Feta and Basil Salad


Peach Sorbet

Grouper with Mint-Red Pepper Relish
Recipe type: Cooking for One or Two, Weeknight Dinners
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • Grouper with Mint-Red Pepper Relish
  • Serves 2
  • Prep: 15 minutes
  • Cook: 12 minutes
  • What You Need
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 (6-ounce) grouper or cod fillets
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  1. Stir together bell pepper, onion, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, Dijon and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Season both sides of fish with remaining chopped fresh mint, salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining lemon juice.
  3. Heat remaining olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-heat. Cook 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with Mint-Red Pepper Relish.
Alison Lewis is a nationally known Recipe Developer, Cookbook Author, Magazine and Internet Journalist, Television and Social Media Food Spokesperson and Consultant, Food, Travel, Fitness, and Lifestyle Blogger, Food Educator, Business and Event Speaker, Food Photographer/Stylist, Nutritionist, and President of Ingredients, Inc., a Food Media Consulting company in Birmingham, Alabama.

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  • Reply
    August 17, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    What great tips – I love Alison’s blog, always full of terrific recipes and nutrition information. Love the light recipe she came up with for date night!

  • Reply
    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen
    August 14, 2011 at 11:16 am

    What a wonderful guest post…this grouper looks super delicious! I love the relish on top! 🙂

  • Reply
    lisa {smart food and fit}
    August 13, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I have never tried grouper, look like a perfect dish to make for my family and keeping up with the clean eating lifestyle. Very pretty photo’s

  • Reply
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking
    August 12, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Thank you Maris and Alison for the guest post! Great tips and it looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    August 12, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Love cooking with grouper but always get bored with it sometimes as far as flavors and side dishes to go along with it. This looks like the perfect rescue dish to my dull fish dishes:) Love the relish! Could eat it all by itself

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    August 12, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Mmm fish! I love a good fish recipe. I like the use of mint, too!

  • Reply
    Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen)
    August 12, 2011 at 8:27 am

    What great tips!! I especially love the “make it a special occasion” tip. All meals are special and should be fun 🙂
    And that recipe?? Major yum!


  • Reply
    August 12, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Excellent tips!!! I’d love this dinner…so beautiful and tasty! Love this guest post, Maris! Thanks, Alison!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Great post. Love the simplicity of this dish. Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2011 at 6:55 am

    What a great way to show that you don’t have to add oil or tons of cheese to a recipe to make it decadent or fancy (no matter what restaurants would like you to think). Great tips!

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    August 12, 2011 at 5:01 am

    What a great, inspiring guest post! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nami | Just One Cookbook
    August 11, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    It’s always nice to have a reminder that we have to eat healthy. Very inspiring salad and I must follow the tips…maybe start from once in a while. 🙂 Great guest post Maris, thank you!

  • Reply
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes
    August 11, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I especially love the idea to dress up the table. Dinner can be an event no matter what you’re eating.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    lovely recipe and great tips, Maris your are rocking the guest posts

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Will be bookmarking this recipe for “date night” with hubby!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Wonderful recipe for one of my favorite types of fish! I love grouper! Awesome tips as well. Now I just need a date for my date night! Great post ladies… : )

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    The grouper looks so utterly delicious with the fresh relish over top! Thanks for the great tips!

  • Reply
    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos
    August 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    love the theme of summer date night menu 🙂 heehee. red pepper relish sounds so innovative. i’m sure it tastes awesome!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Fabulous tips! Amen to skip the sodium…we all know how that makes us feel at the end of the night!

  • Reply
    Lisa from Lisas Yarns
    August 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Oh yum. Looks like a delicious meal – and a nice light meal! Perfect for summer!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I would be happy if I was served this on a date:)

  • Reply
    Liz - Meal Makeover Mom
    August 11, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Anything with mint this time of year makes me happy. Excellent tips from a “seasoned” recipe developer!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    This is a wonderful guest post with great tips for everyone!

  • Reply
    amy @ fearless homemaker
    August 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    alison is wonderful! glad to see her great guest post on here. what a wonderful menu! so light, summery, + healthy!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Great guest post! All of the food looks fresh and delicious–perfect summer meals.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Great and fresh looking food!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Great tips! And I love that there’s so much color in both dishes.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Perfect salad for summers- I love the colorful look of it. Thanks for the lovely guest post by Alison!

  • Reply
    A Plum By Any Other Name
    August 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Watermelon is just coming into season here in Boston. Can’t wait to pair it with some summer tomatoes! Sounds fantastic!

  • Reply
    natalie (the sweets life)
    August 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    beautiful pictures and a delicious sounding meal!

  • Reply
    Nelly Rodriguez
    August 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Great guest post! Love these tips!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    These are great tips for any night. Plus fresh herbs and low sodium options bring out the taste of the food. Nice guest post. Love the recipe too.

  • Reply
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.
    August 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing and letting me be a guest post for your fabulous site!

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