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Diane Tarantini: Three and done: How I do dinner


By Diane Tarantini


“What should I make for supper?”

That panicked question probably gets repeated millions of times every week. Such a basic requirement can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow this easy formula: protein plus vegetable plus fruit equal dinner.

Since my family avoids gluten, I don’t offer many grains. However, if you have a lot of folks to feed, people with substantial appetites, providing an additional side dish of rice or pasta is affordable and filling.

On most nights in our house, I focus my dinner effort primarily on the entree. Usually, for the sake of time, I prefer simple main-dish recipes. Simple and savory. To me, savory means exciting flavors. I get really excited when some of these flavors come from my yard.

For years now, I’ve grown an herb garden right outside our back door. There, sage, thyme and oregano thrive year-round. In the summer, I add basil, rosemary and Italian (flat) parsley. I also grow mint (In the Learn-from-My-Mistakes category, I suggest cultivating mint in a large pot, as it tends to be invasive.).

Mint has a leading role in today’s recipe: Super Fast Garlic-Mint Fish. This entree qualifies as “fast food,” because you can prepare it in about five minutes plus 10 minutes on the grill. Add steamed asparagus or broccoli, some fruit and dinner is done. 

Super Fast Garlic-Mint Fish


1/8 c. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. garlic, minced

½ T. balsamic (or red wine) vinegar

1-2 t. fresh mint leaves, minced

½ t. salt 

½ t. black pepper

1 lb. fish filets (I usually use cod or halibut. Red snapper or orange roughy work well, also.)


Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except fish. Stir briskly with a fork.

Use a piece of DOUBLED heavy-duty aluminum foil to create a rimmed “pan” for the fish.

Brush the foil with olive oil to prevent sticking.

Rinse fish and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the fish in the center of the foil. Brush the fish with half of the mint-garlic mixture. Turn the fish over and brush the other side with the remaining mint-garlic mixture.

Transfer the fish on foil to the grill. Cook five minutes with the cover down, then gently flip.

Continue to cook covered until the fish is cooked through. (Check to make sure that even the center is white and flaky.) 

Serves 2-4, depending on the serving sizes.

Note: If mint doesn’t grow in your yard, find it in the fresh herbs section of your grocery store’s produce department.

Lifestyles columnist Diane Tarantini is a freelance writer and blogger who lives in Morgantown. Check out her blog, “Lessons from a Life Half Lived,” at She can be reached at


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