Tasty Tuesday: Dijon-Crusted Tilapia

I made Dijon-Crusted Tilapia for the first time about a year ago.  (I actually even posted it on my old blog, along with a horrible picture.  Trust me when I say it’s embarrassing that I once believed a picture like that actually looked good!)  I initially came across the recipe when I was searching for some new ways to prepare fish, and decided to make it one evening when I realized we had all of the ingredients on hand.

If I’m being completely honest, I only tried this recipe for that reason.  It wasn’t that I thought it would be bad, but I didn’t expect it to be great.  I assumed it would be one of those things that was just “okay” … You know, the kind of recipe you only make once because it’s nothing special.

Fortunately, I was wrong!

This meal has so many things going for it: it’s healthy, flavorful, and easy to make.  It’s a great option for a quick weeknight meal, especially if you’re trying to stick with a more wholesome diet.  Yes, it contains mayonnaise, but it’s light mayonnaise and only a small quantity is used.  (I don’t even like mayonnaise, so don’t worry if you’re not a fan … You can’t taste it at all.  You can, however, taste the Dijon mustard, so this may not be the recipe for you if you don’t like that particular flavor.)

If you’re looking for a new way to prepare fish that doesn’t require much effort (and you like the taste of Dijon mustard, of course!), I’d definitely recommend trying this recipe.  I just made it last week, and I’m pretty sure it will be making an appearance again either this week or next week.  It’s really that good (and that simple!).

Dijon-CrustedTilapia

I wish I’d gotten a slightly better photo of this dish, but this is still a million times better than the picture I used on my old blog!

Dijon-Crusted Tilapia

Adapted ever so slightly from a recipe on Taste of Home.

Ingredient List:

  • 2-4 tilapia fillets (I used 2 large fillets, but the recipe would work just as well with 4 smaller pieces of fish)
  • 3 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp low fat margarine or butter (I used low fat margarine)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a small bowl then add the mayonnaise, half of the Parmesan cheese, and Dijon mustard.  Stir to combine thoroughly.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.
  4. Place the fish fillets on the baking sheet and spread the mayonnaise/mustard mixture as evenly as possible over both sides of the fish.
  5. In a second small microwave safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave.  (This should only take about 10-15 seconds.)
  6. Mix the Panko breadcrumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese in with the melted butter, and sprinkle the mixture over the top of each fish fillet.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.  (I usually let my fish bake for the full 20 minutes.)

As you can probably see from the picture, I most recently served this meal with a side of seasoned rice.  (Okay, it’s Rice-A-Roni, one of my food guilty pleasures … Don’t judge!)  I also made simple green salads for each of us, but forgot to include them in the picture.

Tasty Tuesday: Renaissance of Tuna Casserole

When I first moved out on my own many years ago, I had no fucking clue how to cook.  I mostly survived on things like spaghetti with jarred marinara sauce, frozen dinners, and cans of soup.  I also made quite a bit of Tuna Helper (I know, I know).

I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked Tuna Helper meals.  I would never say that they’re amazing or anything, but they’re filling and come in a wide variety of flavors (which is really important when you don’t know how to throw a meal together without using something prepackaged).  I haven’t eaten Tuna Helper in a long time (mostly because I’ve been trying to cook more things myself), but the meal I’ll be sharing with you today kind of reminded me of Tuna Helper … Really good, really fancy Tuna Helper.

If you’re not a fan of tuna casserole or Tuna Helper, this meal may not be for you.  I know that tuna isn’t everyone’s favorite thing.  If, however, you like pasta with great flavor and can stomach the idea of cooked canned tuna, I’d recommend at least giving this recipe a try.  Trust me … It has a much more sophisticated flavor than any box of Tuna Helper ever will!

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I was really proud of this picture because it didn’t require much editing.  I guess sometimes iPhones can take pretty great pictures!

Renaissance of Tuna Casserole

Adapted ever so slightly from a recipe on Taste and Tell.

Ingredient List:

  • 1 box fettuccine
  • 1 12 oz. can chunk light tuna in water, drained
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic (or, if you’re lazy like me, the equivalent of jarred, pre-minced garlic)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced (My sun-dried tomatoes came from a pouch.  You’ll want to make sure you don’t use tomatoes packed in oil for this recipe.)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 10.8 oz. bag frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Italian Medley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water.  Cook according to package directions until al dente and drain.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook for approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tuna, sun-dried tomatoes, Mrs. Dash Italian Medley, oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour in the white wine, turn the heat up to medium high, and allow the mixture to cook for approximately 3 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat down to medium low and add the heavy cream, peas, sea salt, and black pepper.  Allow the sauce to cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (Don’t worry if it looks really soupy at this point.  The sauce will thicken a little as it cooks, but it will still be somewhat runny.  This won’t matter once it’s tossed with the pasta and cheese, though, I promise!)
  7. Sprinkle the sauce with the cheese, and stir to combine.
  8. Toss the sauce with the pasta until evenly coated.

I know that tuna meals aren’t for everyone, but this was exceptionally good.  The sauce was simple but flavorful, and the recipe was pretty quick and easy to throw together (even on a busy weeknight).  I served this with a side of mixed steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower).

Tasty Tuesday: Parmesan Pesto Tilapia

Eric and I completed a health screen recently.  If we completed the screen and got a high enough score, we’d be eligible for a discount on our health insurance.  We’ve been going to the gym quite a bit lately anyway, so we kept up our workout regimen.  We started trying to eat a little healthier for a couple of weeks prior to the screening as well.  After the health screen, we decided we’d earned an extra fatty meal so we each got an AM Crunchwrap from Taco Bell (total disgusting guilty pleasure) and a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino from Starbucks.

I regret nothing!

I shared that story not because I want everyone reading this to know that my husband and I can pack away some serious shit, but because it seemed like a good introduction to the healthy recipe I’m going to share today.  (And also because I find it funny and ridiculous.)

So, as I said, we spent a couple of weeks trying to eat healthier meals.  This was definitely one of my favorites.  It’s so simple and light that it’s perfect for a weeknight meal.  (And, if you’ve been reading my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I’m a huge fan of simple weeknight dinners.  We’re usually busy and/or exhausted during the week, so anything that requires minimal effort is perfect.)  I made very minimal changes to the original recipe (which was pretty perfect in its simplicity), but those tiny tweaks made it an absolutely perfect meal for us.

PestoTilapia1

I wish pesto photographed a little better, but you get the idea.

Parmesan Pesto Tilapia

A recipe from Pinch of Yum.

Ingredient List:

  • 2-4 tilapia fillets (I used 2 large fillets, but the recipe would work just as well with 4 smaller pieces of fish)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto (I used Classico pesto)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tomato, chopped (I used a fresh garden tomato given to me by my BodyFlow instructor, and it was so delicious!)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the broiler on the low setting.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.
  3. Place the fish fillets on the baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil over each piece.
  4. Sprinkle the garlic salt, black pepper, and Parmesan cheese over the fish.
  5. Broil on low 10-12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.
  6. Remove the fish from the oven, and top with pesto and chopped tomatoes.

As you can probably see from the picture, I paired this meal with a side of whole wheat gnocchi with more pesto and some Steamfresh mixed vegetables.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy (I mean, seriously … Look at those instructions!), healthy recipe, please give this a try.  Eric and I were both pleased with the way it turned out and plan to start including it in our regular meal rotation.

Tasty Tuesday: Tilapia in a Jalapeno Cream Sauce with Rice

I’ve been completely uninspired to write anything lately.  It seems like every time I have a decent idea for a blog post, I’m unable to write it down immediately (like while I’m driving or working).  Then when I finally have an opportunity to sit down and write, it’s like my mind is completely blank.

Fortunately, my lack of inspiration and creativity hasn’t completely taken over all areas of my life.  I’ve been making some amazing dishes lately (if I do say so myself), and I’m excited to share one of them with you today (assuming anyone is actually reading this, of course).

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I love the color in this meal, but the real star is the flavor.

Tilapia in a Jalapeno Cream Sauce with Rice 

Adapted from a recipe on allrecipes.com.

Ingredient List:

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 6 tbsp low fat margarine
  • 3 cloves garlic (or, if you’re lazy like me, the equivalent of jarred, pre-minced garlic)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (I mostly seeded the jalapeno because Eric isn’t a fan of really spicy foods, but you can always use more and/or leave more seeds in the pepper if you want more of a kick)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups cooked basmati rice

Instructions:

  1. Melt the low fat margarine in the microwave using a microwave safe bowl.  Stir the garlic into the melted margarine.
  2. Pour the flour onto a separate dish or plate.  This will be used to coat the fish.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Dip each tilapia fillet on both sides in the margarine/garlic mixture and then coat evenly on both sides with flour.  Once coated, place each fillet in the large skillet.  Turn each fillet to ensure even cooking.
  5. After cooking both sides of the tilapia, turn the heat to low and add the white wine to the skillet.
  6. While the fish is simmering, melt the unsalted butter in a small saucepan.
  7. Add the heavy cream, juice from the lemon, diced jalapeno, fresh spinach leaves, chopped tomato, black pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper to the saucepan once the butter has completely melted.  Turn heat to medium low and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly until well mixed.
  8. Once the sauce is completely cooked through and well blended, pour over the fish fillets in the large skillet.  You can either opt to keep the fillets whole, or shred them in the sauce.  My tilapia was incredibly tender, so I just shredded it into chunks in the sauce.  Eric and I really liked it this way, but it’s really personal preference.
Tilapia2

You can see the chunks of perfectly flaky fish in this picture. Yum!

As you can see from the pictures, I served this meal over cooked white basmati rice.  And, although the pictures don’t show this, we also had a side of steamed sugar snap peas.

If you like fish at all, you should definitely try this recipe.  It’s incredibly flavorful and, though it does contain heavy cream and quite a bit of butter and low fat margarine, it’s fairly healthy and quick enough for a weeknight meal.