Tag Archives: tilapia

Tilapia Verde

The food around this time of year is enough to make my heart sing, my taste buds dance, and my tummy ache.  It’s so easy to overdo it and I’m guilty of that all too often.  To get through the holidays without gaining too much around my middle, I like to intersperse the food frenzies with some lighter meals here and there.

This simple fish dish used some leftover verde sauce (from black bean enchilada stacks) that was waaaaay to good to throw away.  A little time baking/poaching in the oven and dinner was served.  I served mine over a bed of rice, but it’s just as good by itself if you’re watching the carbs.  If you have leftover sauce, just stick it in the freezer for next time you have a craving.


Tilapia Verde

Tilapia Verde

Verde Sauce:
12 oz. tomatillos (7-8 large)
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped roasted green chiles (canned works fine)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped

Tilapia filets (or any other mild white fish would work just as well)
Salt & pepper
Rice (optional for serving)

To make sauce, remove husks and stems and wash tomatillos.  Cover with water in a saucepan and boil about 10 minutes, until tender.  Put tomatillos and all other ingredients in a blender and puree.  Set aside until ready to use.

Heat oven to 400˚.  Sprinkle fish with salt & pepper, spoon sauce over fish, enough to cover and have a little extra in the pan, especially if you are serving over rice.  I used about 1/2 cup for 1 filet.  Sprinkle with feta and pop in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes or so, until fish flakes easily and feta is starting to brown a bit.  Remove from oven.  Serve over rice if desired.



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Blackened Rock Cod & Black-Eyed Slaw

Oh look, a new Food Network magazine on the rack.  Can I resist?  Um…no.  I’m weak.  A cooking magazine addiction is a terrible (but tasty) thing.  This one was chock full of recipes to use up summer produce and eat light.  And not so light.  But for now we’ll avoid the Banana-Coconut Marshmallow Meringue Pie (oh yeah, that’s happening) and start with something healthy-ish.  I especially like the weeknight cooking section with recipes that are quick to make.

Growing up in Oregon, I didn’t ever eat black-eyed peas as a kid.  In fact the first time I ate them, somewhere in the wilds of Arkansas, I was shocked to find that they weren’t gross at all, as I had always suspected, but actually pretty darn tasty!  In fact, there are places where people eat them all the time!  Some people even eat them for luck every year on New Year’s Eve.  I have no idea if that works but there are certainly worse traditions out there.

I think you could use any kind of white fish fillet to make the blackened fish dish.  I happened to have rock cod, so that’s what I used, although the original recipe called for tilapia.  I also played a bit with the slaw recipe.  I guess I’m just not that great at following directions, but the results were terrific!  I made some incredible corn bread to go with it.  If you’re interested in that, tune in tomorrow.

Blackened Rock Cod with Black-Eyed Slaw & Cornbread

Blackened Rock Cod
(Adapted from Food Network Magazine)

1 tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Salt & pepper
4 rock cod or tilapia fillets

In a small bowl combine paprika, cumin and salt and pepper.  Rub most of the rub on one side of the fillets, using any leftover for the other side.  Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Add fish, spicy side down.  Cook 3-4 minutes.  Flip carefully and continue to cook another 2 minutes or so until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Black-Eyed Slaw

Black-Eyed Slaw
(Adapted from Food Network Magazine)

1/3 cup prepared salsa verde (I like the Herdez brand)
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. sour cream
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 cups shredded cole slaw mix (one 14 oz. bag)
1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

In a large bowl whisk together salsa verde, vinegar, sour cream and olive oil.  Add cole slaw mix and black-eyed peas and gently toss until all ingredients are combined.  Taste for seasonings, and add salt & pepper if needed.

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Island Tacos

I could live on an island.  Blue skies, palm trees, hammock, sunshine, umbrella drink and a stack of books.  And fish and fruit for dinner all the time.  It doesn’t sound too bad.  Okay, I’d probably be sick of it after a few weeks and miss the trees and rain, but I’m a little crazy like that.  But sometimes on rainy days (in June!) I pretend I’m on an island and cook something tropical.  And it makes me smile.

Island Fish Tacos

Island Fish Tacos

3 tilapia filets
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper
1 cup pineapple, diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup diced red onion
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Corn tortillas
Salsa (optional)

Make pineapple salsa by combining pineapple, pepper, jalapeno, onion, lime juice and cilantro in a bowl.

Pineapple Salsa. Use on tacos or eat by itself!

Sprinkle fish with seasonings on both sides.  Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the fish 1-2 minutes per side until browned and cooked through.  They cook quickly, so keep an eye on them.

Tilapia cooking

To build tacos, put a piece of the fish (each filet will make 2-3 tacos) on a tortilla and top with pineapple salsa.  For some extra zip add a spoonful of your favorite tomato salsa on top.  Take a bite and let your taste buds dance the hula!


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Feta-Crusted Tilapia

In our journey to moving to a more veggie-based diet, I’ve found my thinking has started to change.  I used to think of the days we ate fish as “light eating” days.  Now I think of those as the “meaty” days.  Although I’ve always loved seafood, I now find it more satisfying than ever before.  But I do find myself compelled to find more creative ways to cook it to add variety and fun to our menu.

Tilapia is almost always in my freezer.  Whenever I’m at the fish counter, I pick up an extra package of it for a speedy meal at some later date.  It’s quick to cook, mild enough to go with almost any flavors, and very affordable, which is a nice plus.  Combined with some of my other goodies from farmer’s market this week, I had a quick and satisfying dinner in minutes that was so good I caught myself making yummy noises while I was eating.

Feta-Crusted Tilapia with Lemon Cashew Asparagus

Feta-Crusted Tilapia
(This recipe is for one serving, just repeat or multiply for more servings)

Tilapia filet
1 tbsp. panko (japanese style bread crumbs)
2 tbsp. feta cheese
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
Salt & pepper
Olive oil

Combine panko, feta and lemon zest in a small bowl.  Pat entire mixture on top of tilapia filet.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake at 400˚ for about 10 minutes until crust is light brown and fish flakes easily.

All dressed up and ready to cook.

Usually when I make something like this, I roast the veggies right along side the entree, and this was no exception.  And if you cover your pan with foil first…no dishes, woot!  See below for my asparagus recipe.

Lemon Cashew Asparagus

One bundle of fresh asparagus
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped cashews
Salt & pepper
Olive oil

Lay the asparagus on a pan in a single layer, sprinkle lemon zest, cashews and salt & pepper all over.  Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400˚ for 10 minutes.

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Tropical Tilapia Tacos

What do you do when you have a stack of tortillas staring at you?  Invent a new taco of course!  My daughter and I were trying to decide what we want, both throwing out ingredient ideas that sounded good, so instead of deciding on just one, we threw a bunch of them together.  The result?  A scrumptious, juicy, tropical fish taco I have a feeling will be reappearing on our menu all summer long.  And no, I don’t mean a taco made from tropical fish. That would just be wrong.

Claire suggested calling these “Speedy Gonzales Tacos” because they were so quick to make.  Somehow, that just didn’t sound right either.  Poor Speedy!  But you get the picture.  If you’re up for food in a flash, this is the recipe for you.

Tropical Tilapia Tacos

Tropical Tilapia Tacos

2-3 tilapia filets
1 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 mango, diced
1 cup pineapple, diced
1/2 jalapeno, minced
2 poblano peppers
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
Corn tortillas

Turn the broiler on and place poblanos under it.  Cook until the skin is black, turning once.  Take out and put in a plastic or paper bag to cool and steam (makes it easier to remove the skin).  Sprinkle tilapia filets with cumin, salt & pepper, cayenne and garlic powder.  Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet.  Cook tilapia 2-3 minutes per side.  In a bowl, combine mango, pineapple, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro and red onion.  Remove skin and seeds from poblano peppers, chop and add to the bowl with the fruit.  Toss to combine.  Warm corn tortillas in the oven.  Add a piece of fish and top with fruit and pepper mixture. Eat!

We served these with chips and my famous tomato/tomatillo salsa.

Tropical Tilapia Tacos with Chips & Salsa

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