Friday, February 10, 2012

Ten ways with tilapia

Nothing is better than the firm texture and mild flavor of tilapia for a variety of cooking methods. Whether pan-fried, broiled, or baked, wrapped in a tortilla or with a sauce (savory AND sweet!), tilapia has the ability to absorb the flavors of spicy marinades, creamy sauces, and even the most subtle of seasonings.

Plus, a 6-ounce fillet only has about 125 calories and about 1 gram of fat -- nice!  So, I came up with 10 easy ways to prepare tilapia, giving you no excuse for getting at least one of the recommended two servings of fish each week. 

Tilapia Way #1
Combine 2 T softened butter, 2 T fresh cilantro 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind 1/4 tsp paprika, and1/8 tsp salt until well blended, serve 2 teaspoons over fish.

Tilapia Way #2
Combine 2 c chopped mango, 1/2 c chopped red onion, 2 T cilantro, fresh lime juice, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp ground red pepper, 1 chopped jalapeño, and one clove minced garlic. Serve over fish alone, or as a topping for fish tacos!

Tilapia Way #3
Heat 3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth and about 1 oz sliced Bella mushrooms in a saute pan with seasoned fish.  Cover and simmer five minutes until mushrooms are tender.  Remove fish from pan and add 2 T half and half cream, and 2 T Dijon mustard. Cook 1 minute until sauce is thick. Serve 1/4 cup sauce over fish. 

Tilapia Way #4
Combine 1/2 c fresh grapefruit juice, 3 T fresh lime juice, 1 T brown sugar, 1 T EVOO, 2 tsp lower-sodium soy sauce 1/2 tsp of  salt and ground cumin, and 1/4 tsp ground red and black pepper, and 2 cloves of crushed garlic.  Preheat broiler and sprinkle fish with 1/2 tsp paprika. Broil fish for 15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Serve 2 tsp sauce over fish.

Tilapia Way #5
Combine 1/2 c fresh cilantro, 1/2 c chopped onion, 1 T fresh lime juice, 2 Serrano chiles (or jalapenos), seeded and coarsely chopped, 1 (11-ounce) can tomatillos, drained, and 1 clove minced garlic in a blender and process until smooth.  Serve 1/4 cup over cooked fish. 

Tilapia Way #6
Process 1/2 cup almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, and combine with 1/4 cup flour in a shallow bowl.  Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/2 tsp salt; dredge in almond mixture.  Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat; add fish, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden.

Tilapia Way #7

Preheat oven to 375°. Sprinkle fillets with 1/4 tsp both salt and pepper.  On 1 (of 4) 13X9 pieces of parchment paper, Place 3 lemon slices crosswise in center. Top with tilapia fillet. Sprinkle evenly with shredded carrot, dill, and parsley. Top each fillet with 1 tsp butter. Fold 1 side of parchment paper over fillets; tuck excess parchment under fillets, pressing folds to form a crease.  Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.

Tilapia Way #8
Preheat oven to 375°. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of both salt and pepper over both sides of tilapia fillets; set aside. Combine 1 (6oz) jar chopped artichoke hearts, 1/4 c seasoned bread crumbs, 1 T Parmesan , and 1/2 tsp oregano in a medium bowl; mix well. Brush each fillet with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil; top with 1/4 of the artichoke mixture. Bake until fish pulls apart easily with a fork (about 15 minutes). Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley just before serving.

Tilapia Way #9
Combine 1/4 c reduced fat mayo, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tsp Dijon mustard, stirring well. Place fish in an 11- x 7 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread mayonnaise mixture over fish; sprinkle evenly with 2 tsp parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Tilapia Way #10
Spiced Tilapia & Lemon Butter Sauce

4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
2 teaspoons canola oil

1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoon butter

Heat oil in pan over medium high heat. Combine cumin, salt, garlic powder, and peppers; sprinkle evenly over both sides of the fish. Arrange fish in a pan, sauté 4-5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan. Place one fillet on each of 2 plates; keep warm.

Add garlic and minced onion to pan.  Sauté until translucent.  Additional oil may be added to the pan, if needed.  Add wine and juice to pan, gently scrape bits from the bottom of the pan; cook over medium-high heat 2 minutes, reducing the wine and lemon juice. Remove from heat; stir in dill and butter. Drizzle sauce over fillets.

Nutrition Information: Serves 4 (1 tilapia filet plus 2 tablespoons of sauce)
Calories: 185; Fat: 7g; Carbohydrates: 2g; Protein: 23g

Amber Massey RD, LD
Registered Dietitian
Executive Health Program
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth


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  2. Found this on Pinterest. Made recipe #9. It was very tasty and easy to prepare. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Made #10 last night for dinner. Excellent! Thanks for sharing.