Tilapia and Summer Veggie Package

I planned on going to a spin class after work today, but I just didn’t make it because I wanted to cook dinner instead :).  Good excuse, huh? 

At least it was healthy!

Dinner: Tilapia and Summer Vegetable Package with Baked Sweet Potatoes and a Spinach Salad with Pear, Blue Cheese and Homemade Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Tilapia Summer Veggie Package:

Ingredients

I found this recipe on eatingwell.com and only made a few changes.  I took out the capers and olives and added a little bit of chopped pickled jalapenos instead (not many though, only like 5 slices).  We split 1 piece of tilapia (1/2lb) between the two of us, so we had a lot of leftover veggies. 

*optional

  • 1 cup quartered cherry, or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced summer squash
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 12 green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup pitted and coarsely chopped black olives (didn’t use)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon capers, rinsed (didn’t use)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into 4 equal portions (used 1/2 lb for 2 servings)
  • 5 slices of pickled jalapeno*

Directions

  • Preheat grill to medium. (No grill? See Oven Variation, below.)
  • Combine tomatoes, squash, onion, green beans, olives, lemon juice, oregano, oil, capers, jalapenos*, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

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  • To make a packet, lay two 20-inch sheets of foil on top of each other (the double layers will help protect the contents from burning); generously coat the top piece with cooking spray. Place one portion of tilapia in the center of the foil. Sprinkle with some of the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, then top with about 3/4 cup of the vegetable mixture.

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  • Bring the short ends of the foil together, leaving enough room in the packet for steam to gather and cook the food. Fold the foil over and pinch to seal. Pinch seams together along the sides. Make sure all the seams are tightly sealed to keep steam from escaping. Repeat with 2 more pieces of foil, cooking spray and the remaining fish, salt, pepper and vegetables (here is where I cooked the leftover veggies with no fish).

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  • Grill the packets until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. To serve, carefully open both ends of the packets and allow the steam to escape. Use a spatula to slide the contents onto plates. Oven Variation: Preheat oven to 425°F. Place green beans in a microwavable bowl with 1 tablespoon water. Cover and microwave on High until the beans are just beginning to cook, about 30 seconds. Drain and add to the other vegetables (Step 2). Assemble packets (Steps 3-4). Bake the packets directly on an oven rack until the tilapia is cooked through and the vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes.

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I’ve never cooked fish like this before, but it was amazing.  Steaming it in the foil package made the fish moist, tender and kept all of the flavors sealed inside while cooking…perfectly flakey too.  Plus, it’s a low calorie, low fat, high protein dish.

Baked/Roasted Sweet Potatoes:

Ingredients

  • 2 small sweet potatoes cut into chunks
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Hot Paprika
  • 1 tbsp EVOO

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Cut 2 sweet potatoes into chunks, throw into medium bowl, mix in salt, pepper, paprika and olive oil and toss to evenly coat

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  • Spread out on a greased baking sheet (I line it with foil to reduce the clean up process)

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  • Cook on 400 for 20 minutes, then turn down to 350 for the last 10 – if they start to brown too much, shake them around or turn down the heat

Spinach Salad with Pear, Blue Cheese and Homemade Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1/2 pear, thinly sliced
  • blue cheese crumbles to taste (my favorite is Point Reyes.  I know I’ve talked about it before, but it is seriously amazing because it has all of the rich flavor of a blue cheese without the sharpness.  Plus, a little goes a long way so it lasts for a good while.)
  • fresh cracked pepper (to taste)
  • honey balsamic vinaigrette (you can use any form of balsamic, but I really liked the sweetness of the honey paired with the rich blue cheese flavor)

Directions

  • Toss spinach, fresh cracked pepper and a small amount of dressing together in a bowl – just enough to coat the leaves, you don’t want it to get soggy.
  • Add in your cheese and pear and toss again (it’s just easier to evenly coat the leaves without the toppings in the way)
  • You can add more dressing if you feel the need after the pear and cheese are added.

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That was our meal!  Pretty good for an impromptu Tuesday night dinner.  I have to say, we probably could have done without the salad, but I was craving pear and blue cheese for some reason.  I am MAKING myself get up early in the morning to do a cardio workout since I skipped it this afternoon to cook. Wednesday Workouts are usually kickboxing or power yoga after work, but we are checking out the Upstate Foodie Fest in Greenville tomorrow night so I won’t have time to do either of those.  If I’m feeling motivated, I WILL do that Tracy Anderson workout I keep saying I’m doing twice a week…I’m running out of days this week already….

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