Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia with Creamy Dill Sauce

Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia with Creamy Dill Sauce
Serves 4

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
splash of fat-free half & half (if you don’t have this on hand, I don’t think it’s really necessary)
zest of one lemon (you can use the lemon slices for garnish)
1 clove garlic, grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
4 fish filets (I used Tilapia, the original poster used halibut)
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon light butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise and splash of half & half .  Stir in the lemon zest and garlic.  Add the dill, and season with salt and pepper.  Blend to combine.  Cover and refrigerate.

3. In another medium bowl, melt one tablespoon butter.  Add the panko and cheese and season with pepper.  Blend well.

4. Pat the fish filets dry.  Place filets on a baking sheet or broiler pan.  Top each filet evenly with the panko mixture*.  Cook in pre-heated oven until fish is done, about 10-15 minutes.

*At this point, you can put everything in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.  That makes this a great make-ahead meal, especially if you are serving this to guests, so everything is finished ahead of time.

Top each filet with the sour cream-dill mixture and garnish with more fresh dill.  Served with salad and couscous.  The salad dressing I used was a Weight Watchers recipe that I’ve made before (on my old recipe blog.)  I didn’t feel like dirtying the food processor, so I just stirred everything together and it came out fine.  This dressing was PERFECT with this fish, since it uses a lot of the same ingredients.

Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing
1/2 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp dill, chopped
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Process until smooth. Yields 6 servings, about 1 1/2 tablespoons dressing per serving. (Leftover dressing can be refrigerated for up to one week.)

Results: Oh.My.  Seriously.  This was delicious!  It tasted like something you could order at a restaurant.  I know, I know…”Don’t hurt yourself patting your own back, Michelle.”  But seriously…if you like fish, you must add this to your menu.  Writing this post makes me want to eat this again tonight!

I found this recipe at FunnyLove.

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Gorgonzola Flank Steak Sandwiches

Gorgonzola Flank Steak Sandwiches
Serves 4

1 lb flank steak
1 glove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
zest and juice of one lemon (you’ll use the juice for the aioli)
salt & pepper

Lemon Garlic Aioli
1/4 cup low-fat or light mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
hot sauce, to taste

8 slices crusty bread
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
fresh baby spinach or arugula leaves
tomatoes, sliced

1. Season flank steak with salt and pepper.

2. Blend one clove garlic, olive oil and lemon zest in a small bowl and rub onto one side of the steak. Let it sit for up to 30 minutes, at room temperature.

3. Heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill steaks to desired doneness (mine were about 5 minutes per side.) Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing.

4. Meanwhile, combine all aioli ingredients (except hot sauce) in a food processor. Blend, then season with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.

5. (I completely missed this step, but I can imagine the melted gorgonzola would have been awesome.) Preheat the broiler. Drizzle each slice of bread with olive oil (if desired), place on a baking sheet and broil until toasted. Remove from oven and spread aioli on one side of each slice. Divide the streak and gorgonzola among 1/2 the bread slices. Return to the oven and broil until cheese melts. Divide spinach (or arugula) and tomatoes among the other 1/2 bread slices. Place the halves together to make sandwiches.

Results: Why are you still reading this? Seriously…run to the store and get the ingredients to make this tonight!

Are you ever so excited by a new recipe that you forget to actually pay attention to the recipe? That was me with this recipe. I was so ready to eat that I just ignored the recipe and started chowing down. I was half-way through my sandwich when I realized I forgot the gorgonzola. Then I realized I forgot to broil them! The sandwich was delicious without the cheese, but even better with it. (I never did get around to broiling it.) And that aioli? TO. DIE. FOR! I am so thankful that I have enough leftovers to have for a sandwich today. My *only* complaint was that the meat was very hard to chew. So if you are looking to impress your man or lady-friends by being a dainty eater, forget about it. You’ll have to rip this one apart like a dinosaur. This seriously might be the best sandwich I’ve ever had.

Recipe from Smith Bites. I did lighten down the list of ingredients and didn’t feel like I was missing a thing.

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Butternut Squash and Leek Soup

Butternut Squash and Leek Soup
serves 4 (unless it’s a main dish, then I would say it serves 2 with lunch-sized portions for leftovers)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon light butter
3 medium leeks, cleaned and sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 & 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon herbes de provence (or any seasoning really, this is just what I used)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups vegetable stock
a good handful of fresh chives, very thinly sliced
creme fraiche (optional)

1. Heat oil and butter in a cast-iron pot over medium-high heat. Add squash and leeks and sauté (covered) for 10 minutes, stirring once, until vegetables have softened. Stir in herbes de provence, salt and pepper. Pour vegetable stock into pot. Lower heat and simmer (covered) for about 1 hour*, stirring occasionally.

2. Let soup cool for about 10 minutes. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. You may need to add a bit more vegetable stock if your soup is too thick. Return puréed soup to pot. Stir in chives (leaving some aside for garnish) and simmer over low heat until heated through (about 5 minutes.)

*This cooking time is an estimate. I’m sure it could be finished in much less time, this is just what worked into my driving back and forth to pick up the kids from school schedule.

Garnish with a tablespoon creme fraiche and chives. Serve with crusty bread.

Results: I think this may be what heaven tastes like. Seriously. For realsies.

This recipe came from FrugalFeeding. The original recipe calls for a “large knob of butter” and “a good slug” of olive oil. Sounds pretty good, right? I lightened it down by using light butter and only a tablespoon of olive oil.

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Foil Packet Tilapia (aka Emily’s Tilapia)

Foil Packet Tilapia
serves 4

four tilapia fillets
2 lemons, thinly sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced (whole grape or cherry tomatoes would work well too)
one sweet onion, sliced
bell peppers, sliced (I used green and orange)
two cloves garlic, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine
olive oil cooking spray
8 oz angel hair pasta

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray four sheets of tin foil (big enough to wrap each tilapia. I imagine you could also put all the tilapia together in one packet.) with olive oil cooking spray. Divide the lemon slices between the sheets of foil. Season tilapia with salt and pepper and place tilapia on top of the lemons. Top each fillet with vegetables and sprinkle with garlic. Before sealing, pour about 1 tablespoon white wine in each packet. Seal tightly (I double-wrapped my packets, which was a good thing, because some of the liquid got out) and bake in oven for about 25-30 minutes.

2. While fish is cooking, prepare pasta.

3. Divide pasta among four dishes. Carefully transfer fish and vegetables onto pasta, being sure to pour any liquid over the pasta.

Results: Emily sent me this recipe because I had two bags of tilapia sitting in my freezer. (Yay! Only one bag to go now!) This was so simple to make and really delicious. Chris said he thought it looked like it was going to be pretty bland, but agreed that it was tasty. The liquid from the foil packets on the pasta was amazing. And the ONLY dirty dishes were the cutting board and the pasta pot! Gotta love easy clean-ups. Thank you, Emily, for sending this recipe!

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Pasta Moussaka

Pasta Moussaka
serves 6 (I think 6 servings of the sauce would be a stretch.)

1 onion, chopped
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground lamb
2 teaspoons dried oregano (I used 2 tablespoons fresh, because I had it)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
12 oz linguine or fettuccine
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Start a large pot of salted water boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook until done. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and cook about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground lamb and heat until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the broth, parsley, wine and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve sauce over pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Results: Did this ever smell good! All those spices in the ground lamb were incredible. Don’t let the list of ingredients scare you off, most of them are spices you will likely have in your pantry. This was really delicious, and even Henry scarfed it down (although I did not tell him what kind of meat he was eating.) It’s pretty much a spaghetti sauce, but the lamb and spices just make it a bit different.

It was really easy to make (although I’m not going to give it the “super easy” tag, because it did require constant attention. Make sure you have everything chopped and pre-measured ahead of time to make this simpler to prepare.)

And, look at what my husband made for me:

It’s a light-box! It’s usually pitch-black by the time we eat dinner in the winter, so my pictures never come out as good as I want them to without using a flash, and I HATE using a flash because everything is too washed out. Hopefully now my pictures will be a little better. Or at least I won’t be able to blame anyone but myself. Thanks, Chris!

Recipe from Weight Watchers.

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Greek Salsa Chicken

Greek Salsa Chicken
serves 4

2 ounces reduced-fat Feta cheese
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1. In a medium bowl, combine all salsa ingredients. Cover and chill in refrigerator.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Sear chicken, about 1-2 minutes each side; remove from heat.

3. Squeeze lemon wedges over chicken and tuck wedges around the chicken breasts. Roast until done, about 25 minutes.

Serve salsa over chicken. Served with roasted potatoes (which wasn’t a great side dish. I’d go with a Greek salad or orzo pasta next time.)

Results: I have been craving Greek food lately, so this recipe looked like a good way to get a fix. I did health up the original recipe a bit (used less olive oil and reduced-fat Feta instead) so check out the original recipe for a little more flavor. This was really delicious and so pretty! A great, colorful meal during the dreary weather we’ve been having lately. The cold leftovers were even better! It was also really simple to make, since most of the cooking is in the oven.

I found this recipe on Sweet Pea’s Kitchen.

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Tilapia Extravaganza!

Extravaganza! I hope you read that with a dramatic voice. Extravaganza!

Tilapia Extravaganza!
Serves 4

1 pound tilapia fillets
garlic powder
2 tablespoons capers
4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
juice of one lemon
angel hair pasta (rice would be good too)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place tilapia on two large sheets of parchment paper (large enough to wrap the tilapia). Season tilapia with salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste. Sprinkle capers on top of tilapia and mound 1 cup of spinach on each fillet. Wrap fish tightly in parchment paper, place on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, to make sauce, mix together mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice and a pinch of salt in small bowl.

3. Prepare pasta.

Serve tilapia over pasta and drizzle with the mayonnaise sauce.

Results: Sounds weird, doesn’t it? I’m not sure what it was that attracted me to this recipe, since there was no picture that went with it, and I’m all about the food porn. I think part of it was that after recently cleaning out my freezer, I discovered that I had TWO bags of tilapia that needed to be eaten, so I’ve been hunting for tilapia recipes lately. But I imagine the biggest part was the title. TILAPIA EXTRAVAGANZA!!!! How could I not try it?

Seriously, this was really tasty! The capers and spinach add such a nice flavor to this otherwise boring fish. And though I was skeptical, the mayonnaise sauce had a really sweet tang to it. I would eat this again tonight! This was also super easy to make. Hardly any dishes were dirtied and no chopping is required.

This is another community recipe from Weight Watchers.

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Apricot and Mustard Glazed Pork Roast

Apricot and Mustard Glazed Pork Roast
serves 4

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried), divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
1 & 1/4 pound pork loin, center-cut
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 pound fingerling potatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a roasting pan with nonstick spray.

2. Stir together the garlic, one tablespoon of the rosemary (or 1 teaspoon if using dried), 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture over the pork. Place pork in the roasting pan.

3. In a large bowl, place potatoes, remaining rosemary, 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste). Mix well to coat. Add potatoes to roasting pan around the pork. Roast in oven for 30 minutes.

4. After 30 minutes, stir together apricot preserves and mustard in a small bowl. Brush all over pork. Continue to roast until finished cooking (about 10 additional minutes.) Transfer pork roast to a cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Served with potatoes and steamed green beans.

Results: Wow…this was so easy to make and was delicious! As far as prep time goes, this was next to nothing. There isn’t a single thing I would change about this meal. I know the picture doesn’t make it look like the most appetizing dish in the world, but trust me….it’s delicious!

My sister asked me to add a tag to let her know which meals were super easy to make. So Tracy, this one’s for you!

Recipe from Weight Watchers.

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Rigatoni with Sausage and Kale

Rigatoni with Sausage and Kale
serves 4

3 cups rigatoni
9 oz turkey sausage, sweet Italian variety
one bunch of kale, tough stems removed, roughly chopped
1 cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus some for salting the pasta water
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

The original recipe called for 4 cups of kale, which was about 1/2 bunch. Seriously…what are you going to do with half a bunch of kale sitting around? Just throw it all in.

1. Cook rigatoni in salted water according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, remove sausage from casing and cook in large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up sausage as it cooks, about 4 minutes. Add kale; cook, stirring frequently, until limp, about 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add broth to skillet and scrape up browned bits on bottom of skillet with wooden spoon; season with salt and pepper. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low. Cook until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in rigatoni, heat through.

4. Divide pasta mixture among four plates and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.

Results: Another really simple meal to make with a simple list of ingredients. This was a very filling and hearty meal. (Although I added more pasta and kale than the original recipe listed.) The boys (of course) picked out the kale, but Chris and I really liked this.

Recipe from Weight Watchers

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Salmon Salad with Pears and Walnuts

Salmon Salad with Pears and Walnuts
serves 2

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound salmon fillets
4 cups mixed salad greens
1 pear, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette mixture over the salmon fillets.

2. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat and add salmon to pan. Cook, turning once, for 6 to 12 minutes.

3. Toss salad greens and pears with the vinaigrette mixture and divide between two plates. Top with salmon fillets and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

Results: What a seriously simple meal to make! The vinaigrette was really tasty and the pears and walnuts added a nice crunch. Despite the original recipe warning me not to overcook the salmon, I overcooked the salmon! I should have known better, because my fillets were on the thin side. The original recipe called for grilling the salmon, which would have been better, but it’s Winter in Colorado and our grill is buried in the garage. Still, this was a nice, simple dish and I’ll definitely repeat!

This recipe came from Cooking 4 Life. The original recipe serves four and I modified the list of ingredients to fit with my “diet”.

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