Foil Pouch Tilapia

After posting my experiences with the Parmesan Tilapia recipe, an old acquaintance shared her favorite tilapia recipe via Facebook. Not only did it look easy, but it looked tasty, too, so we decided to give it a try tonight. Here’s the recipe:

Foil Pouch Tilapia:
4-4 ounce tilapia fillet’s
3 tablespoons fruit salsa (we used Peach Pineapple Chipotle) per filet
Oil spray (like Pam)
1 teaspoon dried minced onion per fillet

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Get on square of aluminum foil per fillet and spray it with Pam.
3. Place tilapia fillet’s on foil squares.
4. Place 3 tablespoons salsa and 1 teaspoon dried minced onion on each fillet.
5. Wrap the aluminum foil around the fillet’s, place on a baking sheet, and cook for ten minutes or until the fish flakes.

This was definitely the best tilapia I’ve had, so thank you very much for sharing this recipe, Shelley! I loved the salsa and it was super easy to make. However, I am fairly certain now that I just don’t like tilapia. It’s tolerable, and there’s at least one way to eat it that makes it good. However, as easy as the recipe was and as much as I ended up liking the fruity salsa, I should have loved this–if I liked the protein. Since it only fell into the “pretty good” category, I can only conclude that tilapia is not my fish of choice. Still, we’ll probably make at least one more of our remaining batches of tilapia this way.

To my readers: what’s your favorite variety of salsa?

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Squash Casserole and Wisdom Teeth

No, we didn’t have them together at the same time. However, because I recently had my wisdom teeth out (and consequently haven’t been doing much related to food other than pick at it and wish it was softer) I thought I would talk about a squash casserole we had the other day.

It’s a Paula Deen recipe and (for once) we made it just like the recipe called for. We had it the other day with our Parmesan tilapia. The recipe can be found here. Here’s the picture of how it turned out for us:

It turned out pretty good. The buttery-ness and the crunch of the Ritz crackers was great, and I loved the fresh taste of the squash. And of course, who can pass on the gooey goodness of anything cheesy? It worked well together and complimented the sauce on our tilapia very well. Of course, it didn’t add a whole lot of color to the meal. Still, I plan on having it again and have been happy to have the leftovers as an option for my still tender mouth.

On a side note, I never realized how few “soft” dishes there are to choose from. When going for something healthy, something soft, and some variety…it gets rather difficult to plan meals rather quickly.

To my readers: What’s your favorite soft dish?

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Parmesan Tilapia: Pale but Passable

In order to help keep costs down, we’ve been buying our meat when it’s on sale or in bulk size packages. Consequently, we have a big box of tilapia taking up room in our tiny little freezer and it turns out that we’re not that fond of tilapia. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not BAD. It’s just not good. It’s one of those things that we kind of want to cover up most of the flavor. Of course, neither of us are fish fans, so that doesn’t help us any.

This week, when tilapia came through our meat rotation we went searching for a recipe and stumbled across this. This recipe had several things wrong with it (according to my picky taste buds, anyway), so here’s the recipe we ended up going with:

Parmesan Tilapia
5 tilapia fillets (4 ounces each)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup Miracle Whip

1. Mix the Parmesan and Mircale Whip together. Set aside.

2. Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Spray with vegetable oil spray (like Pam). Place the tilapia on the aluminum foil. Season with salt and pepper. Broil for three minutes.

3. Remove from broiler/oven. Flip tilapia over and top with Parmesan mixture. Broil for another three minutes. Enjoy!

I ended up REALLY liking the sauce, but wishing that it was on something else. A tuna patty, perhaps, or maybe salmon. Just something else. Of course, it didn’t help that it didn’t LOOK appetizing (which, after thinking about it, wasn’t that surprising–after all, it’s a white sauce on a white fish). We’re not giving up on the sauce, but we’re going to move on to something else the next time tilapia rolls around for dinner. I would, however, be interested in knowing how people think this recipe tastes if they actually like tilapia.

To my readers: How important do you feel the LOOKS of food are to the TASTE of food?

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Breakfast Burritto Recipe

Yesterday was once again a free day. They keep coming around so quickly that I can’t believe it, but I suppose that’s a good thing. If I hated what I was eating on my “diet” days, then free day would take forever to show up.

This was by far the “healthiest” free day we’ve had so far and I had the best reaction to a free day so far–I wasn’t sluggish or crabby or anything. Here’s what we had: breakfast burritos, 1 Jacks pizza for lunch (it fed all four of us easily!), 1 Wal-mart’s Take and Bake chocolate chip cookie package (which is actually six cookies), Jared had cheese and crackers for a snack (with a normal serving size, no extra for it being free day), we had popcorn for a late afternoon snack, Skinny Cow ice cream (the four of us ate a total of two 100 calorie caramel something or others), and some hot dogs. I admit it still wasn’t healthy, but it also wasn’t an exorbitant amount of calories. It’s exciting and it gives me hope that we will very soon be down to a free “meal” plus one dessert on free day, and then maybe not long after that we won’t need a free day at all.

I did want to share with you the breakfast burrito that Jared made for me, because it was super good.

Breakfast Burrito:
2-3 eggs, scrambled
sliced onion
a sprinkling of bacon bits
shredded cheddar cheese
whole wheat tortillas
sour cream
jalapenos, to taste

Make the scrambled eggs as you normally would, including the onions and the bacon bits. Add the shredded cheese and let it melt. Meanwhile, spread some sour cream on your tortilla. When the scrambled egg mixture is done, place it on top of the tortilla, top with jalapenos, wrap and enjoy!

To my readers: What do you like to add to your scrambled eggs?

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Firecracker Dark Chocolate Bar: Bold and Beautiful

You may not think of chocolate as being a healthy food, and it is certainly high in sugar, however chocolate is not bad for you either, if you keep serving sizes in mind. In fact, dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and is full of antioxidants (which help “gobble up” free radicals). Eating a small bar of chocolate, a truffle, or a piece of a traditionally sized bar of chocolate can also help to signal the end of the day to your mouth and your mind–providing a sweet note to close out your eating and help control cravings.

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you are by now familiar with the fact that I am fond of spicy foods. So imagine my delight when I was walking through my local Wal-mart and my eyes fell on the “Firecracker” dark chocolate bar. Not only is it dark chocolate, but it’s also got salt, popping candy, and CHIPOTLE in it. Sweet and spicy at the same time? It was too good to be true. I had to try it.

Dark Chocolate with Chipotle, Salt and Popping Candy
There are two servings in a bar, 190 calories per serving, and 19 grams of sugar per serving. Each bar–each BITE of the bar–also has an insane amount of flavor. The dark chocolate flavor itself if very subtle, but definitely there. It’s a kind of slow, soft flavor that introduces your mouth to the party it’s about to have. Then–if you’re being patient and allowing the chocolate to melt in your mouth–you’ll get a hint of salt, a delightful popping sensation, and then a slow steadily growing heat. For those who like chocolate and heat, this is a slice of heaven, wrapped in blue and just waiting for you to enjoy it!

To my readers: What’s the most unusual candy you’ve ever had?

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Chipotle Mashed Cauliflower

As a fan of mashed potatoes, and a fan of wanting to eat healthier, I’ve been looking for  substitutes to mashed potatoes. One such search led to my adventure with mashed poturnipoes (which you can read about here) and my second foray into the “mashed potato substitute” universe caused me to stumble across Chipotle Mashed Cauliflower recipe (adapted from a free recipe card that I found at the local Wal-mart).

5 cloves garlic (or up to a whole garlic bulb if you are a fan of garlic)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bag of frozen cauliflower florets
3/4 package of cream cheese (we used whipped cream cheese spread)
4 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cut off pointed end of garlic cloves (or bulb if you are using a whole one). Place garlic on heavy-duty aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Fold up the foil to create a seal. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool. Squeeze pulp from garlic into food processor.
3. Meanwhile, put the bag of frozen cauliflower and 1 1/2 cups of water in a pot. Cover it and steam on high for 20 minutes.
4. Place cauliflower in the food processor with the garlic, add in cream cheese, milk, and chipotle peppers.Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

We had this the same night we had the Tempting Turkey Burgers. Not only was it delicious on its own, but it was a very good compliment to the burgers. This is definitely something we’ll be eating again, both with the burgers and with other things. And I’m very much encouraged by the success of both of my mashed potato substitutes. I look forward to seeing what else I can find.

To my readers: What “substitutes” have you found for mashed potatoes?

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Tempting Turkey Burger

All right, so I know I already did a turkey burger recipe and that it’s a totally tasty recipe that I would recommend to anyone, but…well, Jared did an off-the-cuff turkey burger recipe last night that outdoes just about any burger recipe he’s ever done. So, of course, I had to share it with you. Here it is:

Tempting Turkey Burgers:

1 pound of ground turkey
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon Lowry’s seasoning salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon soy sauce and 3/4 tablespoon balsamic vinegar OR 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup bread crumbs (or however much is needed to result in a good “patty” consistency meat)

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced and caramelized in approximately 1/4 stick of butter
Slices of mozzarella cheese

1 part horseradish
2 parts ketchup
(make as much as needed)

1. Mix all burger ingredients together. Let “rest” for ten minutes while you caramelize your onions. Portion out into six patties.

2. Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Place patties on aluminum foil and broil for 5 minutes. Flip over and put slices of mozzarella cheese on top and place back in the oven/broiler for 2 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, toast English muffins to act as buns and mix your sauce.

4. When the cheese is melted, remove your burgers from the oven/broiler and place on an English muffin. Top with onions, a piece of lettuce, and your sauce. Enjoy!

It was SOOOO good. The only issue was in eating only one portion of it. I look forward to having it again in the future–and everyone else in the family seemed to feel the same way.

To my readers: What toppings do you prefer on your burgers?

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