Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia

Yesterday was a busy day.

We helped friends move in the morning (I discovered I like moving, if it's not my own move), I cleaned all afternoon, and then we had somewhere to be at seven.

Yet I wanted to have a good, healthy dinner.  So I went to my freezer.  I know some - well, probably most - "clean eating" proponents would faint dead away at the idea of a meal coming from one's freezer.  But it's convenient and sometimes, it is really just necessary.  Let's call it Real Eating, and start a movement!

Anyhow, I pulled a few items out of the freezer and had my fast, easy, healthy meal.

The Menu:
Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia


Hush Puppies (surprisingly ok for you)

I'd say this whole meal - three parts - came together in 30 minutes, freezer to table.

Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia is one of my go-to recipes.  I always have frozen tilapia on hand, because it's reasonably priced (about $8 for a bag of 12 or so fillets), thaws quickly, is versatile, is easy to cook, and it good for me.  That's a lot more reasons than I was originally going to list.

I found the recipe in Cooking Light's August 2010 issue and have since misread and modified the recipe many times.  Yesterday, for example, I put in 2 cups of orange juice rather than 1/2 cup.  Still turned out quite well, just less spicy than usual!

4 6-oz. tilapia fillets
cooking spray
1/2 cup orange juice
3 Tbsp. lime juice (lemon juice does also work; it doesn't give quite as citrusy a flavor)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. lower-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 garlic cloves, crushed

1.  Arrange fish in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray.

2. Combine orange juice and next 9 ingredients (through garlic).  Since we were going somewhere soon after, I really didn't want my hands to reek of garlic.  So I crushed it under wax paper.  Worked like a charm!

As crushed as I ever get them, without any smelly residue on my hands.  I might do this every time I have to crush garlic!

3. Pour the orange juice mixture over the fish and let it stand for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Preheat broiler.

4.  Broil fish 15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.  Serves 4, with about 2 tsp. sauce drizzled over top (you'll have extra sauce if you follow this ration).

While the fish was standing and then broiling, I took time to boil the edamame in salted water.  It nearly boiled over.  You can see the foam line along the extreme top edge of my pot.  This is what happens when one tries to do too much at once in the kitchen.  At least it's what happens when I attempt multi-tasking.  Maybe Martha Stewart can handle it.

I boiled them for 4-5 minutes, rinsed in cold water to stop the cooking (keep 'em firm with a little pop when you chew!) and probably remove some of the salt.

I resalted them because I love salt, and poured them into my vintage refrigerator dish to keep sorta warm for our meal.

Here are what the hush puppies look like - you just bake them for about 15 minutes at 400.  Yum!  And yes, they're in another refrigerator dish.  My mom, who loves auctions, is collecting refrigerator dishes and gave me an extra set.  No plastic cooties to worry about, plus you're saving the environment by not buying plastic stuff and not using more baggies.  What's not to love?

Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia (1 fillet with 2 teaspoons sauce)
Serves 4
225 calories
6.6 g fat
7.5 carbs
.4 g fiber
34.8 g carbs

Shelled Edamame (1/2 cup)
100 calories
3 g fat
9 g carbs
4 g fiber
8 g protein

Hush Puppies (Heartland Catfish Original Recipe) (3 hush puppies)
120 calories
4.5 g fat
18 g carbs
1 g fiber
2 g protein

I don't know how widely available frozen hush puppies are.  They're not on my normal grocery list; I just picked them up one day (while buying tilapia) because they looked good.  And a family treat was born.  I found them at Walmart.

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