My Communal Table


Spanish style Tilapia in thirty minutes.
August 2, 2009, 1:40 am
Filed under: Main Entree | Tags: , ,

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 Does fish intimidate you? I know a lot of people want to add more fish to their diet, but do not know how to fix it. One thing to remember about fish is that it is a quick cook and perfect for a beautiful healthy meal during the week.   I made this meal in thirty minutes.

I start with the rice. Always start with what takes the longest to cook. I love my rice cooker. It cooks rice in about twenty to thirty minutes. Today, I chose to make 1/2 brown rice and 1/2 quinoa. Brown rice is loaded with fiber and quinoa is a perfect protein by providing all essential amino acids. I love to mix them. Quinoa alone is a little too nutty for me.  Mixing it with the rice helps mellow it out a bit. It is like a rich nutty risotto when it is finished and because it is loaded with all that hearty stuff, you are not hungry an half hour later like most those chinese delivery meals.

1 cup rice quinoa combo mixed with 2 cups chicken broth. ( I usually buy organic, low sodium broth)

Note: When you are adding anything from a can or a box, keep in mind that there is always sodium added. I never add salt without tasting first.

I add the juice and zest of one lemon and 1/4 cup of canola oil to the pot and turn it on. Now, before you start complaining that you do not have a rice cooker, simply read the directions on the box or look it up on the internet on how to cook your rice. Start thinking for yourself when it comes to cooking. Start developing your instincts.  That is why Julia, you know, my idol, would keep telling us not to be afraid. Just do it. Oh, that is a Nike ad. Well, you know what I mean. It works in all areas.

This would be a perfect time to crack open some wine, but I do not have any. How did that happen? I am slacking… so on to ice tea.

About fifteen minutes into the rice, I start the fish. You could substitute any white fleshed fish here. I had tilapia.  Pull out your trusty deep sided fry pan and start heating it over medium heat. Add some olive oil and allow that to heat up. Add chopped onion and garlic. Estimate, but I usually do about two cloves garlic and a half of onion. Stir until transluent.

Season tilapia with basic creole seasoning. (There are several brands of creole seasoning at your local grocery store. It is perfect with a lot of things, but especially any thing tomato.) Then add to fish to pan and turn down to low.

Add one can of diced tomatoes, some acid (There is no wine in the house, so lemon slices are added), some chopped herbs (Whatever you have is good. I put fresh cilantro in this.), dash or two of paprika, and lots of chopped green olives, with a few dashes of hot sauce.

Cover and simmer for about ten minutes. You might want to turn it once in this time period. Always take the time to taste your sauce and adjust your seasonings. You are in control of it.

Dish up and enjoy. Everyone will enjoy this flavorful dish so much I bet they will forget it was healthy for them.

I even save some of the sauce and put over my eggs in the morning. Delish!

Now I always make extra rice, quinoa, or whatever grain I am cooking and use it some other manner to add to another meal.  With this left over rice I made a hearty rice salad.

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So we start with this delectable leftover rice and quinoa. It has been cooked with oil, so there will be no need to add more. It is still tender, but it needs some kicked up flavors. I want a balance of salt and sweet. A little mellow and a little heat.

Add soy sauce: salty

Add mandarin oranges, red peppers, and dried cranberries: sweet

Add onion: because “why not”. Onions rock.

Add cilantro and ginger: freshness

Add red pepper flakes: heat

Finish with just a few drops of sesame oil. Oh my, how I love this flavor, but a little goes a long way.

Taste, adjust flavors, perfectly balanced. Fabulous. Chill. You have a great lunch option.

Pull up a chair, Elizabeth

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