After a brief hiatus, I welcome you all back to my Quick, Healthy Eats blog. Just to let you all know, in the coming weeks look for new and improved photos of my dishes. I recently purchased a Canon T1i DSLR, giving me the ability to get some sweet macro shots. The next few posts will still feature photos from my old point and shoot until I catch up, but get ready!
Total ingredients for today:
- Pasta (1 bag) from Trader Joes as always ~$2.99
- 1 bag of butternut squash ~$3.99
- 1 bundle of cherry tomatoes ~$3.99
- A few stocks of celery~$1 (I didn’t use a whole bag here)
- 1 onion~$um… a bag of about 5 is only a few bucks, so probably less than $1
- 2 filets of Tilapia~$5 or $6
Overall still a cheap meal and depending on how you divide up the filets, this meal could make enough for 3 people.
As you can tell from the title, this dish will feature fried Tilapia with pasta covered in a fresh vegetable medley.
The Tilapia is coated in a blend of spices including:
- Salt & Pepper (always)
- Garlic powder
The vegetables I used in the medley making a quasi-pasta sauce are as follows:
- Onions – both sweet and green
- Butternut Squash
- Cherry Tomatoes
The making of the sauce…
I wanted to keep it very light and somewhat sweet so I began by lightly frying the onion blend and then adding the celery. As usual I like to first add the vegetable that will take the longest to cook. Next I added in the butternut squash, followed by the cherry tomatoes.
Once those had cooked sufficiently, I added in just a little bit of cooking wine to deglaze the pan and then let it simmer to reduce the added wine. This doesn’t create a typical, thick sauce effect but saves all the flavor that is otherwise left stuck to the pan. As I mentioned before, this blend of vegetables created a very light, sweet topping for the pasta.
I laid the filets out on the cutting board and applied a thick coating of spices to both sides. I try to get as much spice as possible to stick on the outsides. I added a drizzle of olive oil to a frying pan and turned the heat up to about 4.5 on a scale up to 6. I want the oil to be hot enough to crisp the outside but not so hot that the fish burns within a few minutes. Once its hot, lay the filets in the pan and wait a minute or so until the skin looks crisp, flip and repeat. This should give you soft, tender fish with a deliciously crispy coating.
Here are a few images (remember, still with the point and shoot…):