Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Foil Packet Clean Eating Orange Honey Tilapia (OAMC) over Strawberry Walnut Salad

Serves 4
This is the combination of a salad that I make at least twice a week for lunch in the summer and a great fish recipe I found HERE that I modified just a tad. The fish is cooked in a foil packet which is excellent for making-ahead and freezing.  I always buy extra fish and double the recipe. I make a few packets for us for dinner and then assemble a few more while I already have all of the ingredients out. I throw them in the freezer and I can have quick, delicious fish with no prep time.

I always make this salad when my friend, Arianna, is here because it’s her absolute favorite. She calls it that-strawberry-salad-you-make-for-me-that-I-really-like. With the addition of the fish it makes a great dinner salad. My toddlers love it because it involves fruit and honey and the fish is really tender so it's easy for them to eat. Sometimes they struggle with the salad part so I serve their fish over cooked brown rice with the spinach torn into little pieces and mixed in. Theron likes the strawberries, nuts, and cheese mixed in while Colwynn likes them in a little bowl on the side. All that matters to me is that it eventually gets into their mouths :)

I also really like this recipe because it's a great example of retraining the way you think about "healthy eating". You'll notice that a serving of fish and salad is over 400 calories. That's actually not that many calories for a complete dinner but, at one point in my life, I thought anything over 200 calories was a lot. The difference is that all of these calories are nutrition packed fuel for your body. This is the type of meal we SHOULD be eating for dinner and would be a much better choice than a diet TV dinner, like a Lean Cuisine or something, with fewer calories.

  • 4 tilapia filets (can be frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar plus extra for salad dressing (I like to use raspberry balsamic)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 naval oranges, peeled, separated into segments, and then sliced in half
  • 8 handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • Olive oil
ONE: Use a large slow cooker. Lay out a big piece of foil and place the fish directly in the middle.

TWO: Drizzle the fish with 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and honey and place a handful of orange slices on top.

THREE: Fold over foil and crimp the edges to form a packet. Put the foil packet into your slow cooker, and put the lid on. You can also make each fish fillet into an individual packet.

FOUR: Cook on high for two hours, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. If your fish was frozen, it may take another 30 minutes or so, but you should still check it after two hours.

FIVE: Place 2 handfuls of spinach each into 4 bowls. Add ¼ cup of sliced strawberries, ¼ cup of chopped walnuts, and 1/8 cup cheese. Top each salad with a fish fillet and orange segments and drizzle with the honey-balsamic mixture in the packet. If you need extra dressing, add 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp balsamic vingar. Season to taste with some salt and pepper at the table.

Strawberry Walnut Salad before being topped with fish
(except this one has almonds since my mom was out of walnuts, LOL!)
OVEN COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the packet or packets on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

MAKE AHEAD (OAMC) INSTRUCTIONS: Follow the instructions above to make individual packets. Freeze the sealed packets in a gallon ziploc bag labeled with the cooking instructions. To cook, follow the heating instructions above but you may need to increase the cooking time a little bit depending on the thickness of your fish fillets.


Per serving – 423 Calories (204 Calories from Fat), 24g Fat, 4g Saturated Fat, 64mg Cholesterol, 211mg Sodium, 24g Total Carbohydrates, 6g Dietary Fiber, 15g Sugars, 33g Protein, 118% DV Vitamin A, 138% DV Vitamin C, 27% DV Calcium, 19% DV Iron

Per serving (tilapia only) 171 Calories (18 Calories from Fat), 2g Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 56mg Cholesterol, 61mg Sodium, 16g Total Carbohydrates, 2g Dietary Fiber, 13g Sugars, 23g Protein, 4% DV Vitamin A, 81% DV Vitamin C, 5% DV Calcium, 5% DV Iron

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