Working Girl Meals: Roasted Tilapia & Avocado Salad Recipe

This “Working Girl Meal” was sent to me by my dear friend (and some say twin sister) Elyssa. Not only is she a “working girl” but she is also knee deep in wedding planning so you can imagine how much time and energy she has to cook. We all know that eating healthy isn’t always the most convenient so I commend her for whipping up this recipe as it is not only delicious but it is healthy too! Elyssa’s fish of choice for this recipe is Tilapia however you could swap it out for any other mild white fish such as Red Snapper, Sole or Flounder depending on your taste and whatever is freshest at your market.

“My all-time favorite things to cook are guilt-free meals that can still give you that blissful bite! Even better, this Roasted Tilapia and Avocado Salad leaves you feeling content rather than stuffed or starving. The warmth of the fish and the richness of the dressing make this an all-year-round kind of recipe.”

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 Tilapia fillets
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh lemon
1/8 cup fig balsamic vinegar
Fennel, a few white stalk ends chopped
1 bag of Spring Mix salad
1 medium avocado, thinly sliced
Crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt to taste
Rosemary & Parsley to season
Preparation:
Preheat broiler on high.

Rinse off your Tilapia fillets and place them in a baking dish. Make several diagonal slashes in the skin and then coat the fish with the 2 tablespoons of oil and the juice of half a lemon, being sure to get both sides covered. Then season with salt, (I prefer sea salt), and sprinkle on some parsley and rosemary.

Broil Tilapia, ideally on the top rack of your oven, for about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the remaining 1/4 cup of oil, juice from the other half a lemon, 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard and the 1/8 cup of fig balsamic vinegar. You can adjust the amounts per your personal preference.

In a big salad bowl, add the bag of spring mix salad, chopped walnuts, crumbled goat cheese, chopped fennel and toss in 2/3 of the dressing. Whenever you have the chance, use spring mix salad, it provides almost ten times more vitamins and antioxidants than iceberg lettuce. You should also know that fennel is an amazing addition to any salad; it adds a nice crunch and refreshing flavor. Fennel is also high in Vitamin A and E, calcium and potassium and is often used as a herbal remedy for digestive problems.

After the 7 minute broil time is up, check the fish by cutting into the thickest part of the fillet. If it still appears to have some transparency in the middle, put back in the oven on low broil for a few minutes.

Serve salad topped with avocado slices and Tilapia fillet. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top of the fillets. The presentation looks as impressive as it tastes.

And, if you like this recipe, I also found this great ginger and cilantro baked tilapia one from Serious Eats.

Enjoy!!

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Holiday Treat: Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

My friend Megan recently posted these Gingerbread Whoopie pies to her Facebook page. Of course, I emailed her right away for the recipe!

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened*
4 ounces cream cheese, softened*
1 teaspoon flavoring/extract (maple, vanilla, almond – depending on what Whoopie Pies you’re making. I used maple with the Pumpkin Whoopie pies and vanilla with the Gingerbread Whoopie pies)

For the Gingerbread Cookies, she used Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Mix, but you could substitute your own favorite recipe or mix from the grocery store. Follow the directions to mix. Make sure to grease the cookie sheet and then spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter onto the sheets for each. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

I usually make the cream cheese frosting while the cookies are in the oven; just mix all ingredients until well combined. That way, you have time for the cookies to cool and then frost and assemble them.

*Be sure to leave the butter and cream cheese out while making the cookies so they soften, it is much easier to mix that way.

Megan puts them in the fridge to cool and then later eats with her cup of coffee!

What’s your favorite Gingerbread recipe?

Antipasti:The Ultimate Holiday Appetizer

My family is funny. After last year’s Thanksgiving, we realized that everyone filled up on appetizers and didn’t have room for the main course. So we said “next year we’ll just do antipasti”. You know, some Italian meats and cheeses and call it a day. Well, this is what ended up happening!

Antipasti

Yes, that is a dining table COMPLETELY COVERED in Italian deliciousness! So much for not filling up on appetizers. Although it looks overwhelming, it’s actually really simple and such a great conversation starter. I highly recommend replacing dozens of small frozen appetizers or the usual dips with fresh delicatessens. Here is what you’ll need to get started:

  1. Start with a large surface such as a table or kitchen island
  2. Lay down parchment paper or aluminum foil to protect the surface
  3. Buy enough romaine and/or wide leaf green lettuce (no iceberg) to cover the surface. We bought a total of five bags for the photo above
  4. Get radicchio cups to hold your various antipasti items such as chickpeas, assorted olives, roasted red peppers, eggplant caponata, pepperoncini, marinated artichokes, marinated asparagus, and anchovies
  5. Cheese: 2lb block of provolone sliced thin and two large balls of fresh mozzarella
  6. Meat: 1lb of prosciutto, 1lb of capicola,  1lb of pepperoni,  1lb of Genoa salami and 1lb of soppressata
  7. Shrimp: 1lb of cocktail shrimp. You can get a Styrofoam tree (or whatever shape you prefer) from a craft store such as Michael’s. Cover the tree with endives and attach the shrimp using toothpicks.

I hope you try this one at your next holiday party. I guarantee that your guests will talk about it for years to come. Happy Holidays!