Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Parmesan Tilapia with Summer Squash & Zucchini Risotto

Tilapia is one of my favorite fish to eat.  It is low in fat, sodium, calories, and carbohydrates and high in lean protein.  It doesn't have a strong "fishy" taste, is a short-lived sustainable fish (good for environment and our fish population) and because it's short-lived you know it also has low levels of mercury (good for your health).   

Risotto is a delicious Italian rice dish that gets its creamy consistency from the way it's prepared.  The starch from the rice releases during cooking allowing the rice to bind with the other rice and absorb the broth simultaneously.  The result:  creamy yumminess.  Meats and vegetables can be mixed in and it can be a meal by itself, or served as a side dish (as it is here).  There are 3 main rice varieties you can use: Arborio, Vialone Nano, or Carnaroli.  I personally use Arborio (in any grocery store in the rice/grains section).  

Parmesan Tilapia


  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

  • 2 tsp. Paprika

  • 1 Tbs. Parsley

  • 4 Tilapia fillets

  • 1 Lemon, quartered (or in eighths)

  • Dash Pepper

  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil


    1.  Preheat the oven to 400o.

    2.  Combine the Parmesan Cheese
    , paprika, parsley, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.

    3.  Place the Tilapia on a foil-lined baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

    4.  Brush Oil on the Tilapia (recommend silicone basting brush over bristle brush).

    5.  Spoon Cheese mixture on fish. 

    6.  Start the Risotto (below) before doing Step 7.

    7.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until the fish is opaque or flakes easily with a fork.   Once you place in Oven, immediately go to Step 5 of the Risotto.

    8.  Garnish with lemon wedges.

      Summer Squash and Zucchini Risotto

      • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

      • 1 Medium Zucchini, cut up into small cubes/pieces

      • 1 Medium Yellow Summer Squash, cut up into small cubes/pieces

      • 1 cup Arborio, Vialone Nano, or Carnaroli rice (again, I use Arborio, but any of the 3 are fine) 3 cups heated sodium free vegetable or chicken broth (I'm a fan of Herb-Ox in Chicken flavor--sodium free is important for heart health)

      • 1/4 Lemon (or 1 Tbsp. lemon juice)

      • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

      1.  Heat 1 Tbsp oil in skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add summer squash and zucchini, stirring for 5 minutes.  Place in bowl and set aside.

      2.  Heat 1 Tbsp oil in skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add rice; Cook and stir for about 3 minutes.

      3.  Pour 1 cup broth in skillet.  Turn heat to medium-low.  Cook and stir until rice has absorbed the broth.  

      4.  Go back to Step 7 on Tilapia.

      5.   Repeat Step 3, pouring 1 cup of broth at at time, cooking and stirring until the rice absorbs all the liquid   before adding the next cup of broth. 

      6.  Remove from heat.  Stir in Summer Squash, Zucchini, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. 

        Serve immediately and Enjoy!  
        Pair with a light to medium-bodied white wine.  For a healthy dessert, try a plate of fresh pineapple and strawberries.

        For choosing other environmentally-safe seafood, download your region-specific seafood pocket guide here.

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