Pairing low-cost tilapia with a pantry staple, such as pasta, makes a meal that is family-friendly and budget-conscious. Tilapia contains Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for brighter moods and increased brain function. When paired with whole-grain pasta, these two foods are a healthy source of energy and nutrients that help your family perform to their fullest ability. Endlessly versatile, tilapia and pasta can make a quick weeknight family meal or an elegant company dish.
Quick and Easy
Tilapia and pasta are delicious when tossed together in a zesty red sauce. Doctor up a bottled red sauce with onions, garlic, mushrooms or balsamic vinegar and cook over medium heat until the sauce is bubbling. Add raw tilapia fillets and let them simmer in the sauce for six to eight minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Steamed broccoli with tossed with creamy Parmesan dressing and a loaf of garlic bread make a complete meal that the whole family can enjoy. Distract picky eaters by liberally sprinkling parmesan or mozzarella cheese over the pasta to disguise the fish and any additional vegetables that you sneak into the sauce.
When the kids are on a sleepover, a dinner date at home is the perfect occasion for an Italian bistro-style meal with a twist. Pan-sear lightly floured tilapia with a sauce of olive oil, garlic, white wine, lemon juice and capers for a new take on the traditional Italian dish of chicken piccata. While the fish cooks, boil linguine in a pot of salted water. Once the pasta is cooked, lay the fillets on a bed of pasta and drizzle the pan sauce over both. Pair your pasta piccata with a salad of peppery greens, such as arugula and endive, tossed with Caesar salad dressing and serve store-bought coffee gelato or ice cream for dessert.
Fish Fillet Fun
Instead of cod or halibut, try tilapia in your favorite battered fish fillet recipe. Dredge whole fillets of tilapia in batter then pan-fry the fillets for approximately four minutes on each side. For a similar taste that's lower in fat and calories, dip the fillets in crushed croutons seasoned with fresh chopped herbs and bake the fillets on a parchment-covered baking sheet for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve your fish with plenty of cocktail sauce for dipping and a creamy pasta salad with shredded carrots and chopped olives for a picnic-style meal.
Pasta, Orzo You Thought
Pasta comes in more shapes than standard noodles and shells. Orzo, a chewy, semolina-based pasta, looks like long-grain rice and is ideally suited for a cool, Greek-style summer pasta salad dinner. Boil the orzo, then drain and let it cool slightly. Add chunks of fresh feta, chopped tomatoes, black olives and creamy balsamic dressing. Put the pasta salad in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors fully develop. Serve with broiled or grilled tilapia and fruit salad for a cool, refreshing dinner on a warm summer evening.
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