Thursday, January 30, 2014

It's Hump Day

Day 3 was upon us and we ended up having a really good dinner that we don't include in our normal rotation very often - seafood.  My cousin's wife recently posted a link for "Kids Eat Right" and included a recipe for Almond Crusted Tilapia. I have made various tilapia and seafood recipes, but I would say that I shy away from them being a regular part of our meal rotation. I'm not sure why, because we always end up enjoying it, but I think it just makes me nervous because I grew up with rarely eating seafood at home or preparing it and I have not found a recipe that I really truly loved....until tonight that is! I am so impressed with how tasty these "fish sticks" were! Tim even gave them a two-thumbs up and said that it's the best fish I have ever prepared. Well done, thank you, thank you :)

Anywho, this recipe was tasty, healthier than just using plain old bread crumbs and made a nice crispy "breaded" fish that was not fried. It was actually pretty easy too, and you could make it even easier by thawing out the fish ahead of time in the fridge overnight and prepping the "breading" a few days ahead and throwing it in a plastic bag until you're ready to make this dinner.

Let's see, what else did I like about this dinner..... 1) I got to use the oven and keep the stove off for all components of this meal - main dish, side dishes and dessert - baked tilapia, roasted veggies and muffins 2) I finally roasted some broccoli and was surprised that it was pretty good (we are not broccoli people, my husband has a whole complex about broccoli derived from one incident when he was a small child that involved sitting at the table for hours and eating very cold steamed broccoli before he was allowed to get up) 3) the oven heated up the WHOLE living/kitchen area which was a huge bonus on this sub-zero temperature day 4) I could use my home-made tzatziki sauce that I made last night as a dipping sauce tonight, nice healthy substitute for tarter sauce.

In addition to the dinner I made, I also decided to make a quick sweet treat for dessert. I had a few old bananas that were brown and I had been wanting to do some sort of banana bread of muffin and I came across this really yummy muffin recipe that also included zucchini. I also added very little sweetener (a little honey and maple syrup combo) and decided to last minute add in some new mini chocolate chips I bought that are dairy, nut and soy free, just for fun. They taste very good, you should try them!The boys absolutely loved the finished product and it was a nice healthier version of dessert for them, since they would love to opt for chocolate candy and cookies if given the choice.

Just a side note, these past two days have been a little rough for me at the Clouse house. I don't know if the boys have cabin fever since we haven't left due to really cold, windy temps, or just that I'm so tired of being cooped up this winter myself, but I have been a bear and they have been extra ornery lately. So, I'm kind of glad I'll be heading to Columbus on Thursday to work for a bit. I LOVE spending time with my boys, but I don't think I would be happy to be home 24/7 and am very blessed to have \super flexible job and a loving husband who wants me to be happy and balanced - between family, career and self-satisfaction as well!  It's also nice that he puts up with me pretty well when I'm a bear....thanks dear! Here are a few shots from our stay in doors over the last few days.

Try to guess what Logan is doing in this pic....
Monkey See

Monkey Do!

Cabin Fever is upon us!

Didn't get the pic of them both hanging on the bar!

Logan Selfie #1

Logan Selfie #2

Almond Crusted Tilapia

1/2 Cup of Finely Chopped Almonds (in a mini-chopper/food processor)
1/8 to 1/4 Cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 tsp. Emeril Essence Seasoning
1/4 tsp. Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
1/4 of Flour
1 Egg, beaten
3 large Tilapia Filets

Prep. the breading. Chop the almonds in a mini food processor so that they are finely chopped, like a grainy sand texture. Mix together the almonds, bread crumbs, and seasoning and either store in a plastic bag until use, or put in a shallow dish. If you are preparing the dish (and not storing the breading mixture), then you can also add in a small scoop of grated parmesan cheese to the breading mixture for added flavor, totally optional, but very yummy! Set the oven to Bake at 425 Degrees. Thaw out and then cut the Tilapia Filets in half lengthwise. One at a time, coat lightly in flour. Dip in the beaten egg. to the Then roll in the breading mixture and lightly pat in the breading to ensure it sticks to the fish. Place each piece of fish on a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper. (side note: parchment paper is amazing!). At this point you can let the fish rest on the oven until your ready to bake them, or throw them in the fridge for a little while. You can prep. these ahead of time, but wouldn't let them in the fridge all day or overnight. Then chop up whatever veggies you want to roast. We chose baby yellow potatoes quartered and broccoli. Then drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. Pop the veggies in the oven first if you like them a little extra crispy as they will take a little longer to roast. I put them in for 15 minutes, then popped in the fish for another 15 minutes. Once the veggies are browning on the edges pull those out. After 15 minutes the fish should be nice and crispy on the outside and flaky if you want to check for doneness. If they aren't too thick they should definitely be done after 15 minutes. Now enjoy!!

Before baking and roasting
All done!

I might have gotten a little hungry and couldn't wait to try the fish...

Banana Zucchini Crumb Muffins (with mini chocolate chips!)


  • 1-1/2 cups flour - I used 1 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup white
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 2 Tbsps. real maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (can replace with butter if desired)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour of choice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil (can replace with butter if desired)
  1. Preheat oven to 375*F. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas and shredded zucchini. Beat in egg, syrup/honey and 1/2 cup melted coconut oil.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into the banana-zucchini mixture. Don't overmix! Gently fold in mini-chocolate chips if you want to at this time. Spoon batter into mini muffin tins.
  5. In a small bowl, melt 1 Tbsp. coconut oil. Stir in 2 Tbsp. flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle crumb mixture over the tops of each muffin.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until tops spring back when pressed. Let cool on wire rack and then pop out and enjoy!

Bananas & Zucchini with a side of chocolate :)

1 comment:

Alicia said...

That all sounds yummy, I might have to try those "fish sticks" I've never been into preparing seafood for meals either but think it's a good idea to start trying! Hopefully the stir crazyness gets better soon!