Thursday, January 29, 2009

Walnut-Crusted Tilapia and Barley Pilaf

My family loves fish, especially tilapia. I saw this healthy recipe in Family Circle magazine and wanted to try it. I love recipes where the fish is coated in nuts and this one topped it off by adding one of my favorite foods-dark greens. The recipe called for Swiss Chard, but it was too expensive, so I substituted Kale. Funny side note- My hubby guessed what greens we were having! I couldn't believe that he correctly identified kale!
This fish was amazing. I was surprise at how much flavor the quick brushing of dijon mustard/fat-free mayo gave this fish, along with the dried basil and walnuts. It was really delicious. We used Tilapia loin filets from Costco, which are thicker then the typical fish filet. I think that added to the tastiness of the fish. I am so glad my kids love fish.
The barley pilaf is a recipe I remember my mom making when I was growing up. I reduced the amount of butter and it brought back some fun memories of being a kid. You can also add cooked chicken to the barley pilaf and turn it into a main dish.
You have got to try this fish- it was really, really good!

Walnut-Crusted Tilapia adapted from Family Circle Magazine
4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes Bake: 15 minutes Cook: 11 minutes
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon fat-free mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tilapia filets (about 6 ounces each) (I used Tilapia Loin, from Costco)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 bunches kale, stems removed and leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
1. Heat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Stir together mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of the mustard. Finely chop walnuts. Brush tilapia with mustard mixture, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon basil and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Press 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts onto one side of each fillet.
3. Place tilapia, walnut-side up, on baking sheet; bake at 425°F for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes. Stir kale and season with salt and pepper. Saute for a few minutes and then cover and cook, until tender, about 6-8 minutes.

Barley Pilaf
1 1/3 cup regular barley
1 cup shredded carrot
4 oz. sliced mushroom
1 onion, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
2 Tbls unsalted butter

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add barley, mushrooms, and shredded carrots, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and Cover. Cook for 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Coming Tomorrow- Cheesecake Bars, 2 ways


Aggie said...

That looks great Mary Ann, I am so in the mood for fish right now...I've been eating too much "meat" lately...time to lighten up! I hope to go to Costco this weeekend and stock up on some tilapia!

Sophie said...

I've never thought of pairing fish and nuts! So cool and healthy :). I never would've guessed kale! Though I do love greens, sometimes it's impossible for me to tell them apart!

Cathy said...

You know, my kids like fish as well, which surprises me because they are so picky. I've been too chicken (ha ha!) to cook fish much at home, but I need to start getting over that! You make this one sound really easy, and it is something we all would enjoy. It looks fabulous!

Jeni said...

This sounds like a really tasty, healthy, well rounded meal. Thanks for sharing. That barley is so up my alley!

Netts Nook said...

Thanks for sharing this look great.

Maria said...

Tilapia is a great fish! I love the crust..and the barley pilaf is the perfect side!

Anonymous said...

Isn't Tilapia just the easiest fish? I love it. Your dinner looks scrumptious.

Karen said...

Looks good! I think this would be a good coating for trout too!

Anonymous said...

For some reason I'm not a big cooked fish fan. I love raw fish though. give me sashimi any day.

The barley pilaf sounds yummy.

The Blonde Duck said...

It sounds delicious. I love this!

Unknown said...

Hey Mary Ann, I just wanted to say thank you so so much for allthe help you have given and kind comments on my blog so I left you some awards. Seriously, thank you very much!

Prudy said...

This is my third time here just staring at your post and wishing that I could have some for dinnner. The only thing it lacks are those two way cheesecake bars that you are promising tomorrow. I need a Costco membership!

Marie Rayner said...

We don't get tilapia over here. I wonder could I use cod? That does look delicious. We had garlic crusted salmon filets for our dinner today, but your pictures have me wanting fish again!

Holly said...

I totally remember your mom making this! Yummy. Thanks for the recipe! When do you move???

Cecelia said...

Have I told you lately how much I love your blog? Instead of searching for a recipe in some book, I just come here type in what I want to use (this time it is tilapia) and just like magic I find the best tasting recipe. We are having walnut-encrusted tilapia tonight with swiss chard from the garden and barley pilaf. Thank you and I love you, Mom.