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Spicy Lime Foil Packet Tilapia

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This recipe is the fourth in my month-long series of healthy, weeknight recipes from all around the web. This is stuff I make time and again, usually with some modifications, and still love! Check back (or follow this blog) to see all of the recipes I’ll be featuring this month!

There are so many reasons why this recipe is one of my healthy weeknight favorites. I gotta say, the absolute best part of this recipe is that you won’t dirty any pots of pans making it! Fish + veggies cooked in individual foil packets that are baked right on the rack in the oven. I only use four items total to make this: a knife, cutting board, small prep bowl, and a spoon. Just rinse and throw in the dishwasher. Talk about easy clean up!

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Let’s talk about the food, too, instead of just the prep and clean up. These foil packets are loaded with moist, flakey fish and tons of green veggies. A bit of chili-infused oil and lime juice is spooned over the fish to flavor it. The packets are really easy to put together too. You just stack the asparagus and spinach, top with fish and a few ingredients for flavoring, and then fold up. Serve with a whole grain (see links to a few ideas below) for a a complete, 100% healthy meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes!

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Spicy Lime Foil Packet Tilapia

Many of the ingredients here can be approximated. This is not one of those recipes where everything needs to be measured out perfectly for it to work. If you have a bit less asparagus, prefer more red pepper flakes, etc, the recipe will turn out fine!

Original Recipe Source: Women’s Health

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 3/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 2 c  spinach (approximately), divided (1/2 c per packet)
  • 20 asparagus spears (approximately)
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 8 t lime juice, divided (2 tsp per packet)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  2. Tear off 4 large sections of aluminum foil (I use foil sections that are about twice as long as they are wide. Better to tear off a bit extra foil than to end up with too little).
  3. Cut the asparagus into 2 inch pieces and lay an equal amount in a rectangle in each of the 4 packets.
  4. Top with the spinach, and then a tilapia fillet.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and red pepper flakes. Microwave for 30 seconds (this infuses the oil). Spoon 1/4 of the oil over each tilapia filet.
  6. Drizzle 2 t of lime juice over each packet.
  7. Sprinkle with green onions.
  8. Roll up the edges of each packet and press securely.
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tilapia is white and flaky.

Serve this with:

Dilled Chicken and Asparagus

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This recipe is the second in my month-long series of healthy, weeknight recipes from all around the web. This is stuff I make time and again, usually with some modifications, and still love! Check back (or follow this blog) to see all of the recipes I’ll be featuring this month!

I found this recipe on Taste of Home about a year ago, and I’m so happy that I did! Originally a recipe to feed two people I thought it would be a great dinner for Steve and I. Of course, we ate the entire skillet-full because it was so good.

Dilled-Chicken-And-Asparagus-Gluten-Free-Healthy-30-Minute-Dinner

Yes, this is an (almost) one pan meal. You cook the rice on it’s own, and add it to the skillet with the chicken and asparagus once it’s cooked. So, you will dirty two pans, yes. But, you don’t need to be attending to both at once since the rice just simmers covered. Of course, this would be even easier with a rice cooker!

My first modification to this recipe was to increase the amount of asparagus. In my mind a few spears apiece just wasn’t enough vegetable content for a full meal. I switch up whether I use brown rice or white rice, but I always use Better Than Bouillon instead of a bouillon cube. Those have so much salt!

I love that there is nothing fake or artificial in the sauce, but it still provides so much flavor. Chicken + Asparagus + Rice sounds a bit cliche and boring, and like it has the potential for that healthy-food-cardboard taste. The sauce and bouillon do away with any potential bland-ness.

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Best of all though, this dinner will be ready, start to finish, in 30 minutes. That’s why it is one of my top favorites for healthy weeknight dinners. Enjoy!

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Dilled Chicken and Asparagus

Recipe source: Taste of House. This version serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 c rice (use white rice to have this ready within 30 minutes. If you use brown, plan for extra cooking time).
  • 2 c water
  • 2 t Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base (or other type of bouillon)
  • 4 t freshly minced parsley (dried works, too)
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T dill weed
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-3 inch pieces (amounts vary by the bunch, mine are between 8 and 12 oz).
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

Cooking Direction

  1. Add the rice, water, and bouillon to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is done (longer for brown rice).
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine the parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, dill weed, and garlic powder.
  3. Fill a large-ish skillet with about an inch of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the asparagus. Cover, and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Immediately drain the asparagus and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add the chicken and cook at a medium high heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 -5 minute per side (I usually cut a piece in half to see if it’s done. Pink inside? cook more. White and opaque? ready to eat!). Let the chicken sit in the pan for another couple of minutes, burner still on, to get the golden brown crisp on the outside.
  5. Add the asparagus, rice, and sauce mixture to the skillet and stir until sauce is evenly distributed.

Sage Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

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A quick & simple vegetable dish full of fall-inspired flavors!

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I’ll be honest, my vegetable recipes are often very boring. In fact, they are hardly recipes at all. While I do always love some simple, steamed broccoli, the same old vegetables cooked the same ways get boring. I tend to just roast or steam whatever vegetable I am making that night, give it a quick spray with the misto, and then sprinkle on a bit of salt.

Since it is fall and fresh asparagus is so easy to find in the grocery stores I’ve been doing some experimentation with it. I like the fall flavors going on with this simple side dish. And yes, I do also love the simplicity. I need more hands-off, tasty vegetable dishes like this one!

For the roasted asparagus you’ll just need asparagus (of course), olive oil spray, and a few sage leaves. Pop it in the oven and make the the balsamic reduction.

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We have a strange affection for balsamic reductions around here. I made one nearly a year ago (to go with some flank steaks) in a food stained calphalon skillet. It takes about 10 minutes or so for the balsamic vinegar to reduce down to about half it’s size. When the vinegar had reduced what appeared was a perfectly clean, sparkly skillet. Now, whenever a skillet has a pesky food stain we always say “time to make a balsamic reduction”. Food nerds.

So, yes, with this simple sauce you can simultaneously clean a tough stain and prepare dinner.

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Getting serious now . . .

Simple vegetable side dish. Healthy and tasty. On the table quickly. Easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but fancy enough to serve guests!

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Sage Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

 
Asparagus, just like other vegetables, shrinks when it is roasted, so what looks like a big bunch will cook down quite a bit. If you are making this for more than 3 or 4 people you may want to double the recipe!
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 12 sage leaves
  • cooking spray (I use misto)
  • salt, to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/3 c balsamic vinegar
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Trim the tough, white ends off of the asparagus and discard (I highly suggest composting).
  3. Spread the trimmed asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spray with a thin, even layer of cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and then crumble the sage leaves over the asparagus.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the asparagus is just beginning to get brown, crispy spots. Feel free to cook longer for crispier asparagus, or shorter for softer asparagus.
  5. While the asparagus is cooking, heat the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let cook for about 10 minutes, or until it has reduced to about half its size.
  6. To serve, place asparagus on a plate or in a shallow bowl and top with the balsamic reduction.

 

Serve this with:

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