Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pistachio Crusted Tilapia & Green Beans with Turkey Bacon

Tilapia is one of my favorite staples to have on hand.  Mostly because it's flavor is so mild that there are endless possibilities when it comes to how to prepare it.  One of my favorites is Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia (which has kind of smokey spicy Southwest flare).  Tonight I was in the mood for some different flavors, so I decided to switch things up a bit.  I came up with this Pistachio Crusted Tilapia.  Crunchy on the outside....flaky on the inside...tons of flavor!
We've also been on a bit of a turkey bacon kick lately.  My hubby picked up some Apple Gate Turkey bacon the other day, and now we're hooked.  Back before I started eating clean I used to make green beans with real bacon, onions, and a little sugar!  So tasty...but not so good for you.  I decided to make a lighter/healthier version, and it turned out wonderful (if I do say so myself).

Pistachio Crusted Tilapia

2 Tilapia Filets (about 6 oz. each)
2/3 Cup Shelled Pistachios
2 TBS Fresh Basil (chopped fine)
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
Pinch of Sea Salt
Juice & Zest of 1/2 Lemon
1/2 Cup of Milk of your choice (I used lactose free 2% milk, but regular milk or plain almond milk would work)
Cooking Spray
Lemon Wedges

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray foil lined baking dish with cooking spray of your choice. If you have a wire baking rack you can use that also (this allows the air to circulate better).

Grind the shelled pistachios in a blender or food processor for a minute or two.  You want them to be coarse and it's okay to have some larger pieces.  Combine ground pistachios, chopped basil, minced garlic, pepper & salt in a shallow dish.  Set aside.  Combine lemon juice, lemon zest and milk in another shallow dish (the lemon juice and milk will look a little weird because of the acid in the lemon juice....this mixture is a substitute for buttermilk).  Rinse tilapia fillets in running water and pat dry.  Place in the lemon and milk mixture.  After ten minutes flip the fillets over in the milk mixture and let it marinate for another ten minutes.  Remove tilapia fillets from the lemon and milk mixture and place in the pistachio mixture.  Press the tilapia into the ground pistachios and then turning to coat.  Place coated tilapia fillet in the prepared baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining fillet.  Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 6 minutes.  Carefully flip the fillets and bake for another six minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the baking dish. 

Green Beans w/ Turkey Bacon

2 Cups of Green Beans
2 Slices of Turkey Bacon
1/2 Small Onion (diced small)
1 Garlic Clove (minced)
1/4 cup of Water
1/4 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
Pinch of Sea Salt

Place uncooked turkey bacon in a large skillet and cook according to package directions.  When bacon is fully cooked remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside.  Add onions and cook over medium high heat until they become translucent (if the pan is too dry you can add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil...depending on the bacon you use this may not be necessary).  Add green beans and garlic and cook and stir to combine all of the ingredients.  Add water, cover the pan and cook for about three to four minutes.  Remove cover and increase heat to high to cook off the remaining water.  When the water has evaporated, crumble the cooked bacon and add it back to the skillet.  Sprinkle with pepper and sea salt and serve.

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