Seasoned Tilapia, with Onions and Red Peppers, Green Beans, Fresh Avocado, and a Side Salad

Besides it’s delicious, light, mild flavor and flaky texture there are more reasons to cook tilapia today with a knowing smile on your face. 1. 30-minutes or less: tilapia is fast and easy to prepare; 2. Tilapia is good for you!  A high protein fish that is low in carbohydrates, it is low in sodium and is also low in mercury, due to it’s short life span and vegetarian diet.  Tilapia is also low in fat with the USDA reporting 2 g of fat per 3.5 oz!  Bring on dinner tonight!

Meal Preparation

Pre-heat oven to 350 or turn grill to high

I began meal preparation at 6:45, and while many times my late meal preparations are due to a frantic schedule, today I was timing my preparation to sync when my kids would arrive home from their activities, which was about 7:15.

First I cut the onions and red bell peppers.  You can use any color bell pepper, but I use red bell peppers when I can as red vegetables are “heart healthy” vegetables.  If you can find pre-sliced / diced veggies, always feel free to buy and use them.  I sliced them myself and cut them into thin strips.

Preparing Tilapia

Next I rinsed the tilapia and placed it on foil on a baking sheet.  Lightly spraying the tilapia with canola oil spray, sprinkling 2 t of the Magic Seafood seasoning, and topping with the onion and bell pepper strips, the tilapia was ready for the grill or the oven.  If you are putting the fish on the grill, be sure to turn the heat down to medium low.  Fish will cook for about 7-9 minutes.

If you are putting the fish in the oven, you may want to cover with foil to keep the fish moist. Fish will cook for about 15 minutes.

While the tilapia is cooking, portion enough green beans for the family into a microwave safe bowl.  Consider ½ cup for each child and ¾ -1 cup for each adult. Cook beans in microwave for 2 ½ minutes.

While they are cooking, check the tilapia.  The tilapia will begin to crack and will spring back to the touch when cooked through.

Continue cooking beans in microwave for short time periods (actual time will vary depending on your microwave) and portion salad, tomato and avocado on each plate. I make a traditional looking salad for my husband and I and separate the salad ingredients for my kids.

Kids Portion

Once the fish was cooked, I portioned the fish and green beans on each plate and served.

The Verdict.

A 10 rating from everyone!  My family loves the flavors and green bean is a vegetable that everyone will eat.  I love the taste as well but as a mom, I really love the fact that this delicious meal is also very nutritious.  It’s a tried and true recipe that I can count on and a dinner to add to your rotation!

Tilapia - Adult Portion

1 Large Onion

2 Red Bell Peppers

1.5 lbs. Tilapia

2 t Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends Seafood Magic

Green Beans, Fresh or Frozen

Greens for Salad

1 Tomato

1 Avocado

Low Fat Dressing – I use no oil balsamic or a low-fat balsamic vinaigrette



Pre-heat Grill to high or oven to 350

  1. Cut onion and bell pepper into strips.  (If you can buy pre-chopped, go for it.)
  2. Rinse tilapia and place on foil on top of a baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle Seafood Magic seasoning on tilapia and top with onions and red bell pepper.
  4. Place on grill and turn heat down to low, or place in oven.
  5. Place enough green beans for your family in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 2 ½ minutes.  Check and heat for another 2 ½ minutes.  Repeat until beans are done. (Based on how quickly your microwave cooks, adjust the time intervals as necessary.)
  6. In the meantime check tilapia after 4-5 minutes.
  7. Portion greens on plates and top with tomato and avocado and a light sprinkling of dressing.  For my kids, I put a few leaves of lettuce, and separate the tomato and avocado on the plate.  I also sprinkle a bit of salt on the avocado.
  8. Pull tilapia when the top of the fish begins to crack and the fish springs back to the touch (like in baking).
  9. Serve and see if this isn’t one of the easiest dinner recipes out there!


Pre-Prep Opportunity

1.  Cut onions and bell pepper up to a day ahead of time.  Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Orzo with Chicken, Peas and Saffron and a Side Salad

 11-30-11 Dinner Blog


Tonight’s meal preparation was a bit crazy.  My daughter was supposed to have a soccer playoff game at 6:30.  I was planning to eat early and then go to the game.  However, as is the case with schedules, things change and the game was moved up 1/2 hour, and I decided we should eat after the game.


Yesterday I made the Orzo and the tomato mixture and stored both in the refrigerator.  Earlier in the afternoon, I made the salad.  This was a great stroke of luck because my daughter’s game started late, went to two overtones and was eventually settled in penalty kicks.  (In case you are in suspense, we lost.) But instead of getting home at 7, we got home at 8!


Luckily dinner was prepared.  I just had to put it together.  I put the Orzo and tomato mixture in a soup pot with about 3/4 C of water.  As that heated, I cut the chicken and cooked the frozen peas in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Then I mixed everything together and we sat down to eat – somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes!


The Verdict

Everyone recognised the saffron taste – I use it in the paella I make. This brought up fun stories of when we made paella as well as requests to make more paella soon.  My son and husband rated the meal a 9 and 9.5 respectively.  My daughter liked it but was a bit less enthusiastic and gave it an 8.5, although she loves paella.  I think she may have been missing the shrimp and mussels which you easily could add…  Additionally, it was not an immediate slam dunk because it needed salt.  Not sure if I added it in when I made the tomato mixture yesterday – yesterday’s meal prep was a bit of a whirlwind – but I ended up adding salt to the dish after we had all tasted it.  That really made a huge difference, which makes me think I did not put it in originally.


I also served a side salad with the seeds from ½ of a pomegranate, which everyone loved.  I also added leftover mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, radishes, and bell peppers to the adult salads.  I sprinkled the no-oil balsamic vinaigrette and it was a most delicious salad!!


So my next dilemma: do I make the Pastel de Papa tonight or use up what I have? I have enough of tonight’s dinner and I have a bit of lentil soup frozen in the freezer from when I made it in October…


…I think I will save the Pastel de Papa for next week and finish off what I have.  The lentil soup will help keep the meal “new”.  I will serve a side salad to the adults and apple slices to the kids.




The Recipe

Orzo with Chicken, Peas and Saffron

Serves 6-8 ( 2 Adults and 2 Kids with leftovers for 2-3 more meals)

Adapted from “Vegetarian Entertaining”



1.5 lbs. Boneless skinless chicken breast, baked or grilled (hopefully this is leftover chicken that you cooked earlier in the week.)

2 T Olive oil

4 Shallots, minced

2 Bell Peppers chopped

3 C Canned Tomatoes or tomatoes in a non-can, shelf-stable container

1 T Saffron threads, soaked in 1/4 C warm water

1 t Smoked Paprika

1/3 C Dry White wine

3/4 lb. Orzo

2 C Frozen Peas

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

Grated parmesan or manchenga cheese



1. Prepare the Orzo per package directions. When tender, set aside.

2.  In a large sauce pan, Sauté shallots in olive oil until soft.

3. Add bell peppers and blend.

4. Stir in tomatoes, paprika, saffron with soaking water, and White wine.

5. Simmer until most of the liquid evaporates, about 8-10 min.  Be careful not to burn the mixture.

6. Dice chicken.

7. Cook peas in microwave for 1 1/2-  2 minutes.

8. Once liquid is mostly evaporated from tomato mixture, add peas, and chicken.

9. Serve w parmesan or manchenga cheese.

10. Don’t be surprised if you start thinking about paella and a trip to Spain…