Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tilapia and Quinoa with Feta and Cucumber

For dinner last night I almost had the whole plan before getting to work.  By "plan" I mean I had a protein that was sitting in the fridge defrosting.  For me that is huge - I never remember to make that switch!  For some reason I was set on using the tilapia filets in the freezer that came from Whole Foods, nicely vacuum packed and ready for just such an occasion. 

Having the main ingredient really helps narrow down the recipe to use.  In this case, Martha (of course) had the most interesting recipe that called for tilapia and quinoa, so I went for it.

Dinner is ready!
The Necessities....
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless tilapia fillets
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup English cucumber (6 ounces), diced small
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup feta (1 1/2 ounces), crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
The Ingredients
First I set about getting the quinoa cooking.  I prepped the fish, which was easy since it was all prepped for me - I just had to cut open the bag and pat the fillets dry.

Spiced Fillets
I generously sprinkled each side of the 4 fillets with salt, pepper and paprika.  Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet I heated some olive oil to medium-high and place the fish fillets in there to cook.

Cooking the fish
The fillets only needed about 4 minutes to cook all the way through (about 2 minutes per side.)  As you can see, the spices browned up nicely.

While the fish was cooking, I chopped up the cucumber and the dill.

Herbs and Veggies
Once the quinoa was done cooking according to the box instructions, I placed it in a bowl and allowed it to cool for a few minutes.  I only gave it about 2 minutes, but 5 is probably better (and recommended by Martha!).  I then added the cucumbers, the juice of one half of a lemon, and the dill, and gave everything a big stir.  When it was all good and mixed up I added the feta cheese crumbles and mixed it up again. 

At this point the fish and the quinoa side were done and I just plated and served.  This was a super easy weekday meal that actually was fairly healthy!  I was excited that the recipe called for quinoa since I had plenty from the veggieballs I previously made and liked the texture of the quinoa.  Tilapia is not something I have generally cooked so plainly in the past - usually I leave that to swordfish - but the seasonings made for a tasty fish.  All the textures in the quinoa side dish were great.  There was plenty of interest going on to keep the palate intrigued.

I highly recommend trying this at home.


  1. This looks great! I hardly cook with quinoa and definitely want to experiment more with it...

  2. Tilapia, quinoa, and feta are three of my favorite things. I'm sure I would love this!


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