The other day someone asked me how I’m so creative in the kitchen. I think a lot of it has to do with not being afraid to experiment. LOL, combined with an iron stomach that will eat anything, even a creation gone wrong. 😉 I also tend to go against what many people do and I don’t shop with a grocery list. Typically people find recipes, then make a list of what they need, then buy what’s on the list to make it.
I used to do that but then I found that I’d be left with bits of partially used bottles, half eaten ingredients, and lots of thrown out food. I stopped making my list and just buy my usual ingredients for the most part. If it’s a special occasion and I’ve got a fancy dancy recipe, I will make a list for that. Otherwise I find ways to make do with what I have.
I throw together combinations that I think sound good to me and give it a go. Some turn out good, others meh. I’ll eat it any way. Hey, have I mentioned I’m cheap and I like food? 😉 If I see a recipe I want to try, I look over the ingredient list and see if I have what I need. If not, I think about a good substitution. Like with this recipe. Most times you’ll see roasted red pepper sauce. I only had an orange pepper, so orange it is!
Don’t have rice, try quinoa. Don’t have sourdough, try regular bread, dinner rolls, or even croutons in a pinch. Leave things out if needed. I just happened to have almonds left from another recipe. I typically don’t, so I would have just left them out. Cooking is easy to do things like this and you end up making it your own. Side note: Don’t try this with baking unless you’re pretty good at it. You’ll get a lot of hockey pucks, crumbles, and a big mess. Trust me on this.
Grilled Tilapia with Roasted Orange Pepper Sauce
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup (172g) uncooked brown rice
- 2/3 cup (89g) frozen peas, thawed
- 1 medium orange pepper (approx 200g)
- 1 small slice (28g) sourdough bread
- 1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 16 oz tilapia filets
- 2 Tbsp (16g) sliced almonds
Cook the rice according to package directions but use the chicken broth and 1/4 cup of water instead of only water. This will give the rice a nice flavor. Once the rice is cooked, stir in the peas.
Preheat the broiler on your oven and line a cookie sheet with foil. Remove the seeds from the pepper and slice into large pieces. I basically just sliced the four sides off so the pepper quarters lay flat on the cookie sheet. Broil until the peppers start to char on the edges and get mushy. Remove the pepper from the oven.
Combine the pepper, bread, vinegar, oil, garlic and spices in a food processor or Magic Bullet, and pulse until smooth. Place the tilapia filets on the cookie sheet and broil for about 3 minutes per side until cooked thoroughly. Remove from oven.
Divide the rice evenly onto places and sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Add the tilapia filets and drizzle with the orange pepper sauce.
Makes 4 servings at approximately 292 calories – 21g protein, 34g carbs, and 8g fat.
- You could easily sub in roasted red pepper from a jar for this instead of roasting your own. It doesn’t take long to roast one fresh so I just rolled with it.
- You can use any mild white fish instead of tilapia. Cod, flounder, halibut are also good choices.
- I just reused the same cookie sheet and piece of foil that I roasted the peppers on for the fish. Peppers came off and fish went on to go back in the oven. It saves foil and also washing an extra pan. You can do this when you do veggies first and meats second. Don’t do this in reverse since you’ll risk bacteria cross contamination.
I had leftover orange pepper sauce and I used it as salad dressing the next day. See how easy it is? You’ll be amazed at how you can start throwing meals together in the kitchen using what you already have. Plus you’ll find you have a lot less odds and ends hanging around to grow mold in the fridge.