Something out of Nothing

Sometimes I have one of those nights where there isn't much food in the house...but I'm positive that I don't have the energy to go out to eat. Instead of dialing the local pizza place, I've been trying to be more creative with what I can find in the fridge and pantry.

Recently, I had this kind of night and decided to go on a hunt for some dinner. I looked in the fridge and saw three crowns of broccoli. I discovered a couple Yukon gold potatoes in the bottom cupboard. This was not looking promising...so I opened my freezer. Ah ha! There was that bag of frozen tilapia fillets that I had gotten on sale at Wegman's last month "just in case" I ever needed them. Surely, I could make something out of these ingredients.

I did a quick search online for simple tilapia recipes to get some inspiration. I could have just baked them in the oven with some butter or lemon juice on top...but I wanted something a little more flavorful. I happened upon this little gem on allrecipes.com.

With a can of tomato paste (which I always have in the pantry) and some spices, I could make something new! I didn't have the peppers, so I decided to roast the potatoes and broccoli instead.

The tilapia fillets are individually wrapped (which is so convenient), so I dunked 4 fillets (still in the wrapping) into cold water. By the time I made the sauce and got the potatoes and broccoli in the oven, they were thawed.

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes
~Simple and Satisfying~

  • 3/4 cup olive oil (plus more for roasting)
  • 3 crowns of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 or 3 Yukon gold potatoes (Russet would be fine, too), chopped into bite-size chunks
  • a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 4 (4 oz.) tilapia fillets
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 tbsp butter
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the potatoes with a generous drizzle of olive oil and several pinches of salt in a bowl, tossing to coat the potatoes. Spread into an even layer on half of a large sheet pan. Roast for about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the broccoli with a generous drizzle of olive oil and several pinches of salt in a bowl, tossing to coat the broccoli. Take the potatoes out and put the broccoli in an even layer on the other side of the sheet pan. Drizzle the potatoes and broccoli with some balsamic vinegar. Roast for another 10 minutes (but check to see how they're coming along). Then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and move the pan to the bottom rack.
  4. While the potatoes and vegetables are still roasting, coat bottom of a medium baking dish with about 1/4 cup olive oil.
  5. In a small bowl, blend remaining olive oil, tomato paste, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper.
  6. Arrange tilapia fillets in the prepared baking dish. With a spatula, spread the olive oil and tomato paste mixture over the tilapia, heaping the majority in the centers of the fillets. Arrange onion slices on and around the fillets.
  7. Bake in the preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, until fish is easily flaked with a fork. If the potatoes and broccoli are getting overcooked on the bottom rack, take them out and cover with foil to keep them warm.
  8. When the tilapia is done, remove them from the oven and top each fillet with 1 tablespoon butter, and set oven to broil. Broil 5 to 7 minutes, until butter is melted and lightly brown. Serve the tilapia fillets with the roasted onions on top and the broccoli and potatoes on the side.
Even though I prefer cooking with a plan...sometimes I don't have a plan. Improvising with what you have on hand is a must sometimes and I find it to be kind of fun and quite rewarding!

No comments:

Post a Comment