Since we are now in the season of Lent, I figured it would be the perfect time to publish a quick and easy family recipe, ideal for Friday night dinner. This recipe is a tasty and well balanced alternative to pizza and pasta, common meat-free options that get old FAST!
Now for those seafood averse out there, this recipe is for you too! And you will likely even be able to serve this to your picky little eaters at home. I am not typically a big seafood eater myself, but this Tilapia dish is so buttery and light that it will truly be enjoyed by the entire family.
The recipe below is intended for 4 servings. To prepare dinner for two, simply cut the listed ingredients in half. ENJOY!
- 4 Tilapia fillets – thawed or fresh
- 1 bushel of asparagus – washed and trimmed
- 2 cups instant rice – you can certainly substitute whole grain if desired, simply follow the preparation instructions on the rice of your choice
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp melted butter (fish)
- 2 Tbsp butter (rice)
- 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs
- Olive oil
- Lemon pepper seasoning (store bought or homemade)
- Ground sea salt
- Ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Place trimmed asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle generously with olive oil and season to taste with ground sea salt and pepper
- Place asparagus on top rack of pre-heated oven, cooking 8-10 min or until tender and golden
- While asparagus is cooking, melt 2 tbsp butter in a shallow glass casserole dish, sprinkle breadcrumbs into the bottom of the dish and place Tilapia fillets on top
- Move the fillets around lightly so that the underside absorbs the butter and breadcrumb mixture; flip fillets over and repeat
- Sprinkle each filet lightly with lemon pepper seasoning, set aside. *If using store bought seasoning, use sparingly as it is very salty, I would not recommend more than 1/2 tsp for 4 fillets. If you are looking to prepare you own, see below for homemade lemon pepper seasoning recipe
- In a medium sauce pan, bring 2 cups water to a boil, add rice and remove from heat
- Remove asparagus from the oven, place Tilapia on top rack
- Cut asparagus spears into 1-2 inch pieces and add to rice
- Return the rice to a low heat seating, adding 2 Tbsp butter and Parmesan cheese. Stir and cover on low heat, while Tilapia continues to cook
- Once fish is white and flaky (about 8 minutes), remove from oven
- Plate rice and drizzle lightly with olive oil
- Place Tilapia on top of rice and serve while hot
HOMEMADE LEMON PEPPER SEASONING:
*This will yield far more seasoning than you will need for the above mentioned recipe. Store seasoning in dry, air tight jar or container for future use!
- The zest from 4-6 organic lemons (or ½ cup pre-dried lemon zest)
- 6 Tablespoons ground black pepper (or whole peppercorns if you are using fresh lemon)
- 5 Tablespoons Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt
1. If using fresh lemon zest, thoroughly zest the lemons and spread the fresh lemon out on a baking sheet
2. Put into the oven on the lowest setting and leave until completely dried (approx. 60 min)
3. When completely dried, mix lemon zest with the peppercorns and salt in a food processor until well mixed
*If making with pre-dried lemon peel, just mix all ingredients in a food processor until blended
Thank you for reading and as always, feel free to comment below with any questions or feedback or to contact me directly!