Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Decadent at 453 calories

I can't believe how much I love dinner these days! Sitting down to a balanced and healthy meal with my little family now has the added benefit of me really appreciating and enjoying my food. My hubby Dan can frequently be seen rolling his eyes as I exclaim, "Oh, this is glorious!" or "This is so freakin' good!". Now that I'm not cramming rich, sugary, fatty foods into my mouth all day, I really enjoy the basics and when I cook something really flavorful, it's such a pleasure to eat!

Check this out:

That's a lot of food for 453 calories! 203 for the broiled tilapia parmesan, 200 for 1 cup of white rice (I like calrose rice because it's stickier) and 50 calories for 1 1/2 cups of stir fry veggies (steamed).

I found the recipe for Broiled Tilapia Parmesan here. I've never made tilapia and my kids have never eaten fish, so I wasn't expecting too much. I wanted to try this lean protein and figured if no one liked it at least there was rice and mini cobs of corn in the veggies, which I knew the kids would eat. I picked a recipe that I thought might disguise the fish taste a bit and to my great surprise, everyone ate it! Without doubt I'm the one who loved it the most, but Amelia (3) said it was good, Lily (8) said it was OK, and Mack (1) inhaled it just like he does any other food I put in front of him. Dan didn't voice an opinon, he just rolled his eyes while I grunted and moaned with pleasure after each bite.

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (fresh grated, not the green can stuff)
1/4 cup butter, softened but not quite melted
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used regular because I was feeling greedy)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt (I didn't have this so I just used regular salt)
2 pounds tilapia fillets (8 fillets)

I adjusted the recipe for fewer fillets, but after making it, next time I will probably use the full amount of sauce with 4 fillets so there's extra juicy stuff to put over the rice. Yes, that will increase the calories but not a ton. FYI, the tilapia fillets alone are 100 calories each.

Have you ever broiled anything in your oven? I hadn't and I had to turn to good ol' Google to find out what the difference between baking and broiling is. Baking heats the whole oven to an even temperature and cooks the food with the ambient heat. Broiling turns on one direct heat source at the top of the oven and cooks the food like a grill would, one side at a time. I'd never even noticed this little gizmo at the top of my oven:

This recipe was super quick to prepare. First, I stirred up the sauce and set aside:

Second, I lined a glass 9x13 dish with foil because I don't have a fancy broiling pan.

Then I broiled one side for 3 minutes, flipped and broiled the other side for 3-4 minutes. I took out the pan and flipped the fish over again and spread the sauce on. Then I broiled about 3-4 minutes until the top was barely browned.

So, so yummy! And the best part was that I had enough calories left over to eat a brownie. It gave me great joy!

Are there less fattening ways to cook tilapia? Absolutely, but to me, the extra flavor was worth it at only 203 calories. Let me help you salivate one more time:

The veggies I got were the Great Value Deluxe Stir-fry veggies from Walmart. The kids loved them because they had mini corn cobs and green beans and I loved the water chestnuts and  broccoli. I also got the tilapia at Walmart; 8-9 fillets for $7.98.

What great recipes have you discovered as you've tried to cook more healthy?


  1. Sue, I was giggling while reading about your heavenly looking plate. I love that you discovered your broiler! I made scallops for the first time the other day. Trying new things weekly. Isn't it fun? I agree about food tasting better. My husband is also rolling his eyes a bit as I discuss such things as the food pyramid, my lunch date with 450 calories and dark green veggies.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to share that. I just heard about tilapia last week for the first time. I will have to try it out. My friend was telling me how is was a bit more affordable than salmon, but I was a little nervous to try it out. Your post has sealed the deal. Thanks!

  3. This does look and sound so goooood. Thanks for posting. If you all care for fish tacos...tilapia rocks the fish taco. Broiled with salt, pepper, lime, and cilantro...put in a corn tortilla with beans..rice..and green salsa...mmmmm mmmmm good. Of course I don't have measurements and exact recipes of anything because I am a lazy cook. Thank you to all the ladies taking the time to post recipes...they are VERY helpful. I love to try new things.

  4. Sue, that looks yummy. Great photos too. I'm so proud of you!

  5. I tried this tonight! Fabulous! 3 of 5 people loved it, 2 at least tasted it...not fish lovers! I bought 4 lbs of Tilapia and was looking for a yummy recipe. I had all the ingredients, very fast, very easy! I used a reduced amount of sauce recipe that I found on the trainer mama site because I only dared to do 4 filets...just in case I was the only one that would eat them (not all at the same time!). We skipped the rice because we already had it this week...not rice lovers, and I made a Cashew Apple Spinach Salad and some steamed veggies.

    I feel much more healthy eating healthy foods! I have lost a total of 12 lbs in the past 10 days following the HWHL program!