Friday, September 21, 2012

Kid friendly cooking: Breaded tilapia

Crispy and delicious
Eating fish can provide many nutritional benefits; it is a good source of protein, depending on what you buy it can be inexpensive and it is also delicious. If you use fatty fish such as tuna or salmon, you're getting a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. White fish, such as tilapia, are nearly fat free and low in calories. With this simple recipe, you can have dinner on the table in no time flat.

For a guide to minimizing your mercury exposure in fish, read here.

For a brief introduction to MyPlate (and to follow Michelle Obama and Sam Kass' lead), check out this post.

Breaded Tilapia 
Serves 4 - recipe can be easily doubled or halved
  • 4 tilapia fillets, thawed (about 1 pound total, 4 ounces each)
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (substitute corn meal if you're avoiding gluten)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon pepper flavored Mrs. Dash
  1. Preheat oven; temperature is flexible. Are you baking anything else? I served my fish with baked sweet potato fries, so I used the package temperature of 425. Anything from 350-450 is just fine.
  2. In a shallow bowl, mix egg and Mrs. Dash with a fork. 
  3. On a pie plate or large dinner plate, toss together bread crumbs (or corn meal) with Parmesan cheese. 
  4. Dip tilapia into the egg mixture and then dip and press into breading on both sides. Place onto a cookie sheet and coat the rest of your filets. 
  5. Bake in the oven until the coating is crunchy and the fish is cooked through. How do you know? Poke a fork into the filet and check the color; cooked fish is opaque, underdone fish looks a bit clear. Twist the fork; cooked fish flakes apart easily, underdone fish holds together tightly.  My fish at 425 took about 10-12 minutes. If your oven is cooler, or the filets larger, it may take closer to 20 minutes to cook through. 
Cooking the fish at home (versus buying packaged fish sticks) significantly reduces sodium. Using Mrs. Dash for flavor lowers the sodium further. 

Egg wash of one whole egg and Mrs. Dash
Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs - easy breezy!
Ready for the oven!
Nutritious and delicious for kids of all ages!
The fish would be good served with roasted veggies; get the veggies in the oven first, then prepare the fish and pop them in the oven too. 

You may also like my cold Pesto Tuna Salad Recipe to take your fish with you to work (without stinking up the office!)

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