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Pan-fried Tilapia with Grapefuit and Shaved Leeks

I bought a grapefruit a few days ago. Not sure exactly why. I don’t think I’ve ever actually purchased a grapefruit before and the last time I remember tasting one, it certainly wasn’t high on my list of favorite citrus fruits. It may have been seeing Natalie Portman sit down to enjoy a particularly pink grapefruit during an early scene in Black Swan. Perhaps if I eat a grapefruit, I will instantly transform into a lean and graceful prima ballerina too??

I’m starting to see the significance of subtle advertisements placed throughout movies and television shows. I suspect that Sunkist had a sneaky hand in this.

So, I’ve had this grapefruit sitting on my counter for a few days. I think I imagined that I was going to crack it open at breakfast one morning and dive in with a spoon, perhaps with a poached egg on the side, ballerina style. But, morning after morning, I glanced at that grapefruit and then reached for my Frosted Mini Wheats instead. Ultimately, I figured I should do something with the large, lonely citrus. After rooting through the freezer and locating a few frozen Tilapia fillets, I developed a plan.

I’d combine the sweet and bitter grapefruit segments with thinly sliced, mild-tasting leeks in a Honey-Dijon vinaigrette and serve over a simple pan-fried Tilapia fillet. A mound of quick-cooking cous cous completes the meal. You can thinly slice the leeks using a sharp knife or shave them with a mandoline. This recipe can easily be adapted for other types of fish or seafood. Simply adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of your fish.

Somehow, the combination of flavors, textures and temperatures in this dish managed to magically transform the grapefruit into a very welcome guest on my plate. Still not sure I’d ever enjoy sitting down for breakfast with half a grapefruit and a spoon. But I’d definitely invite a grapefruit to this dish again. Heck, I was never cut out to be a ballerina anyway!

Pan-fried Tilapia with a Melange of Grapefruit and Shaved Leeks


For the Fish:

  • 4 Tilapia Fillets
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • Olive Oil

For the Grapefruit and Leek Melange

  • 1 large Grapefruit, segmented*
  • 1 Leek, halved and thinly sliced or shaved**
  • 1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper

To Serve

  • 2 cups plain Cous Cous, prepared according to package directions in lightly salted water

* Click here to see my photo guide on How to Supreme a Citrus Fruit.

**Click here to see my photo guide on How to Clean and Slice Leeks.


To prepare the melange, cut each grapefruit segment into thirds. Combine with the shaved or thinly sliced leeks. Prepare the dressing by combining the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and whisking until well-blended. Pour a couple tablespoons of the dressing over the grapefruit and leeks. Set aside. Reserve the remaining vinaigrette for the cous cous.

For the fish, season each fillet with salt and pepper. Then, lightly coat each fillet with flour. Heat a thin, even layer of olive oil in a large fry pan over medium heat. Get it good and hot. Place the fillets into the hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and fully cooked.

To serve, toss the prepared cous cous in a little of the reserved vinaigrette. Place a cooked fillet on top of a mound of cous cous and top with the melange of grapefruit and leeks.

Serves 4


Broiled Salmon Bruschetta

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After weeks of overindulging in holiday treats, I’ve been craving a good healthy dose of fresh, nutritious fare. While this new year won’t be bringing any immediate weight loss goals for this expecting mom, I can certainly focus on improving nutrition and increasing my ratio of healthy foods to cookies and Cheez-Its. Oh, Cheez-Its, how I adore thee!

But, it’s still winter, and I yearn for heavy blankets and hearty foods during these chilly months. Salads and other light dishes just don’t fit the bill right now. As such, I decided on a hearty piece of broiled salmon for my main course. Full of healthy fats and flavor, it has the same satisfying effect as a nice piece of steak.

I decided to serve my salmon over a bed of fresh, garlic-sautéed spinach with just a bit of orzo pasta and parmesan cheese. Those of you who’ve taken on low-carb diets for the new year can easily eliminate the orzo for a perfect low-carb dinner option. A generous spoonful of fresh tomato and olive bruschetta topping adds a burst of Mediterranean flavors to the dish.

If salmon is not your fish of choice, you can easily substitute another type. Broiled sea bass or halibut would be delicious. Pan-seared or broiled shrimp or scallops would work nicely too!

Broiled Salmon over Sautéed Spinach and Orzo with Tomato and Olive Bruschetta Topping


For the Salmon:

  • 2 Salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Spinach and Orzo:

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup Orzo, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Bruschetta Topping:

  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Olives, chopped
  • 1/8 cup Capers
  • 1/8 cup Balsamic
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper


Preheat broiler. Rub the salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and cook, several inches under the broiler, for about 8-10 minutes, until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees.

Meanwhile, prepare the spinach. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s wilted. Turn the heat down the low. Add the cooked orzo and cheese. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

To prepare the bruschetta topping, combine all ingredients in a small container with a tight fitting lid. Gently toss the mixture to combine.

To serve, place the broiled salmon over a bed of the sautéed spinach and orzo. Top with a generous spoonful of the bruschetta topping. Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Bonus: Serve your leftover bruschetta topping with slices of toasted bread.

Honey-Balsamic Salmon over Gingered Sweet Potato and Apple Hash

I must be dreaming about fall lately. Perhaps it’s the cool evening breeze coming through the barely opened windows, just enough to adjust the temperature in the room to perfect down-comforter weather. Whatever it may be, I’ve been waking up with fully formed fall dishes on my mind. Well, almost fully formed. The details take a moment to come to me, almost in the way you have to strain to put together the pieces of a dream.

Most recently, I awoke thinking of honey-glazed salmon. Yes, that sounds good. With pureed sweet potatoes. Correction; pureed gingered sweet potatoes. Wait, that’s still not right. It should be a sweet potato hash with apple. Yes, that’s it… Honey-Glazed Salmon with Gingered Sweet Potato and Apple Hash. I didn’t decide to add the balsamic until I actually got cooking. And it was a wise addition, indeed.

There’s not much else to say about this dish. It’s simple, delicious, and perfectly fall-icious.

Honey-Balsamic Salmon over Gingered Sweet Potato and Apple Hash


For the Salmon

  • 4 4oz. Salmon Fillets
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/8 cup Honey
  • 1/8 cup Balsamic Vinegar

For the Hash

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 Apple
  • 2-3 tsp Fresh Ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • Salt and Pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the salmon fillets in a baking dish and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the honey and vinegar. Stir until well combined. Pour the mixture over the salmon fillets. Place the baking dish in the oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Periodically spoon some of the honey-balsamic mixture over the fillets as they cook.

For the hash, peel the potatoes and apple. Use a box grater to shred the potatoes and apple. Combine with the grated ginger. Toss with a bit of lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sweet potato mixture and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring and flipping often to prevent burning. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

To serve, place a mound of the sweet potato-apple hash in the center of the plate. Place a cooked salmon fillet on top. Drizzle with a bit of the honey-balsamic sauce from the baking dish. Garnish with sliced green onions.

Serves 4

Coconut-Crusted Tilapia with Tropical Fruit Salsa

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Congratulations! Your taste buds just won a trip to the tropics. And they won’t even need to deal with airport security or worry about finding a bathing suit. Not a bad deal, huh? Tonight’s dinner is light, fresh and packed with tropical fruit flavor. You’ll be swaying along to the calypso music in your mind.

Tell your taste buds to start packing! Maybe they’ll even let you come along!

Coconut-Crusted Tilapia with Tropical Fruit Salsa


  • 4 Tilapia Fillets, approx. 4 oz. each
  • 1 cup Sweetened Flaked Coconut
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/8 cup Milk
  • Salt
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Assortment of tropical fruit, such as Pineapple, Kiwi, Mango,  and Papaya
  • 1/2 Lime
  • Cayenne Pepper

For the Salsa

Dice about a cup’s worth of tropical fruits. (I used pineapple, mango, and kiwi.) Squeeze the juice from half a lime over the fruit. Sprinkle with a dash of cayenne pepper. Stir to combine. Refrigerate.

For the Coconut-Crusted Tilapia

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a bowl or small baking dish, beat together the egg and the milk. On a plate, combine the flour and coconut. Season the tilapia fillets with a bit of salt. Dip the fillets in the beaten egg mixture. Then, press the fillets in the flour/coconut mixture to coat both sides. Place on the baking sheet and lightly spray or drizzle with a bit of oil. Cook for 10-12 minutes until cooked through and the coconut begins to toast. Top the fish with the tropical fruit salsa. Serve with basmati or jasmine rice.

Serves 4

Coconut-Crusted Tilapia with Tropical Fruit Salsa

And did you notice the really adorable quilted hot pad under my plate? It’s a handmade gift from one of my readers! Thanks Mary Jo!

I especially love the flying pig!

Salmon, Corn, and Tomato Pasta in Pesto

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I have leftover basil pesto in my fridge from Friday night’s Wine and Cheese soirée. It would be a crime to let it go to waste. So, I planned a dinner around it. A few salmon fillets that have been chillin’ in my freezer and some candy-sweet summer corn sealed the deal. A handful of ripe baby tomatoes begged to join and I couldn’t resist. Voilà. Dinner.

Salmon, Corn, and Tomato Pasta in Pesto


  • 1 pound Salmon Fillets
  • 3 ears Corn
  • 2 cups Baby Roma Tomatoes (or other small, sweet tomatoes), cut into halves or quarters
  • 1/2 cup Basil Pesto, recipe here
  • 1 box Rotini (or other pasta)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season salmon with a bit of salt and pepper. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until fully cooked. When cool enough to handle, cut into small pieces. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook corn for 8 minutes. Cool in cold water. Cut the kernels from the cob. Cook the pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain. Toss the warm pasta with pesto, corn, salmon, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Serves about 6

Simple. Fresh. Delicious.

Salmon Burgers with Horseradish Sauce and Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Butter

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I make my salmon burgers the same way I make my crab cakes… heavy on the seafood, light on the filler. I like big chunks of salmon, blended together with just enough egg, bread crumbs, and mayo to hold it together.  A bit of mustard and creole seasoning adds the perfect flavoring! Served on an kaiser roll with a spicy horseradish sauce, this is a delicious way to enjoy salmon! I use fresh salmon fillets in my recipe, but you can substitute canned salmon, if desired.

Corn on the cob, served with chipotle butter makes a perfect side dish for this meal.  Chipotles are smoked jalapeno peppers; spicy and delicious! You should be able to find canned chipotles in adobo sauce in the Mexican or Latin foods section of your grocery store.  Adobo is simply a seasoned tomato-based sauce.  You can either discard the adobo sauce, or use some of it in the butter. You’ll only need 1/8 cup of pureed chipotle peppers for the butter, but puree all the peppers.  You can store the unused puree in the freezer for future use. (I’ll share my recipe for Chipotle Steak Quesadillas with you soon!)

Chipotles in Adobo

Salmon Burgers with Horseradish Sauce

For the burgers:

  • 1 pound salmon fillets
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp Creole Seasoning
  • 4 Kaiser Rolls

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 2-3 Tbsp Horseradish Sauce

To prepare the salmon – Preheat your broiler. Place the salmon fillets under the broiler and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until cooked through. When the salmon is cool enough to handle, flake the fish into large chunks.

To make to burgers – Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, combine all ingredients, except the salmon, until well blended. Gently fold in the salmon. Form into four burgers. Spray a baking sheet with a little Pam or a small amount of olive oil. Place the burgers on the baking sheet. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until heated through.

For the horseradish sauce – Combine sour cream with 2-3 Tbsp horseradish. (I use 3.)  Stir until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Serve burgers on kaiser rolls with lettuce, tomatoes, and horseradish sauce. Makes 4 burgers.

Salmon Burger with Horseradish Sauce

Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Butter

  • 4 ears of corn, husks removed
  • 1/8 cup pureed Chipotle Peppers
  • 1 Stick Butter

Remove chipotle peppers from adobo.  Wipe off excess adobo. Puree peppers in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over very low heat.  Add 1/8 cup pureed chipotle pepper and stir. Gently cook over very low heat for a minute or two. For the smoothest result, you can pour the melted chipotle butter through a fine sieve to remove seeds and any large chunks. (I skip this step!) Pour chipotle butter into a bowl and refrigerate, stirring every 15 minutes, until firm. Allow butter to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using. To cook the corn, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the corn and boil for about 5-8 minutes. Spread chipotle butter on corn and enjoy!!

Chipotle Butter

Salmon Burger with Corn on the Cob and Chipotle Butter

Broiled Halibut with Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Capers

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I’m a planner by nature. I thrive on organization and routine in most areas of my life. But, as much as I love a good structured agenda, I rarely plan our meals in advance. I’ve tried in the past, but it just doesn’t suit my cooking (or eating) style.  I usually have a few potential meal ideas in mind for the week, but I’m hesitant to commit to anything too far ahead of time. I like to see how the week unfolds, leave some flexibility for cravings or laziness. I’m content to visit the grocery store every day, picking up just a few items for the night’s meal.  During the warm weather, morning walks to the grocery store are part of our routine. Some days, I head down there without a plan and just wonder around the grocery store until something inspires me. (I know that totally goes against all the advice you’ve seen about making a list and sticking to it!) It might be a wedge of cheese or a perfectly ripened avocado or a cut of beef behind the butcher’s counter.  All it takes is one ingredient and I’ll build a meal around it.

So, it’s not unusual that I woke up this morning with no idea about what I’d make for dinner. After a weekend of indulging on celebratory pizzas, birthday cake, and our standard Sunday night chicken tikka masala with naan, I knew I wanted something light and fresh.  (It’s all about balance!)  I also knew I wanted something fast and easy; low-prep, quick to cook, minimal clean-up. As much as I enjoy cooking, I don’t like to be cooped up in the kitchen on a beautiful spring day!  There are bikes to be ridden and playgrounds to visit! So, I started thinking about a quick broiled fish, perhaps with lemon and capers. Capers made me think of olives, which, in turn, got me thinking of sun-dried tomatoes. And that, dear friends, is the train of thought which led to tonight’s dinner plan. It’s light, loaded with nutrition, and can be thrown together in about 15 minutes. Best of all, it’s full of Mediterranean inspired flavor.

Broiled Halibut with Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Capers

Broiled Halibut with Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Capers


  • 2 Halibut Fillets (approx. 6 ounces each)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon (approx. 1 Tbsp)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup mixed olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 cup capers
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • Crushed Red Pepper


Preheat broiler. Place fish fillets on a baking sheet and rub with a little olive oil and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the baking sheet directly under the broiler and cook for about 10 minutes, until the fish flakes apart easily.  While the fish is broiling, coarsely chop the olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Combine with the capers, minced garlic and a sprinkle of  crushed red pepper.  During the last minute or two of cooking time, top the fish with the olive mixture to heat. Serve immediately. (Serves 2)

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