Thursday, September 15, 2016

Italian Parmesan Tilapia

I needed a quick easy lunch. And something not PB&J. I'm not supposed to have processed meat right at the moment, so my favorite grilled cheese (with real Swiss cheese, not processed American cheese and 5 slices of black forest ham lunchmeat, and fresh baby spinach and a sliced avocado over whole wheat bread. Yum. There's not a good substitute for the ham so that meal will have to wait.

So what else is quick when the fridge is out of leftovers?
Chicken or fish usually. I try to keep a bag of frozen chicken breast and a bag of frozen tilapia or swai fillets in the freezer, and have found that the fish makes a super quick easy and healthy meal. I opt for the fish first, because they are faster and easier than chicken.
The last fish I had, though, cooked up a little dry, so I decided to try something new. I had little inspiration. I opened up the fridge, wondering if I ought to try it with some of the Asian Zing we got at Buffalo Wild Wings. That'd probably have been good. But then I had already thought to make a roast with some of that for supper tonight, and thought maybe I shouldn't make the same thing for two meals in a row. I am not usually a fan of salad with italian dressing in it, but somehow we have two or three bottles of various versions of italian salad dressing in the fridge.
Olive Garden's is my favorite. It's the only one I'll ever actually use on a salad. The rest are yucky on a salad. Ha. (In my opinion anyway. If you enjoy it, then by all means continue. Don't mind me.)

I opened a few different bottles of dressing and smelled them to see what I was in the mood to put on my fish, and that Olive Garden Signature Italian Dressing won today!
What followed was simply divine! Not at all dry, full of flavor, and a completely wonderful after-church treat while my kids enjoyed their PB&J. I may or may not have licked my plate. ;)

Here's how I fixed it:

Italian Parmesan Tilapia

1/4 C Olive Garden Signature Italian Dressing
1 T. unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 C parmesan
1-2 Tilapia filets (I use frozen, and thaw them in the microwave before cooking)

Heat dressing and butter until bubbly. Add garlic and parmesan. Saute 2-3 minutes. Add tilapia. Season with salt and pepper. Turn periodically until fish is flaky in the center and cheese browns.
When serving, there will probably be extra sauce in the pan. Drizzle it over top.

Want some of the dressing? You can order some today. Olive Garden does not sponsor this post, but I do get a few cents if you order from my Amazon affiliate link. Thanks for supporting this blog!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Avocado Lime Ranch Copycat Recipe

I love food. And flavor. And apparently all things processed, because I can’t seem to think of anything not processed that I can eat (right now until this baby comes I’m supposed to be avoiding sugar, and processed food.) I have lost weight without trying, just trying to follow those two rules, and I’m not supposed to be losing weight right now in the last stages of pregnancy, so I knew I needed to up my fat intake. 

Enter avocado.

I was being good and making myself a salad for lunch after church (why do the best food creations for me always come on a Sunday afternoon? Weird.) and started wanting some avocado lime ranch dressing to go over top.
But it’s Sunday.
Chick-Fil-A is closed.

Plus technically their dressing is probably considered processed, but I’d have let myself do it anyway. Because, Avocado Lime Ranch.

So I decided to make my own. Here's what I came up with. It was completely delicious and satisfied my avocado lime ranch craving, and got myself some good probiotics and good fats at the same time. Win-win.

Avocado Lime Ranch

1 avocado
3/4 c. plain greek yogurt
1/2 to 1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp ranch seasoning to taste (I use homemade- from here)
2-4 Tbsp water to texture

Use immersion blender to mix all ingredients together.

That’s it! Easy peasy! You’ll see from my pictures how thick it is. I did not use a ton of water because I wanted mine fairly thick. Just add more water if you want it more “pourable”.