Tilapia with Avocado-Pineapple Salsa and Quinoa

6 Jan

Today I am sharing a recipe for tilapia with avocado-pineapple salsa and my adventures cooking quinoa.  Actually, it wasn’t much of an adventure, just followed the package directions, but it was my first time cooking it at home (and I will definitely be making it again!).  Trying new whole grains was one of my New Year’s resolutions  so I’m glad to have already checked one thing off my list.  

I want to share this recipe with you because it also demonstrates a very easy way to cook fish, which has been a requested topic on the blog.  Sometimes cooking fish can be intimidating, but it shouldn’t be.  Eating more fish was another one of my resolutions, and finding simple and flavorful ways to prepare it helps a lot. 

In this recipe the fish is roasted under the broiler – in and out in less than 10 minutes.  And it doesn’t even need to be flipped, so it couldn’t be easier.  I used tilapia and roasted it for about 7 minutes, which was the perfect amount of time to cook it through and get a bit of caramelization on top.  Then, I topped it with an avocado-pineapple salsa.  This is one of my go-to ways to prepare fish, and you can make endless variations.  You can use pineapple, mango, peach, nectarine, avocado, tomato or any combination of those.  Then, add lime juice, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno and some salt and pepper.  Pineapple-avocado was delicious, but tomato-nectarine is another one of my favorites. 

Tilapia with Avocado-Pineapple Salsa   adapted from Everyday Food Magazine

Time: 20 min, Yield: 2 servings

  • 1 avocado, diced (**see below for how to select, store and easily dice avocados!)
  • 1 cup pineapple , finely diced (I used canned pineapple chunks, since I didn’t want to buy a whole fresh one and it turned out great still)
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tilapia fillets (original recipe calls for halibut, but frozen tilapia was on sale – what can I say!?)
  • 1 cup quinoa, optional side
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, optional side

Preheat broiler with rack in upper third of oven.  In a medium bowl, combine the avocado, pineapple, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with foil (optional, but it makes clean up easy!) and coat with cooking spray (try to spray only the portion of the baking sheet which will be covered with the fish – otherwise it may burn or smoke).  Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper and place on the baking sheet.

Broil the fish until opaque throughout, about 6-7 minutes, depending on thickness.  It will flake easily with a fork when ready – don’t over cook it!

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the package directions.  Make sure to season with salt and optionally, stir in a small pat of butter at the end ;-).  Towards the end of the cooking, stir in the baby spinach to wilt.

Top the fish with the salsa and serve with a side of spinachy quinoa for a healthy, yet super satisfying, dinner!

** How to Buy, Store and Dice Avocados **

Buying & Storing: A ripe avocado gives when gently pressed, but is not mushy (mushy=on its way to rotten).  Buy them ripe if you plan to use them right away, because unripe avocados will take a few days to ripen (to speed it up you can place them in a closed brown paper bag with a banana or apple – the fruits give off ethylene gas which helps speed ripening).  Once ripe, store in the fridge until using.

Dicing: First, slice the avocado lengthwise, all the way around, then twist the halves and pull apart.  To remove the pit, give it a good whack with the blade of a knife, and twist it out.

Then, slice or dice the avocado while still in the skin:

Then scoop out the slices or dices with a spoon:

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5 Responses to “Tilapia with Avocado-Pineapple Salsa and Quinoa”

  1. Tara January 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    You must have to get a lot of manicures to take all these pictures. I can’t wait to try this, Amy!\

  2. Lindsay January 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    That quinoa in the first picture sure looks like a lot of little things in one place… hope it wasn’t too traumatic to make!

    I will try making tilapia this way though… but, stupid question, how do I broil? Is it just a really high temerature on my oven? Or is it probably a setting? I guess in 4.5 years I’ve never looked to closely at the buttons on my oven!

    • Amy January 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      That’s exactly what Matt said about the quinoa!!

      Broil is a special setting on the oven – because it’s an open flame. It either comes from the top of the oven (that’s how mine is now) or there is a special broiler drawer below the actual oven (how my old apartment’s was).

      • Lindsay January 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

        Ok, I don’t have a broiler drawer so it must be a setting I’ll have to check out!

  3. Carol S. February 26, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    I made this recipe last night and the hubby loved it! Thanks for sharing/posting this info!

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