Baked Citrus Tilapia

Baked Citrus TilapiaHere is our second tilapia recipe. Our first was Jerk Tilapia. Jerk is a popular method of seasoning in Jamaica and other nearby islands, and is wonderful although it requires quite a few spices.

Although spices are great for bodybuilders and others as they add flavor with essentially zero calories, this recipe uses fewer ingredients.

Tilapia is a sustainably farmed fish that is high in protein, low in carbs and fat, and widely available. It is a mild flavored fish so it is great for flavored recipes like this Baked Citrus Tilapia, based on a recipe in Dave Ruel’s Anabolic Cooking.

It’s simple, fast, and easy, using fewer ingredients than Jerk Tilapia.

First the ingredients (I often double the recipe):

  • 1 pound Tilapia fillets
  • ¼ cup lime or lemon juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (I like seasalt)
  • A few shakes of black pepper
  • 2-3 teaspoons of lemon or lime zest (see below)
  • Optional: hot sauce of your choice or a hot chili or jalapeno, seeds removed and sliced into thin pieces.
Tilapia, Ready to Cook
Tilapia, Ready to Cook, looking very red due to blood red orange juice (it’s what I had handy!)

First make the marinade. It’s pretty simple.

Combine the lemon or lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and the lemon or lime zest.

Zest is simply the grated outside of a citrus fruit: lemon or lime in this case. About one lemon or lime worth is perfect – use a grater and just grate off the very exterior  (a microplane grater, if you have one, makes this super fast but any grater will work).

If this is too complicated (or you do not have a lemon or lime), it’ll taste a little different but fine without zest.

Freshly squeezed juices are best, but bottled are absolutely fine. I use whatever I have on hand. In the pictures, I actually used a blood red orange because I happened to have one.

Optionally, if you want it hot, add hot sauce or hot peppers as described above in the ingredients.

Add the tilapia to the marinade and make sure it gets all over the fillets. Put the tilapia and the marinade in a baking pan. If you want to cut down on things to wash, you can even mix the marinade in the baking pan.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Once it is preheated, place the tilapia inside.

It’ll take about 12 minutes to cook. It is obvious when it is done as the fish will flake easily with a fork and be opaque.

Nutritionally, an entire pound of tilapia cooked this way has only 800 calories, 130 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbs, and 28 grams of fat. That is for an entire pound!

I’ve slightly modified the recipe, but thanks to Dave for the inspiration!

Good Nutrition: Many Colors in Your Diet Helps

Colorful FoodI have a friend whose wife likes to complain that he only eats brown food. She is pretty much right. He likes overcooked meat, potatoes with gravy, and basically bland and well done food. His Thanksgiving dinner plate was 100% brown for example!

He never (as far as I can tell) ever eats anything green like lettuce or asparagus or red like radishes or peppers (or rare beef) of yellow or – you get the idea. He also is pretty unhealthy, including horribly overweight, despite once having been quite athletic.

As silly as it may sound, eating a healthy diet that consists of multiple colored foods gives you a wide range of nutrients and vitamins, and generally plenty of fiber as well. Of course to include lots of colors, you will typically have lots of vegetables and perhaps fruits as well.

As Dr Michelle Hauser at Harvard Medical School says, “Eat all the colors of the rainbow. These colors signal the presence of diverse phytochemicals and phytonutrients,” beneficial substances in plants. They also contain lots of nutrients and vitamins.

It’s easy to have many colors in your diet. For example, Dave Ruel‘s cookbook contains foods with lots of color variation.Let’s see, today, just in the vegetable area, I had the following today (listing the main vitamins and minerals):

  • Green – spinach (antioxidants and vitamin K)
  • Orange – carrots (vitamin A and beta carotene)
  • Red – red peppers (lots of vitamin C and fiber), tomatoes (antioxidant lycopene)
  • Yellow – yellow peppers (vitamin C and A and carotenoids)

Just a few more green options include lettuce, broccoli, avocados, cabbage, cucumbers, Brussel sprouts, green onions, green peppers, peas, asparagus, and artichokes.

For orange, of course we have oranges and tangerines and their cousins, peaches, apricots, papayas, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, pumpkin, and many more.

For red, cherries, beets, red grapes, red onions, radishes, rhubarb, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, kidney beans, red potatoes, watermelon, and more.

Yellow includes pineapples, summer squash, bananas, corn, lemons, yellow variants of many foods like yellow tomatoes, yellow watermelon, yellow beets.

Black Purple/Black include blueberries, eggplant, plums, blackberries, raisins, purple grapes, purple potatoes and purple carrots, kale, and turnips. I’ve been eating lots of purple carrots that have suddenly become popular lately.

White  is often associated with processed foods like white rice, rise bread, and more but there are plenty of “natural” and garlic, onions, parsnips, leeks, napa cabbage, cauliflower, white eggplants,

Although it is silly to say that eating colorful foods alone is a healthy and balanced diet, it helps a lot to add vitamins, minerals, fiber, and many other beneficial substances to your diet, especially when your diet (just like everyone else’s) is less than perfect!