Earlier this week, our family returned from a little vacation (or, more aptly named, a “family trip”–hard to call it a vacation until the kids are a bit older) to the charming city of Avalon on Catalina Island. For four days we soaked up what the island has to offer, including a ferry ride from Long Beach,
trips to the beach,
a glass-bottom boat tour,
exploring around the historic Avalon Casino,
and climbing the steep staircases around the city to take in some beautiful views from above.
After returning from this trip, I feel unusually motivated to make positive changes in my life. It’s like a mini New Year’s Day. I suddenly want to clean my house from floor to ceiling, take a math placement test I’ve been putting off for my nutrition degree, and start a fundraising campaign to buy a new play structure for our church’s religious education center. (Calm the heck down, right?) And certainly after all the vacation eating–ice cream, margaritas, giant burritos, and a probably ill-advised stop at Carl’s Jr.–I’ve definitely felt the desire to get back to “normal” eating habits, i.e. healthy eating habits.
The first evening we were back, I decided we needed a mega-healthy dinner to counteract some of the vacation’s excesses. (Did I mention the two boxes of Girl Scout cookies that somehow stowed away in our snack bag for the drive?) Bring on the fiber! the vitamins! the omega-3 fatty acids! All those things not found in Girl Scout cookies and Carl’s Jr. onion rings! I’d been eyeing some recipes for Greek-style tilapia for awhile, but ended up winging it to create my own version that fit my craving for something healthy and flavorful.
Being from the Southwest, it’s probably hard-wired into my system to turn anything with diced tomatoes into a kind of salsa. I started off by combining tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and some other Mediterranean staples to make a Greek-style pico de gallo:
Spread over tilapia fillets, this zesty mixture complemented the fish’s mild flavor nicely. Served with orzo and accompanied by a green vegetable, it made a flavorful meal packed with nutrients that will be easy to whip up on a weeknight in the future. And yes, I promise there’s fish under there in the picture…I just happened to like the Greek salsa…a lot.
Zesty Greek Tilapia with Orzo
A Love Letter to Food Original
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 2.25 oz. can sliced olives, drained
2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
scant 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
black pepper to taste
5 medium tilapia fillets (about 15 oz.)
8 oz. oz. orzo pasta
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, olives, feta, green onion, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, and salt. Season with pepper.
3. Spray a 9 x 13″ baking pan with cooking spray and place tilapia fillets evenly in the pan. Spread the tomato mixture on top of the fish to cover.
4. Bake about 15 minutes or until the tilapia flakes easily with a fork.
5. Meanwhile, cook the orzo according to package directions. Serve tilapia over orzo.