I’ve been having some fun lately with two of my newest blogging tools. One, my brand new set of Martha Stewart chef knives and two, my digital camera. Before, I was having to deal with really poor quality photos from my iPhone. I would be able to spruce them up a bit with Picnik.com, but they were still pretty fuzzy and with the poor lighting in my little apartment, it was very hopeless. But I DO have a digital camera. It’s just been broken for the last year or so. It never occurred to me, my sister, the person that I live with, who loves photography and cameras, might know how to fix it. And low and behold…she did. So I’ve been very pleased to have it in the kitchen with me. Due to lighting issues I am still having to touch the pictures up a bit with Picnik so that the photos aren’t so dark, but the detail this camera captures is absolutely stunning….so let’s take a moment and gawk at my beautiful handiwork………………..okay it’s not THAT great. I’m not a photographer. Just a writer and a cook.
Today was my grandmother’s last day in town and so she took me out to lunch at a favorite place of mine, a tremendous Chinese buffet. It’s probably one of the biggest buildings we have in our little area. But it’s a fairly new place and I’ve already been a good handful of times. The food is really really good. Good selection and top notch quality (for an all you can eat buffet) and very reasonably priced. However fried food sits pretty heavy on my stomach. And by the time I was hungry again towards the end of the night, I was craving some real nutrition. About three years ago when I started this healthy eating adventure, I created a bunch of salad recipes. Salad and I have had a journey together. I really had to force myself to like salad. But lately, and I mean within the last few months, I have been devouring salads. It’s really strange how thing change like that isn’t it? I created this one back in those early times in my old cramped campus apartment/dorm when all I knew how to do as far as cooking was grilling frozen tilapia and chicken tenders. Oh those were the days! So many times I messed this one up and finally, after 3 total tries over the last few years, I have gotten it correct. While it seems really common sense to most people, pouring hot dressing over lettuce makes it wilt. And burning garlic actually makes it bitter. And if you don’t cut your salad pieces into nice small pieces, it’s going to be cumbersome. So I have taken all these things into consideration and created one of the tastiest and healthiest salads I know.
It’s called, Crunchy Tilapia Salad. Here’s how you make it!
1/4 cup of tasting olive oil (because normal olive oil tastes terrible to me)
3 cloves of garlic minced (you don’t have to use this much, I like my breath to smell bad)
salt and black pepper
red pepper flakes (because I like a little extra zing)
4 leaves Romaine lettuce (adjust volume to your liking)
1 filet of tilapia (I use frozen because it’s cheap)
Salt and pepper
Green onions, chopped
Cherry tomatoes, sliced
Make your salad dressing by heating the olive oil on low heat. Stir in the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. When oil is warm, toss in your garlic. The garlic will sizzle and start to cook. Keep stirring it for a few moments so that it doesn’t burn and then take it off the heat. Within that time the garlic flavor will infuse with the oil. DO NOT let it burn. It will become bitter and ruin your salad. Put in the refrigerator to cool down while you prepare the rest of your salad. It would be best if you would chop your vegetables while it is cooling so that it has time to really cool down. You don’t want wilted lettuce!
Season your tilapia filet with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and curry powder. Cook on a well-oiled pan or skillet until the fish becomes flaky. When the fish has reached this texture, break up the fish with a fork into little pieces. Take off heat and put to the side to cool.
Place your dressing in the bottom of a serving bowl and put your veggies on top. Mix well with a fork and spoon. Make sure you get the dressing all over so every bite has a nice garlic flavor! Add in the tilapia and mix it up.
THAT my friends is the perfect salad. And here’s the perfect bite of the perfect salad:
I literally licked the bowl clean people! I have never done that with a SALAD! The really nice thing about this salad is that it is so good for you and tastes SO good. I buy really good quality produce at the produce market and I find that this makes all the difference. The tomatoes were so sweet and the carrots were fresh and gave a really pleasing crunch. I didn’t even miss having croutons because the carrots made it so crunchy. There’s no cheese on this salad which helps with the fat, and the dressing is oil based instead of cream based which is much better for you. The fish has great protein and I find that even though you can’t see them, the green onions really gave it a nice extra flavor. I had never used curry powder to season the fish until tonight so that was a very nice edit. I felt like that really pulled the flavors together. If you are a fish fan and are looking for something really light and healthy, this is a great lunch or in my case, a delicious dinner after a heavy lunch.
I hope everyone makes this. You could definitely sub the tilapia for shrimp if you’re not a big fish person or really…you can just leave out the meat altogether. The dressing is what really makes the salad so it doesn’t matter what you do. It’s all good. Let me know what you think, guys! Just comment below!
I hope everyone is staying warm in this very cold January!
EAT, PRAY, LOVE,
The Hungry Hungry Health Nut