easy tilapia and rice

Do you have a nacho and chili dog hangover?  Did you burn the lining of your stomach indulging in jalapeno poppers during the Superbowl?  Start your week off healthfully by preparing this easy tilapia dish.  Tilapia is a mild flavored fish and this recipe only takes 30 minutes.  Even folks who aren’t fish eaters will enjoy tilapia.  (Disclaimer:  we are ranchers and beef is really our eating preference but hey, even beef-eaters need to venture out once in a while)  This recipe is tasty and foolproof. Here’s the cast of characters:

You will need:
Frozen tilapia fillets (available at most supermarkets or Walmart)
butter (or olive oil)
onion (I used the pre chopped onions found in the produce section of my grocery store)
lemon pepper
limes or lemons
aluminum foil
rice (long grain is better than the instant ‘box-style’ rice)
chicken broth (I used Swanson’s chicken stock)
Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde or Rosarita’s Salsa Verde (this is somewhat ‘hot’) or another favorite salsa.
Pioneer Woman has a fantastic homemade salsa that would be great on this fish.

Preheat oven to 425.  Tear off sheets of aluminum foil (large enough to wrap the fish fillet).  Unwrap frozen tilapia and place on foil.  Squeeze the juice of fresh lemon or lime on the fish fillet.  Season with lemon pepper.  Top the fish with desired amount of chopped onions.  Chopped almonds and sliced peppers are also great additions for the top of the fish, if you like.  Slice a pat of butter (or use olive oil) and place on top of fish and toppings. This is what my fish looked like.  I just went with the onions and butter. The fish fillets are frozen…no need to thaw.

Wrap up the desired number of fish fillets. Place fillets in an oven proof pan (with sides) and put in a preheated 425 degree oven. Check for doneness after 20 minutes.

Prepare amount of rice you will need as directed on rice package EXCEPT substitute 1/2 the amount of liquid required with chicken broth. Example: if recipe calls for 2 cups water use 1 cup water and 1 cup chicken broth. Add a pat of butter to the liquid. Prepare rice as directed on package. My rice took about 25 minutes.

When fish is done, remove from oven. Open up aluminum foil pouch. Place a serving of rice on top of the tilapia (I keep my fish in the foil so the rice can soak up all the fish broth). Top the rice with your favorite sauce or salsa.  I love the Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde-it has a great acidic quality, but it is not hot.  The Rosarita’s Salsa Verde is hot.

A favorite tomato-based salsa is also good on this dish.  Experiment and use what you like best!  Pair this dish with a tossed salad or a nice steamed vegetable and you’ve got yourself an easy, healthful, inexpensive meal.  This has become one of my favorite easy meals.  Guaranteed to cure a Superbowl hangover.

2 reasons to love country living

My backyard this Friday morning

Snapped the feathered activity out my back window.  This roadrunner is very curious, but does he look like a criminal to you?  He (or one of his kind!) boldly broke into our doggie door while we were on vacation recently.  The brave daughter had to find a way to get him out.  Can you believe he has the nerve to show his face?  This shot will make a good WANTED poster. Yessir…..I’m keepin’ my eye on you. 

Question:  Do you feed the birds at your house?

Cookin’ up the name

My cooking skills were born of necessity.  Being the only girl-child in a family with two working parents,  the culinary responsibilities were mine.  We were down-and-out in those days and my cooking was appropriately white-trash.  Wish the concoctions could be called something cool like ‘soul food’ or ‘low country cooking’, but it was really poor-white-folks cookin’.  Beans with ham hock, sauerkraut with pork ribs, shit on a shingle corned beef hash on toast and (admitting…is…so………..HARD) beanee wienees.  There, I said it.  Happy?

When the only girl-child married several years ago, I was convinced she would love to have a cookbook filled with these family classics.  Since I am an obsessive maniac over-achiever, this became a monster project. Like a Dan Brown novel, the seed of my blog’s name lies secretly coded within the pages of this book, Cafe Diem.  I dug it out from under the Vatican archives to share with you. 

Cookbook cover.
The roommates.
Don’t eat yellow snow!

Some food puns

more puns


it’s getting scary, right?

I warned you!

Can you decipher my blog’s name in the code below? OK, I lied….it’s not in code. I just said that to keep you interested. But, there it is! Done years ago in this cookbook.

Well that’s it, my fellow Robert Langdons. The Holy Grail. Thanks for playing along with me. One never knows when a bad food pun will come in handy.  Mystery, solved. Question, answered.

the mammies are grammed

Went for my yearly mammo today. Patting myself on the back for being a conscientious adult and taking care of my health.  I am blessed with good health, but GEEZ I can understand why women put these things off.  If men had to do such things……..well, you can finish that sentence.  I am grateful.  You’re waiting for the colonoscopy story with baited breath, aren’t you??  Take care of your fine selves!photos www.dreamstime.com