Tilapia with Chard, Diced Tomatoes and White Beans

Now is the time to start eating "clean" - don't wait until the New Year to diet or eat healthy, it's important to get back to lighter fare today. This way, if you over-indulge on New Years Eve and or New Year's Day, you can feel somewhat better about the choices you have made in the days leading up to the new year. I have been hitting the sugar and dessert buffet a bit too often around here, along with the bread bar and cheese trough. Since the baby was born 10 weeks ago, I haven't been to the gym often enough during any given week. While I'm probably making 80% healthy eating choices, I've been feeling logy and lethargic; it's a combination of lack of exercise and some small weight gain. I'm trying hard not to beat myself up, but it can be nearly impossible not to think I'm going back to my former fat self. But it is just as difficult to work, keep up with housework, shop, walk the dog and assist Liz with the baby care. There just doesn't seem to be much time in the day to fit in a gym workout. Either I wake up early to go to the gym which cuts my sleep down even more or I have to be a little more gentle with myself and my growing mid-section. What I can do stay eating light and healthy is to throw out the candy, cakes and cookies and start eating what I call my "Temple Foods" - life giving, power-foods that are low-fat and energizing. Salmon and other fish, beans, and a lot more vegetables. Here's a quick, one-pot easy fish dish that fits the plate perfectly: Tilapia with Chard, Diced Tomatoes and White Beans - Served over No-Yolk Noodles

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Basil Flavored Olive Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves - minced
  • 1 Large Bunch Swiss/Rainbow/or Red Chard - rinsed, stems removed & roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Can (14 to 16 ounces) White Beans - drained & rinsed
  • 1 Can (14 to 16 ounces) Diced Tomatoes - plain & low-sodium or go crazy & try a flavor like Jalapeno or Basil & Garlic!
  • 1 Pound Tilapia Fillets (about 4-5 fillets)
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper - to taste
Directions:
  1. Use a large non-stick saute pan or skillet with a tight fitting lid. Heat the two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer, about 1 minute. Stir in the minced garlic and saute 1 minute. Add in the chopped chard leaves, put the lid on the skillet and allow the chard to steam/saute until it wilts and collapses down onto itself. It may appear that the chard won't fit into the pan, but as it cooks down, it will fit. Cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes, stirring to mix into the chard. Pour in the white beans and the diced tomatoes with their juices. Season with a pinch of salt and a few dashes of ground black pepper.
  3. Lay the tilapia fillets on top of the chard/beans/tomato mixture. Season the fillets with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the lid on the pan and cook the fish for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and gently pierce the fish to see if it's cooked all the way through. The tilapia fillets should be opaque throughout. To assist in the cooking, spoon some of the sauce that is in the pan over the fillets.
  4. Serve immediately, over noodles or whole wheat pasta, with the chard, beans and tomatoes and a small drizzle of olive oil over the finished fish. Makes 4 Servings or 3 generous portions. Here's to your health!

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