Quick Healthy Meals for 1 (or 2): Dijon Tilapia and Vegetables

 Thanks to our good friend, Jen Check, I've been making this deliciously simple tilapia and vegetable bake time and time again.  She turned me onto this easy meal a few months ago and I'm completely head over heals with it.  It's a riff on several tilapia and salmon dishes that I've made with the twist of cooking the vegetables along with the fish, making this one of the easiest dinners I've ever cooked.  You can cook this in a toaster oven and in less than 20 minutes, you have a meal for one or two people (or lunch and dinner for yourself!)

I had planned on making this for my Cooking for 1 (or 2): Quick and Healthy Meals cooking class at ExtraordinaryEd this week, but alas, the class did not run.  Which is too bad because the folks who might have been interested in taking a class with me would have had a delicious meal served to them! My menu had the tilapia dish with couscous; a tofu and vegetable stir fry over somen noodles and an easy and healthy chocolate pumpkin cake, cooked in the microwave!  Instead, I'm having these meals for my dinner and lunches this week while sharing the recipes with you.


Dijon Tilapia and Vegetables Ingredients:

  • Finely diced Vegetable Assortment: 1/2 Small Carrot, ¼ Onion, 1 Small Celery Stalk, ¼ piece Zucchini and ¼ Piece Yellow Squash - all finely diced or minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Olive, Canola or Vegetable Oil - divided
  • Tilapia - 6 ounces per person, or 2 small fillets (which would be the equivalent) per person
  • 1 Teaspoon of Dijon Mustard per fillet
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Sheet Tray lined with a Silpat, Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil
  • 1 Teaspoon per Fillet chopped Parsley or Cilantro for Garnish - fresh or dried (optional, for colour)

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Line a sheet or baking tray with a Silpat, Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil
3. Peel, clean and finely mince/dice the vegetables, using the amounts indicated per serving. If cooking for 2 or more, use a whole carrot, ½ an onion, a medium stalk of celery and half each of the zucchini and squash.  After the vegetables are diced, place them together onto the prepared sheet tray and season lightly with a pinch of salt and a grind of freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with a teaspoon of oil then place in preheated oven for 5  minutes.
4. Lay the tilapia fillets onto the prepared sheet/baking tray and brush the mustard over each tilapia fillet then season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Top with a sprinkling of chopped parsley or cilantro and drizzle with the remaining teaspoon of oil.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
6. Remove, serve hot immediately with the vegetables and serve with starch of choice. (I served my meal over left-over fried rice!)

Couscous
· 2/3 Cup Boiling Water
· 1/3 Cup Uncooked Couscous
· Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
· 1 Teaspoon Olive or Oil of Choice
Directions:
1. Put the couscous into a heat-safe bowl.
2. Bring 1 cup of water to a rapid boil. 
3. Pour the boiling water over the couscous; cover the bowl with a plate or plastic wrap.  Let the couscous sit for up to 5 minutes to absorb the water.
4. Fluff with a fork and season to taste with salt, pepper and oil. Serve hot immediately.

Flavor enhancers – couscous is a mild, almost bland pasta that can take on flavors and works well as a cold side dish or as a breakfast cereal.  Add-ins such as dried apricots, craisins, raisins, toasted and chopped nuts, such as almonds, cashews, or pecans will work for savory and sweet dishes.  For a savory side-dish starch, add in the dried fruit to the couscous when you add in the boiling water.  Toss with salt, pepper, oil, the zest, juice and segments of 1 orange along with a tablespoon of olive oil.  Serve hot or cold.

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