Two more dinners.

Here are details on a couple more of the fairly easy dinners in heavy rotation in my kitchen — originally mentioned in the long and rambly Two dinners post. I am certain this update will be more to the point. Unless, of course, I get distracted again…. It happens.

First, Broiled Tilapia

Most of the tilapia I’ve encountered at restaurants and regular grocery stores is just kinda “meh”. But I get this delicious Regal Springs Tilapia at the Three Rivers Co-op Natural Grocery. It comes frozen (which generally doesn’t do a lot for fish, but this holds up great — and makes it handy to just keep a supply in the freezer). It actually has a nice pinkish color to it and a “meatier” texture than tilapia I’ve had other places. Regal Springs seems pretty cool. Check out their website for more on their sustainable approach to providing quality fish. It says “Regal Springs is proud to be the first aquafarm in the world to earn the International Standards for Responsible Tilapia Aquaculture (ISRTA), a rigorous standard that ranks fish farms on seven environmental and social impacts principles.” 

tilapia dinner
tilapia dinner


tilapia before broiling
tilapia before broiling

AND, it’s really easy to prepare (and the boys love it). Rub the tilapia fillets with olive oil, S&P and a bit of garlic powder. Press some grated parmesan on top (gives it a nice light crust) and sprinkle with some paprika (or any other herb you like — I just like the pretty orangey-red color). Broil.

Here I was dishing it up with organic brown rice and organic (frozen) peas.  Start the brown rice, do the fish, steam or microwave the peas just before the fish comes out.

Have I gone on yet about Gwyneth’s approach to cooking brown rice from her cookbook It’s All Good? (And, of course, she is right and now I do it her way all the time. Sheesh – she is so annoying). I don’t think I mentioned it in my earlier post that ended up being — as usual — all about her…. So here it is:

Perfectly Cooked Brown Rice (Gwyneth’s recipe)

Makes 3 cups

  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • Coarse sea salt

Rinse the rice thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear.  Place it in a pot set over high heat with the water and a big pinch of salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through, exactly 45 minutes.  Turn the heat off, place a dry paper towel between the pot and the lid, and let the rice sit for at least 5 minutes before giving it a fluff with a fork.

 Second, Whole Wheat Pasta & “Gravy”

As I’ve explained before, for some reason (note to self: “research etymology of ‘gravy’ for other blog), a lot of Italian immigrant families call tomato/spaghetti sauce “gravy”. I learned it from my inlaws 20+ year ago and I will forever call it that. As will my boys, I am sure. At least at home — anywhere else it does tend to confuse people (which is part of the charm/entertainment-value of using the word in the first place).

I make a big pot of gravy every month or so. Freeze 3/4s of it. Make more when I pull the last container out of the freezer.

So if you’ve got your gravy, this is a really easy one. Boil whole wheat pasta. (I’m a big fan of Meijer Organics whole wheat pastas. I’ve tried some more expensive ones, but the boys and I prefer this.) Warm up gravy. Grate some parmesan. Steam or microwave some organic veg and … dinner.

Oh - I made a little salad, too!
Oh – I made a little salad, too!

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