Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Holy Tilapia! This Fish is Good!

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
I was always a salmon girl (pronouncing it with the 'L' for years and years, mind you). It was a 'safe' fish. My mom served it up in such a way that I asked for more. It didn't creep me out. Generally, we got along, salmon and I.

But as my taste buds have ventured out into other waters, my eyes (and heart) have begun to stray. I'm noticing other fish. I know it's wrong, but it just...feels so right!

Alright, I said it!! You got me, ok?!? Tilapia, it's always been you!

But jokes aside, this little fish packs a big punch nutritionally! As opposed to my 'on again, off again' boyfriend steak, tilapia is...

  • A lean meat, meaning it's extremely low in fat and calories. One 3.5 oz. serving of cooked tilapia has approximately 3 grams of fat and 128 calories. What little fat it contains is all unsaturated fat, which will not clog your arteries and is actually good for your heart.- Glamour shots, here you come!
  • Full of omega-3 fatty acids which actually promote heart health - Gives your heart a running start!
  • A great source of vitamin B12, a vitamin essential to metabolic function and maintaining your energy levels - No mid-day power nap necessary, folks!
  • Rich in selenium, a nutrient that actually helps to reduce your risk of developing cancer! - Take a hike, cancer!
  • Packed with 26 grams of protein per serving! Depending on your body weight, this could be up to half of your daily requirement (based on a 150 lb. person) - Put down the egg cocktail, Rocky!

Tilapia also has one of the lowest mercury levels of all fish, meaning you can eat 2-3 servings a week without worrying about consuming too much (DISCLAIMER: If you are 'with child', always consult your doctor before eating fish).

If your tilapia is frozen, always allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 2 days this way and allow you the chance to marinate it as it thaws. Talk about multi-tasking!

Try throwing some tilapia over a salad for lunch OR for dinner, substituting tilapia for meat in your tacos! You can broil it, roast it, saute it....whatever your heart desires. I recommend heating a saute pan over medium-high heat. While it's warming up, lightly coat both sides of your tilapia with olive oil, then sprinkle a generous coating of your spice of choice on both sides (I use one of those combo spices from the grocery store that are great for any type of meat). Once your pan is hot, cook the tilapia until it is opaque inside (about 5-7 minutes), flipping it about halfway through. Quick and tasty!

Here are some other great recipes to get you started:

Image courtesy of myrecipes.com

Image courtesy of realsimple.com

Image courtesy of eatingwell.com

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