Tilapia en Papillote – Fast, light, flavorful fish dish

Tilapia en papillote

Tilapia en papillote

 

On my journey to keep up with the good resolutions, I figured I need to try to cook my usual fried tilapia a different way… sure, tilapia is great fried in oil and butter, mostly when the edges are getting all crispy, yum! But that’s loads of fat I don’t want right now. Then I remembered of this easy trick, I used to cook fish a long time ago; “en papillote”.

Papillote is a french word that means “wrapped in”, here, the fish is wrapped in foil. You can add a lot of things, along with the fish, to enhance the flavors. I personally love to wrap it with onions, tomatoes and parsley. The options are endless! Basically, because the fish is totally sealed in foil, it will cook by steam from its own juice that are trapped in the sealed foil. So you virtually need no fat at all to cook it, it just won’t stick, and will still be extra tender.

So possibilities are endless, but this is pretty much how I did the one above:

Ingredients (for one person)

1 tilapia fillet

1 fresh tomato, sliced

a few slices of onion, or chopped green onions

fresh parsley

Mrs Dash lemon pepper seasoning (love this, has no salt, no msg, very flavorful)

salt

pepper

1 tsp of olive oil (optional)

Lay a long piece of aluminium paper, big enough to wrap and seal your fish, on a baking tray. If using oil, spread it in the center of the foil. Lay the tilapia, sprinkle some lemon pepper seasoning on the fish. Then lay the onion, tomato and some chopped fresh parsley all around. Season everything with salt and pepper.

Wrap the foil to leave no possible hole. Bake in preheated oven at 400 F for 20 min (more if you cook several fillets together).

Let rest 5 min before opening the foil. Be very careful when opening! Hot escaping steam can burn real bad, trust me, I know… 😦

Serve with rice (love dumping the juices from the fish on my rice), steamed potatoes or veggies.

Enjoy!

XOXO

Tartine

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The cabbage soup diet: the wrap up!

Foggy Quay - Tartine & Maple

The beautiful foggy quay on route to the fresh market

To finish where I left off on the previous post about the diet;

4th day: bananas and skim milk, yeah!!! I loved that day! It felt so satisfying for some reason! Maybe the density of the bananas and the dairy withdraw… Also, as I was reading through the FAQ of the site, I made a major discovery: I can have coffee!  I don’t know why I thought I couldn’t, but that was great news! I had a very though night just previously (sick kid), and since I was allowed milk, guess what I had that morning: a grande latte!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was the BEST highlight of the day! That night I also went to Zumba, and got my ass kicked, literally!  My friend had this theory that, since this kind of fitness center is overcrowded with people just here because of their New Year’s resolutions, the teachers make sure to kick their butt right off the bat, to eliminate the temporary disturbers… eh, why not, I totally agree to the tactic, if it is indeed what it is! I hate how the gym is always mega crowded only in January!

5th day: meat and tomatoes. Yeah proteins!!! It said that you should have beef, but can substitute with chicken or fish. Since tomorrow is a beef day, that day I had grilled chicken for lunch and steamed fish for dinner. With lots of tomatoes. Was great to have some animal flesh again!!! I know, sounds gross, but heh, I’m a carnivore!

6th day: beef and veggies, as much beef as you want! NICE! I made a stir fry with beef and veggies for lunch and had a grilled steak, a big one, for dinner! It was so filling, I couldn’t even eat veggies that night! I think my stomach shrunk, which is probably a good thing… Now, I have to admit a big faux-pas… See I committed to bake 2 galettes, like the one I posted about in Tartine’s 2013 resolutions: having an epiphany!!!!!!!!  for my son’s school, so had to do some baking that night. And… I miserably caved and licked the spoon multiple time and scrapped the bowl with both satisfaction and anger… hugh, the guilt was terrible! Morale: do not bake while on your diet, even for a good cause!!!! Just don’t do it.

7th and final day: brown rice and veggies. Meh, not that great after a beef day, but it’s the last one!!!

The wrap up: 

As previously mentioned  I usually don’t weight myself. I had this time, weighted myself on the 1st day and after the last day; I lost 3 pounds. It doesn’t sound much when you read that the web-site claims you can loose 10 pounds! I can think of a few reasons why: I didn’t follow the rules to the T. I cheated a couple time, I use my 1 tsp of oil per day, every day, I did had a bit of salt or vinegar, as I just can not eat veggies with nothing on it, and I didn’t have that much to loose in the 1st place. Plus, the site says you can eat as much as you want to to satisfy your hunger, as long as it is allowed food, and I definitely did not let myself going hungry!

SO? Well, I’m happy, I fit in my skinnies again! That’s just what I wanted! Plus forcing myself into eating so much veggies really helped me rediscover how good and simple it can be. I am ready to re-introduce more fresh food in my diet. Also ready all together to eat healthier. I did a run to the natural store this week-end and stocked up on healthy snacks, so no reason to cave again!

Healthy Groceries

Healthy Groceries

Now, what to eat? That’s the tricky part, you can’t just go back to your previous eating after a diet like that and expect to not gain it back on. So I have been really careful all week-end: had some green monster shakes, home made pizza with super thin crust and veggie toppings, big salads, lost of fruits… and I keep busy, to keep myself off of food.

Fine crust veggie pizza - Tartine & Maple

Green Monster - Tartine & Maple

Will see how it goes, but I feel great and want to keep it up!

Ready for the challenge? If you decide to go on (a few friends have started it since my last post, all the best to them!), please, tell me your story! I would love to hear how it goes for you!

XOXO

Tartine

 

 

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The cabbage soup diet: the wrap up!

Tilapia en Papillote – Fast, light, flavorful fish dish

Tomato Gazpacho, get that summer in a soup!!!

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The cabbage soup diet, 3 days in!

cabbage soup

There, I’m doing it, the cabbage soup diet! Yeah, well I say I was going to try it!!! Even if it is all folklore, and I don’t really need to loose so much weight (2-3 pounds would make me feel better), the need to feel cleaner from the inside is my motivation. Not sure if it is actually true, but some say surgeons used to give this diet to patient before heart surgery, because it is supposed to unclog your system from bad fats and all that stuff. Honestly, the whole month of December, all the way until yesterday morning (had my work holiday party last night, and had way too much to drink, so perfect timing to clean up the alcohol too remaining in my system), I have made no concessions!!!

Several friends, with whom I have shared my intentions about this diet, have argued that I really don’t need to lose weight. And fine, I am far for overweight, but even though, not fitting in any of your pants is just not acceptable anymore! It gets to your moral, and your wallet! Let’s face it; it’s cheaper to buy the ingredients for the soup than a new wardrobe!

So there it goes. I got the information and recipe from this web site: http://www.cabbage-soup-diet.com/. Now, in black is the original recipe, and in red my changes.

  • 6 large green onions
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (2 used)
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 container (10 oz. or so) mushrooms (didn’t have fresh, used one can of mushrooms, rinsed)
  • 1 bunch of celery (used half of one bunch, not so fan of celery, which was already plenty for me!)
  • half a head of cabbage
  • 1 package spice only soup mix (In the US, Liptons is a good choice) (didn’t used that)
  • 1 or 2 cubes of bouillon (optional) (didn’t used that)
  • 1 48oz can Low Sodium V8 juice (optional) (didn’t used that)
  • Season to taste with pepper, parsley, curry, garlic powder, etc. (added a lot of fresh grinded black pepper, half a bunch of fresh parsley, which adds its share of health benefits!)
  • Other things added/changed:
  • I also added 2 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon Organic Beef Base for added taste. Love that stuff, it has so much flavours without all the MSG usually found in cubes of bouillon.
  • Finally I added a bit of dried laurel, rosemary, basilica and savory, can’t be hurting…
  • The recipe said to add 8 to 12 cups of water, but I didn’t have enough room, so I added more water after cooking.
  • The recipe is telling you to use non-stick spray to sauté the onions, but I have to disagree. Cooking spray contains soy lecithin, soy fatty acids and propellants, which I really prefer to replace by a teaspoon of good olive oil… but that’s just me

Now, making the soup, I’m pretty sure you can manage without my instructions… or visit the above site if you need them. Just remember to cut your veggies small enough to be able to eat them easily after cooking. It is not recommended to blend the soup. The action of chewing your food does help making you feel fuller.

Another disagreement with the recipe: It says to cook your soup for 2 hours!!! What a waste of time and good nutriments! I cooked it in a pressure cooker for 20 min after the whistle started, and it turned out perfect! The veggies are cooked enough, there is a remaining crunch to the celery, and I feel like I saved some of the vitamins by not overcooking…

This soup is really not bad I have to say! I didn’t added salt at all since there is some in the beef base, and it wasn’t lacking! I also added a few drops of tabasco to my bowl, and it was much better than anticipated!

So now, it’s been 3 days, how is it going…

If you read on the site, you’ll see that each day, you get to eat certain food, along with the soup.

1st day: fruits. Not bad, love fruits, was a pretty good day! Plus recovering from a hangover, eat so fresh all day was quite satisfying! Every time I felt hungry, I would just eat more fruit!

day 2 lunch

seasoning

2nd day: vegetables. Not as fun. Not that I don’t like veggies, but rather have fruits, that’s my sweet tooth! Plus veggies without salt or seasoning, huh, kinda hard for me! I did cheat and used a teaspoon of olive oil (authorized cheat …) with lemon juice for topping to my salads, but still… oh, and you’re allow to one baked potato for dinner! Let me tell you, I never savoured a baked potato this much ever in my life!!! It was so good, I kept aside a half to eat later, while hubby was having his chocolate nightly snack, so I wouldn’t cave! That’s right, he ate chocolate in front of me? Rude don’t you think?

Those 2 days, were my days off, and I didn’t do much, beside a nice walk to the park with the kids, even managed to take a nap! So things were good…

3rd day: veggies and fruits. The food wasn’t the problem, but going to work was… I felt so tired all day!!! Not hungry though, and I brought enough soup and fruits to satisfy my hunger, but I was drained! Lack of sugar? Proteins? Starch? Not sure, but today was though. While preparing dinner for the kids, I caved and had a piece, tiny piece of their baked salmon… It smelled so good!!! Oh well, at least it’s not chocolate!

Tomorrow, bananas and milk, I’m pretty excited about that to be honest! Sweet bananas and fresh cold milk… hummmmm.

Keep you updated later this week, wish me luck!

Make sure to read the wrap up! The cabbage soup diet: the wrap up!

XOXO

Tartine

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The cabbage soup diet: the wrap up!

Tilapia en Papillote – Fast, light, flavorful fish dish

Tomato Gazpacho, get that summer in a soup!!!

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Tomato Gazpacho, get that summer in a soup!!!

Tomato Gazpacho

Heads up people! Summer is almost over!!!!

Sorry if I’m breaking the news to you, but it’s unfortunate facts… But there is still the long week-end to enjoy before it really tastes like fall. Even if its official date is September 22nd, for me, like most of you, it starts right after Labor day: School, dead leaves, shorter days, rain (thanks BC) are not waiting 22 more days, you know…

This year particularly, I feel very anxious about this summer end. My oldest kid, my son Matthew, is going to school for the 1st time!!! Well kindergarden, but still! He is not a baby anymore!!! Well of course, he is 4 after all. But every kid is a baby until they go to school, no???

Anyway, let’s enjoy it. Let’s enjoy those wonderful products of summer, like fresh ripped tomatoes! If you are one of those lucky ones and have had so many tomatoes in your garden, that you just don’t know what to do with them (and I envy you, I had NOTHING growing this year …), this is the perfect recipe for using them all!

Gazpacho is a cold soup with a tomato base, originating from Spain. But you can read more about it here.

Super fresh, zesty and a bit spicy, if you like it this way, you can customize to the infinity and slurp on it at any time!!!

Happy Labor Day week-end!!!!

Ingredients (5 cups)

  • 5 or more ripped tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t tabasco
  • fresh chives and basil

Instructions

  • Peel the cucumber, dice the garlic and herbs, chop all the veggies. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until there is no more visible chunks.
  • Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Serve in bowls, glasses or shallow plates. You can add more chopped basil, drops of olive oil, or dollops of fresh goat cheese for serving, and side of toasted bread, tapenade and cheese.

For the easy to print, share and e-mail recipe, visit my Recipage.

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Pickled Cucumbers a la French!!! (“Cornichon” kind)

Pickled Cucumbers

It’s done! I thought it would happen this year, but yeah! Pickling cukes is something I try to do every summer, because I do it the french way, wich is quite different from the regular american pickles.
Those of you that have travelled to France might be familiar with “cornichons“, or gherkins, which are really the replacement to your pickles. They go in sandwiches, salad, accompany your toast of cheese and deli meat. But they are way smaller than the american cukes,
and prepared differently. Therefore I always pick the smallest ones here. We just cover them with salt overnight and store them in vinegar with tarragon and pepper.
Anyway I realize this week that the season for cukes is coming to an end, and I work everyday, farms would be closed when I get off, weekend not here!!!! Panic! Thankfully my friend E. Was able to get some for me on Friday. So after work, pickling time started, and needed to be other before we leave for the weekend! Totally manageable, pickling cukes really doesn’t require special skills, just a couple of hours, vinegar, salt, herbs and jars!
Want to give it a try? Hurry! Season is almost over!
Happy pickling!

Ingredients (about 10 lbs)

  • For 10 lbs of cukes
  • 1 gallon natural white vinegar
  • 2 lbs kosher salt
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 1 fresh bunch of Tarragon
  • Mustard seeds
  • Whole pepper corns assorted: black, white, pink

Instructions

  • Clean the cukes by wiping them with a clean cloth, do not wash with water.
  • Set up a grill over a large container or sink. Cover the grill with a clean cloth so salt will not fall through. Place one flat layer of cukes. Cover almost completely with salt. Place another layer of cukes and salt as needed. Leave as is overnight. Do not leave in salt more than 10 to 12 hours, or they will get too soft

  • Clean enough jars and lids. I soak them overnight in hot water with a cup of white vinegar to remove any smell. In the morning, scrub, rinse and dry.Remove as much excess salt from the cukes as possible by wiping them with a clean cloth. Place the cukes in the jar, vertically will save space and will be easily accessible. Leave a bit of room as they will absorb vinegar and get bigger. Then add a few peeled garlic cloves, tarragon, 10 to 30 pepper corns depending on the size of your jar, and 1 to 3 teaspoon of mustard seed. Fill jars with vinegar, leaving an each from the top. Close jars and Store in a cool and dark place.
  • Wait about a month to enjoy!

Find the easy to print, share, e-mail recipe on my Recipage.

Linkies:

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Drunken Watermelon Slushy. Love, Music and hopefully sun!!!!

Drunken Watermelon Slushy

This week-end is going to be awesome!!! No matter what, but it would be better if it was extra sunny and hot!!! You just never know in BC, so please send positive thoughts to the sky for us this weekend!!!!

Let’s start this again; this weekend, is going to be awesome, because hubby and I are going to the Live at Squamish Music Fest!!! We are going to be young again! No kids, no worries, no driving back after drinking, it is going to be good! All day outdoor music, with a great line up of most amazing Canadian bands, even if we are really going just to see The Tragically Hip, I’m sure they all going to be good! Drinking and eating with no limits, then crashing at a hotel…. because I don’t mind feeling young and raunchy again, but let’s not push it, I am not sleeping on the campsite by the festival, nonono… Like I said, let’s make it a weekend!

Anyhow, that’s what will be doing! To celebrate the fiesta ahead, I am sharing with you this great summer drink recipe. Easy, refreshing, sweet and even the kids would like it (just omit the vodka, please…). I wish I could bring it with me, but like all good festival, you have to buy your booze on site… Oh well, as long as it’s nice and cold….

So while I’m away partying, enjoy slurping on this amazing slushy!!!

Party on!!!!!Woohoo!!! (with fingers in the air)

Ingredients (2 glasses)

  • 4 cups diced watermelon
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries (or other berries)
  • 2 shots of vodka
  • 1 T vanilla syrup (or simple syrup, honey, sugar… any sweetener)
  • 6 fresh mint leaves (optional)

Instructions

  • Place your diced watermelon in the freezer for at least 4 hours prior.
  • Add all the ingredients to the blender, blend until slushy, and Voila!!!
  • I do the same with no vodka for a kid friendly version.

Find the easy to print, share and e-mail recipe on my Recipage.

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Linkies:

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Post publishing updates:

Sep 1st: This recipe was featured on Scrumptious Sunday, from the yummy blog: Addicted to Recipes!!! Thank you for your support!

I was featured, I was Featured by Addicted to Recipes

Quinoa Tabouleh, best side to your BBQ!

Quinoa Tabouleh

Usually prepared with bulgur or couscous, Tabouleh is amazing with quinoa! Quinoa has so much goodness to it, if you haven’t tried it yet, now is time!

This side dish is the perfect addition to your BBQ feast; refresing, healthy and zesty, everyone will enjoy a scoop of it, really, everyone! It answers to pretty much all kinds of diet: vegan, dairy free, gluten free… and more, but none the less, amazingly tasty!

Very easy to prepare, but must be done in advance!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Ingredients: for a dozen guests, as a side dish

  • 1 & 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 & 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 3 or 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 t Tabasco
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper

Directions:

  • The day before, or morning of, cook your quinoa in the water; on high until it starts boiling, then 10 min on low, covered. If water is left after that, remove all excess with a strainer. Do not over cook, the quinoa will absorb other liquids later!
  • Let the quinoa cool to room temperature, then add lemon and oil. Refrigerate overnight, or until completely cold.
  • Once cold, add to the quinoa all the remaining ingredients. season to taste. Refrigerate again for at least another 2 hours before serving.
  • Serve really cold, as a side dish. Best done the day before, so all the flavors marinate together. Your vegetables won’t get soft until the 2nd or 3rd day.

Find the easy to share, print and e-mail recipe on my Recipage.

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Linkies

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Post publishing updates:

September 6th: This recipe was featured on the top 6 savory recipes of  Whatcha’ Whipped Up, from the delicious blog: DJ”s Sugar Shack! Thank you so much!!!