Quick & Easy, Vol. I: Quarantine Cooking // Baked Tilapia

Hello!! It's Babs here! :)

Upon watching all these quarantine cooking videos and trending recipes emerging, I've honestly been in awe.  Not only have I been experiencing immense mental fatigue during the lockdown, but cooking elaborate meals has NOT been my go-to move for that sense of joy it normally gives me. At this time, I'd like to thank every delivery service available for being there, truly.  Supporting local businesses... am I right? On the real though, I'm not sure what it is. Cooking, for me, is a way to expand on my creativity and it's a quick way to get results and reap the fruits of your labor. For a small business owner, that's a breath of fresh air, so why is it suddenly such a daunting process for me? Cooking suddenly went from exciting to "work". I immediately think of the dishes I'll have to clean and that tense trip to that grocery store we've had to endure for the last 90 days... and there's my answer. It's no longer a freeing feeling to spend as much time as you want outdoors, at the grocery store - spending time with each product thinking of what meals you can create with it. Challenging yourself with it. Instead, you're just trying to get in and out as fast as you can and with as little contact as possible. Dishes? The same dishes you've been staring at in your home for the last 3 months because you haven't been able to REALLY get a change of view!! You're suffocated. Props to all the people out there that have seriously flourished in the midst of this pandemic. Also props to everyone for just staying sane, honestly. I'm not sure what triggered it, but I started feeling like I should start finding alternatives to my usual meals if I ever wanted to get back on track. Immediately, I thought of fish! Not only is it SUPER quick to cook, but it's also packed with nutrients I'm sure many of us have been lacking these days. Now, this is where Trader Joe's comes in, they are the best source for ready-to-eat salad kits! I grabbed a bag of their Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit - YAAAS - and figured I'd use that as a side for my Baked Tilapia! Now cooking your own meals, in my opinion, is all about finding recipes that already exist and modifying it based on your preferences and ideas... or just what you have at home!

I found this one & modified it a bit: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a19665918/oven-baked-tilapia-recipe/

INGREDIENTS (** means modified by me):

  • 3 tilapia** instead of 4 bc that's what the packaging had, no other reason.
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tbsp. clarified butter/ghee ** 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon** (no zest)
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds ** I just used the lemon I used for juice and sliced it because... easier**
  • Sprinkle of Dill**
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish (totally up to you)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Season tilapia with salt and pepper and place on a small baking sheet.
  • Mix together ghee**, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, dill**, and zest(I'm not even sure how to zest) then pour over tilapia.
  • Place lemon rounds on top and around tilapia.
  • Bake tilapia for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish is fork-tender.
  • Broil tilapia for some golden crunch - not too much or you'll overcook it.**
  • Prep the TJ Salad Kit, and place it on your plate. 
  • Place the tilapia on top and it's ready for pics! 

This meal took less than 30 minutes and was about the least amount of effort and dishes you could probably create if you're not comparing it to a sandwich. Let me know what you think, if you tried it, have your own modifications and/or anything, really! Until next Sunday! <3 

This image was taken right before broiling:

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