Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tilapia Cakes/Patties and Raita Recipe

For weight loss purposes, I started eating fish this year.  I needed more protein in my diet and fish seemed like a good way to get it in without a lot of calories.  Since then, I've been experimenting in the kitchen, trying to come up with new ways to cook it.

When I've told people that I've started eating fish, many have asked about which fish I've tried and whether the decision extends to all seafood.  Then they tell me that they love crab cakes.  Taking that recommendation, I decided to come up with a recipe using one of the fish that I've actually tried, tilapia.  So here's what I came up with - Tilapia Cakes/Patties:

Tilapia Cakes/Patties Recipe

1 pound tilapia (4 filets)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons Panko
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 dashes hot sauce
Salt and ground pepper
Olive oil mist/spray

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse the tilapia filets and pat dry.  Mist a baking sheet with olive oil and place filets on the baking sheet.  Mist the tops of the filets with olive oil.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.

2. Once the fish is cooked, use a fork to flake it.

3.  In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg, and add in the flaked fish, chopped onion, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, dijon mustard, Panko, cilantro, hot sauce, and 1/8 tsp each of salt and pepper.  Mix to combine. 

4.  Form mixture into eight equal-size patties and place on a baking sheet or cutting board or plate.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I let mine sit in the fridge overnight). 

5. To cook, mist some olive oil onto a nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat.  Place patties onto skillet and cook two-three minutes on each side.

Here's what the cooked patties look like:

I served the tilapia cakes with some raita.  The recipe for the raita is below.

Nutritional Information:
Recipe makes 4 servings (2 patties per serving), each serving is:
Calories: 121
Carbs: 5
Fat: 2
Protein: 19
Fiber: 0
Sodium: 540

Raita Recipe


1 Persian cucumber (or half of a small cucumber)
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 packet Splenda
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt


1.  Shred the cucumber using a box grater and place in a mixing bowl.

2.  Add in the yogurt, cumin, salt, and Splenda.

3.  Stir to combine. 

Nutritional Information:
Recipe makes 4 servings, each serving is:
Calories: 41
Carbs: 4
Fat: 0
Protein: 6 
Fiber: 1
Sodium: 313

Monday, December 26, 2011

Restaurant Style Salsa Recipe

My family loves spicy food and they also love tex-mex.  Every time I go to visit, my mom makes me cook any new recipes I've come up with.  About two summers ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to make the addicting Mexican rice and salsa they have at restaurants, but healthier.  I came up with this recipe and now every time I visit, my family doesn't let me leave without making this a few times, and making extra for after I leave.  I will make a huge container of this salsa, and my dad will have eaten the entire thing in two days.  He also does this with my guacamole.  I'll post the guac and Mexican rice recipes soon.

Restaurant Style Salsa Recipe


4 roma tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers
1/2 red onion, chopped
lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
handful of cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


1. Place the tomatoes and jalapenos in a pot and cover with water. 

2. Place on stove and bring to a boil.  Boil until the skins of the tomatoes are wrinkly and start to come off.

3. Peel the skins off of the tomatoes and chop the stem off of the jalapenos.

4. Squeeze out as much water from the tomatoes as you can, then blend the tomatoes and jalapenos together.


5.  Add in the cilantro, onion, lime juice, salt, and pepper.

6.  Mix everything together and serve!

Nutritional Information:
This is for the entire batch, it ends up being nominal per tablespoon.
Calories: 193
Carbs: 42
Fat: 5
Protein: 5
Fiber: 7
Sodium: 1189

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup Recipe

I was craving broccoli and cheese soup one day and the one at Whole Foods was not stellar, so I decided to come up with my own version.  JK and I had this one evening before shopping and it was a hit.  I made it again on Thanksgiving and even my finicky mom loved it!  Be warned though, this soup is very very filling.

Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup Recipe


1/2 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup skim milk
3 cups frozen broccoli florets
8 oz (3/4 package) reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
olive oil and margarine


1.  Melt 1 tablespoon margarine and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook until soft, about two minutes. 

2. Add in the flour and stir to form a roux.  Cook for two minutes. 

3.  Pour in the vegetable broth, stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil.

4.  Add in the broccoli florets, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 6 minutes.

5. Scoop out the broccoli pieces and a little bit of the liquid and pulse in a blender or food processor.  You can also use an immersion blender if you have one.  

6.  Pour the blended broccoli back into pan and stir.  This thickens the soup.


7.  Add in the milk, season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil once again.

8.  Turn off the heat and sprinkle in the cheddar cheese, reserving a little bit for garnish.

9.  Stir the soup constantly until the cheese is completely melted.

10.  Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with a bit of cheddar cheese. 

Nutritional Information:
Makes 4 servings, each serving is:
Calories: 271
Carbs: 16
Fat: 15
Protein: 16
Fiber: 2
Sodium: 916

Monday, December 5, 2011

Roasted Acorn Squash Filled with Basil and Goat Cheese Risotto

I went on a little cooking bender a few weekends ago, mostly as a way to procrastinate on the studying.  I came up with a few recipes that I'll be posting, the first of which is this risotto filled acorn squash.  JK and I had plans to do dinner and go shopping after, so I made this dish for her one night.  She gave it two thumbs up, and I enjoyed it as well.

Roasted Acorn Squash filled with Basil and Goat Cheese Risotto Recipe


1 small acorn squash
2/3 cup arborio rice
1 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 white onion
2 ounces goat cheese
handful shredded pecorino or parmesan cheese
a couple of basil leaves, chopped
olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Hack the squash in half.

3. Scoop out and discard the seeds. 

4.  Place face down on an oiled baking sheet and place in the oven.  

5.  While the squash is cooking, chop up half an onion.  

6.  Melt tablespoon butter/margarine in a large pan and add about 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes.  

7.  While the onion is sautéing, in a separate pot, bring the vegetable broth to a slow boil. 

8.  Add in the arborio rice to the onion mixture.

9.  Toast the rice for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

10.  Pour in the white wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed.  Then ladle in the vegetable broth about half a cup at time, letting the liquid absorb before adding more broth.

11.  After 30 minutes, take the squash out of the oven and flip them over, so the insides are facing up.

12. Add a tablespoon of margarine/butter to the inside of the squash and place back in the oven.  

13.  Once you have used up all of the vegetable broth, the risotto should begin to look a little creamy.  Taste a piece to make sure the rice is cooked through.  If it isn't continue cooking with additional broth or water.

14.  When the risotto is cooked, add in the pecorino/parmesan cheese.

15.  Then add in the goat cheese.

16.  Stir the mixture until the cheeses are completely melted and it looks creamy.

17.  Add in some chopped basil (reserve some as a garnish to sprinkle on top).

18.  Remove the squash from the oven after it has been in there for an hour total.  To plate, place the squash halves in bowls or plates, spoon the risotto into the center, and sprinkle with the reserved basil.