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Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus & Lemon

Spring is the easiest time of the year to eat healthy because of the abundance of fresh produce that becomes available. Try this main course using tilapia, an easy fish to find in the supermarket, which can be purchased relatively inexpensively in frozen bags. And make use of that spring produce with an excellent side dish featuring asparagus, peas and basil that takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Health Advantages: Low calorie, low carb, low saturated fat, low sodium, high potassium, high calcium, healthy weight. 


Tilapia Ingredients

  • Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus & Lemon2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1 pound tilapia, Pacific sole, or other firm white fish fillets

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice


Tilapia Directions

  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan.

  2. Put asparagus in a steamer basket, place in the pot, cover and steam until tender-crisp (about 4 minutes). Transfer to a large plate, spreading out to cool.

  3. Combine chili powder, garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon salt on a plate. Dredge fillets in the spice mixture to coat.

  4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

  5. Add the fish and cook until just opaque in the center, gently turning halfway (5 to 7 minutes). Divide among 4 plates.

  6. Immediately add lemon juice, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and asparagus to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the asparagus is coated and heated through (about 2 minutes.) Serve the asparagus with the fish.


Asparagus, Peas & Basil Ingredients

  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch piece

  • ¾ pound shelled fresh peas (2 ½ cups) or 1 10-ounce package thawed frozen pea

  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Handful of torn basil leaves


Asparagus, Peas & Basil Directions

  1. Cook shallots in butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just tender (about 4 minutes).

  2. Stir in asparagus, peas, sea salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, then seal skillet with foil.

  3. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender but still slightly al dente (about 8 minutes).

  4. Stir in basil and sea salt, to taste.


This information has been approved by Clinical Nutrition Services (March 2009). For specific diet information tailored to your needs, we recommend you consult with one of our registered dietitians.