Tag Archives: light

Cornmeal and Chia Crusted Tilapia with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

DSC_0054You might be familiar with the chia seed because you have pasted the tiny seeds onto a porous clay figurine and heard the catchy/slightly annoying ch-ch-ch-chia jingle on the infomercials, but did you know that Chia seeds make a great addition to your diet and are said to be a “superfood”?  Chia comes from the Mayan word for strength, and the seeds were a staple in Aztec and Mayan diets.  Chia seeds are a good source of fatty acids, fiber, calcium, and antioxidants.  They are thought to help stabilize blood sugars, reduce joint inflammation, sustain a high level of energy, and lower your blood pressure.  They are also thought to have more antioxidants than fresh blueberries.

Chia seeds can be either black or white and used raw or cooked.  They have a mild, nut-like flavor and can be sprinkled on your cereal, salads, or yogurt.  The seeds, unlike flax, do not have to be ground, so they can are very easy to use!  The seeds also swell when mixed with liquids, so they can be soaked in a liquid of your choice to form a gel or pudding. That same swelling nature makes them a great substitute for egg in baked goods.  In Mexico, they are mixed with water and lemon or lime juice to make a drink called “Chia Fresca”.

When chia seeds are not soaked in a liquid, they have a nice, light, crunchy texture.  That light crunch is what makes them a perfect breading option for delicate fish.  Cornmeal and Chia Crusted Tilapia is a great swimsuit friendly way to work fish into your weeknight meal plans.  It only takes 20 minutes to prepare, and the Chipotle Yogurt Sauce adds a nice kick to keep your taste buds happy!

Cornmeal and Chia Crusted Tilapia with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal ground
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 8 ounces Greek yogurt, plain
  • ¼ cup chipotle flavored hot sauce (Tabasco or Cholula brands work well)
  • Pan Spray


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a shallow bowl, mix together cornmeal, chia seed, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  In another small bowl, mix Greek yogurt and chipotle hot sauce.  Set aside.

Lay tilapia fillets on a cutting board and spread one generous tablespoon of chipotle yogurt sauce over the fillets.  (do not double dip into the mixture because the remaining amount can be used as a serving sauce.)

Lay the fillet, yogurt side down in the cornmeal mixture and press lightly.  Remove from the cornmeal mixture and place on a greased baking sheet cornmeal side up.  Spray each fillet with pan spray to help the cornmeal mixture brown evenly.

Bake for 15 minutes or until fillets are cooked through and the cornmeal mixture is golden brown.   Serve with reserved yogurt mixture.

Serves 4



Posted by on March 2, 2015 in Fish

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Skinny Smashed Red Potatoes

One thing I love to eat in the winter is mashed potatoes.  Of course, I like to make them with cream and butter, but I have found a delicious way to prepare those creamy red potatoes with a fraction of the fat and calories!  What a tasty way to stick to your fitness goals and add a little extra protein to your families diet!







Skinny Smashed Red Potatoes

  • 6 medium red potatoes, washed and quartered (peeling on)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (and enough water to cover the potatoes)
  • 3 cloves garlic, whole, peeled
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain (more as needed to reach desired consistency…I have used up to 1 cup)
  • 3 wedges laughing cow Swiss flavor cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper


Add potatoes and chicken stock to a medium size pot.  Add enough water to cover the potatoes.  Add garlic cloves and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft in the middle and cooked through.  Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid and drain potatoes.  Place potatoes and garlic cloves back into pot.   Add cooking liquid and cheese.  Using potato masher, smash potatoes to break their shape.  Add Greek yogurt, salt and pepper.  Continue to smash until desired consistency.  Add more yogurt if needed.  Serves 6



Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Sides

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Spicy Dill Yogurt Dip

Looking for a dip with a little bit of zip?  How about one that you can load up on instead of measuring by the tablespoon?  Here is a great recipe for Spicy Dill Yogurt Dip.  This also make a great salad dressing!  If you like a thinner dressing, just whisk in a little bit of milk or try this recipe with regular plain yogurt instead of Greek!

This dip is measured out for 1/2 cup of yogurt, so you can easily multiply it as many times as you need for your next gathering!


Spicy Dill Yogurt Dip

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed, dried
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, fresh minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional or can add more if you like)


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth and well combined.




Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Appetizers, Dips, Snacks

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Asparagus,Tomato and Feta Penne

Looking for something speedy for dinner?  This delicious pasta dish is light, colorful and works great as side dish or main course.  Asparagus is in season and it’s time to take advantage of the tender green stalks.  When shopping for asparagus, look for stalks that are firm, bright green and have a purplish tint to the tips.  There should never be signs of shriveling or mushiness.  To store your asparagus, while it is still in the rubber band, cut 1/2 to 1 inch off of the bottoms and place them in a coffee mug.  Add 1 inch of cold water and store them in your refrigerator.  Your asparagus will last almost twice as long!


Asparagus, Tomato and Feta Penne

  • 8 ounces penne pasta (with water and salt for cooking)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup asparagus, fresh, 2 inch bias cut
  • 2 cloves garlic, fresh minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine, I used chardonnay
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled


Prepare pasta according to package directions. (drain and set aside when finished cooking)

Meanwhile, in large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering.  Add asparagus, salt and pepper.  Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  reduce heat to medium and add garlic.  keep sautéing for an additional minute.  Deglaze the pan by pouring in the white wine and being sure to scrape any bits off of the bottom of the pan.  Let wine reduce by half.  Add tomatoes and pasta to pan and gently toss until combined.  Sprinkle with feta cheese and enjoy!


Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Pasta, Sides


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Spinach Dip

Photo from Knorr

This afternoon I had some time to play around in the kitchen and was in the mood for snacking.  Here is a recipe remake that is sure to keep your tastebuds happy!  I have always had a weakness for creamy dips and spreads at parties and barbecues so I decided to make one that I could feel good about eating.  Typically this vegetable dip package calls for mayonaise and sour cream, but I used plain greek non-fat yogurt, which is only 60 calories in 1/2 cup and double the protein of regular yogurt!  Plus, greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt, so the texture stays very close to regular spinach dip.  I have been enjoying this dip with special k multi-grain crackers or celery sticks,  but torn french or Hawaiian bread is another crowd pleaser.





Spinach Dip

  • 1 pkg knorr vegetable dip mix
  • 3 cups non fat greek yogurt, plain (I prefer Greek Gods)
  • 1 can water chestnuts, finely chopped 
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed, all excess water squeezed out

Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and stir until well combined.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.


Posted by on July 5, 2011 in Appetizers, Dips, Snacks

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Baked Walleye

Prepared walleye ready to go into the oven

Do you know anyone who is doing a little ice fishing this time of year?  If so, I have a recipe that you will want to keep handy!  Here is an old family recipe for baked walleye.  The golden brown, light and crispy potato breading on it is so good that you will find it hard to resist eating every last crumb off of the pan!

Baked Walleye

  • 4-6 medium walleye fillets
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1.5 cups mashed potato flakes, I prefer hungry jack.  (it is important that it is FLAKE style potatoes)
  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
  • 2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning, I prefer Linn Bobs.  (available at

Line an edged baking sheet or dish with tin foil.  Spray with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.  In small bowl, add milk and egg and whisk with fork until combined. Place mashed potato flakes in seperate bowl or in a small pan.  Dip fish fillet in egg wash, making sure it is completely covered.  Roll fish in mashed potato flakes, making sure all areas are covered.  Lay fish on baking sheet, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between fillets.  Top each fillet with 1/4 tsp lemon pepper seasoning.  (1/2 tsp if usinng very large fillets)

Divide each stick of butter in half length wise and again along the tablespoon divides.  (each should form 16 pieces)  Place half of the butter pieces on top of the fish and divide the rest evenly around the pan.  Bake in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes or until fish is cooked through and potato flakes are light golden brown.  Enjoy!


Posted by on January 15, 2011 in Fish


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