I used to see recipes labeled “Weeknight Dinner” and wonder what the big deal was. Cooking doesn’t take that much time. Of course this was back when I was cooking a few nights a week going out to dinner the rest of the time. Healthy was something I aimed for casually in those gormandizing, carefree days.
Things are different now. I’ve realized my health is pretty out of whack, so nutrients and quality are priorities. I’m working full time/commuting and writing, which leaves little time for meal prep. Nick and I are past our days of blissful, childish spending. We’ve set goals that involve being more financially conscious. Since food is one of the major paths that money finds out of our household, we have to be smart and accountable. That means cooking at home 98% of the time.
In the spirit of weeknight meals that satisfy, enliven and require little labor, I offer this speedy pan-fried tilapia and roasted eggplant.
Japanese eggplant are a little milder, maybe even sweeter, than their larger counterparts. They’re also longer and slimmer, which makes for nice little medallions.
I also like to have a sturdy green, like broccoli, to offset the softer textures of the fish and the eggplant. It’s a great way to eat your way around the rainbow as each color veggie bears its own incredible benefits.
Green veggies provide you with vitamin K, C, E and folate; boosting the immune system, supporting eye, skin and reproductive health.
Purple veggies are loaded with cancer-fighting and heart healthy antioxidants.
With lots of healthy oils, lean protein and a tender, easily digested consistency, fish is one of the best and easiest things you can possibly eat.
It’s important to get wild caught, as farmed fish will have eaten manufactured feed their whole lives instead of sea greens. Their diet affects yours in the long run. Wild fish will also be considerably healthier and lower in mercury content. Going skinless is another way to cut down mercury intake.
And there you have it! In 22 minutes you’re sitting down to a varied, super healthful and delicious meal. There’ll be enough fish so you can save some for lunch the next day too.
Do you like fish? What’s your favorite fillet?
- 1 lb Wild-caught tilapia
- 2-3 Japanese eggplant
- 2 Tbs organic, extra virgin olive oil (separated)
- 1 tsp dried dill
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat over to 400 F.
- Slice eggplant into ¼ inch medallions and spread on baking sheet.
- Brush olive oil onto the eggplant and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Flip the medallions and repeat with this side.
- Put the eggplant into a heated oven and set timer for 10 mins.
- Put water in the bottom of a steamer pot, rinse and cut florets of broccoli. Add to steamer.
- Turn the heat under the steamer onto medium heat
- Heat medium pan over medium heat.
- Add the other Tbs olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and a pinch of dill.
- Rinse and pat the fish dry.
- Add fish to hot pan. Should sizzle.
- Sprinkle exposed side with sea salt, pepper and pinch of dill.
- When the timer goes off, flip the eggplant medallions with a spatula and put them back into the oven. Set the timer for 7 minutes.
- As your fish fry, pile them onto a plate and cover with a pan lid to keep them warm.
- The broccoli is ready when its bright green and can be easily stabbed with a fork. It its ready before the eggplant, turn off the heat and tilt the lid so it does not over cook.
- The eggplant is ready when soft and browned with a slightly crisp exterior.
- You might need a spatula to scrape it from the pan.