Mexican Baked Tilapia from Chowhound

Classic Rice and Beans

Use the beans recipe here, but make the below adjustments.


  1. Don’t use sazon, it has MSG in it, just add some adobo seasoning instead, or a mix of garlic powder, paprika and salt.
  2. Double the recipe
  3. This will taste way better if you use beans you’ve cooked from dried and stored in your freezer using this recipe.  Home cooked beans are always better than canned.
  4. Serve over long grain brown rice, not white rice.
Mexican Baked Tilapia from Chowhound

Pasta Mish Mash

Serves: 2 people
Hands-on time: 10 min
Total time: 20 min

This pasta dish is a great way to use up leftover items from the week.  A thick pasta (penne or fusilli work great) plus a ton of veggies and some protein are all it takes.  The ingredients are very flexible, and I’ve never had a bad batch!


  • 1/2 lb thick pasta such as penne or fusilli (gluten free preferred)
  • 1 C of onions, peppers, shallots, fennel, cabbage or other fragrant vegetable with a lot of water content
  • 1 C any leftover non-starchy vegetable such as broccoli, green beans, brussels sprouts, asparagus, etc.
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-1/2 C leftover protein
    • meat-based: chicken sausages, meatballs, chicken, steak, pork chops, etc.
    • vegan/vegetarian: cooked chickpeas, tofurkey, etc.
  • 1/2 C white wine or chicken broth (veggie broth if vegetarian/vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasonings (or herbs de provence)
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • parmesan cheese (optional, omit if vegan or dairy-free)


  • 1-cup dry measuring cup
  • cutting board
  • medium sharp knife
  • large pot for pasta
  • 10″ saute pan
  • large serving bowl
  • large serving spoon


  1. Fill pot with water, leaving 1″ at the top. Let water come to a boil over high heat while preparing other ingredients. When water comes to a boil cook pasta as directed on package.
  2. Add oil to saute pan and heat to a shimmer over medium heat.
  3. Coarsely chop the first set of veggies and add them to the saute pan. Saute, stirring occasionally,
    until translucent.
  4. Add wine or broth to pan, carefully scraping up any brown bits on the bottom. Turn heat up to medium high and let simmer until reduced by about half.
  5. In the meantime, chop the second set of veggies. Add to saute pan and cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. When veggies are crisp-tender, add protein and 1/2 C of the pasta water and stir until simmering.
  7. Strain pasta and add to serving bowl. Pour contents from saute pan into serving bowl and give it a good stir.
  8. Serve immediately with parmesan cheese and a side of condiments such as olives, marinated artichoke hearts, or tapenade.


  • This is a very versatile and forgiving recipe. Use whatever you have on hand.
  • Using greens (spinach, swiss chard, etc) is not recommended because it will become mush if you cook it too long. If using greens for your second set of veggies, increase the amount to 4 cups and reduce the time in step 5 to about 1 minute.
  • Do-ahead tip: As part of a weekly meal plan, put this meal at the end of the week and generate the chopped vegetables on earlier days.  This eliminates most (if not all) of the chopping, and shaves off about 10 minutes of prep and cleanup time combined.


Photos coming soon. Got any? Send them to us and if we like them we will post them and you will get credit and points!

Mexican Baked Tilapia from Chowhound

Healthy Chicken Piccata with Spinach (GF)

Serves: 4 people
Hands-on time: 25 min
Total time: 35 min

This recipe started as a much higher-calorie version of chicken piccata from Cook’s Illustrated magazine. I replaced the all purpose flour with millet flour to make it gluten free, omitted the shallots and parsley, used pre-minced garlic, and reduced the quantities of oil and butter by almost half. The result is a healthy chicken piccata that is much lower in calories while still retaining the delicious flavor. The spinach at the end was also my personal touch, which I think makes the dish more complete (and prettier!). [Side note: The original recipe was way too lemony for my taste so I cut that back as well. Feel free to add more lemon back in if you like it that way.] Continue reading “Healthy Chicken Piccata with Spinach (GF)”

Mexican Baked Tilapia from Chowhound

Chicken Piccata (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

Serves: 4-6 people
Hands-on time: 35 min
Total time: 45 min

This is one of those recipes that looks complicated because of the number of steps involved, but once you get started it goes pretty quick. Even so, it is a tad longer than 30 minutes but totally worth the extra time! Continue reading “Chicken Piccata (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)”

Mexican Baked Tilapia from Chowhound

Polenta Sausage Skillet

  1. Substitute leftover chicken sausage for the ground turkey. Chop the cold sausages into small pieces.
  2. Skip the turkey browning in step 3, add sausage when you add the marinara sauce.
  3. Omit meat altogether, or substitute 1/2 can (drained) of chickpeas to make this a vegetarian dish.
  4. Use the spaghetti sauce you made on Sunday night for the marinara sauce.
  5. Omit oregano (the sauce has plenty)