Tag Archives: greens

Pan Fried Tilapia with Curried Greens

Two for one today! Here is a super simple, quick dinner that we all need right now. The fish is as simple as they come but still incredibly simple. Try different seasoning blends (preferably salt free or low sodium) to mix it up. The greens are a great side to try out strong flavored greens. Experiment with different leafy greens – I love mustard greens, but chard and collards are also excellent here. There is an entire world outside of kale.

Happy eating!

Pan Fried Tilapia (Serves 4)

Pan Fried Tilapia

4 tilapia fillets
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil

1. Lightly season fish with lemon pepper (or desired seasoning, see note).
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized skillet. Add fillets. Cook for 4-6 minutes per side, flipping once. Cook until fish flakes easily – internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving):

Calories: 143
Protein: 23 g
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 58 mg
Carbohydrates: less than 1 g
Fiber: less than 1 g
Sodium: 60 mg

Curried Greens (Serves 4)

Curried Greens

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bunch greens (collards, mustard, kale)
½ onion thinly sliced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp sugar
1 (15.5 oz) can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons lime juice

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add ginger, garlic, greens, and onion; saute 3 minutes, until greens and onion begin to soften. Stir in curry powder; cook 30 seconds.
2. Stir in sugar and coconut milk; cook until reduced by half, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in juice; reduce heat to medium, and cook 2 minutes. Serve.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving):

Calories: 282
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 28 g
Saturated Fat: 22 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 9 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 26 mg

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

Low iodine adjustment: The fish is not allowed on the low iodine diet.  But the greens are just fine.

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Shrimp and Grits with Greens

My mom’s family is from the South. While we ate plenty of other things, Southern cuisine definitely falls into my personal “soul food” category. However, we ate our grits as a breakfast food with eggs. Occasionally, my mom also ventured into a cheesy grit soufflé dish that was outstanding and featured copious amounts of Velveeta.

But shrimp and grits? While it may be a Southern classic, it wasn’t even on our radar. After eating several restaurant versions and trying this recipe at home, I was definitely missing out. This version of the classic is lightened up and heavy on the greens. I liked how this recipe opted for mustard greens, since I find them to be milder and less tough than traditional collard greens or chard.


Shrimp and Grits with Greens (Serves 4)


3 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken stock, divided
2 cups skim milk
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup old-fashioned grits
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup chopped green onions
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
½ cup sliced yellow onion
3 cloves minced garlic, divided
1 tablespoon honey, divided
1 large bunch mustard greens, deveined and torn into large leaves
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 teaspoons paprika

1. Bring 2 cups stock, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon pepperto a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and green onions. Keep grits warm.

2. While grits are cooking, heat a large skillet with 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add yellow onions and 2 cloves garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup stock, 1 teaspoon honey, and ½ teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Cook 6 minutes or until reduced to about ¼ cup. Add greens to pan. Cover and cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove mixture from pan; keep warm.

3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Combine shrimp, 2 teaspoons pepper, 2 teaspoons oil, 1 clove garlic, 2 teaspoons honey, and paprika in a bowl; toss gently to coat. Add shrimp to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Shrimp will be pink when done. Add remaining ¼ cup stock to pan; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Serve shrimp over grits with greens.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories:  470
Protein:  41 g
Fat:  11 g
Saturated Fat:  3 g
Cholesterol:  226 mg
Carbohydrates:  54 g
Fiber:  6 g
Sodium:  420 mg

Recipe Notes: My honest preference is stone-ground grits. I couldn’t find any, so I chose old fashioned. The original recipe calls for quick-cooking. The less quickly the grits cook, the better the texture, I have found. If adapted for a different kind of grits, just divide the amount of liquid on the package in half between broth and milk. Cook according to package timing. I highly recommend trying stone ground grits, especially if you think you don’t like grits. It is a different taste and texture for a different experience.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

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Spaghetti with Greens and Garlic

In my last post, I mentioned that leafy greens are a good source of calcium.  Here is my favorite leafy greens recipe.  It is quick, easy, and great for trying out greens, since they are more of a highlight flavor.  The onion, garlic, and cheese make the flavors more familiar.  The recipe is also very flexible.  You can substitute whatever greens you like.  I’ve used kale and spinach with good results, but my favorite is mustard greens.  You can adjust the onions and heat level to your preference.  Different noodles also work well.   It is a satisfying vegetarian meal, but grilled chicken or fish are tasty additions.

Spaghetti with Greens and Garlic (serves 4)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (add more for more heat)
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 cups of leafy greens, ribs removed, coarsely chopped (if using spinach, no prep is necessary)
12-14 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti (I use a whole box, which is 13.25 ounces for me)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.

2. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions; saute until they just start to soften. Add red pepper flakes; cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute more.

3. Turn heat down to medium-low. Continue to cook onions until are light brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic to pan.

4. After you add the garlic to the onions, add greens to boiling water. Cook, uncovered for 1-2 minutes, until they are just wilted. Remove with tongs and add to onions. Cook with onions until pasta is ready.  (If you are using spinach, you don’t need to boil it first.  Just cook the garlic for about 1 minute with the onions, then mix in the spinach.)

5. Once greens are out of the water, add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving the pasta water. In large serving bowl, toss pasta with parmesan cheese. Add onion/greens mixture, and toss. Add pasta water (1 cup at a time) to keep noodles from sticking. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 443
Protein: 23 g
Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 11 mg
Carbohydrates: 76 g
Fiber: 16 g
Sodium: 234 mg

Recipe Notes: I know that seems like a lot of onions and a lot of greens. They cook down. The onion flavor really isn’t strong once they caramelize, and every time I’ve cut back on the greens, I’ve regretted it. If you forget to add the pasta water at the end, it will still work. I’ve done that before. Even if you don’t like spicy things, I would not omit the red pepper flake. I added about 1/4 teaspoon this last time, and it was still not “spicy”. It just adds good flavor.

If you are avoiding dairy, you have a few options to “substitute” for the parmesan.  You could add a little bit of olive oil when tossing it all together, just enough to add a little richness.  Adding in some toasted, sliced almonds would add a “nutty” flavor like parmesan with the added bonus of some crunch.  Someone made me a pasta dish with this substitution, and I honestly didn’t miss the cheese.  You could also use nutritional yeast, which vegans often use as a substitute for cheese.  I have tasted it, and it does taste like you added cheese.  Don’t try eating it plain though – that does not taste like cheese!  Here is some more info on nutritional yeast if you are interested.   It is usually available at vitamin or health food stores.  It may seem a little pricey, but a little goes a long way.  No matter which non-dairy option, I would add some salt to your boiling water and a little to your onions (right before turning the heat down).  I didn’t add any salt above because the cheese added it for me.  Without any good source of salt, the dish might be a bit bland.

Source: adapted from Food Network Kitchens cookbook

Low iodine adjustment:  Eliminate the cheese.


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