Posts Tagged ‘fast dinners’

panko abovePanko closeOne of my good friends recently invited me and my two children to dinner at her home. She served us panko-crusted tilapia. I’ve been meaning to post the idea because it’s a tasty, quick and easy dinner that’s also extremely kid-friendly.

I prefer to use Petrale Sole because I like the texture better, and because where I live, you can often buy it fresh and wild caught. However, tilapia is readily available and has a firmer texture which hold up better in the pan and when pinched between little fingers. Even though this preparation isn’t particularly Asian, Panko crumbs always remind me of Asian meals, so I like to serve my Panko-crusted fish with Sesame Broccoli.


1 to 1 1/2 lbs. Petrale Sole or Tilapia fillets*

1 large egg

Panko-style breadcrumbs

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp powdered garlic

3/4 lb head of broccoli, broken apart and/or cut into small florets

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

2tbsp avocado or canola oil, divided

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

Sea salt and fresh-ground pepper


Heat a large (12-inch) cast-iron or other skillet over medium heat.

In a plate or low, wide bowl, such as a pasta bowl, whisk the egg thoroughly. Set out another plate and spread out 1 cup of the Panko breadcrumbs.

Heat 1 tbsp of the avocado or canola oil in the pan. Dredge each piece of fish in the egg, coating both sides, and then in the breadcrumbs, coating both sides, before placing in the pan. Sprinkle each fillet with a little salt and pepper as well as the oregano, parsley and powdered garlic. Cook, turning once, until opaque and golden brown on both sides, approximately 4-6 minutes each side. Just before serving, drizzle a little fresh-squeezed lemon juice over each piece of fish.

While the fish is cooking, in another large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of avocado or canola oil over medium heat. Add in the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add in the broccoli and pepper flakes and cook until the florets are tender when pierced and bright green, approximately 5 minutes. Drizzle the sesame oil over the broccoli and season with salt and pepper.

Serve the fish and broccoli with a wedge of fresh lemon.

(Serves 4 depending on how big of fish eaters your little ones are.)



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carrot soup


There are days when I crave simplicity–a boiled egg and a handful of ripe berries for breakfast, a chunk of smoked salmon with fresh vegetables for lunch and a straightforward, warm soup for dinner, served alongside a roast chicken or with just a basic salad. Yes, I overindulged this past weekend (a little red wine, French food and an absurd amount of gluten), and I’m definitely paying the price. So as of Monday morning, I’ve craved simplicity.

I served this soup last night, along with a whole chicken roasted with onions and cut lemons, and with a butter lettuce salad tossed with a Dijon vinaigrette dressing on the side. Actually, I hastily threw together the chicken, onions and lemons without consulting any recipe and it came out delicious. If I hadn’t been so rushed to get food on the table, I would have snapped a few pics and posted them here, along with some sort of recipe. However, I will make it again, take a bit more care next time, document my preparation and post all the details.

But back to the soup… This is a good carrot soup recipe which you can prepare as is or easily alter depending on your mood or what else is going to be on the table. You can prepare this in about 40 minutes with only 15 or so minutes of active time. If you appreciate simple food like me, you’ll agree this soup qualifies.




1 small- to medium-sized red onion, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter or ghee

2-3 large cloves of garlic, chopped

5-6 large carrots, sliced no more than 1/2-inch thick (approximately 3 cups total)

2 1/2 – 3 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth*

1/3 cup  milk (coconut or almond work, too)

4 whole bay leaves

sea salt

fresh-ground pepper



Warm the oil (and butter, if you’re using) in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the chopped onions and garlic and stir until softened. Add in the sliced carrots and allow to cook another 5-10 minutes. Pour in enough broth to fully cover the vegetables, and drop in the bay leaves. Turn up the heat a little until the soup comes to a boil. Then cover and turn down the heat to simmer. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

Using tongs or chopsticks, remove the bay leaves (making sure you remove all of them!). Use a good regular blender* or immersion blender to blend the soup until it’s a very creamy consistency. Stir in the milk and season to taste. Optional: Garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche and some finely chopped parsley or a drizzle of pesto mixed with olive oil. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Note: You can easily put an Asian spin on this recipe by cooking a 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped with the onions and garlic, using coconut milk instead of regular milk and including a tbsp of Asian fish sauce.

*Here’s where I put in another plug for the Vitamix blenders! They aren’t cheap, but they’re nearly indestructible, carry a hefty warranty and blend everything into the creamiest consistency you can imagine. I’ve also been told you can get them at a significantly reduced price as Costco.

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