Tag Archives: cucumber

Beer Battered Tilapia and Mediterranean Couscous Salad

The husband was RAVING about both of these dishes. I was very nervous in the beginning that baking instead of frying the fish was going to leave us unsatisfied. Not so! The “breading” turned out very crispy without all grease you get from frying!

Beer Battered Tilapia

1 .5 lbs. tilapia fillets
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 c. corn meal
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. basil
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup beer (I used Zywiec, what my friend tells me is the Polish Bud Lite!)

1. Preheat oven to 375*. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly oil; set aside.
2. Combine flour, corn meal, salt, baking powder and spices in one shallow bowl.

3. Combine milk, egg, and beer in a separate shallow bowl. (make sure to wish together, this is a before picture!)

4. Cut tilapia fillets into manageable sizes (mine were about 3.5 x 2.5 inches).
5. Dip the fillets into the wet ingredients and cover all surfaces.

6. Dip the fillets into the dry ingredients (again, make sure all surfaces are covered with the mixture).

7. Place fillets on prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.

8. Carefully flip the fillets and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

1 box of Israeli couscous (mine was about 1 1/3 cups, uncooked)
1 tomato, diced
1/2 large cucumber, diced
3/4 cup feta cheese
1 large green onion, diced
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and diced
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Prepare couscous as instructed on box then place into a large bowl.

2. Add tomatoes, cucumber and onions other ingredients and toss to combine.

3. Crumble in feta and gently stir to combine.

4. Add olives and gently stir to combine.

5. Top with lemon, salt and pepper. Serve either warm, or let chill in the refrigerator until served.

The olives are really a key part of this dish. Their flavor really pops, so make sure you have a high quality olive to begin with. I used a cured black olive, if that helps.

p.s. These dishes are both amazing as leftovers too!

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Homemade Falafel and A Garlic Smörgåsbord

Last weekend, Lindi and I hosted a guest for dinner and I happened to be in the mood to cook up a storm (I love rainy Sundays for that!).  Because of our limited refrigerator resources and the fact that we’re trying to eat down our pantry, I chose a mix of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian dishes with an overall theme of GARLIC!

Spicy falafels
Baba Ganush
Garlic naan
Tomato and cucumber salad
Tahini yogurt sauce

1. Falafel
This recipe was based on Julie Negrin’s creation featured in her fabulous cookbook Easy Meals to Cook with Kids. I don’t have children, but I can tell you that every single recipe in that book is a winner. Everyone should have a copy in their cookbook arsenal!

Ingredients (adapted from Easy Meals to Cook with Kids)
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, diced
1 small red potato, chopped, boiled until tender, and drained
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. bread crumbs
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. corriander
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tsp. baking powder
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. smoked paprika

1. Preheat your oven to 375*. Place chickpeas in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or the back of a heavy fork (this takes a little elbow grease!). Add in boiled potatoes and mash.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and thoroughly stir everything together.

3. Roll into golf ball-sized balls then gently flatten them with the palm of your hand.

5.  Line baking sheets with aluminum foil and lightly oil. Place falafels on the baking sheets and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the falafels over and bake for another 15 minutes, or until they are browned.

2. Baba Ganush

1 large eggplant
1 lemon
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup of Tahini
parsley for garnish
olive oil & paprika for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400*
2. Poke a bunch of holes in the eggplant with a fork and rub a bit of extra virgin olive oil on the surface.
3. Stick the eggplant on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until the skin is withered. It took about 40 minutes for mine to do this, but I have an old oven, so yours might take considerable less time — just keep an eye on it.


Should turn into THIS:

4. Take the eggplant out of the oven and let it sit until it’s cool enough to handle.
5. Cut the eggplant open and scoop out the insides (you can throw away the skin).

6.  Place the insides of the eggplant and the rest of the ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth (if mixture is too thick, you might need to add a dash of water).
7.  Serve on a plate or bowl and garnish with parsley, paprika, and a drizzle of olive oil.

3. Garlic Naan

4. Tomato & Cucumber Salad

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small cucumber, halved
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1.  Add all ingredients into a small bowl and chill for at least 15 minutes.

5. Tahini & Yogurt Sauce

1 cup yogurt (I used my homemade yogurt, which is always in the house!)
2 tbsp. tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. onion powder
Handful of parsley, chopped

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix by hand
2. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving.

All together:

This was a lovely and light dinner; well worth the effort!

What’s your favorite dish to serve at dinner parties?


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