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Flax & Almond Crusted Tilapia with Sautéed Swiss Chard

Active Time: 40 minutes / Cook Time: 20-25 minutes / Total Time: 40 minutes

Makes 2 servings, with leftovers for lunch tacos

Nutrition Corner: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a great oil to incorporate into your diet. This oil has a smoke point that is suitable for medium-high heat cooking, making it a good option for sautéing and baking (just be sure to buy coconut oil made for cooking, rather than skin care). Coconut oil is amazing for our health, and scientific studies prove it. The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are extremely beneficial for brain health and provide our bodies with an easily convertible source of energy.

Flax & Almond Crusted Tilapia w Sauteed Swiss Chard.JPG

Ingredients:

  • Swiss Chard:
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 2 bunches Swiss Chard, 4 large leaves reserved
    • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
    • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Tilapia:
    • ¼ cup ground flaxseed*
    • ¼ cup almond meal OR finely ground cornmeal
    • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
    • 4 tilapia filets, cut in half lengthwise
    • 1 large egg, beaten in a large bowl
    • ¼ cup coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Remove the stems from all of the chard leaves, cutting them off at the base of the leaves. Set aside the 4 reserved leaves for tomorrow’s tacos; they will be the taco “shells.” Slice the stems into ¼” pieces and the leaves into ½” pieces.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and chard stems and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chard leaves, nutmeg, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is fully wilted and the onions and stems are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  4. Wipe out the skillet and set it aside.
  5. Combine the ground flaxseed, almond meal, ½ teaspoon salt, thyme, and cayenne on a plate and whisk together with a fork.
  6. Add the tilapia to the bowl with the egg and gently toss to coat.
  7. Remove a piece of tilapia, let the excess egg fall back into the bowl, and dredge the tilapia in the flax and almond coating. Place on a plate. Repeat with remaining tilapia pieces. Do not stack the fish pieces on top of each other.
  8. Place the large skillet over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Test that it’s hot enough by sprinkling in a little of the coating mixture; it should sizzle immediately.
  9. When the oil is hot enough, add the tilapia and cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. 
  10. Place 2 chard leaves, ¼ cup sautéed chard, and 2 pieces of fish into each of two airtight containers and refrigerate for tomorrow’s lunch tacos.
  11. Serve 2 pieces of fish and ½ of the remaining chard per person for dinner.

*You can buy pre-ground flax seed, or grind 2 heaping tablespoons whole flax seeds in a coffee or spice grinder, or high speed blender, until it resembles fine cornmeal. Don’t process it for too long, though, or you’ll get flax butter!