Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lost at the Grocery Store: Oven Roasted Basa with Mandarin Salsa

As most of you know, I'm a creature of habit who enjoys a good plan and a well thought out routine.

When I have to drive somewhere new, I always do a test run to scope out the best places to park and the estimated time it will take for me to get there, and when I shop, I do so with an itemized list.

I also have the entire layout of whatever store I frequent etched into my brain so I can tell lost or meandering shoppers where the chili sauce can be found, or where the chips are.

And I always know where the chips are.

Except today.

I popped into my regular grocery store on the way home from work only to find myself lost because they changed my store around.

It started in the pre-packaged fancy lettuces, which had apparently been switched with the spinach, and carried on into the freezer section where there were no low fat, thin crust, wild mushroom pizzas to be found.

Worse yet, I came armed with a list of ingredients, and spent ten frustrated minutes aimlessly wandering around the produce department looking for the sweet potatoes and a cauliflower.

As an aside, it's quite shocking how easily a cauliflower can hide itself.

However, all's well that ends well - not only did I locate the elusive cruciferous, I found some beautiful fresh sockeye salmon, a gorgeous turkey breast I plan to roast on Sunday, and some bright fleshy yams to turn into a nutrient rich sweet potato soup.

With packages in hand, I left the store excited to do some experimenting with healthier ingredients and will be sharing lots of original and easy recipes for weeknight dinners, lunches, and even breakfasts that will feature fresh produce, and lean proteins in the days and weeks ahead.

Starting with today's recipe for:

Oven Roasted Basa with Mandarin Salsa and Mashed Lemony Cauliflower
For printable recipe click HERE

At 270 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving, this dinner is flavorful, delicious, and easy to prepare.

If you've never cooked cauliflower this way before, I encourage you to give it a try. It's a nice alternative to rice or potatoes and if you're wanting to shape up a little before summer like I am, little substitutions like this can pay off in big ways.

You could also easily substitute another white fish like halibut, tilapia,  flounder, or sole for the basa.

And now... the recipe

  •  4 basa fillets, or other mild white fish
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp creole spice (I use Emeril's blend )
  • 5 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
  • One whole head cauliflower
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp sodium free lemon pepper
    1. In a small bowl, combine the salsa ingredients. Set aside and chill until serving. 
    2. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil sprayed with PAM. Brush fillets on both sides with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the creole seasoning. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
    3. Steam cauliflower until tender. Gently mash with butter and lemon pepper. 
    4. Serve fish topped with salsa and the cauliflower on the side.


    1. I love your healthy eating adventure. This meal looks delicious though Basa is new to me. I'll be looking forward to seeing more healthy and delicious recipes.

    2. I will make this, it sounds delicious and I want to eat more fish. But I am in Pattie's camp, more please!