Tilapia Over Black Lentils
Yahoo!!!! Broadband has arrived at my house.  Finally after 5 years I am able to get connected to a fast speed service.  No more driving to the library.  That was a 14 miles round trip to do.  I am so excited that I just want to publish all night.  Anyway, I will now be able to add entries as often as I want and when I want to.  I live in such a rural area that it just wasn’t possible until now.  So again, yahooooooo!!!!!!
Back to my recipe.  This was such a great meal.  I was looking in my pantry and found my black lentils and thought that they would look so beautiful as a pilaf with the white of the tilapia that I had to make it.  I started with the lentils.  You can buy black lentils at specialty stores like Ikeda’s up in Auburn, Asian markets, Corti Bros, Whole Foods and Middle Eastern stores.  The lentils are so earthy and nutty and hold together beautifully.  You have to try it.  Don’t use the red or yellow as they are for Dal and break apart and become quite mushy.  You could use the green ones but the black look so great with white fish.  They would also be delicious with shrimp.  This is what you will need for the lentils.
1 cup dry black lentils (makes 2 cups)
water to cover
Bring the lentils to a boil, cover, simmer for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.  
Meanwhile to make the “pilaf” part you will need:
For 2 servings:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large carrot
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
1 celery stalk
1 clove garlic, minced
flat leaf parsley, chopped  (I love parsley and use about 1/2 cup)
Heat up a stainless steel skillet (I don’t like to use non-stick) and add the olive oil.  Saute the carrot, onion, celery and garlic until soft.  This should take about 8 minutes.  Of course it depends on how big your chopped veges are.  Be sure they are all the same size.  When they are soft add the lentils and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  These are done.
Preparing the tilapia:
In a non-stick skillet, spray with a cooking spray and add 1 teaspoon of canola oil.  Saute the tilapia fillets for 2 to 4 minutes, turn and saute the other side for approximately 2 to 4 minutes.  Be sure you don’t overcook them. They will flake easily when cooked.  I buy the frozen tilapia fillets at Costco.  They are very handy to have in your freezer.  They take minutes to saute.  
To thaw put the fillets in a seperate baggie and place in a bowl of cold water.  Put the bowl in the refrigerator.  They should be thawed in approximately 30 to 45 minutes.  Depending on how thick they area. They are then good to cook.  Do not microwave them to thaw!!!  Yuk-oooo!!!  While you are waiting you can start the lentil pilaf and any other side dish that you want to serve.  When ready to serve, put lentils in the middle of the plate with the tilapia on top.  A little squeeze of lime or lemon and you are ready to eat.
Per serving with 1 cup lentils:  486 calories; 2.4g fat; 32g fiber  Lot’s of fiber!!! Of course you don’t have to eat 1 cup but I really love lentils.  
I usually don’t have any other side dish with this meal and it is sufficient and satisfying.  
I will be at Whole Foods tomorrow (Saturday) teaching a cooking class titled A Weeks of Meals in One Evening.  I’ll post some of the recipes from the class.  
Happy cooking and eating.  Let me know what you think of the recipe.  What worked or what didn’t work.  If it didn’t work it’s because I didn’t write the recipe very well.  So please help me out and make it.  
Tilapia Over Black Lentils
Friday, September 15, 2006
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