Found in most grocery stores and restaurants, tilapia is a flaky, inexpensive fish but with fewer admirers. Most people do not like it much considering the fact that it is very high in fats. In fact, you need to be very careful about what to serve with tilapia to ensure it does not throw your cholesterol levels out of balance. Fortunately, you can find some nice options to help balance the properties of tilapia. Let's find out more about it.
Why Need Side Dishes to Serve with Tilapia?
Some fish, such as salmon and tuna are always considered healthy food choices mainly because they are rich in omega3 fatty acids. Many fish do not fall in the same category because they contain unhealthy fats. Tilapia is an example. It is low in omega 3s and very high in omega 6s. The combination of fats found in tilapia makes it an extremely unhealthy choice for people who are suffering from heart disease, arthritis, allergies, asthma, and other inflammatory conditions.
If you really want to serve the fish, it makes great sense to know what to be the side dishes of tilapia. Those side dishes help counter the bad fats. Changing your cooking techniques may also help make a difference – you may broil or grill it to let excess fat drip away. So, know the nutritional value of tilapia and learn how to mix it with other food options that would make it less unhealthy.
What to Serve with Tilapia?
Going for veggies is always a great choice. Here are a few things to bear in mind:
Do not opt for corn when serving tilapia, especially when you are serving farm-raised tilapia, which usually has corn in its diet.
Go for fat-free source of nutrition. You can always opt for dark, leafy greens to accomplish the goal – you can have a vegetable stock or use fresh greens as a side salad. Avoid adding pork or bacon to greens and focus more on pepper instead of salt for seasoning.
Having steamed veggies as your side dishes is a great choice. Steaming ensures the moisture stay within the veggies. It is also easy to prepare them – all you have to do is to take vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and peppers and steam in water. You can also sprinkle fresh herbs on your steamed veggies to enhance the flavor.
Try to skip the sour cream and avoid a fatty guacamole as much as possible. A better choice would be to mix tomatoes, diced red onions, cilantro, and lime juice. Avocados are especially beneficial because they provide you with monounsaturated fats.
You can also try starches to make tilapia a bit healthier. Here is what you can try:
Go for rosemary roasted potatoes because they complement baked tilapia perfectly. The combination works great on chilly evening.
Enjoy a sweet potato soufflé instead of a baked potato packed with sour cream, butter, cheese, and bacon. You can mash the potato with cinnamon and skim milk and add some chopped walnuts or raisins for extra flavor. Say no to brown sugar though.
Replace white rice with brown rice. Avoid salt and butter as well. Brown rice provides you with more fiber. You can also enhance its flavor by adding diced green peppers, tomatoes, or onions.
Try seafood pasta dishes and modify your recipe by adding tilapia, mussels, or shrimp. Spaghetti may work better but you do not always have to use it.
Quinoa can always be the answer to what to serve with tilapia. It has many health benefits – it provides you with B-vitamins, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
Different types of beans may also supplement tilapia in a great way. Here are some options to consider:
Go for black beans. They are extremely healthy, because they provide you with loads of iron. You can mix them with lime juice, canned tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, and chili powder for a perfect treat. You can also make a soup by adding some skim milk to it.
Try tofu. You can make a healthy side dish by using tofu – use the ones made from soybeans though. Cut tofu in small cubes and fry in olive oil or another monounsaturated fat. Serve it with a fat-free salsa.
Bean salad may also work great as a side dish. You can make it with ease. Take some tilapia fillets and sear them in a pan for a couple of minutes on each side. Make a bean salad and place those fillets on top of it.
Nuts are a great source of fiber to complement fish. Here are some tips to make side dishes using nuts.
Simply enjoy nuts crunch when serving the fish. It complements tilapia perfectly with fiber and healthy fats.
Try almonds with tilapia. Simply sliver almonds and then sprinkle them all over your tilapia while cooking it. You can also grind walnuts, almonds, or cashews and mix it with spinach to stuff the fish.