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The orange-tinged flesh of this meal is a tip-off that it’s chock-full of beta-carotene. In the body, beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A to bolster eye, bone and immune health. On its own, beta-carotene is considered an antioxidant that can help mop up pesky cell-damaging free radicals. Use it to make a sweet-savory puree for fish, chicken or pork.
Tilapia With Butternut Puree
Makes 4 servings
- 4 tilapia fillets
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 leek
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 c butternut squash
- 1 c chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp salt (and extra to taste)
- 1/4 tsp pepper (and extra to taste)
- Chives or parsley (to taste)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place tilapia fillets on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 minutes, or until just barely cooked through. In medium-sized saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add sliced leek, chopped garlic cloves and ½ teaspoon salt; cook until leek has softened, about 3 minutes. Add cubed and peeled butternut squash, chicken or vegetable broth and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor along with lemon zest. Spread butternut puree on serving plates and top with tilapia. Scatter on chopped chives or parsley.
Matthew Kadey, M.S., R.D., is an author and journalist who specializes in sports nutrition and is the recipient of the 2013 James Beard Award for Food Journalism.