Frugal Family Feast: Pan-Seared Tilapia With Spicy Chickpea Salad

Your palate will be pleased with pan-seared tilapia, served over spicy chickpea salad. This Frugal Family Feast recipe will feed a family of four for less than $15.

Chef Marcela Guzman Galan, instructor at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, shared her technique with Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson. Watch the video and read on for the recipe.

This recipe comes together quickly, and you end up with a light, fresh meal that’s as nutritious as it is delicious.

Fish often fetches big bucks on restaurant menus, but it can easily be prepared at home for much less. While prices will vary in supermarkets around the country, Chef Marcela was able to make this recipe for less than $15.

You start by dicing the carrots and celery and mincing the serrano pepper. Take care when handling the pepper. You don’t want to touch your eyes after chopping it.

Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Then toss them with the other salad ingredients in a bowl. The lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, diced onion and minced cilantro create a simple dressing that goes well with the chickpeas, carrots, celery and pepper.

Searing the tilapia is easy. Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Season the fish with a little salt and pepper on each side. When the oil looks a little wavy, gently place the fish in the pan. Let it cook for two to three minutes, untouched, on that side.

As the fish cooks, it will naturally lift a little from the pan and you’ll be able to flip it without breaking the fillet. Cook the other side for another two to three minutes. Once the fish is all one color and it flakes, it’s done.

Pan-seared tilapia with spicy chickpea salad – courtesy of the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Ingredients:

  • 2 tilapia fillets, split in two
  • 14 ounces cooked chickpeas (or one can, rinsed and drained)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup cilantro, minced
  • ½ cup white onion, diced small
  • ½ cup carrots, diced small
  • ½ cup celery, diced small
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for the pan
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Season the tilapia with salt and pepper. Sear in extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat for two to three minutes on each side, until cooked through.
  • Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Plate the tilapia over a bed of chickpea salad.

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