BF Cook-along: Butter Garlic Herb Tilapia w/ Squash and Cheesy Cauliflower

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I really enjoy doing these cook-alongs on Facebook. It holds me accountable to cooking lunch for the week and gives you guys a look into my warped thought process!

So this week I got some beautiful stuff at the farmer’s market, including HUGE zucchini (I always overbuy), some yellow squash (my grandma called them “crook-necks”). Since I had such an abundance I decided to start my cook-along there.

Indulge me a memory. As a kid my now late mother (who I call “Mama Foodie”) did not believe in kitchen machinery. Food processors offended her sensibilities and a mandolin slicer? Get outta here! Nope. Instead…she had me.

Now when I was younger I resented this, especially because my brothers got to watch tv while I was being forced to chop veggie after veggie after veggie. But the good part about this (for you and for me) is that I can chop darn near anything, any way, really fast! These days I do so to honor my mom’s memory. It almost feels like we’re still cooking together.

S’anyway, that’s all to say that when I looked at the whole squash and zucchini, in my mind’s eye what I saw was this:

And I knew that I wanted to do a “flavor build-up” as I call it. In my world, this is where you layer flavors so that when they cook in an oven they all come together in a glorious marriage of nummyness! To start I made the world’s simplest butter garlic herb sauce:

Nik’s “Really Simple” Butter Garlic Herb Sauce


  • 2 tbsp butter (if you don’t use butter…use what you use)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Herbs de Provence (if you don’t have this French herb blend handy use the herbs you like. Italian seasoning also works!)
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Optional (but I used) A splash (I’d estimate about 2-3 tbsp) white wine
Set a pan over a medium flame and add your butter.
Once it melts, throw in the garlic and herbs and mix it with a whisk or a fork.
After it gets to a simmering boil, add the wine and cook an additional minute or two.

NOM! Once I tasted it I poured it over my veggies and I knew just what protein I wanted to stick on top. TILAPIA!

I love tilapia although I don’t eat it very often (don’t ask me why, there is no good reason!). So I put a few frozen filets on top of the veggies and seasoned them with salt, a generous dose of black pepper (I am a fan) and a sprinkle more of Herbs de Provence. And into a pre-heated 350 oven they went for 35 minutes! It came out looking (and smelling!) lovely. Check it:

Now, I’m all into eating healthy but I also whole-heartedly believe that every meal should have some little indulgence. One might argue that the butter in the fish is indulgence but considering the butter made up 200 calories, split among four portions, I think I have room to play with my food!
I had a bag of cauliflower I’d thawed then promptly forgot about it so I needed to use it. I wanted cheesy mashed cauliflower but my original recipe calls for more cauliflower than I had and, frankly, I didn’t want to get stuck eating it for two weeks! So I worked out a quickie version.
Nik’s Quicky Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower

  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1 bag cauliflower florets, cooked and mashed
  • An additional sprinkle of cheese over the top
Basically you make a simple pan cheese sauce by letting your milk come up to a slow simmer in a pan. Add the cheese once the milk is hot and stir well. I used the same pan I’d made the butter garlic herb sauce so I had that good pan crud (and residual butter!) working for me. You may have to stir a few moments to get it to melt down completely but eventually it should look like this:

Transfer your cauliflower to a pan (I used an 8×8) and pour the cheese on top. Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top (and to keep with the Herbs de Provence theme, I sprinkled some of that on too). Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes or until cheese on top is browned!

Who stole a bite???
I love these kinds of dinners. They confuse my kids because it feels like they have had a starch when they have not! But it’s still good! 
If you wanna join in on the cook-along fun, be sure to tune into Bariatric Foodie’s Facebook Page on Sunday nights. That’s when I usually do a cook-along. If I do one during a different time I usually send out an event invite.
Until then, keep playing with your food!
BF Cook-along: Butter Garlic Herb Tilapia w/ Squash and Cheesy Cauliflower
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BF Cook-along: Butter Garlic Herb Tilapia w/ Squash and Cheesy Cauliflower
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  1. Im trying desperately to find a way to like veggies such as squash, zuch and maybe leafy greens. My prob is I dont like the soft squishy musy texture in recipes ive tried. Do you have any suggestions on how to prepare them so they are crisp yet tasty? Thx! Im 8 urs post op.

  2. Made this tonight. Was fantastic! To the previous commenter, the veggies were still firm in mine so you may want to try this recipe. It was delicious.

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