Tilapia and Squash in Coconut Curry Sauce

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Let’s talk about good protein. All food made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. However, not all proteins are created equal.

According to Livestrong.com protein from animal sources are high in saturated fats which could raise cholesterol levels in the blood which could then lead to heart diseases if consumed “excessively;” and by excessively it means more than once a week. Some studies conducted by the American Cancer Society showed that red and processed meats have been linked to certain cancers and diabetes.

The good news is – there are good proteins! These are leaner cuts of meat, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, poultry without the skin, fish and other seafood, and plant-based sources such as  nuts, seeds, beans, soy products and whole grains.

Let me be clear about this, I’m not discouraging consumption of red meat. I am a meat eater myself. Moderation is the key word or knowing what is the right amount to consume in any given meal. For red meat, it’s one serving a week the size of a deck of cards. We can always have chicken or fish for the rest of the week.

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For this recipe, I used Tilapia but we can also substitute chicken legs or thighs. I tried using acorn squash but the skin was hard to peel even with the use of a cleaver. So, I just washed it thoroughly and cut into bite pieces. Instead, I recommend using or buying butternut squash in bags that are already peeled and cut.

Thank you for reading and happy cooking ❤

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TILAPIA AND SQUASH IN COCONUT CURRY SAUCE
Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients
* Tilapia fillet – 8 pcs. (Use chicken if desired)
* Flour – 1 cup or as needed
* Squash – 4 cups (1 medium size acorn or butternut)
* Onion – 1 small, diced
* Garlic cloves – 3, chopped
* Jalapeno peppers – 2 medium, seeded and sliced
* Coconut milk – 2 cans
* Curry powder – 2 tbsp.
* Dried parsley – 2 tsp.
* Dried oregano – 1 tsp.
* Fish sauce or shrimp paste – 2 tbsp. (or Oyster sauce)
* Salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions

1. Make sure the fillets are fully thawed. Lay them on a plate and season with salt and (lemon) pepper.
2. Prep all the ingredients or cut all the vegetables.
3. Heat up 1 cup canola oil in a drying pan.
4. Dredge the fillet lightly in flour and panfry both sides until brown. Set aside.
5.  In a different pan or skillet, heat up 2 tbsp. or oil and sauté garlic and onion on high heat.
6. Add the squash and cover the pan. Turn to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Add the coconut milk, curry powder, parsley, oregano and fish sauce (or shrimp paste or oyster sauce) for the umami taste. Stir gently and put the cover back.
8. Bring to a boil and check if the squash is already soft.
9. Add the jalapeno slices and the (fried) Tilapia fillet into the mixture. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
10. Adjust the taste by adding salt and pepper in the broth. Additional curry and cayenne pepper can be added also at this time to make it spicy hot.

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