EASY Toaster Oven Lunch Plan – Spicy Baked Tilapia and Truffle Goat Cheese Sub

You guys know I love me some Gorton’s Seafood, right?

Easy, fast, and delicious fishy goodness. Perfect when you’re forced to cook seafood for one…or when you go to your parents house to cook a meal for everyone except your boyfriend because he hates seafood…

Well, I recently discovered that these delightful little Simply Bakes are PERFECT for lunches at work (if you have access to a toaster oven or full-size oven – which we have both). I decided I’d pack everything I need for a tasty little tilapia sammy. I wanted it to be simple and flavorful. I had a French baguette waiting to be used, so I sliced a sandwich size chunk and bagged that for work. Then I grabbed a toaster oven sized panto put the Simply bakes bag in. I knew I had tiny packets of Tabasco sauce at my desk, and figured cheese was a necessity in this venture. When I left for work that morning,  I grabbed the baguette, the fish from the freezer and Trader Joe’s truffle goat cheese from the fridge, threw them in the bag with the pan and jetted to the train.

Spicy Baked Tilapia and Truffle Goat Cheese Sub at Work

Spicy Tilapia and Truffle Goat Cheese Sub

Ingredients

  • 1 Gorton’s Seafood Simply Bakes Tilapia fillet (if you only have access to a microwave, you can use the Gorton’s Grilled Tilapia, but it won’t be as saucy)
  • 6-inch French baguette
  • 1-2 oz truffle goat cheese
  • Tabasco sauce to taste

Process

  1. Preheat toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Put the fish in the toaster oven for 20-25 minutes
  3. Remove fish and let stand in bag
  4. Toast the baguette
  5. Spread goat cheese on one side of the toasted bread
  6. Flake the fish over the cheese
  7. Drizzle sauce from the bag into the sandwich
  8. Top it all off with a healthy spray of Tabasco
  9. Devour

This healthy(ish) and delicious recipe is a result of working with my friends at Gorton’s. This month, they’ve partnered with SparkPeople to focus on realistic resolutions. Now, you’ve all seen my 2015 resolutions, and I wasn’t kidding. I’m not doing anything to lose weight this month. But I couldn’t just send you to a site without checking it out. That’s not my style. So, I signed up for an account and set my SparkPeople goals to maintain my current weight. I decided that I would check out the Realistic Resolutions 30-Day Challenge, and I’m really glad I did. SparkPeople offers a great tracking tool and community for you to get started on your weight loss (or maintenance routine). The challenge has 30 daily tasks, all of which are pretty simple changes to make if you’re interested in getting started on a healthy journey.

The Giveaway

In addition to leading you to The SparkPeople and sharing my new favorite lunch recipe, I’m hosting a delightful little giveaway for some goodies. All you need to do is comment below with your favorite seafood recipe or dish.

One lucky winner will receive:

While you’re playing the giveaway game, you can enter the Gorton’s Eat Smarter Sweepstakes to win $5,000 or one of many daily prizes.

This giveaway has ended.

Blog Friends, what’s your favorite seafood dish?

This post is brought to you by my friends at Gorton’s. I was not paid to write nice things, but I did receive free products in order to give you my honest opinion. You can get social with Gorton’s and like/follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram using the hashtag #RealisticResolution.

Gorton's Blogger Giveaway
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Apparently I Wasn’t a Fish in Another Life and OCD has NO Place on Vacation…Or…How I Almost Wretched all over my Florida Vacation

One of my life goals: Swim with dolphins. Because I think that I was a fish or a fishy mammal in another life. Seriously, I’ve always loved being in the water. They threw me right in as a baby, and I’ve been in love ever since.

This year, I wanted to go to the Florida Keys to swim with, hug and kiss a real, live dolphin. One that wasn’t wild in the middle of the ocean with the potential to kill me. (I know. Dolphins. But still. Wild. Animals.)

I also wanted to snorkel. Last year, when we went to Marco Island, Brian’s mom told me that we should get his dad to take us snorkeling in Key Largo, because she absolutely loved it. I promised myself that we would do that, even if we didn’t do it last year…

Being the only one in a group of 4 that thought it was acceptable to pay several hundred dollars to swim with a dolphin…my P1 became the P2. Unfortunate…but…it was fine (and not the I’m-a-girl-and-going-to-say-it’s-fine-but-it’s-really-not kind of fine, just normal I’m-not-a-crazy-bitch fine). I’ll just go to Florida and swim with dolphins on my own time.

So snorkeling it was. We drove the 3 hour ride through the Everglades to Key Largo where we 1. Didn’t have a plan. 2. Apparently had TWO maybe plans. That required back and forth driving to decide which was a better deal.

This is where I had to get one of my bloggie besties to calm me off my ledge…

OCD has no place on vacation. OCD has no place on vacation. OCD has no place on vacation. OCD has no place on vacation. OCD has no place on vacation.

OCD has no place on vacation 2

OCD has no place on vacation 2

So, I listened to reason. And stopped freaking out. Brian and his brother also made a solid decision to stay at the place we were at and not drive around looking for a better deal or a longer snorkel trip. And so we slowed our day down. And got things ready for this snorkel trip. And walked around John Pennekamp to explore the beauty and such.

It was a REALLY perfect day too. We wandered for a few hours, got all of our gear for snorkeling, sunscreened the fuck up (when I came back just as pale as when I left, my co-workers and even the conductor on my train were all, WTF, Christine? And of course I responded, um Um hello?! Irish skin. And I don’t want cancer. Or a nasty leather stomach like some of those old ladies I saw in Marco sporting sports bras and power walking.)

When it was time to head over to our boat, I KNEW it was going to be a great day. The name of the boat said all I needed to see. I mean, imagine the good fortune and the joy that came with a sweet ride named after one of my favorite sea creatures. It was definitely going to be a great day.

Does that sound like ominous foreshadowing to you? Sarcasm? Dirty, rotten lies? You’ll see.

The boat ride out to the Coral Reef was awesome. The breeze through my hair, the amusing boat captains cracking jokes about boozin’. The quick lesson in snorkel gear. It all sounded good to me. This was my first trip out on the Atlantic that I am aware of. I’ve been of the beach before, but never in the middle of the fucking ocean.

After a brief training where the people in charge explained how to snorkel in about 15 minutes, we were ready to roll. Brian and I were the last ones out of the boat…

And as soon as I hit the water, I freaked the fuck out. Like full-blown panic. Apparently, it didn’t hit me until that EXACT moment that I was IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING OCEAN. I had my snorkel mask on and the snorkel in my mouth and was wearing the most buoyant wet suit on the planet (which I didn’t even realize, to be perfectly honest–I just knew I wasn’t swimming hard or sinking) and flippers. This was the closest to being a fish I’ve ever been in my life.   And I was TERRIFIED.

Thankfully, Brian calmed me the fuck down as we floated 30 feet in the wrong direction of the boat. Apparently, it’s really fucking hard to swim with flippers on. I couldn’t get the hang of it. At. All. Brian had to hold my hand and cart me around, pretty much the entire time I was in the water.

After being yelled at by the boat captain, we made our way back toward the coral stuff. And I got acquainted with having my head in the water. Which was weird.

Head. In. Water.

 

I suppose now is as good a time as any to tell you about the cheap disposable camera we purchased. I ALMOST bought an underwater camera for this experience. And decided to instead invest that money in a sweet Canon camera that I got a great deal on thanks to Amazon:

(It was the highest rated point and shoot on Consumer Reports; also shameless plug for my Amazon affiliate…if you click above, you might help me buy more cheese</cheesemoneytalk>).

So at the gift shop, we got a disposable camera to take underwater photos for you. Underwater, I pointed and Brian shot. It was a good system…especially when I saw a Dorie-fish (not sure what she was and too lazy to Google anymore…) and was yelling through my snorkel, “DORIE! DORIE! Get a picture of Dorie!)

Dorie

Honestly, I’m not sure this is the Dorie picture or not. It was all very confusing.

Yellowtail Snapper

According to Google, this blue fish with a yellow fin is a yellowtail snapper

Rainbow Parrotfish

Rainbow Parrotfish – It was a lot prettier underwater.

Barracudas anyone?

It’s hard to see, but there is a fucking school of barracudas down there. A fucking school. Well, like 12. But still. Holeeee shit.

Up close and personal with a barracuda.

Up close and personal with a barracuda.

Eventually, I decided that I wanted to play with the camera. Or Brian wanted a picture of himself. One of those.

And he relinquished the camera to me.

Which was pretty much the worst idea ever. Not only could I not figure the damn thing out, things started to go downhill. Fast. I’m not sure if I swallowed any water, or if the floating motion got to me, or if the looking through the lens of the tiny camera underwater was the ace in the hole…but vertigo hit and it hit fucking FAST.

Immediately, I had to lift out of the water, remove my snorkel and freak the fuck out. Again.

I was going to vomit. I was going to vomit all over the Coral Reef and myself and Brian and the fish and the barracudas were going to eat me and it was all over. I’m only a little bit of a drama queen.

I knew I needed to get out of the water and out of the suit and out of the mask and the flippers and be done. But I didn’t want to ruin Brian’s fun. The saint that he is still voluntarily pulled me to the boat, while I panicked and tried really hard not to puke into the water that everyone was swimming in, unaware of my agony and that they might just swim into vomit at any minute now.

We made it to the boat. Brian pulled off my flippers (because bending down seemed like the worst idea ever. Worse than anything. Ever.) and I crawled up to the boat. I spent the next hour sipping water and wishing I were on land while everyone else enjoyed being fish for a day.

Brian got a picture of himself (I think courtesy of his brother)

R1-02237-003A

Before it was all over, Brian and his brother even saw this GIGANTIC goliath grouper. Apparently it was the size of a large cow. And bad ass awesome. I’m so jealous.

 

  Don’t feel bad for me, though, Blog Friends. I had a good time and got a story out of it.

Have you ever had high expectations for something that didn’t quite go as expected?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Sometimes I Get So Hungry I Almost Eat Brian…

For the record, y’all…this post is brought to you by the tasty treats that are Gorton’s Seafood. Just because Brian doesn’t eat fishies doesn’t mean I won’t. And so I bring you joy. And a REALLY freakin’ easy, FAST meal. Because Gorton’s gave me some coupons for free fishies. And then I ate them. Not the coupons. The fishies.

Things you aren’t allowed to judge in this post

  • The fact that I tried to hide the dirtiness of my kitchen with close-up images
  • My use of holiday dishware in mid-January
  • The microwave that I quickly rinsed off so you wouldn’t see what a mess it was
  • The fact that I may have slightly overcooked my fishies, but ate them anyways

So…If you recall the last time I worked with Gorton’s, I reviewed their Simply Bakes Tilapia and Shrimp Scampi, which I made for the parents and mom’s bestie. Everyone was a fan. Gorton’s has since become an easy peasy staple in our freezer.

I’m serious when I tell you that Brian won’t eat fish. He doesn’t even want to smell it. Luckily, when I make Gorton’s, he barely even notices. Except for the fact that he has to cook his own dinner. (Except that one time that I actually cooked him something, too. And he was all, “you didn’t have to.” So the next time, I was all, “I didn’t.”)

So last night, when I got home I was FAMISHED. Starving. And I needed food immediately. Brian had already been informed that he was on his own for dinner, so he had prepared himself his favorite nasty frozen garlic chicken pasta thing that stinks up our entire apartment (and then he complains about fish?) I think he did it on purpose actually. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Gorton's Grilled TilapiaAnyways, I got home and took out the Gorton’s Grilled Tilapia, which is one of my faves. Not to be confused with the Simply Bakes Tilapia, this one is microwavable. Usually I bake this in the toaster oven, but I was on a time crunch. It was nuke it or eat Brian’s arm…I like two-armed hugs, so you can see my dilemma.

I tried to time myself on this shiz, but then I realized I was spending more time taking pictures of my food than preparing it, so timing was damn near obsolete. It all worked out though, because in 15 minutes (including photo op time), I had a healthy and tasty dinner for me.

So while the fish fillet was nuking, I was prepping my salad. Super easy. Chop the romain, halve the ‘maters, slice and quarter the cukes, measure out some dressing. Take a veggie photo shoot. Mix contents in Pyrex. Done.

Gorton's Seafood Salad

Why yes, I did add blue cheese to a salad that was going to have a Greek feta dressing. And it was delicious. Duh.

 

Tilapia salad with Greek Feta dressing, tomatoes, cucumbers and blue cheese

The flaked fishies made it kind of pretty, right? I cooked the single fillet for 4 minutes, and it probably could have been done in 3.5, but I wanted to give myself more time to prep the salad. Whatevs. I still ate it all.

Gorton’s is all about getting you to feel your best, so they’re working with bloggers and cool people like me to promote their Real Fabulous Sweepstakes where you can enter to win a $1,000 makeover.

So go try them out for yourself. You can even visit Gorton’s Seafood and get yourself a coupon for fishies.

Keep the conversation alive on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag, #realfabulous.

Not that I feel like you need this, but the FCC does…All of the opinions expressed here are mine. If you don’t believe me, step into my kitchen.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!