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From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of February 27, 2012
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Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

Tilapia with Chunky Tomato Sauce

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

Create the great taste of a healthy seafood dish in this easy-to-prepare recipe. Tilapia is a flavorful white fish found in the fresh seafood section of most grocery stores. According to Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Tilapia farmed in the U.S. or from Central or South America are the most environmentally-friendly choices.

The colorful chunky sauce in this recipe combines the acidity of tomatoes and the traditional pairing of lemon with seafood for a flavor that complements this mild flavored fish. The basil – with its delicately sweet, anise and peppery qualities – and the garlic impart a subtle Mediterranean taste. And the red pepper gives the dish an extra kick.

This dish goes well with a simple green salad consisting of fresh lettuce, cucumbers, a measure of grated carrots and some garbanzo beans. For a dressing, you might try a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. A complete nutritious meal could be topped off with a mixed fresh fruit for dessert.

Tomato and Tilapia

Tilapia with Chunky Tomato Sauce

  • 2 (14-oz) cans no salt added diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, including green stems
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil (2 tsp. dried may be substituted)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. tilapia fillets
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Place all ingredients, except oil, fish and parsley in a bowl and gently combine well.

In large skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Place fish in skillet. Top with tomato mixture, cover and simmer over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes or until fish is cooked.

Garnish with parsley and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 175 calories, 6 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 10 g carbohydrate,
22 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 102 mg sodium.


The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $100 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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