04 September 2012

Balsamic Tilapia & Avocado Wrap

Let's face it....sometimes your pack-ahead lunch can get a little boring.  Cold cuts are fine and dandy, sandwiches satisfying and salads refreshing.  But if you're carrying in, certain foods are always out.  Grilled cheese, tuna melts, veggie fritters and paninis are all those delicious foods that you love mid-day, but just do not reheat well at work.  When you're limited to a refrigerator and microwave, these hot foods are not your best friends.  At times, this may lead you to feeling a bit lackluster about lunch.  If you've ever been there, please let me present you with this fantastic mid-day meal.

This meal originated from low refrigerator contents.  Protein was limited to hot dogs and frozen tilapia, while the bread selection was slimmed down even further to only tortillas.  The tortilla dog was not tickling my fancy, so tilapia wrap it was!  Add in a lonely piece of provolone, half an avocado and assorted veggies and voila, lunch.

The more immediate thought with the ingredients might have been some type of spicy tilapia.  But the sweet, mild flavor of provolone can get lost in a lot of spice.  On a whim, I grabbed the balsamic vinaigrette out of the refrigerator door and dumped that over the fish.  And man, am I happy I did.  Having never used balsamic dressing as a marinade, I hit a home run on the first try.  The tender, flaky fish picked up the flavors fantastically without losing its own unique flavor.  I've tried it on firmer meats since and found that it doesn't quite work right on a firmer protein.  But on tilapia, it's lovely.  I like to add an extra drizzle over the top...like so......

I suffered from a serious case of love at first bite.  I've made this several times since, enjoying it both hot and cold.  Fish doesn't reheat terrifically, but as long as you don't overcook it on the initial prep, it'll reheat just fine.  The avocado adds lovely flavor and the mild cheese binds rounds out the flavor with its milkiness.  Having played around a bit, I found that I prefer a more durable green such as kale when hot, but spinach when eaten cold.

Plagued by unwrapping wraps?  Try a toothpick.  

So give your cold cuts a well-deserved break and try a tilapia wrap.  Better than a tortilla dog!

Balsamic Tilapia & Avocado Wrap

  • 2 tilapia fillets
  • 1/4 tbs reduced fat balsamic dressing
  • 2 whole wheat wraps (we like La Tortilla Factory)
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 oz provolone or havarti cheese
  • 1/2 c baby spinach or kale (for hot or cold wrap)
  • 1 thick slice red onion
Place tilapia in a ziplock bag with balsamic dressing.  Marinade for 30-60 minutes.  To cook fish, preheat grill pan on medium high heat.  Spray generously with non-stick before placing fish on the grill. Cook for a minute and a half then flip, spraying the pan underneath the fish with more non-stick before placing back on the heat.  Cook for another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until fish is opaque, then remove to a plate or cutting board to rest.

To assemble, divide greens, avocado and red onion between two tortillas.  Cut filets in half and lay across the fillings.  Top with cheese, fresh cracked pepper and a drizzle of balsamic.  Serve cold or heat briefly in the microwave (or on the grill!) for a toasty wrap.

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