Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spiced Tilapia, Israeli Coucous with Goat Cheese, and Mushroom Soup

Last Saturday we had my brother over and this is what I fixed! I had been hankering to unwrap the goat cheese log I had been saving from Trader Joe's...but knew I've have to make a week of meals using it so it wouldn't go bad. Tonight will be the third dinner in the past five days featuring goat cheese!

Goat cheese is actually my favorite kind of cheese. I believe I got hooked on it a few years ago when my sister brought home some honeyed goat cheese once and let me try it. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! But...regular goat cheese is so much more when I do buy it, I usually don't get the honeyed version.

That night, I put the goat cheese in Israeli couscous...which, if you don't know, looks like couscous on steroids.

Israeli Couscous with Goat Cheese
2 tbsp butter, separated
1/3 cup pistachios
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
5 mushrooms, sliced
 salt and pepper
1 red bell pepper, chopped
zest from one lemon
2 oz goat cheese

Melt 1 tbsp butter in 2 qt saucepan. Add pistachios and toast until slightly browned. Remove. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add couscous and brown slightly. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes until done.

Meanwhile, melt the other tbsp butter in a frying pan. Add mushrooms and saute until they have released all of their liquid. Sprinkle over a little salt and pepper.

Remove couscous form heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, lemon zest and goat cheese. The cheese will melt completely. If you prefer to have it crumbled on top, simply serve the cheese on the side.

Nutritional Info:
Calories: 270
Fat: 10 g (4.2 g sat)
Cholesterol: 14.7 mg
Potassium*: 200 mg
Carbs: 38 g (2.7 g Fiber, 1.1 g sugar)
Protein: 9.7 g

*Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium.

I seasoned the fish with garam masala, cayenne pepper, and garlic salt. I have to say I will make this again as it turned out very tasty! Simply sprinkle the spices on both sides of the fillets and cook for about 3 minutes per side in a little olive oil.

The second dinner with goat cheese was Mushroom soup...made yesterday in my fantastic slow cooker! It was more like a supplement to dinner, as we were at a function earlier in the evening where some food was served. When we got home, it smelled so good! Well, I happen to love the smell of mushrooms.

I halved and modified this recipe from Delicious and Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson.

Mushroom Soup with Goat Cheese
1 tbsp butter
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 cup red wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 oz goat cheese to top

Melt 1 tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until all the liquid is released. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for about 1 minute. Transfer to slow cooker. Add bay leaf, wine, and broth and cook on High for 3-4 hours or Low for 6-8.

When ready to serve, discard bay leaf. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Ladle into bowls and top with goat cheese.

Serves 3

Nutritional Info: (1 oz goat cheese per serving)
Calories: 200
Fat: 10 g (6.6g sat)
Cholesterol: 23.4 mg
Potassium: 282 mg
Carbs: 7.3 g (0.7 g Fiber, 2.5 g sugar)
Protein: 7.4 g


  1. I tend to save my Trader Joe's purchases too. :) We need one here! You have hit on all my favorites - goat cheese, the couscous, mushroom soup - love it!

  2. We just found out that it's official - Louisville is getting a Trader Joe's this year! So excited to find amazing things!

    This dinner looks amazing by the way!

  3. I LOVE goat cheese. Salad with balsalmic vinegar and olive oil and goat cheese. Mmmmm. Roasted asparagus and goat cheese and sundried tomato. Toasted baguette with goat cheese and ratatouille of vegetables. Sigh.
    My sister in law tells me that she loves baked sweet potato with goat cheese and carmelized walnuts.