Serves 4

Per serving: 229 calories, 32g protein, 12.6g carbohydrate, 2.6g dietary fiber, 6.7g total fat (1.6g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 93mg sodium, Carbohydrate choices: 0.8

Low-fat Creole sauces get plenty of flavor from tomatoes and herbs. Our grandmothers may have sautéed the onion and celery in lots of bacon fat, but just a bit of olive oil brightens the seasonings and transforms some of our best old family dishes into health food. Use any firm-fleshed fish, such as red snapper, grouper, or catfish. You could use this same method to cook shrimp, crawfish tails (rinse off the fat), boneless skinless chicken breasts, or sliced pork tenderloin.


  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 coin-sized slices fresh gingerroot, lightly crushed (optional)
  • Two 14½-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 3 thin lemon slices, seeds removed
  • Cayenne and black pepper
  • 4 tilapia fillets, 6 ounces each, rinsed and patted dry
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

HEAT a large nonstick skillet on medium high. Swirl the oil around the hot pan; then add the onion and celery; stir until tender and golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and gingerroot (if using); stir for a minute or so, until the garlic is fragrant.

Fresh ginger revs up Creole sauces and court bouillons.

ADD the tomatoes and lemon slices. Season with cayenne and black pepper. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. (The sauce could be prepared to this point a few hours ahead, or refrigerated for 2 or 3 days.)

ADD the fish; spoon sauce over it. Cover and cook until the fish is done, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the fillets. Discard the ginger, bay leaves, and lemon slices.

SERVE with cooked brown rice, whole grain pasta, or spaghetti squash. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.