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Originally published Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM

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Recipe: Tilapia with Avocado Salsa

Tilapia is a less expensive fish that is easy to cook and can be dressed up with this avocado salsa.

Detroit Free Press

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Yes, it is fish but remember that Tilapia has as much cholesterol as BACON. We used to... MORE

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If you've been observing meatless Fridays and have fallen into a fish rut, go for super simple. Fish is not finicky and really is effortless to cook. So many varieties are mild tasting and just need simple seasonings and sides to give them a boost.

In addition, the American Heart Association and health experts recommend eating two servings of fish a week. Eating a variety of seafood is also a key part of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This recipe for broiled Tilapia with Avocado Salsa is just the ticket.

Tilapia is a mild-flavored fish that offers a decent amount of omega-3 fatty acids, though not as much as salmon, the omega-3 darling. But tilapia is a good choice for those who tend to shy away from fish. It's not too expensive, is widely available at seafood counters or in frozen foods sections, and it's on the firm side, so it takes to all cooking methods.

The salsa takes just minutes to prepare and can be made in advance. It's also versatile. You can turn it into a fruit salsa by adding diced pineapple, mango or papaya or peaches.

Using diced red bell pepper gives the salsa a little sweetness, color and crunch. One of my new favorite bell pepper products is the bags of mini peppers now available at many grocery stores.

The 8- or 16-ounce bags contain a mix of mini red, yellow and orange peppers. I started seeing these mini peppers more often last year. They're perfect when one whole bell pepper is more than you need. They're also the ideal snacking size, and they don't have as many seeds or large cores that have to be cut away.

Slice them into rings and use them in stir-fries or salads.

They also are great to toss on the grill because they cook quickly, making for an easy side dish. You can also thread them on skewers and grill them. Either way, just brush them with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling.

Tilapia with Avocado Salsa

Makes 4 servings You can substitute any firm white fish for tilapia.

For Salsa

2 avocados, halved, pitted, diced small

3/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper

1 small jalapeño, minced

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Sea salt and ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

For Tilapia

Nonstick cooking spray

4 tilapia fillets (about 4 to 6 ounces each)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Favorite lemon pepper or other citrus type of seasoning

1. Preheat the broiler. In a medium bowl, combine avocados, red pepper, jalapeño, onion, cilantro and lemon juice. Season the salsa with salt, pepper and pinch of sugar to taste. Set aside. (You can make the salsa one day in advance and refrigerate it covered.)

2. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with the cooking spray or line with foil. Rinse the tilapia fillets and pat dry. Place tilapia on the baking sheet and brush each fillet with a little oil. Season with salt and lemon pepper seasoning. Broil until fish is opaque throughout, about 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

3. Top fish with salsa and serve with a side salad.

From and tested by Susan Selasky in the Free Press Test Kitchen.

301 calories (48 percent from fat), 16 grams fat (3 grams sat. fat), 11 grams carbohydrates, 30 grams protein, 228 mg sodium, 70 mg cholesterol, 6 grams fiber.

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