I absolutely love shopping at Whole Foods Market. To me, it combines the experience of shopping at a farmer’s market and your local neighborhood grocer. Plus, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Whole Foods Market in my corporate career so I have first hand, behind-the-scene knowledge of their commitment to their food quality standards and sustainable practices.
I was so excited when Scott Herbert, Marketing Team Leader of my local Whole Foods Market, agreed to participate in our Guest Sous Chef Series. The Guest Sous Chef Series was started to invite real chefs who share our passion of inspiring kids to cook and to share their favorite kid-friendly recipes. Chef Sevilla Riley was the first chef to participate in the series. This time, we had the opportunity to partner with Chef Jason Campbell who has been teaching cooking classes at Whole Foods Market for the past 12 years. Chef Jason was trained at the Art Institute of Dallas with a degree in the culinary arts. He regularly teaches hands-on cooking classes at the Whole Foods Market on food and meal preparation ranging from vegetarian to French cuisine, knife skills, preparing sushi and more! It was an honor to have him share his recipe for Italian Baked Tilapia Parmesan with Bruschetta topping and Basil Pesto Rice. Plus, it was the first time my little chef had the opportunity to cook in a professional kitchen which he thought was the absolute coolest!
First, Chef Jason took the Step Stool Chef around the store to pick up the ingredients for their dish. With the ingredient list in hand, Chef Jason shared how to pick out fresh produce and how to spot organic foods vs. conventional. Together they smelled fresh herbs, squeezed lemons and searched through specialty cheeses.
SOUS CHEF MOMMY TIP:Part of being a great cook is using great ingredients. Next time you go grocery shopping, bring along your little chef and teach them how to find quality ingredients.
Now it was time to cook. The ingredients included the freshest seafood, herbs and vegetables. The Baked Tilapia included: 1 cup of organic italian breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of organic italian dressing, parsley, dill and salt & pepper (and tilapia of course).
The Bruschetta topping included: 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, 4 teaspoon of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, basil, and salt & pepper. Finally, the Basil Pesto rice was so simple and genius at the same time… Basil pesto + cooked rice = yuumm-e!
Chef Jason and the Step Stool Chef added a little more parmesan and breadcrumbs to make sure the fish was evenly covered then placed the pan in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. The wonderful aroma coming from the oven was absolutely mouthwatering.
The food is now ready and its time to eat. Chef Jason shared a fun and creative way to present the food. For the fish, simply spoon the bruschetta topping over the tilapia. For the rice, he tightly packed the rice in a small, fun shaped bowl. Then he turned the bowl upside down on the plate. Once he removed the bowl, it kept the shape of the bowl and looked very appetizing. In fact, the meal was absolutely delicious! My little chef said it was was one of his favorite dishes.
My little chef had an absolute ball cooking with Chef Jason who was an excellent coach. I have to admit when Chef Jason shared what my little chef would be cooking, I was curious to see how his little hands would be able to pull of such a fancy sounding dish. The reality was that he had so much fun and tackled it head on. It was surprisingly easy and was a great reminder not to make assumptions too quickly about what kids can and can’t do.
Thanks to Chef Jason, Scott Herbert and Whole Foods Market for your support!
Note: This was not a sponsored post. We’re just sharing our cool day!
- 3 fillets of tilapia
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and dill (rough chopped)
- 1/2 cup Italian dressing
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes (mixed colors if available)
- 1/2 bunch fresh basil (chopped)
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups of cooked basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons of basil pesto
- Finely chop the dill and parsley then stir together the breadcrumbs and herbs in a deep plate or square dish.
- In a dish pour the italian dressing over the tilapia and cover each piece of fish, sprinkle on parmesan covering the fish evenly.
- Roll the fish in the breadcrumb and herb mixture. Place the breaded fish evenly on a lined sheet pan.
- Bake until cooked through 12 to 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees.
- Cut the tomatoes in quarters from stem to bottom
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and use as a topping for the fish
- Cook the rice according to the instructions
- Mix the basil pesto with the cooked rice until throughly mixed