Squash, Leek and Tilapia Au Gratin

by Joanne on October 15, 2009

I love the orange color of squash and the sweet aromas permeating through the house.   This dish is made even MORE aromatic by the addition of leeks that bake along with the squash in a beautiful contrast of savory, sweet and cheesy.  The delicate white meat of the Tilapia makes this a one dish meal.  The original recipe was found in Cookingclub magazine, Oct/Nov issue on page 39.


I made the first part in the morning before leaving for work.  I simply had to finish the dish when coming home after a long day.  What an easy dinner!


  • 1/2 cup Panko
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 Leek: Slice in half. Fan to wash. Dry and slice.
  • 8 slices of Smart Bacon– Vegetarian substitute for pork bacon.
  • rosemary
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 Acorn Squash: Microwave for 5 minutes. When cooled, peel and slice.
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 3 oz Feta Cheese (reduced fat)
  • 3 oz Extra Sharp Cheddar: sliced
  • 4 TBS Parmesan
  • 3 Small Tilapia Filets
  • 1 TBS Promise “Healthy Heart” 0 Trans Fat Margarine (or butter) – Melted

Preheat oven to 400 F (or convection at 375 F).  Spray a baking dish with non stick spray and sprinkle with 1/4 of the Panko crumbs.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the leek and the SmartBacon. Sauté about 6 minutes on medium high. Keep stirring so nothing burns.  Add a little of the broth at this point to keep it from burning.


Arrange half of the squash slices in the baking dish over the Panko. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Spread half of the leek mixture on top. Top with the squash.  Add the final layer of leek mixture.  Pour the broth over the top.  Sprinkle with more rosemary, salt and pepper.  Cover and bake for 35 minutes.  NOTE:  This is where I removed it from the oven and let it sit until ready to begin again at dinner time.


Coming home from work and picking up were I left off….

At 400 F (or convection at 375 F), add the Tilapia filets, sprinkle with the 3 cheeses.  Add the 1/4 cup of Panko remaining and sprinkle on the melted Promise (or butter).  Bake, uncovered for 20-25 minutes  (about 15  for convection).


Served with toast points: plate2

Approximate Nutrition Per 6 Servings:
Calories:  290
Protein:  25g
Carbohydrates:  19g
Fat: 13.5g

Do you have a favorite Gratin recipe? 

Digital Photography 101

What a neat surprise in class the other night.  A student was setting up some candy corns for a photo..hence FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY!   Keith (the instructor) took some time to discuss shooting settings using the studio lights.  Here are the results:

The Candy Corn Shoot The Candy Corn Skull

film1 Working with lights.  Shadow under film on the left.

film2 We adjusted the left light on the silver umbrellas to increase it and the shadow fell on the right.

film3 Third time, almost perfect!

Do you use alternate light sources when taking your blog photos?


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  • At 2009.10.18 03:24, Libby said:

    SB-800 and off camera cord when I’m not feeling lazy. It’s all in the lighting 😉 When I finally get my studio cleaned out I’ll actually shoot some real food pics again.

    • At 2009.10.18 11:08, Joanne said:


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