Net carbs. 9.5 per serving. Prep time: 15 minutes, not counting marinara sauce. Cooking time: 30 – 60 minutes depending on temperature choice ((not counting marinara sauce, which can be commercial).

This is basically a fish-and-marinara stew  with Middle-eastern influenced spices. It is one of my absolute favorite meals, especially when I use fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes for the marinara sauce.  I like it best served on a bed of arugula, but you could serve it over zoodles or cauliflower mash.

Regarding temperature: Either slow-cook/low heat  or fast cook/high heat works. Slow cook is more traditional in a tagine-style dish like this, but I choose based on what else I might be needing to put in the oven. (The higher temperature and shorter cooking time works well with roasting accompanying vegetables.)


  • 2 six – eight ounce tilapia or swai fillets
  • 1./2 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small leek, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded (can be omitted, or leave seeds in for more heat)
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 2  tsp paprika
  • 1 chicken boullion cube, smashed
  • 1/4  tsp cayenne pepper(adjust to your preference); heat lovers can add 1/4 j- 1/2 jalapeno pepper.
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • a few sprigs of chopped parsley,  dill, tarragon, or sage (combine to your taste)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/3 tsp  ground cloves
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (Commercial or your own, made from fresh tomatoes. Flavor with herbs like oregano, thyme, plus a little garlic and ground cinnamon)
  • Your choice of spiralized vegetables (zucchini  works well with this dish; about 1/2 zucchini per person, if you didn’t use it in the sauce) or a bed of arugula lettuce.


  • Preheat oven to 200 or 425  (see cooking times, below).
  • Pour a thin layer of olive oil on the bottom of a glass baking dish.
  • Combine the dry spices (paprika, bouillon cube, cayenne, coriander, and cinnamon) with the water and the remainder of the olive oil.
  • Spread the spice mix over  the fish.
  • Arrange the peppers, leeks, zucchinis (if using) and tomatoes in layers on the bottom of the dish.
  • Put the fish on top of the the peppers, leeks, and tomatoes.
  • Cover with  about 1 cup cup of marinara sauce (more, if you like)
  • Sprinkle with fresh herbs (parsley, dill, tarragon, sage).
  • Cover with lid or foil and bake for about 1 hour at 200 or 30 minutes at 425 —  in either case, until fish flakes.
  • While the fish is baking, sauté the spiralized vegetable noodles in a combination of olive oil and butter.
  • Serve the fish over spiralized vegetable noodles. Top with bits of feta cheese and more fresh dill or parsley.


Carb count includes zucchini in sauce, but does not include the bed of vegetables/lettuce you might put the sauce on, which is optional.


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Categories: Kitchen


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