Need a recipe for your aquaponic production?  

Here are some healthy dishes using vegetables that are being produced in the UVI Aquaponic System.

Grilled Tilapia

For this recipe, use a charcoal grill if possible, if not, resort to the oven broiler.


  • one cup vegetable oil
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or African Hot Sauce (to taste)
  • juice of one lemon
  • one onion, finely chopped
  • one sweet green pepper (or bell pepper), finely chopped
  • one spoonful of vinegar
  • whole tilapia (one per person), one to two pounds each; cleaned (or tilapia fillets)


  • In a glass bowl or baking dish, combine all the ingredients except the fish. (For the simplest recipe, use only the oil, salt, red pepper, and lemon juice.) Stir until everything is well mixed.
  • Cut three slits across each fish on both sides, rub the oil and spice mixture onto and into the fish. The fish can be allowed to marinate in the bowl if desired (twenty minutes to an hour should be enough).
  • Cook the fish over a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill (a grill basket made to hold fish while grilling is very helpful), or broil in the oven, turning once or twice.
  • Serve with an African Hot Sauce.


Delectable Swiss Chard

Freshness is the key determinant that makes this dish deliciously sweet and buttery.  You want to use this recipe from harvest to table in the same day if possible.


  • Large bunch of Swiss chard
  • Garlic clove – sliced
  • EVOO – extra virgin olive oil
  • Water – just a little
  • Pinch of salt & red pepper flake
  • Butter – Tbsp spoon
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese – about ¼ cup


  • Rinse out the Swiss chard leaves lightly. Remove the toughest third of the stalk. Roughly chop the leaves into inch-wide strips. Heat a saucepan on a medium heat setting; add olive oil, a few small slices of garlic and the crushed red pepper.
  • Sautééé for about a minute, add the chopped Swiss chard leaves salt and butter. Cover. Check after about 5 minutes. If it looks dry, add a couple tablespoons of water. Flip the leaves over in the pan, so that what was on the bottom is now on the top. Cover again. Check for doneness after another 5 minutes (remove a piece and taste it).
  • Place the Swiss chard into a serving dish. Finish by topping with grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy.

Above recipe provided by Chef Jose Perez, Director of Food Services, Mountainside Treatment Center

Baked tilapia on bed of sauteed kale


  • Tilapia
    • 1 lb tilapia fillet (3-4 fillets)
    • 2 Tbsp butter
    • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 Tbsp capers (drained)
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
    • To taste:  garlic powder, paprika, salt
  • Kale
    • 4 whole garlic cloves
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 lb. kale, leaves removed from stems


  • Combine butter, lemon juice, capers, herbs and spices and pour over tilapia fillets in baking pan.
  • Bake, uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes at 425ºF or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  • Roast garlic cloves in olive oil,
  • Remove cloves from oil, cool and peel skin.
  • Transfer oil from garlic roasting to pan and sauteé until just wilted. 
  • Add the garlic cloves.
  • On a dish, place the kale then Tilapia over top.  Drizzle sauce from baking dish over fish and kale.
  • Serve with Brown Rice Pilaf for complete health and wellness meal.

Above recipe provided by Chef Jose Perez, Director of Food Services, Mountainside Treatment Center

Couscous With Chard, Fresh Fish, and Tomatoes


  • Couscous
    • 1 cup couscous
    • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Chard
    • Salt and pepper
    • 20 or 30 chard leaves, washed (don't bother to dry) and chopped
    • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
    • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • Tilapia
    • 1 lb tilapia fillet
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Topping
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed
    • 5 to 10 tarragon leaves


  • Whisk the couscous into 2 cups of boiling water, along with the butter and a large pinch of salt. Cover and let stand.
  • In a large pot, combine the chard and garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and some salt. Cover and cook until the chard is tender, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Sautééé the fish in 2 tablespoons of olive oil with some salt and pepper until the flesh flakes with gentle pressure from your finger.
  • In a separate pan, cook the onion in the remaining olive oil until softened. Add the tomatoes (crush a few to release their juice), tarragon, and salt and pepper. Cook until everything is warm and the tomatoes are about to burst, about 5 minutes.
  • On a plate, make a bed of couscous, top with the chard, then the fish, and finally the tomatoes.

Adapted from Chef Sam Kass, Executive Director of Let's MoveFirst Lady Michelle Obama's' initiative to bring healthy food and lifestyles to the nation's children.



  • 2 UVI Tilapia fillets (boneless/skinless)
  • 2 Green onion chopped using some of the green top
  • 1 Banana sliced
  • Spice blend - proportion to taste
  • paprika, cumin, curry, adobo, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 Tbls. butter


  • Shake most of splice blend over fish.
  • Heat oil in saute pan over medium high heat
  • add remaining spice blend to the hot oil
  • Add fish and cook till done
  • Add green onion and banana
  • Add butter and squeeze of lemon
  • Mix together to heat through
  • Serve over rice. Buen provecho!

Recipe presented by Chef Todd Gray,Equinox Restaurant, at Chef's in the Community, St. Croix Food and Wine Experience

Baja Tilapia Taco


  • 8 fillets UVI Tilapia fillets
  • 1/4 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbs. Lime juice
  • 3 tsp. Chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. Minced garlic
  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 Flour tortillas
  • Head of aquaponic lettuce, diced
  • Pico do Gallo sauce


  • Make the marinade.  Combine the cumin, chili powder, lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, and coriander in a small bowl.  Season with salt and stir altogether.
  • Spread marinade on fillets and place in refrigerator 15 – 30 minutes while preparing other side dishes.
  • Pre-heat the grill to medium high heat.
  • Cook the fish with the marinade.  Use a grilling basket to avoid the fish falling apart.  Place the fish over direct heat for two minutes
  • Flip the fish and grill it for another two minutes.
  • Place the tortillas on the grill for 15 seconds on each side until they have light grill marks on them.
  • Assemble your tacos.  Lay down a thin bed of lettuce in the middle and then lay a tilapia fillet on the lettuce.  Dress the fish with Pico de Gallo and drizzle on some lime juice.

 This recipe is found at