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Whenever I make something delicious, healthy, and somewhat classy, for almost no money, I feel like I have won the Grand Prize in my own personal contest against the world. Who said college kids have to live off of Top Ramen? I have only eaten ramen two or three times throughout college, and it was because I crunched it up into broccoli salad. Why is that? Because I am a really good shopper and I’m more resourceful than Bear Grylls.

The other day I was jonesing for some fish, and I found these swai fillets on sale in the fish department. I didn’t know what swai was, but it didn’t look very menacing at all. And it was only $1.29 for two fillets. $1.29!! Almost as cheap as ramen, and much, much better for you. I took it home and did a little homework on it. Apparently swai, a member of the catfish family, is fairly new on the market. I’m not sure how a new fish pops up on the market, but I’m not going to question it. Swai is a very mild, sweet, tender, flaky fish, which is exactly the type of fish that I prefer. I made roulades out of them, filled with a mixture of herbs that I found in my fridge, and it was so fancy, easy, and tasty. Oh yeah, and dirt cheap!

Pesto and Bacon Stuffed Swai Roulades

2 swai fillets (they should be boneless and skinless)

zest from 1/2 lemon (save the lemon to use the juice)

1 sprig sage (about 6-8 leaves)

small handful basil (maybe 1/3 cup)

small handful parsley (ditto)

1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 strip bacon, cut in half

Preheat your oven to 400. Place a wire cooling rack on a foil covered baking sheet.

Drizzle olive oil on one side of the fillets. Flip over and squeeze lemon juice on the other side.

To make the pesto, blend the herbs, olive oil, sunflower seeds, garlic, salt, and zest in a food processor.

I don’t have a food processor so I tried using a blender, and I couldn’t quite get it as smooth as I woud have liked. It was still yummy though.

To assemble the roulades, lay 1/2 strip bacon on fillet so that it is to one side of the fillet, not centered. Spoon a thick layer of pesto across the whole fillet.

Roll tightly, starting with the bacon end, and secure with a skewer or twine. Place on the wire rack, and bake for 15-20 minutes until the fish is firm and no longer opaque. When in doubt, I would err on the side of over-cooking to ensure that the middle of the roll is cooked through.

Serve right away, and think of all the money that’s still in your wallet!

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