20-Minute Meals: The No-Muss, No-Fuss Way to Cook Fish

Randall Hoover Photography for SparkPeopleBlog

By Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at SparkPeople.com

from "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight"

Cooking fish or chicken in parchment paper packets is a technique known as "en papillote." The protein stays moist without any added fat, and the herbs and fish lend flavor to the vegetables.

Watch the no-mess, quick-cooking technique that will have dinner on the table in 20 minutes or less.

Be sure to slice your vegetables thinly to ensure even cooking. We used peppers, mushrooms and leeks here, but you can choose your favorite vegetables. Thinly sliced peppers, asparagus, carrots, onions, zucchini and green beans are all good choices. Switch up the herbs and spices, too!

The best thing about this recipe: because everything is cooked in the parchment, cleanup is a breeze!

Minutes to Prepare: 5
Minutes to Cook: 10
Number of Servings: 4
2 leeks, thinly sliced
2 red or yellow bell peppers, sliced
1 cup thinly sliced button mushrooms
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 pound sole fillets (or another white fleshed fish), cut into 4-ounce portions
2 lemons, zested and cut in half

1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. In a small bowl,
mix together the leeks, bell pepper, and mushrooms.
In another small bowl, mix together the
parsley and thyme.

2. Fold four sheets of 15" x 15" parchment paper
in half. Coat one half with nonstick cooking
spray and place on a baking sheet, uncoated
side down (if you have a griddle that fits across
two burners, you can use that in place of the
baking sheet). In the center of the sprayed side
of each piece of parchment, place 1 fish fillet,
one-quarter of the vegetables, lemon zest, and
herbs. Juice 1 lemon half over each mixture.
Fold over the left side of the parchment. Crimp
the edges to form a packet.

3. Place the baking sheet across two burners
on the stovetop and set to moderate heat.
Once the liquid inside each packet starts to
bubble, transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for
8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of
the fish. A general rule of thumb is 10 minutes
per inch of thickness.
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SparkPeople Healthy Cooking Expert Meg Galvin is a World Master Chef, culinary instructor, and the author of "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight." A farmer's daughter and marathon runner, she lives in northern Kentucky with her husband and three teenage sons.