As a busy mom of four growing boys, I tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen doing food prep, shopping, planning, cleaning up and so on and so forth. At times, I just wish I didn’t have to do so much work just to feed us all. That’s why I make sure to include as many simple meals as I can into our week. Fish in parchment packets fits that bill quite nicely. My kids literally get ecstatic when we have these for dinner! Why? They get to make them themselves of course. That makes me pretty ecstatic too!
I love including the boys in the meal prep, it’s such a fun way to bond and impress the joy of cooking for my young boys. I always tell them never to expect a woman to always do it all for them. They need to learn how to cook for themselves. My goal is by the time they are off to college, they’ll have a repertoire of recipes under their belts. And by that, I mean real food recipes, not microwaved processed store bought junk.
So, I can’t recommend trying out these fish packets enough. It’s super simple prep work and clean up, and it’s a great way to bond as a family. And, the kids get to choose what they put on their fish. That’s the part I think they love the most. I call them all my little sous chefs and they beam with pride. The cool thing is, every time I make them, I always offer a wide variety and include things I know they may not normally try. Over time, they’ve been willing to try new things because of it, because they get to make that choice. It’s a beautiful thing!
- 1½ -2 pounds boneless fillets of white fish (I like to use Dover Sole), snapper or cod work well too
- Thinly sliced veggies (use a mandolin slicer if you have one) such as: onions, zucchini, summer squash, peppers, mushrooms, carrots
- Fresh herb sprigs or minced fine
- Chopped scallions
- Finely minced garlic
- Thin slices of lemon
- Seasonings such as: variety of salts, black pepper, kelp granules, dulse granules, garlic powder or onion powder, ginger, paprika, cayenne, dried herbs
- Sesame oil Butter
- Parchment Paper (not bleached)
- Compile all the ingredients into bowls buffet style.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cut parchment sheets in large squares equal to the width of the paper.
- Start with one sheet on a baking sheet and layer veggies in the middle of the sheet.
- Add the fish on top of the sliced veggies.
- Then add herbs, seasonings, lemon slices and pats of butter or a drizzle of sesame oil, or both on top.
- Once the packet is done, join the paper to meet in the middle and fold tightly almost to where it's touching the fish.
- Then tightly fold the ends, pressing very firmly when done.
- Write the person's name on the packet on one of the thick folds in pencil.
- The packet will stay sealed enough to keep the steam inside while baking.
- Place on a baking sheet and repeat until all the packets you need are completed.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes. Depending on how thinly sliced your fish is the time may vary, if it's a bit thicker it may take 15 minutes.
Since this is a pretty light meal, I often serve it with something additional to fill their bellies more. Sometimes, though rarely, I’ll just make up some white rice. Smoothies are a good option too, as they are easy and my older two boys can help to make them. Regardless of what you do on the side, keep in mind this is a fun easy meal, but not super filling, so find a way to bolster the meal a bit.
I like to use parchment paper that is not bleached if I can get it. (I was out in the photo above). I never use aluminum foil, ever! The risk of contaminating my food with aluminum is just not worth it to me. More natural health food stores often carry unbleached parchment, though it can be pricey. I find if you just order it in bulk it saves a bit in the long run.
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