Fresh Fish Packets

I love to cook now, but it wasn’t always that way.

When I was in college, my roommates loved cooking and sharing recipes, but I couldn’t believe cooking was something people actually enjoyed. The extent of my cooking was heating up a frozen meal or making a sandwich. But when I met my husband, all of that changed.

He had mentioned that his mom was a great cook, and you know what they say about a man’s stomach and his heart. So for the first time I had a reason to cook and someone to cook for.

Now I cook even when my husband is away because I have realized that I am worth cooking for as well.

During one of my first adventures in the kitchen, I almost burned down a whole apartment building. My husband and I were dating at the time, and I wanted to make him a delicious meal for his birthday.

Shrimp was going to be the main course, and so I heated a pan on high filled with plenty of oil (big mistake!). I got the shrimp out of the fridge, and when I turned back around, the pan was bursting with flames.

We tried throwing water on it (another big mistake—grease fires have to be suffocated by covering them; water just makes it worse), but the flames were already licking the cabinets by that time.

Thankfully, the firefighters got there quickly and put the flames out before too much damage was done. We ended up ordering pizza for dinner.

I tell you that story to encourage you if you are new to cooking or if consider yourself a mess in the kitchen. Anyone can learn to cook, but we will all have mistakes along the way (hopefully none as bad as a kitchen fire!).

And it is worth learning how to cook. Studies show that people tend to enjoy their food more and eat a more balanced diet when they cook their food themselves.

Plus, you can not only tailor ingredients to your individual taste preferences, but you can also use cleaner, healthier ingredients than most pre-packaged meals or restaurants would. It’s much more cost-effective too!

I’m not saying you have to create a gourment, multi-course meal everynight. I mean let’s be real, who really has time for that? But just start somewhere.

Maybe try making the main course and using simple sides such as bagged salad or steam-in-the-bag veggies. Or try out a one-dish meal recipe, such as these Fresh Fish Packets.

Since each person’s meal is wrapped in aluminum foil, clean-up is a breeze. And I’ll be honest, cleaning up is the only thing I still hate about cooking.

Fresh Fish Packets


  • 4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 2 teaspoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
  • 4 teaspoons dry white wine or broth (1 teaspoon for each fillet)
  • 4 cups of frozen mixed vegetables (1 cup for each fillet)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme (1/2 teaspoon for each fillet)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 4 lemon slices
  • 8 teaspoons olive oil (2 teaspoons per fillet)
  • 2 (2 cup) packages of 1-minute microwaveable brown rice (enough for each person to have 1/2 cup of rice with their fish and veggies)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Cut four squares of aluminum foil (1 foot by 1.5-feet) and put one tilapia fillet in the center of each square
  3. Sprinkle each tilapia fillet evenly with the seafood seasoning
  4. Top each fillet with 1 cup mixed veggies and then sprinkle the fish and veggies evenly with salt, pepper, and dried thyme
  5. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of white wine (or broth) and 2 teaspoons olive oil over each fillet and veggie combo
  6. Top each combo with a lemon slice then wrap the foil tightly around each fish and veggie combo to secure the packet for baking
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork and vegetables are crisp-tender. Meanwhile, microwave the brown rice according to package directions
  8. Serve each fish packet with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  9. Enjoy! Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts: 450 calories, 13g fat, 2.5g sat fat, 42g carb, 5g fiber, 40g protein.


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