A Dash of Healthy: Introduction to Fish Preparation Methods

Welcome to Valley’s newest column, A Dash of Healthy! Columnists Carolyn and Corinne are two girls on a mission to reinvent what it means to be healthy in college, one meal at a time. We’re here to guide you through the kitchen, from the aisles of your grocery store to the finished plate. Catch us every week for a new healthy recipe, along with our favorite tips, tricks and advice for eating well on a college budget.

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FISH101  Introduction to Fish Preparation Methods. 

Yes, we wish this were a real class at Penn State, but sadly it’s not. Lucky for you, A Dash of Healthy is here to teach you the basics, as a part of our Kitchen101 series: a step-by-step guide to cooking your basic college eats.

We’ll begin our lesson with a baking technique called the “tinfoil teepee.” The “tinfoil teepee” combines the heat of your oven with the steaming powers of a tinfoil (aluminum foil) pocket to create a perfectly cooked filet, using less than 5 ingredients. Although fish can be prepared a number of different ways, including: broiling, grilling and sautéing, the “tinfoil teepee” method requires minimal time and effort— perfect for collegiates on the go.

So why should you eat fish? True, it’s more expensive than chicken—we won’t lie—but its nutritional benefits make it worth the extra cost.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are a form of unsaturated fat, found primarily in fish, that doctors believe have a connection to reduced levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation. Not only are they good for your heart, but they’ve been known to improve skin tone and texture as well. Over the counter fish oil pills have a similar effect to omega-3 fatty acids, however, eating natural sources of any nutrient is generally better.

The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week to get a healthy dose of omega-3’s.  If you know you’re pressed for time during the week, consider preparing your fish on the weekends and saving leftovers in the fridge. Fish will last for up to five days when it’s properly refrigerated, giving you plenty of time to pack in your nutrients.

What you’ll need: 

1, 9X12” sheet of aluminum foil
1 filet of fish
1 tbsp lemon juice or 1 lemon wedge
Salt & pepper to taste

What to do: 

1. Lay tinfoil down on a baking sheet.

2. Place your thawed fish filet in the center of the sheet.

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3. Pour 1 tbsp lemon juice, or squeeze lemon wedge on top of the fish and season with salt and pepper.

4. For additional flavor, you can leave the lemon wedge inside the ‘teepee’.

5. Curl the foil up and around the fish, making sure the filet is entirely enclosed. This should resemble a ‘teepee’. Be sure not to wrap your fish too tight, as you need to leave enough space for airflow.

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6. Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes (depending on type of fish), at 425 degrees.

7. When the fish can be flaked with a fork, it is done.

Photos by Carolyn and Corinne

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