Try preparing it a different way: Gulf Fish en Papillote

June 1, 2017

Gulf Fish in Papillote by Providence Healthy Living

By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian

Eating healthy is about cooking healthy. The process starts with our method of preparation, as my friend Chef Brandon reminds me.

Sometimes it is the same recipe, just baked instead of fried. Think about your favorite recipes/foods and how you could modify them to make them a little healthier, but still enjoy them.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Find good recipes – Eating Well and Cooking Light are my go-to resources.
  2. Don't be afraid to try something new. Some recipes will be keepers and some might not.
  3. Learn simple ingredient substitutions – for example, yogurt in place of sour cream.
  4. Stock your pantry with healthy options – start with good-quality foods.
  5. Invest in some good tools. Usually I'm not a gadget person, but I have some good tools in my kitchen – my knives, my food processor and certain pieces of cookware.

Try this recipe from Cooking Light magazine. Different food prep method, but a really healthy option with minimal cleanup. Sounds like a winner!

Gulf Fish en Papillote


  • 1 cup matchstick-sliced red onions

  • 3/4 cup julienne-cut celery

  • 1/2 cup red pepper strips

  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh chervil

  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon

  • 1/4 tsp. salt, divided

  • 1/4 tsp. pepper, divided

  • 2 6-ounce white bass fillets

  • 2 tsp. olive oil

  • ¼ cup white wine, divided


  • Combine first five ingredients, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Sprinkle fish evenly with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

  • Cut two 15-inch squares of parchment paper.

  • Fold each square in half, and open each.

  • Place half of vegetable mixture near each fold. Top each serving with 1 fillet, 1 teaspoon butter, and 2 tablespoons wine.

  • Fold paper; seal the edges with narrow folds.

  • Place packets on a jelly-roll pan.

  • Bake at 350° for 18 minutes, or until parchment is puffy.

  • Place on plates, and cut open.

  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition information: 264 Calories, 7.6 grams fat, 80 mg. cholesterol, 518 mg. sodium, 15.4 grams carbohydrate, 33.2 grams protein.


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.