For me, the easiest part of my new low-carb, high protein diet is preparing the main dishes. I have just adjusted some of my basic recipes to fit the parameters of the diet, using spices and lo-carb vegetables to wow my palate. Since most sauces contain sugar and are therefore not allowed on my diet, I find that I must use spice combinations effectively in place of sauce.
Although I love to cook and create, I hate the cleanup. Cooking fish in foil packets is a perfect way to minimize the mess after dinner and maximize the wow effect. The foil is used as a packet and contains all the ingredients. Because everything is sealed inside, it creates a steam effect and the fish comes out moist and delicious.
When cooking in foil, it is important to make sure that the foil does not react with any acid component, creating an unpleasant taste. Just make sure that acidic ingredients like tomatoes, wine, lemon, lime or citrus juices do not come into direct contact with the foil or to use a square of parchment paper inside your foil packet and fold both layers together.
This foil method can be used for appetizer or main-dish size portions. The recipe below is for a main dish size portion. For appetizer portions, just use a 1″ small fillet, fewer vegetables and herbs and reduce the cooking time to 15 to 20 minutes.
1 1/2-2 inch salmon fillets
cajun seasoning or make your own (see notes)
Peppers, mini or cut into chunks
Fresh spinach, soaked and rinsed (optional) (see notes)
Herbs such as parsley, chives, dill
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut foil into at least 15″ squares. Thinly slice or dice your vegetables and herbs.
Lightly layer your vegetables and herbs in the center of each foil square. Place fish skin-side up on top of the vegetables and herbs. Drizzle a few drops of fresh lemon or lime juice, taking care to just moisten the fish and vegetables without adding much liquid. Too much liquid will cause the foil packet to leak and will react with the foil. Top with a thick coat of cajun seasoning.
Fold the edges of the foil packets in, overlapping as much as you can. Make sure that there are no gaps in the foil and that everything is sealed well. Place the foil packets on a baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes. Shut the oven and leave the packets in for another 5-10 minutes.
When ready to serve, place the foil packet(s) on a plate. Cut an x in the center of each packet and carefully fold the packet open from the center. Steam will escape, so be careful not to burn yourself.
Enjoy this simple and wow salmon presentation…
To make your own cajun seasoning, simply stir together salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes until evenly blended. You can adjust quantities of each spice to taste and you can eliminate those that don’t suit your palate. Store in an airtight container or an empty spice jar for this recipe and future recipes.
Parchment paper may be substituted or used inside the foil. Fold edges of parchment over the fish several times to seal into an airtight packet.
This packet method may be used for appetizer or main-dish size portions. For appetizer portions, just use a 1″ small fillet, fewer vegetables and herbs. Reduce the cooking time to 15 to 20 minutes.
Your favorite spice combination or salt and pepper may be substituted for the cajun seasoning.