Being on a budget has been forcing me to get creative with meals, so I started watching cooking

shows, going online to find ideas and looking up budget dinners. One thing that caught my eye was

this meal that consists of basically fish and vegetables. Since the ingredients only showed me

how to make the main meal I decided to create an appetizer made from things I found around

the kitchen and also adding rice and Brussel sprouts as additives to make the meal a little more filling.


First things first, gathering all my ingredients. For the appetizer I decided to take some english

muffins and make my own type of bruschetta.


I wanted to make something that had as much flavoring as the original bruschetta has, but since I

 didn’t have basil to top it off with, I replaced it with jalapeno. Now, I am not the biggest

fan of the heat that the jalapeno bring to a dish, so I added some cheese on top.


Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the edges of the english muffins have just barely browned

and the cheese has melted.


Look at how pretty! Whenever I try to create a dish or a meal in general, my favorite rule is to use

lots of color! I love all the different colors you can find in vegetables and fruits.


Now for the main course. The first step was to get a small bowl of Julienne carrots and Zucchini.

The first picture at the top shows that I had a cheese grater at my side. Since I don’t have

the best knives a cook could ask for, I used the grater to make the tiny pieces of vegetable,

which was so much easier! Add a little salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice and

I’ve finished the toppings.


Pesce en Papillote is Italian for fish in paper, basically I’m just trying to sound smart

by putting the title in Italian rather than just saying it in english, plus it just sounds better!

Now the only thing that I should have done differently was to cut the fish into smaller filets

than I did with this one so it doesn’t take so long to cook. All I did was put the fish on a big square

sheet of parchment paper, add the special toppings, place some lemon slices, red wine vinegar

and a couple of sprigs of thyme on the cod

(you can really use any kind of white fish if you want).


Start fold the parchment paper around the fish, kind of like a turnover, tightly so that

nothing can escape too easily. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes

and let it sit for a few minutes before digging in!


Finished product! I know the picture isn’t too pleasing but I forgot to take a

picture before I started to eat it.


and for dessert… a lovely greek yogurt parfait. YUM!


After dinner, the dogs were so good about not begging that Maria gave them some treats

and taught them a few new tricks. I love that girl!

I know that I am not the most professional cook or the most knowledgable

but I do know that I love to cook and I am still learning a lot about food that I

didn’t know before, which is my favorite part!

Thanks to Melissa d’Arabian for my inspiration for this dinner!

Hurray for budget meals and creativity.

Thanks for reading!