Admittedly, steamed fish doesn't exactly scream mouthwatering. But what it lacks in excitement it more than makes up for in health cred.

Steaming generally involves no added fat and is a great way of retaining all of the nutrients in your food. It's also relatively speedy.

One of the best ways to steam fish is what the French call en papillote (pronounced on pap-ee-oat), or literally "in parchment." In this simple method, fish is wrapped in a packet of parchment paper. As it cooks, the food releases juices. Those juices turn to steam and are trapped in the packet, flavoring the food while keeping it moist.

You also can add ingredients to cook with the fish, such as herbs, slices of lemon and vegetables. Because fish cooks quickly, it's a good idea to pick vegetables that are thinly-cut or tender; this helps them cook at the same speed as the fish. Try to avoid vegetables that give off too much liquid, such as spinach.

Chicken thighs and lamb also can be cooked in this manner, but they take longer.

Don't have any parchment handy? It's widely available alongside the plastic wrap at the grocer and is excellent for lining baking sheets when roasting foods or baking cookies (it's nonstick). You also can use foil to make the packets. But be sure not to wrap it too tightly.

You might julienne carrots, celery and pea pods and top with raw shrimp seasoned with garlic powder, cayenne and orange slices. For a vegetarian option, you could do asparagus, sliced the long way, topped with sliced shiitake mushrooms, apple slices and chives.

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