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Spicy Lime Foil Packet Tilapia

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This recipe is the fourth in my month-long series of healthy, weeknight recipes from all around the web. This is stuff I make time and again, usually with some modifications, and still love! Check back (or follow this blog) to see all of the recipes I’ll be featuring this month!

There are so many reasons why this recipe is one of my healthy weeknight favorites. I gotta say, the absolute best part of this recipe is that you won’t dirty any pots of pans making it! Fish + veggies cooked in individual foil packets that are baked right on the rack in the oven. I only use four items total to make this: a knife, cutting board, small prep bowl, and a spoon. Just rinse and throw in the dishwasher. Talk about easy clean up!


Let’s talk about the food, too, instead of just the prep and clean up. These foil packets are loaded with moist, flakey fish and tons of green veggies. A bit of chili-infused oil and lime juice is spooned over the fish to flavor it. The packets are really easy to put together too. You just stack the asparagus and spinach, top with fish and a few ingredients for flavoring, and then fold up. Serve with a whole grain (see links to a few ideas below) for a a complete, 100% healthy meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes!


Spicy Lime Foil Packet Tilapia

Many of the ingredients here can be approximated. This is not one of those recipes where everything needs to be measured out perfectly for it to work. If you have a bit less asparagus, prefer more red pepper flakes, etc, the recipe will turn out fine!

Original Recipe Source: Women’s Health


  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 3/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 2 c  spinach (approximately), divided (1/2 c per packet)
  • 20 asparagus spears (approximately)
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 8 t lime juice, divided (2 tsp per packet)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  2. Tear off 4 large sections of aluminum foil (I use foil sections that are about twice as long as they are wide. Better to tear off a bit extra foil than to end up with too little).
  3. Cut the asparagus into 2 inch pieces and lay an equal amount in a rectangle in each of the 4 packets.
  4. Top with the spinach, and then a tilapia fillet.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and red pepper flakes. Microwave for 30 seconds (this infuses the oil). Spoon 1/4 of the oil over each tilapia filet.
  6. Drizzle 2 t of lime juice over each packet.
  7. Sprinkle with green onions.
  8. Roll up the edges of each packet and press securely.
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tilapia is white and flaky.

Serve this with:

Cilantro Lime Rice

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This version of Cilantro Lime Rice promises more flavor per bite than your average rice dish!

Cilantro Lime Rice 4

I love Chipotle. Apparently a lot of other people do, too, because I keep seeing copycat Chipotle recipes all over the internet.

I feel in love with Chipotle the first time I ate there. It’s a decent option for anyone eating GF, but what I really love most are the bold flavors. The spicy salsa is truly spicy! When I took a few bites of my first Chiptole taco and then had to drink some water because of the heat/spice I was a happy girl.

Maybe not everyone loves the hot salsa at Chipotle, but it seems that everyone loves the cilantro lime rice. After making my first copycat cilantro lime rice recipe a while ago (it must have been at least a year ago, but I can’t say for sure) I’ve been making it as a side for almost every Mexican-ish meal we have.

Cilantro Lime Rice 1

Since I can hardly stick to a written out recipe my version of cilantro lime rice has morphed from those copycat recipes. I no longer add oil to the rice – it seems unnecessary for having a good end result. I’ve also increased the lime juice and cilantro. I’m all about eating foods full of flavor and this rice is no exception.

Cilantro Lime Rice 2

As a side dish, cilantro lime rice is so much more interesting than plain rice. As a filling for burritos and tacos (or in taco bowls that I posted a picture of on Monday) this will add a whole new flavor into the mix!

Cilanro Lime RIce 3

Cilantro Lime Rice

  • 1 c rice (white or brown)
  • 2 c water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbs lime juice
  • 1/4 c fresh, chopped cilantro
  • salt (optional)
  1. Put the rice and water in a medium sauce. Set the bay leaves gently on top of the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water has absorbed and the rice is cooked. About 20-30 minutes for white rice, and about 45 minutes for brown rice.
  3. For best results, turn the burner off and let the pan sit on the burner, covered, for an additional 30 min.
  4. Stir the lime juice and cilantro into the rice. Seasoning with salt, if desired.
  5. Serve as a side dish or for a burrito or taco filling.

Chili Lime Roasted Chick Peas (GF)

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I have a few problems with the snack aisle at the grocery store:

  1. There are very few gluten free items.
  2. What is gluten free is expensive ($8 for a bag of pretzels? Really?!)
  3. Most of these snacks don’t have much, if any, nutritional benefits.


Here are a few reasons why I love roasted chick peas as a snack:

  1. They are naturally gluten free.
  2. They are cheap. One can of chick peas is easily under a dollar.
  3. Chick peas are low in fat, but high in fiber and protein.

ImageRoasted chick peas are a blank canvas. You can add so many different flavors to them; sweet, salty, spicy. You might find yourself choosing roasted chick peas over more traditional snacks because they are so tasty, especially if you find some flavors you like. This chili lime seasoning is one of my favorites!

While the total cooking process takes about an hour almost none of that time is hands on, and what is hands on is so, so simple. If you can open a can and stir you can make these!


Chili Lime Roasted Chick Peas

  • 2 cans of chick peas/ garbanzo beans (they are the same thing!)
  • 2 1/2 Tbs lime juice
  • 2 tsp chili powder (make sure to read the label of chili powder – some contain wheat)
  • salt, to taste
Cooking directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Drain and rinse the chick peas, and empty the cans onto a baking sheet in a single layer. To avoid sticking I cover the baking sheet with either parchment paper or aluminum foil. If you don’t do this it won’t stick terribly, though.
  3. Bake for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Depending on how wet the chick peas were it may take longer or shorter to cook, so check for crispiness each time you stir. Sometime during the cooking time, mix the lime juice and chili powder in a small bowl.
  4. When chick peas are crispy slide them all over to one side of the pan. Pour the lime/chili mixture on them, stir, and spread out in a single layer again. Sprinkle with salt.
  5. Cook until the mixture has soaked into the chick peas and they are crispy again, about 15 minutes. Watch the oven carefully during this step because if you let it cook too long the chili powder will burn.
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