January 27, 2020
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Everything in Moderation

Published Jan 17, 2019 • Last Updated 03:05 pm, January 15, 2019

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I love the fact that, as my food magazines come out of my mailbox, there are pictures of the food I love the most: stews, roasts, chili, puddings, and anything with citrus. In my own kitchen, there are little oranges, like Halos, big oranges, bananas (OK...not citrus, but hot weather climate fruit), and a gorgeous pineapple.

It seems like most of my friends on Facebook and those I see fairly often in Connecticut are eating healthy. Me, too. My friend Susan says she is off dairy, gluten, and beef, and she also says she is at the gym two hours every day. Another friend’s husband, who had a health scare, is off fat and has been off carbs for some time.

You are not going to see me doing anything like that.

I am more like my mother, who said, “everything in moderation” long before it became a mantra on television shows. I am making my own bread and have never been much into processed foodstuff. I would rather have chicken and pork than beef and I love vegetables.

But I am trying hard to add fish to my diet. In my new issue of Food Network magazine, there is a fish and vegetable that I tried and love. It feeds four, but I halved the recipe and ate it for two days. The recipe says it is for a grill, but I made it in the oven. It is incredible.

Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at

Foil-packet Seafood with Beans and Kale

Adapted from Food Network magazine, January/February 2019

Yield: Serves 4

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling

¼ cup dry white wine

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch kale, leaves chopped (about 4 packed cups)

4 skinless center-cut halibut fillets (about 4 ounces each)

1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded

(most are already done)

½ loaf ciabatta or baguette, halved lengthwise and crosswise)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay out four sheets of 12- by 18-inch heavy-duty foil on a sheet pan. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, beans, oil, wine, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir well.

Drizzle the foil with olive oil. Evenly mound the kale in the center of each sheet. Lightly season the halibut with salt and pepper and place on the kale. Add mussels to the packets, then spoon the tomato mixture on top. Bring the two short ends of the foil together and fold twice; fold in the sides to seal.

Place the sheet pan in the oven until fish is cooked through and the mussels open, about 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven. Grill the bread in the oven until a bit charred. Drizzled the cut side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Carefully open the foil packets; discard any unopened mussels. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with the bread.

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