Salmon Cakes

After a brief hiatus, I’m back!

 

So, my initial reaction to this recipe was, “Tastes like fish.”  I’d never had salmon cakes before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.  My husband, on the other hand, is apparently more versed in seafood than me.  He said, “It tastes like salmon cakes.”  That was good enough for me!  After I got over them tasting like fish, I craved them and ate all of the leftovers over the next 24 hours except one (trying to spread it out…).  I adapted the recipe from the back of the canned salmon and it was easy!

 

Ingredients:

1- 14.5 oz. can pink salmon (Honey Boy brand)

2 T. liquid from the canned salmon, drain the rest of the liquid

2 c. finely chopped Rice Chex cereal

1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk

2 flax eggs (2 T. golden flaxseed, 6 T. warm water)

1/3 c. finely minced onion

2 tsp dried parsley

1 T. lime or lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dried dill

dash pepper

oil for frying

 

Directions:

Drain off all but 2 T. of liquid from the can of salmon.  Set liquid aside.  Flake the salmon but leave the bones and skin in it (I removed the vertebrae.  It says online that they will dissolve but it just seemed to weird to me as this was my first canned salmon experience.)  Mix flaxseed with water in a small bowl and set aside.  Process Rice Chex cereal in the food processor until you have 2 cups of finely crushed Chex.  Chop onions with a knife and then mince them using the food processor so they will be really small.  Add all ingredients together including the salmon and the 2 T. liquid from the salmon.  Stir until all is combined.  Shape into 11-12 patties about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.  Cover the bottom of a frying pan with about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil (I used olive oil) and heat on medium/medium high.  I drop one drop in the oil and when it pops it’s ready, but be careful.  I recommend using a splatter shield to protect yourself.  If you have a better method, please share!  When oil is hot, carefully add patties until the bottom of the pan is full.  Do not stack them.  Cook until one side is browned and a little crispy, about 10 minutes give or take.  Carefully flip them and cook until the other side is browned, about 7-10 more minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a paper towel-lined plate.

May be served with sauce.

Sauce recipe:

2 T. mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise)

dash lime juice

dash garlic juice

dash dried dill

 

Original recipe found on the back of the Honey Boy Pink Salmon can.

 

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Salmon Patties before being cooked.
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Simple Ground Beef and Potatoes

This is one of those meals where I looked in my fridge to see what needed to be used.  It turned out surprisingly well, so I have decided to share with you what I did.  Since I started blogging, I try to write down what I do while cooking so that I can share it accurately.  🙂

 

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds ground beef- raw

2 pounds red potatoes, diced with skins on

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

1 c. frozen corn (or more)

1 c. frozen peas (or more)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp sage

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp parsley

1/4 tsp coriander

 

 

Directions:

Brown ground beef.  Don’t drain the fat!  Set the beef aside, leaving the grease in the pan.  Cook the potatoes in the grease for about 10-15 minutes until they start to get soft (this will depend on how big or small you cut them).  Add in all other ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender and peas and corn are warm.  Feel free to add in more vegetables than called for!

 

 

 

Sausage Potato Spinach Soup

This soup was really good!  We were sad when all the leftovers were finished.  I made a really bad soup the other day that is NOT making the blog.  This soup, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of the spectrum.  It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it may even be good for you!

 

Ingredients:

1 pound Jimmy Dean regular sausage

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you like it spicy!)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

5 c. chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 pound red potatoes, diced with skins on

3 cups spinach (I used frozen spinach)

2 T. fresh basil

2 T. fresh oregano

Thickening agent: 1 T. cornstarch mixed with 1 T. chicken broth

 

Directions:

Brown sausage in a soup pot or dutch oven.  Drain fat if needed.  Add garlic, onion, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes.  Cook while stirring until onions are clear, about 3 minutes.  Add salt and pepper, chicken broth, and bay leaf.  Turn up the heat and let the soup begin to boil.  Add the potatoes and continue to boil the soup until the potatoes are cooked, about 10 minutes.  At this point, I actually had to walk away from the soup, so I turned off the heat, put the lid on my dutch oven, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  When I came back, the potatoes were great!

Add in spinach and fresh herbs and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to droop.  Combine corn starch with chicken broth in a small bowl and then add to soup and stir.  I used this in place of 1/4 c. heavy cream.  If you can do the cream, go for it!

Original recipe:

http://damndelicious.net/2014/10/29/sausage-potato-spinach-soup/

 

Curried Coconut Chicken

I’m trying to remember the first time I had curry.  I think it might have been post college.  I can’t believe I waited that long to try it as now I typically have it a few times a month.  This is a simple one that doesn’t require you purchasing any special pastes.  It is also good for using up leftover vegetables you have sitting around.  In my case, I had green beans that needed to be used.  I hope you find this recipe as helpful as I have!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 T. olive oil

2 T. curry powder

1-2 c. diced chicken

1 small onion, sliced

3 tomatoes, diced

2-3 handfuls green beans, cut in thirds or 2-3 handfuls frozen veggies

1 can coconut milk

8 oz. tomato sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-3 T. sugar, to taste

1 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Heat oil and curry powder in pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add chicken and cook for 7-10 minutes or until cooked through and then remove to a bowl and set aside.  Cook onions in the same pan for 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes.  Add chicken back in.  Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until warm and vegetables are to desired tenderness.  Serve over rice.

Original recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/68532/curried-coconut-chicken/

Basil Mayo Burger

I love this mayo.  I had too much and so I went to the trouble of making new buns and burgers just so it wouldn’t go to waste!

Ingredients:

1 green onion or 1 T. white onion, chopped

3 T. slightly chopped fresh basil

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 c. mayonnaise (I used Vegennaise)

3 T. sour cream (I used Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)

1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce

1/4 tsp sea salt plus 1/8 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper

 

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a small blender/food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Serve on Pamela’s Hamburger Buns.  For the meat, I cook plain beef or turkey in 1/4 to 1/3 pound burgers.  Put a small dent with your thumb in the middle to help it cook all the way through.  Additional topping options: guacamole, tomato, pineapple, spinach, etc.

Original recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/perfect-summer-basil-burger-recipe.html

Green Curry and Vegetables

Curry is an interesting thing.  I used to think that curry was curry but now I realize that there are lots of varieties and mixtures.  Some are spicier, some are more bland.  Some have the consistency of tomato paste and others are the consistency of a restaurant salsa. Yellow curry powder is completely different from green or red curry paste.  So, when I saw a new type of curry paste on sale at the store, I decided to give it a try.  This one is called World Foods Thai Green Curry Paste.  It is more saucelike than pastelike in its consistency and it is fairly mild.  We found that the dish needed a few splashes of fish sauce to give it the right taste.  If you like Thai food but can’t handle spice, this may be the “paste” for you.  As always, you can mix and match the vegetables used.  I was cleaning out my vegetable drawer :-).  I recommend chopping most if not all of your vegetables before you start as it will speed up the cooking process.

 

Ingredients:

2 T. olive oil

1 1/2 lb. cubed chicken- omit or replace with tofu for vegetarian

6 T. green curry paste (World Foods Thai Green Curry Paste)

2 cans coconut milk

1 onion, chopped

1/2 c. chopped carrots

1/2 c. chopped celery

2 zucchinis, chopped

2 yellow squashes, chopped

4 green onions, sliced

1-2 T. fish sauce or to taste- omit if vegetarian

Rice or Thai noodles

 

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add cubed chicken and curry paste and cook until chicken is cooked.  Remove chicken to a bowl.  Add coconut milk and onion, carrots, and celery and cook on medium high for 5-10 minutes.  Add zucchini and yellow squash and cook for another 10-15 minutes until vegetables are to your preferred softness.  Add green onions and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Add fish sauce at the end and serve over rice or Thai noodles (some stores have gluten free ones- our HEB does).

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Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados

This is a “fancy” dish.  It looks fancy, and it doesn’t fill you up unless you have multiples, so obviously it’s fancy :-).  It is perfect for someone trying to lighten up on meals after the holidays or for anyone looking for a light, summery dish to brighten your winter blues.

 

Ingredients:

4 c. cubed cooked chicken  (I used this baked chicken.)

1 c. mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise to make it egg free)

1 tsp paprika

1 1/2 c. dried cranberries

1 c. red grapes, halved

1 c. chopped celery

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 c. red onions, minced

1 c. chopped cashews

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

6-12 avocados (or you can just eat the chicken salad with crackers)

Romaine lettuce leaves

Optional: 6 tomatoes for stuffing

 

Directions:

Cook chicken and chill.  Combine mayonnaise and paprika.  Add cranberries all ingredients except chicken and stir well.  Add chicken and stir again.  Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.  Chill for at least one hour.  Cut avocado(s) in half and remove pit.  Set out a romaine lettuce leaf.  Set avocado on lettuce leaf.  Spoon chicken salad over avocado and serve.

 

Tomato option: Another possibility is to scoop out the insides of some tomatoes and spoon the chicken salad into it.  I didn’t actually like this option much- it was more work and it didn’t look or taste as good as avocados.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-salad-stuffed-tomatoes-or-avocados-449115

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Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Feeling like you ate too much over the holidays?  Here is a light and healthy recipe for you to try.  This also would work well for a summer luncheon.  This is our favorite chicken salad so far!

 

Ingredients:

4 c. cubed cooked chicken  (I used this baked chicken.)

1 c. mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise to make it egg free)

1 tsp paprika

1 1/2 c. dried cranberries

1 c. red grapes, halved

1 c. chopped celery

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 c. red onions, minced

1 c. chopped cashews

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Romaine lettuce leaves, UNchopped

 

Directions:

Cook chicken and chill.  Combine mayonnaise and paprika.  Add cranberries all ingredients except chicken and stir well.  Add chicken and stir again.  Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.  Chill for at least one hour.  Serve on washed romaine lettuce leaves.  Gently fold leaves to form a “wrap”.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-salad-stuffed-tomatoes-or-avocados-449115

 

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Pasta Fagioli

One of my friends gave me a copy of this recipe a long time ago and I finally tried it.  I don’t think I’ve actually tried this at Olive Garden and I couldn’t now, but it was a nice and easy soup that warmed us up on cold days.  You have the option of using canned or dried beans.  I couldn’t find navy beans in a can and I have two crockpots, so I used dried beans.   I hope you take time to enjoy this recipe!

 

Ingredients:

3/4 c. dry kidney beans (or 1 can, drained)

3/4 c. dry navy beans (or 1 can, drained)

2 lbs ground beef, cooked- leave out beef if you want it to be vegetarian

1 onion, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained

32 oz beef broth (I used a carton of HEB Beef Broth but you could also use Swansons)- use vegetable broth if vegetarian

3 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp pepper

5 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp Tabasco sauce (optional)

1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used a 24-oz can of Del Monte Traditional)

8-12 oz pasta (I used HEB gluten free)

 

Directions:

If making beans from scratch, soak overnight and then drain and cover with water again in a crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until soft.  You may add them to the soup whenever they are soft enough.   Pre-cook the ground beef.  Add all ingredients to the crockpot except for the pasta.  Stir well, cover, and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  The original recipe says you can add pasta straight to the crockpot 30 minutes before you want to serve it, but I was nervous the gluten free pasta wouldn’t cook well that way.  Instead, I cooked it separately as per the package directions and then added it to the soup right before serving.

Note: I had two crockpots going at once- one for the beans and one for the soup.  When the beans were cooked, I added them to the soup.  If you only have one crockpot, you could cook the beans overnight and then use the same crockpot to do the soup during the day.

Original recipe:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/pasta-fagioli-in-the-crockpot-just-like-olive-garden-52984961

Basil Parsley Pesto

I bought parsley for something but I only needed part of it.  I went on a search for a recipe that could use it up as well as some of the excess basil in my garden, and this is what I found.

 

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh basil

1/4 c. fresh parsley

1/3 c. pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted (sunflower seeds or pinenuts work too)

1/4 c. nutritional yeast

5 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2/3 c. olive oil (I used extra virgin since this recipe doesn’t get cooked)

 

Directions:

Lightly toast pumpkin seeds.  Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until everything is pureed.  Serve over penne pasta (this is HEB brand gluten free) with baked chicken and diced tomatoes. You can omit the chicken if you want it to be vegetarian :-).  This could also be used in most other recipes that call for pesto.  Be creative and let me know if you find an interesting use for it!

 

Inspired by:

http://chowhound.com/recipes/basil-parsley-pesto-29521

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/yummy-vegan-pesto-classico