Growing up in the south, it was typical to have a dinner of mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, and my FAVORITE... salmon croquettes.
These tasty, fried critters were PERFECT smothered in ketchup. Honestly, I would load my fork up with potatoes, peas, salmon, and ketchup, just for the fun of it. My mouth is watering just thinking of the memories.
Another great thing I remember from this meal is the fun-yet EASY- prep. I would help my mom or grandmother form the patties, and be super excited when I could smell them cooking at dinner time a few hours later.
Of course, those days are long gone... I no longer eat salmon patties fried in grease (or anything fried, for that matter), and would definitely opt out on the poor quality bread crumbs used traditionally to hold these together. Heck, even the ketchup I ate back then I wouldn't now... talk about high fructose corn syrup.
Anyways, the other day my mom brought home some big cans on salmon and really wanted me to try and come up with a healthy way to make croquettes. She gave me some ideas, and I thought about some healthy options as well... and poof! These babies popped out. I'm really glad I could find a way to reinvent one of my FAVORITE meals, and these are SOOOOO going to be in the dinner rotations from now on.
Also, a note on the quinoa powder I used...
In the classic recipes, the binding agent for the salmon is egg and bread crumbs. I considered trying oat powder, and I still think that would work. But I wanted a bit more protein this round, and thought quinoa would do the trick. I'm not sure if you can buy "quinoa powder", but you don't really have to... I just grind my own up in the blender.
If you want to make this recipe Paleo, replace the quinoa powder with almond flour.
Im sure you could "fry" these up too, if wanted, with coconut oil in a skillet.
And now... TO THE RECIPE.
Yields 7 Patties
(1) 15 oz can quality salmon
1/5 cup quinoa, grounded into a fine powder (or almond flour)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/3 cup diced celery
1/2 TBSP garlic powder
1 TSP black pepper
dash of cayenne
pinch of sea salt, optional
1) Chop up your veggies!
2) Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. A note on bones and "skin" found in the canned salmon... KEEP IT!! I was grossed out and confused at first too... but from years of learning cooking tips from my grandmomma, she taught me that they easily turn into mush (read: you ain't gonna feel or taste nothin'), plus are a good source of minerals. Just make sure you pinch the bones with your fingers as you come across them, and you will find they easily mix into the meat.
3) Once mixed well, form into patties. You will notice they do not hold incredibly well at first, but once refrigerated they will be firmer. Just squeeze well in your hands and do as best you can... they will hold well enough!
4) Cover and refrigerate for a few hours AT LEAST, or overnight. This step is REALLY important... do not skip!! Getting the patties cold helps make them firmer, holds them together better and makes them more easily manageable. Plus, it gives it some time to allow the flavors to bloom.
5) Preheat your oven to 400. Place your patties a few inches apart on a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until cooked as desired.
And then... voila. Pure deliciousness.
Whats your favorite childhood meal?
What foods have you healthified, or would like me to try to?