The almighty burger is an American staple. You can get one anywhere. Today I'd like to take the "patty" concept and change it up by using fish. It's not a bad idea to incorporate fish into your weekly meal selection and leave the meat from legged animals for another day. Michael Pollan "Food Rules" state:
EAT FOOD - what your great-grandmother would recognize
NOT TOO MUCH - obesity, heart disease, diabetes are all linked to excess weight
MOSTLY PLANTS - treat meat as a side - Meat preference should no legs over 2 legs, 2 legs over 4 legs.
Today we are going to look at "no legs" options for the almighty burger. These recipes are easy to prepare. You are going to love them. Wrap them in lettuce, collard greens, seaweed for a nice grain-free sandwich or make wraps from coconut flour, zucchini and plantains.
OVEN BAKED COD CAKES
There is no need for extra fat in this dish. Baking the cod cakes makes them healthy with less mess in the kitchen.
7-8 ounces of Wild Caught Cod
2/3 to 3/4 cup almond flour (use more if you have less fish)
2 tbsp coconut flour (make sure it’s not clumpy)
1/2 tsp minced garlic (about 2 small garlic cloves)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
5 basil leaves (chopped and stems removed)
2 thyme sprigs (stems removed) or 1/4 tsp dried
creamy Marinara sauce is optional. See below.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with foil or grease it well.
Next make sure your cod is washed, skinned removed, and then cut or pulled into small pieces. Similar to that of canned fish.
In a small bowl, lightly beat or whisk your eggs.
Next place your cod, flours, spices, and garlic a bowl. Add in your eggs and mix again.
Fold in your herbs.
After mixing, grab a handful (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup) of the batter and roll into a ball.
Place on baking tray.
Repeat until you have 6 cakes.
Press cakes flat with hand or spoon. Cakes should be about 3 inches wide or so.
Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and you can see fish is no longer opaque.
Remove and let cool.
Season with extra garlic, salt, pepper, if desired.
FOR THE MARINARA SAUCE
This is optional. I mix 1/2 to 2/3 cup tomato sauce with 1 tbsp paleo mayonnaise and 1 to 2 tsp tabasco or another hot sauce. You can also just add in red pepper or paprika to spice it up.
GLUTEN-FREE CRAB CAKES
I love crab cakes and make them quite often. Canned crab is easy to find. Saute your veggies and add a binder and you're ready to eat in minutes.
8 ounces of crab meat
¼ cup onion, diced
¼ cup red pepper OR celery, diced (use celery if you do not prefer red pepper taste)
½ cup gluten free bread crumbs
(or coconut flour, sunflower seed meal, flax meal)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tablespoon fresh chives or 1 teaspoon of dry chives
1 teaspoon lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
sprinkle of black pepper and Himalayan salt
SPICY GREEK YOGURT SAUCE:
Southwest Dipping Sauce:
½ cup non-fat Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon butter, melted (can use vegan butter)
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon white vinegar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic
¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
¼ teaspoon dry oregano
MAKE THE SPICY GREEK YOGURT AIOLI:
In a small bowl whisk together Greek yogurt, lemon juice, honey white vinegar, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic, salt and oregano. Blend in the melted butter. Set in the refrigerator until ready to use.
MAKE THE CRAB CAKES
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
In a small bowl whisk together the egg, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a medium size bowl combine the lump crab meat, onion, red pepper, bread crumbs, parsley, mustard powder, black pepper, salt, Old Bay Seasoning, chives and cayenne pepper. Break up the chunks of lump crab meat first or as you mix. Blend until all the ingredients are combined then add the egg and mayonnaise mixture. Combine well.
With a spatula section the crab cake mixture into four sections. With your hands, form each section into a patty and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes then flip the crab cakes. Then bake the other side for 10-15 more minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes or until the tops are slightly browned. Garnish with extra chives and serve with Spicy Greek Yogurt Aioli Sauce
EASY PALEO SALMON CAKES
Canned salmon is budget-friendly. You get all the nutritional benefits in a can. You'll love these salmon cakes.
5 oz salmon (Canned or finely diced cooked salmon, skin off)
1/2 tsp garlic (minced)
1/3 cup sweet potato, squash, or pumpkin (pureed or mashed)
3 to 4 tbsp coconut flour (see notes)
1/4 tsp regular or smoked paprika
1/4 tsp fine kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp curry powder (optional)
1 rosemary sprig or 1 tsp dried herb of choice
1 tbsp oil or butter for the pan
First mash up your salmon. If you are using fresh versus canned, remove any extra skin.
Place your salmon in a bowl and then add in your mashed or pureed veggies (see notes for cooking options). You can used canned pumpkin or sweet potato for a fast prep. Mix together.
Next add in coconut flour 1 tbsp at a time. You will need only 3-4 tbsp depending on the type of salmon you use. Then mix in herbs and seasonings. Mix Together.
Lastly, add in your 2 eggs.
Mix well until the batter is thick enough to get be able to form patties. If batter is too runny, add 1 tbsp more coconut flour.
Form into 8 small balls or roll into larger 5-6 balls.
Lay them on parchment paper.
Press them into patties/cakes so they are around 1 inch thick.
Now turn on your skillet to medium high. Add your butter or oil.
Once heated, add in 3-4 patties/cakes at a time or less. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until you see the salmon is cooked thoroughly. If you are using canned salmon, they will cook faster.
Remove from skillet. Add more 1 tsp more or so of butter/oil and repeat for the next batch of 3-4 patties/cakes.
Garnish with extra rosemary, black pepper, chili flakes, or garlic if desired and serve with your choice of dip/sauce or as is.
This dish pairs great with steam veggies. I added a sprinkle of Pomegranate seeds to make it more of a holiday dish.
HALIBUT QUINOA CAKES
Here is a nice twist using fish and quinoa. This fish burger will surprise you.
Halibut Quinoa Cakes
8 ounces halibut filet, skinned and deboned
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
½ yellow onion, finely diced
¼ cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pickled Shallot Avocado Salsa
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons chopped chives
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup red wine vinegar
3 shallots, thinly sliced
To make the Pickled Shallots combine the sugar, salt and vinegar in a small pan and bring to a simmer. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the stove top and add the shallots to the pan. Set aside to pickle for 30 minutes.
Drain the shallots and add the pickled shallots to a bowl with the cherry tomatoes, avocado chunks, chives and olive oil. Season to taste with kosher salt.
In the bowl of a food processor add the halibut and pulse until it’s a paste.
Add it to a bowl and mix well with the parsley, diced onion, bell pepper and quinoa and sprinkle with the kosher salt.
Form into 4 large cakes and set aside.
In a large heavy pan or skillet add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the cakes and cook them until crispy and golden, about 3 minutes. Flip them and cook them another 2-3 minutes on the other side until they are golden and crispy and just cooked through.
Serve the cakes hot and top the cakes with the Pickled Shallot Avocado Salsa.
PALEO FISH CAKES
You could use any kind of fish to make these fish cakes. Don't forget the spicy, special sauce.
1 1/2 lbs Cod, fillets (or one can mackerel, or kippers)
1 tablespoon Parsley flakes, dried
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup almond flour
Salt and pepper
For Breading and Frying
1 cup almond flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoon Lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Mustard powder
1/2 cup Avocado oil
1/2 cup Olive oil, light
1/4 cup Green onions
1/4 cup Jalapenos, diced or 1 medium jalapeno
2 tsp White rice vinegar
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Place all the ingredients for the fish cakes into a large bowl.
In one small bowl, mix the almond flour, cayenne, salt, and pepper. In another small bowl, place 2 eggs and scramble with a fork. Heat 1/4 cup coconut oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat.
Form the fish mixture into 1/4-1/3 cup cakes. Then place in the egg bowl and then into the almond flour bowl, making sure each cake is fully breaded. Once the skillet is hot, fry each fish cake for about 2-3 minutes on each side. You may need to rinse your skillet half way through and add the other 1/4 cup coconut oil. Serve the cakes hot.
Place the egg, lemon juice, and mustard powder in a food processor and pulse. Then in a bowl mix the avocado and olive oil. Then slowly, drop by drop for a few teaspoon, add the oil to the processor, while mixing. This part is important, because you need it to emulsify! After a few teaspoons, then pour it into the drip section of your food processor or continually add the oil slowly. This should make a mayonnaise.
Then add the rest of the ingredients, from green onions to salt, and pulse.
SARDINE FISH CAKES
Sardines are so good for you. Make these little cakes and have fish sliders.
1 can of sardines (mine were packed in water and weighed 84 grams when drained)
1 ½ tbsp of coconut flour
1 tbsp of mustard
2 tsp of dried
parsley (more if you really like it)
¼ cup of chopped green onion
1/8 tsp of salt
1/4 cup almond flour for coating the cakes
Place all the ingredients in a food processor except for the almond flour. Pulse until all combined.
Roll into small or medium sized balls and flatten with the palm of your hands. Dip the fish cakes in a small bowl of almond flour. Evenly coat both sides.
Cook the fish cakes in a pan with ghee/butter/etc. on low-medium heat turning once.
The cakes are done when both sides are golden and crispy.
All of these recipes give you ideas of how you can make a new burger. Whether you eat these burgers as a sandwich or a salad topping, you can't go wrong. Mix up your weekly meal planning by adding fish once or twice a week. If you are buying canned fish, look for ones packed in water with low sodium and preferably wild caught. Watch for sales and stock up. These types of fish are available in cans:
clams & mussels
Fresh and frozen fish are great as well. If you are lucky enough to be a fisherman, then fresh caught is the best. Enjoy your fish burgers this week.
Here's to your health! Happy Cooking!