Best. Salmon Patties. Ever.

I am part of a natural parenting Facebook group here in the Blue Mountains. It’s an amazing online community. Most of the time everyone talks about food. Or sleep. But mostly food. Someone said they were making Paleo Salmon Cakes for dinner out of roast sweet potato, salmon and coconut flour. I googled Paleo Salmon Patties and came up with this.

Oh my goodness. I like salmon patties, who doesn’t. But I never knew they could be this good! How good is that moment when you take the first mouthful of something and your expectations are exceeded! I will most definitely be making these again, many times.

There is always something which isn’t fab and with tonight’s dinner it was having to pull the bones and skin off the tinned salmon. There is no doubt that the fish in those cans came from the sea. It stank. It’s pretty easy to forget that you’re eating an actual animal when you have tinned fish, but this really hit home that a few salmon had been squeezed into those tins. A bit sombre but an important thing to remember in this day and age of over consumption.

We had a good friend come and lend a hand tonight and she magically finished off the final stages of construction. Her patties were a darn sight neater than mine ever would be. The recipe called for hot sauce (an american recipe). We have a bottle of Indonesian tomato chilli sauce which has a big kick to it, which was added to the mix. Just the right amount of heat in the final patties. Also got a chance to use the cast iron hot plate. Worked really well with some ghee heated (ghee is great for cooking at high temperatures).

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Paleo Salmon Patties with Cous Cous and Vegetables

Affordability : EXCELLENT. Salmon for 4 people for $10. Bargain. Next time I think I would make double the recipe and freeze half.
Time Factor : MODERATE. I opted to roast the sweet potato instead of using the microwave. You could save some time and some stinky fish hands by buying the salmon that is already skinned and boned, it would just cost more.
Complexity : LOW. Mush everything together. Mould. Fry. Would be a fun one to do with bigger kiddies as they could mix and shape the patties.
Deliciousness : EXCELLENT. I would pay money for these (well I guess I did…). You know what I mean! If these were in a local cafe I would tell people to order them. And then buy them every time I went there. Delish! Who would’ve thought something paleo, gluten free and dairy free could be that awesome!
Mess : MODERATE. I initially typed low. But then remembered the fish skin and bones. Glad I’m not pregnant!
Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. Super full and don’t even need ice cream tonight.
Possum Friendly? YES. I reckon she would gobble these up! They have almond meal in them which people should be aware of if they have a history of allergies. Tonight she inhaled her bolognese sauce. Literally, I found some up her nose at bath time.

Would I make it again? Yes, yes, yes. This is going into the Pink Folder of Wonder for another week. An absolute keeper.

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A plan is a plan is a plan, Stan

Right, we are back on track….ish. We are in a new place, with piles of boxes to unpack, a kitchen for tall people and a bub who’s commando speed is similar to a slug. So with the few cookbooks I could find, I sat down and wrote my plan for this week.

SUNDAY/ cloudy, showers 19 

Roast Lamb and Veg with Bean Salad (Leon, Naturally Fast Food p.113)

MONDAY/ possible shower 19

Chicken Fajitas

TUESDAY/ partly cloudy 21

Chops, Sweet Potato Wedges and Spicy Moroccan Carrot Salad (Plenty p.14)

WEDNESDAY/ partly cloudy 24

Freezer Surprise or Leftover Challenge

THURSDAY/ shower or two 21

Paleo Salmon Cakes with salad

FRIDAY/ shower or two 20

Fish with Tamara’s Rataouille (Plenty pg 74)

SATURDAY / weather forecast not available yet…

Coconut Chicken and Petit Pois Curry (Leon, Naturally Fast Food p.97)

You probably noticed that I am using two cookbooks mainly this week. I love both of these books dearly. Looking through Plenty for the first time since having Possum, it might be a while before I can make alot of the stuff in it. It is a vegetable (not vegetarian) cookbook. And vegetables need good timing, something not always possible with a bubba. The Leon book is actually their second cookbook. The first is much better than the second in my opinion, but I love their styling and the recipes are no fuss real food, as is their store’s philosophy. If ever you make it to London, search out a Leon store, and pack me in your suitcase!

A moment to be a proud mummy. Tonight Possum had spag bol sauce for dinner. Not with a spoon. But with her own two hands. She ate a small bowl of the stuff. And the mess was so much less than expected! Hurray! My baby girl is growing up. Sigh. Smile.

With my own two hands

With my own two hands

One of those days

There’s a famous quote… “Even the best laid plans something something something something”. That was today. The plan was for salmon (I was going to cook it in the oven in foil parcels with maple syrup, soy sauce, sesame oil, shallots and ginger) with Brocolli Crunch. But by the time it was dinner, inspiration and energy were running low. It took me 1.5 hours to get Possum to sleep 30 minutes this afternoon. That’s not fair on either of us!

So tonight Lego Man and I combined forces. Me at the grill pan with the salmon (just salmon, nothing else) and Lego Man at the microwave with left over risotto and some green veg. With our powers combined we created, an edible dinner. I undercooked the salmon as per usual, but some extra minutes in the pan created the best crunchy crust. The risotto was still super delicious and the vegetables were cooked to microwave perfection (and no I’m not being sarcastic, there’s a knack).

Crunchy Salmon

Crunchy Salmon

Salmon with Risotto and Vegetables

Affordability : MODERATE. Salmon ain’t cheap! But it’s tasty and I’m looking forward to offering some to Possum.
Time Factor : EXCELLENT. Dinner in 10 minutes. I filled the 10 minutes with eating chips and drinking wine.
Complexity : LOW. The key to good veg in the microwave is not much water and in the right container. And once again, better to undercook them than over cook.
Deliciousness : MODERATE. Not fancy but still pretty tasty.
Mess : LOW. Apart from the oil splatter
Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. I couldn’t finish my dinner again tonight. But that might have something to do with the 5pm dinner, the chips and then the 8pm dinner…
Possum Friendly? MODERATE. Will offer the salmon, she loved tinned salmon so fingers crossed.

Would I make it again? Probably, on another day like today. But it probably won’t be salmon, instead it’s probably going to be “fish in a box” from the freezer.

Salmon with RIsotto and Veg

Salmon with RIsotto and Veg

Possum Update: Korma curry HUGE success. She scoffed it down at lunch and dinner. I like that it offers her a variety of vegetables. She seemed to like that too and her little hands hovered over her high chair tray like an eagle hunting for food, diving down when she laid eyes on the bit that she wanted most.

Freezer Surprise

Ah sweet freezer surprise. You are always welcome in my home. As I sat with my baby and patted her to sleep, my mind wandered to my stomach. And to the silence coming from the kitchen meant Lego Man wasn’t cooking up a solution to my quandry. The kitchen is not the natural habitat of Lego Man. Outdoors, yes. Man Cave, yes. Office, yes. But this week was a week of no plans. No recipes on the counter. No plan on the fridge. Back to old ways. Back to eating somewhere between 8 and 9pm. Thank goodness for freezer surprise.

And behind Door Number 1………..!

Stuffed Eggplant Mousaka and Tuna Pesto Pasta. Not often freezer surprise is a two course feast. In order for the eggplant to be defrosted we did need to press “Auto cook” on the microwave about 15 times. I remembered they weren’t fab first time round so added some things that would hopefully help. Salt, pepper and cheese. It helped enough to make it much easier to eat. I thought I had a photo of the meal for you but one was really out of focus and the other my finger is taking up half the photo… this is what happends when you’re a hungry mummy!

Thank goodness tonight is planning night.

The plan and weather is looking a bit like this:

MONDAY/ rain 21 

Baked Farro Risotto with Lamb Chops and Vegetables

TUESDAY/ early shower 22

Winter Veg and Tofu Korma with brown rice and quinoa

WEDNESDAY/ partly cloudy 26

Broccoli Crunch and Salmon with brown rice and quinoa

THURSDAY/ sunny 20

Grilled Chicken Salad with pineapple, macadamias and chilli (taste Magazine Jan 2014)

FRIDAY/ partly cloudy 17

Take away, freezer surprise or BBQ

SATURDAY/ weather forecast not available yet…

Take away, freezer surprise or BBQ

Thankyou to my facebook page (just search for pea fritters) for the baked risotto idea. I was trawling one of my favourite sites, 101 cookbooks, when I saw she had a baked farro risotto. Perfect! Thursday’s chicken salad is a dish I made a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing. Will write out the recipe for you later in the week.  I’m also hoping to make a Brown Butter Spice Loaf to get us through the move. It’s spicy buttery goodness.

No scale for tonight’s dinner sorry.

Though here is a cute photo of Possum’s happy feet while she ate her dinner of Possum Love Puffs, avocado and apple. She and I had a lovely time at baby wearing yoga today.

Happy Possum Feet

Happy Possum Feet

Stuffed Capsicum: Take Two

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As the saying goes “The sequel is never as good as the original”. In this case this statement is neither true nor false. They were pretty much exactly the same. Despite another hour in the oven. Rice was still under cooked, as were the potatoes. And yes, the oven was actually on.

At least tonight I was mentally prepared to just eat food and nothing more. No intense emotional response to tonight’s dinner. The only added extra tonight was some tinned roast tasmanian salmon which was leftover from Possum’s dinner. I last gave her salmon about 2 months ago and at the time she wasn’t too impressed. But tonight’s salmon she devoured. Was lovely to watch her get so excited over food. Not so fab was the mess to tidy up. Next time I think I will make salmon patties instead, if you have a good recipe let me know!Image

On a different note, I am part of a bulk buying group here in the Blue Mountains. The group’s focus is on eco friendly products for home and family. There was a big toy order made before Christmas which was fantastic! The most recent order was a “Back To Sschool” theme with lots of stainless steel food containers, drink bottles and a few relatively new ideas popping up too. Such as the Wrap It Green reusable food wraps and the Keep Leaf lightweight food bags. Both designed to cut down the amount of plastic waste going into our environment. I have started using the food wraps to cover cut produce and bowls instead of using glad wrap. They are made of cotton and mostly beeswax and are quite firm but soften with the warmth of your hands to be shaped around whatever you choose really. Great when you have a baby who doesn’t eat a whole piece of fruit or veg just yet.

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The cotton bags will be good to trial when going fruit and veg shopping. I have weighed them to see how much they may influence how much you pay at the counter. The lightest is 15g and the heaviest is 50g. In the pack are two mesh and two solid cotton bags. I will be taking the mesh to do fruit and veg shopping next and will fill you in. I was thinking you could probably sew something similar without the toggle with old muslin baby wraps (which we seem to have mountains of).

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And here is the scale for dinner tonight…

  • Affordability  :  EXCELLENT.  Leftovers are always cheap. It’s like the price per wear of the food world, and when you started at a cost of about $2 for the whole meal then you can afford dessert!
  • Time Factor  :  EXCELLENT. I kept the leftovers in the casserole pot so this afternoon before Possum’s dinner I just took it out of the fridge and put it into a preheated oven, an hour later (thinking surely the rice was cooked) I turned the oven down to 100 to keep things warm. In retrospect, should’ve kept it high.
  • Complexity  :  LOW. Open fridge, take out pot. Open oven, put in pot. Wait. Open oven, take out pot. Eat. My brain can handle that today.
  • Deliciousness  : LOW. But oh so slightly higher than yesterday.
  • Mess  :  LOW. Casserole pot, bowls and cutlery.
  • Tummy Filling Factor   : LOW. Even with the salmon and potatoes I don’t feel satisfied.
  • Possum Friendly?  MODERATE. Still wouldn’t serve her the rice mix but the capsicum has softened. Though capsicum is a high allergen food so just be wary when feeding it to bubs. And I should say thankyou to Possum for sharing her salmon with me.

So what’s for dinner tomorrow night?…. you’ll just have to wait and see!