Over the past year we’ve battered, breaded, and fried a lot of fresh crappie.  But, these cajun crappie cakes elicited a high five of ultimate approval after taking one bite.  And in case you’re wondering…we don’t normally high five at dinner time over recipe accomplishments. Although, I could get used to that.

Anyways, the flavor of these crappie cakes were out of this world.

My hubby has become quite the crappie slayer at Caesar’s Creek.  He recently had the opportunity to take a guided trip on Grenada Lake in Mississippi and brought us home some huge slabs.  I’m hearing murmurs of a fall trip brewing already.

Perhaps the best kitchen appliance we bought over the years has been our vacuum sealer.  We bagged and sealed over 5lbs of crappie from his trip.  However, we’ll be using these big filets for our favorite battered and fried version!

So this recipe came from a youtube video my hubby found posted by Outdoor Life.  I changed it up ever so slightly with the  addition of some panko breadcrumbs and additional parsley.

You start out by boiling the crappie filets for 2 minutes then breaking them up slightly after they’ve cooled.  I’ve got the wet mixture ready to go as well as some finely chopped parsley. 

homemade crappie cakes

After tossing everything in the bowl it’s time to make the crappie cakes.  Crappie-patties is what my kids call them in honor of their beloved Spongebob from younger years.  (glad that’s behind us)

We weighed out roughly 1lb of fish and it yielded 7 thick patties.  They’re very filling!!  Both hubby and I managed to barely finish two.

crappie cajun cakes

At first I was worried they weren’t going to hold up when it was time to flip them, but they held up beautifully.  Since the fish is already cooked in the boiling step, it’s really just a matter of letting them get evenly browned on both sides and allow them to heat through.

fried crappie cakes

What I also love about this crappie cake recipe is the house didn’t have an overpowering smell of fish.  Look at how delicious these look…

fried crappie cakes

When it was time to serve them up, we just squeezed a little extra lemon overtop!  No tartar sauce needed.

I’m sure this recipe could be used with other white fish that doesn’t easily get tough from cooking.  Of course if you’re experienced with crab, this recipe would make great crab cakes too.

 

Grab a beer, give em’ a try and lemme know what you think!

 

Cajun Crappie Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb crappie filets
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 TB dijon mustard (not the grainy kind)
  • 1.5 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup italian herb seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 TB finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Canola oil for frying

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan bring some water to a boil, enough to cover the fish. When water comes to a boil, add crappie filets and allow to cook for 2 minutes or until opaque.
  2. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and allow to drain and cool slightly.
  3. Once cooled gently chop into smaller pieces and set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl add mayo, dijon, Old Bay Seasoning, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, salt and egg. Stir to combine all ingredients then add chopped crappie filets. Gently toss to incorporate then add breadcrumbs and parsley. Stir until everything just comes together.
  5. Assemble crappie cakes and set aside.
  6. Heat enough oil a large skillet, to just cover the bottom, over medium-high heat.
  7. Add crappie cakes to preheated oil and cook about 2-3 minutes per side or until evenly browned.
  8. Serve with extra lemon for squeezing overtop!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.onestrangeherd.com/cajun-crappie-cakes/

 

Fish/Seafood

A recent conversation among my fitness peers revealed that many of us at one point or another struggle with wasting food.  This isn’t the type of wasting food that comes from forgetting leftovers in the back of your fridge.  (black beans are the worst)

What we were talking about is the struggle we’ve faced to not finish the last few bites our kids leave behind. We simply dislike watching good food go to waste. But is there more to it than that? Yes, and we’ll uncover more in Part 2.

My son never eats his pizza all the way to the crust and sometimes he leaves a chunk of donut behind.  If I said I wasn’t guilty of finishing it off for him, that’d be a big fat lie. Oh, and that 2nd muffin he can’t finish…allow me to help with that…

The list of things mentioned that we’re most guilty for finishing include (but is not limited to):

Pizza Crust
Pop Tart Crust/Corners
Uneaten chips/goldfish/graham crackers
Pancakes, Sausage
Macaroni and cheese
Uneaten chicken nuggets
Fries, Tator Tots
Muffin or biscuit halves
Cake,brownie, donut “crumbs”

Well if you’re sitting there thinking  “Ya I do that, so what?”  Well maybe it’s never been a concern to you or perhaps you’re already good at creating balance in your week.  That’s awesome!  But, for the sake of the blog post, it appears many I coach and talk to are trying to adopt better eating habits, lose or maintain weight, and those pesky leftovers can be haunting. It’s simply a habit we want to have better control over. 

So here’s where the mantra “Pennies and Crumbs” comes in play:

First let’s look at what pennies refers to:

Based on conversations I’ve had, I can speculate that some people struggle wasting uneaten food (the “crumbs”) because they don’t want to see money wasted.  Yet another side of the struggle seems to be a deep-rooted  ‘clear our plate’ mentality we were brought up with… among other similar preached table manners. (And a third reason I’m saving for Part 2)

Now, I’m not suggesting you abandon your budget or change your parenting ways.  Simply that when trying to refrain from eating the “crumbs” it helps to put it in perspective that it’s just pennies.  

It cost you pennies to throw away that pizza crust.  Pennies to toss the last fries in the trash.  Pennies to scrape a few bites of macaroni and cheese down the drain.

Again, this isn’t referring to uneaten MEALS left behind at restaurants or perfectly good partially eaten food that can be put away for later.  I’m talking CRUMBS that are worth PENNIES. 

A few “crumbs” here and there are probably pretty meaningless.  I mean what’s life without a few bites of  leftover macaroni? Or sampling that cookie your kid didn’t finish?  But if it’s habitual overeating after you’ve already consumed your meal, that is the concern. Like eating 3 slices of pizza and being content, but then going on to polish off the crust on your kids plate. 

Let’s look at one more scenario often played out in my family:

Large family gatherings tend to leave a lot of leftover food.  But there’s usually a few things lingering that don’t warrant enough to dirty a tupperware container.  So we plead with everyone to make room and just finish these last few pieces of XYZ.  Why? We simply don’t want to waste it, so SOMEONE should eat it. 

Well you ultimately decide…  

If you’re struggling in this area or having trouble seeing results, then try telling yourself it’s “Pennies and Crumbs.”  

fitness quote mantra

 

***Part 2 will dig into the science/evidence based studies on hunger and the #1 thing you can do to help stick to your diet goals. 

 

NUTRITION/MACROS

Asian Turkey Slaw could be classified as easy, addicting-ly delicious… yet perhaps doesn’t yield the most beautiful presentation.

If I had a nice baguette or breadstick to accompanying it maybe that would make it a bit sexier in appeal, but I don’t buy baguettes nor do I have any breadsticks on hand.

Moving on…

So this Asian Turkey Slaw recipe has been around forever most commonly known as “crack slaw.”  Back to that addicting-ly (<<that really should be a word) delicious part. I do not condone crack usage I’m merely pointing out how this slaw got it’s name.  Many recipes call for sesame oil, but I omit it to limit the fat and quite frankly I find it overpowering.

I use a bag of Asian coleslaw, hence the name “Asian Turkey Slaw” (savoy cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, celery and cilantro) from Costco.  I’ve also used other varieties that include kale or just the traditional bagged coleslaw everyone knows and it’s all good.

I’m working on a new FREE ebook that will include a mix of recipes including the total servings, calories, and macro breakdown as shown above.

The first one includes a variety of dishes that are under 500 calories (I think).  Many recipes are ones that I’ve shared here before but now with the nutritional information provided in a handy download you can reference for meal planning. Future posts will talk more about macros and why I include the info.  Questions in the meantime, hit me up!

I’m already working on compiling additional recipes for future ebooks that will include breakfast and snacks designed to give you some fresh ideas.

 

Now, print this recipe and start making some Asian Turkey Slaw!

Asian Turkey Slaw – 20 minute meal!

Ingredients

  • 1lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 4 cups slaw mix of your choice (not the sauce, just the cabbage stuff!)
  • 2 TB lite soy sauce
  • 4 tsp sriracha sauce (I use Trader Joe's brand which is not as spicy)
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar (or about a capful, let's be honest)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 TB chopped green onion
  • chopped cilantro (as garnish or in dish if slaw mix doesn't include it)

Instructions

  1. Brown turkey in a large skillet and drain any excess liquid/grease. Add garlic, ginger, soy sauce and vinegar stirring to combine.
  2. Add 4 cups slaw mix and cilantro if desired stirring over medium high heat until desired tenderness of slaw is reached, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Serve with green onions on top!
  4. Serves 4.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.onestrangeherd.com/asian-turkey-slaw-20-minute-meal/

 

 

Turkey

Carbs.  I’ve encountered so many people lately that believe carbs are their enemy.  What’s worse is they ban particular carbs.  You know the kind: breads, pastas, wheat products, rice.  Somewhere they’ve read and believed that going low carb is THEE ticket to losing weight.

IT’S A MIRACLE!

No, really it’s not a miracle.  I’m just a fun-loving sarcastic person.

Before moving on, this is not addressing those with a doctor diagnosed medical issue in regards to your dietary intake of carbs or any other nutrient for that matter.

Let’s go back to the basics, shall we?

Consuming more calories than your body needs = weight gain/surplus

Consuming less calories than your body needs = weight loss/deficit

Our calories come from 3 macro’s (4 if you count alcohol) broken down from protein, fats and carbs.  Getting a proper balance to these in regards to your lifestyle is what’s important to help you reach your goals.

So naturally if one eliminates something from their diet, especially a large food group, they’re most likely going to experience a calorie deficit.  

Quoting a study from Examine.com (highly trusted source that breaks down the science research done on nutrition and supplements)-“If you are obese, decreasing carbs and upping protein may lead to greater weight loss, but sticking to any diet that has you eat less will lead to weight loss.”

mmm, pasta!

So what’s the problem?

People blame the food and the food is not to blame (unless of course it’s a medical issue). I’ll use my name as a figurative example:

1. Beth cuts “all” carbs from her diet. No bread, pasta, rice, tortillas, cereal, pizza, etc.
2. Beth experiences a drop in weight over 2-4 weeks, let’s say 4 pounds
3. Birthday parties and cook-outs leave Beth no choice but to consume a few “forbidden” carbs
4. Beth is tired (physically and mentally) trying to avoid carbs, her energy level is a little low too
5. Beth slowly starts having more carbs in her diet, because Beth loves pizza and pizza is life
6. Beth notices her weight starts to increase
7. Beth blames the carbs
8. Beth assumes she’ll never lose the weight or get in shape because she can’t stay away from carbs

Can you relate? Does this sound like something you’ve heard or tried?

IT’S NOT THE CARBS!!!! IT’S NOT THE CARBS!!!! IT’S NOOOOOOOT THUUUUUU CAARRRRRBS!

You’re simply overeating.  Could you reduce carbs? YES. Eliminate them? NO. 

A lower carb diet has shown to improve certain health markers like insulin and cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides to name a few.  But that doesn’t mean NO-carb and it doesn’t set a required amount.  Rather the degree of reduction varies individually as one might assume based on the amount of activity exerted.

Carbs are the bodies preferred energy source.  Eliminating them while training would be counterproductive.  And everyone I’ve encountered that’s spoken evil of carbs is trying to get in better shape thus starting to move more!

As nutrition expert Alan Aragon states “Carb reduction can then be strategically positioned as a trump card.  In other words, carbs can always be incrementally reduced on an as-needed basis, depending on how results are proceeding.  Starting off with minimal carbs from the get-go leaves fewer options in the toolbox to break through progress plateaus once training volume is maxed-out.”

This time I’ll use myself as a real example:

*I’m currently coming out of a bulking cycle where I purposely ate more calories than my body needed to aid in muscle growth over the course of 5 months. During that time my carb consumption was around 300grams. Fat gain is inevitable during this time so I’m doing a slight diet to lose the fat I gained, while maintaining the muscle.  I’m currently eating 180-210 carbohydrates and losing fat.  I exercise 5 days a week, mostly weight training with 2 days of cycling for cardio.

Here’s a recent meal-diary breaking down the carbs I consumed at each meal (this is ONLY the carbs):  

Breakfast: 50g steel cut oats (a little over 1/4 cup dry) + 1/2 a banana
Snack: 1/2 protein bar (has 11 carbs)
Lunch: hamburger bun and strawberries
Snack: Kettle popped popcorn chips
Dinner: Green beans, mashed potatoes
Bedtime Snack: cinnamon raisin english muffin with greek cream cheese (small amount of carbs)

Here’s a higher end of my carbs in a day:
Breakfast: 2 pieces cinnamon raisin bread (makes the best egg and ham sandwich!)
Snack: Fig breakfast bar
Lunch: 1 cup quinoa and brown rice blend (costco!), green beans, kettle popcorn chips
snack: 50g steel cut oats, 1/2 a banana (pre-workout meal)
late dinner: 1/4 cup elbow macaroni (chili mac for dinner, yum!)

Oats, white bread, potatoes, rice, pasta…it’s all there. Even carbs after dark, gasp! (again, sarcasm)

While the majority of my meals are from home making it easier to consume more food and control what I eat… I also enjoy pizza nights, brownies, date nights, and epic sandwiches with fries and slaw.  

Helloooo Primanti Brothers! Welcome to Ohio.  God Bless the USA.   

So anyways, If I were to drastically cut my carbs, my energy would eventually tank when cycling or trying to keep weight on the bar.  That’s not ideal.  The goal is to consume the highest amount of carbs that still allow steady weight loss and adequate energy throughout the day. When I’m finished with my mini-diet I’ll increase my carbs another 50g-100g or so (especially over summer when I’m naturally moving around more throughout the day).

Eating 300g carbs is fun.  Seeing muscles develop is fun. Feeling happy and healthy and inspired is fun.

Reconcile your friendship with carbs. They’ve missed you. 

Questions? Hit me up.

NUTRITION/MACROS