Simple Salmon Patties with Dressed-Up Mashed Potatoes and Brazi Bites ~ Frugal and Easily Gluten Free

I have realized that my cooking styles and “go to” recipes have changed a lot throughout the years. 

While I was thinking about this the other day, I realized that my stages or “eras” in my cooking are similar to the eras of classical music. 

Yes, I am a music nerd. LOL I am also working on a project pertaining to the different eras and just finished teaching my little ones at our homeschool co-op my Music Adventures class again this session, so I have classical music eras on the brain.

Back when I was a new mom, a full-time college student, and extremely broke my cooking definitely resembled the Medieval Period or Era. I did the best I could with the little knowledge (my mom usually kept us out of the kitchen when she cooked) and few tools I had available to me. That did not mean that what I created wasn’t at times a masterpiece in it’s own right. It was just usually much more primitive than my later periods.

After I graduated from college and had a little more money coming into the household, I headed into the Renaissance Period. Like in classical music, it was a “rebirth” of ideas with rediscovery of “ancient” knowledge and a new way of thinking. Besides the fact that I had more time to dig deeper into cooking (and start an impressive cookbook collection), I was also learning a lot from various older family members during this time. Several of them were teaching me their signature dishes and I was also coming up with some new creations of my own partially based on all that I was learning.

When my life changed drastically a few years later, money was tighter again and I had to get more creative to keep my daughter and me happy and fed. This could be seen as my Baroque Period. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it my “bizarre” period, which is what “barocco” (the word Baroque comes from) means in Italian. I don’t quite agree that the music, art, and architecture of the time should be called bizarre either. So, who am I to complain? I definitely had to do some fancy footwork at times to keep us happy and healthy.

After I arrived out west in Nevada and got a decent paying job, I transitioned nicely into what could easily be called my Classical Era. I had quite a bit of knowledge by this time and I was using it. I had several “go to” recipes that I made often and most of my cooking was quite traditional during this time. I also started really concentrating on making sure that meals were more balanced, since this was honestly the first time that I could truly afford to focus on these things. The Classical Era of Classical Music really focuses on a formula for the way music should be written. There are motifs, that turn into themes, that turn into variations, and you eventually end up with four movements to a symphony. These movements are all connected to each other and are often in the same order (slower movement usually is second and a minuet or something similar is usually third, for example).

Ah… The Romantic Period… That’s appropriate. This would be the period when I married my husband. Yes, my cooking was spurred on by more emotions. I was trying to impress my new husband. It was also a period of taking everything I knew along with new things I was discovering, and changing them up in new ways. 

Then on October 10, 2012, I went gluten free. This would definitely be the start of my Revolutionary Period. LOL  I looked in new places to be inspired and changed up the way our meals looked and tasted. We were a family that was really into pastas, pizza, burgers, and sandwiches. A lot of those had to go… at least in traditional forms. I definitely did not go all Stravinsky in my style…I wasn’t starting any riots or anything.   😉   I was more like Debussy. Inspired by many other forms of art aka special diets like looking at blogs for Paleo and low carb recipes for creative ideas, but then doing my own “impressionist” version to suit my family’s tastes.

I have recently slipped into my Modern Era. I am now so much more comfortable with cooking gluten free. I also am borrowing more and more from all of the periods of my cooking (including reviving some old dishes I hadn’t cooked in years) as well as learning new techniques. It feels like an easy, smooth groove that I am in. There’s a little jazz and folk mixed in with the classical… and that just makes it all tastier and sometimes even profound.

Have you ever gone through stages like this? Have you changed your cooking drastically with or without really realizing it until later? Please leave a comment below if you would like to share.

Now, on to the meal we enjoyed of Salmon Patties, Dressed Up Mashed Potatoes, a thick slice of tomato, edamame, and Brazi Bites.

I had not made Salmon Patties for years; definitely not since going gluten free. Both of my guys really enjoyed them. This is virtually the same recipe I used back in the 1990’s aka my Renaissance Period, but they are now done gluten free and there is quite a bit more onion. 

I bought the edamame in the freezer section of our local Winco. Our local Whole Foods has them, too, but they are quite a bit more expensive there. These are shelled edamame. I just heated them in water (to a boil) and served them plain. You can add some butter if you like, but we like these as is.

The Brazi Bites are crazy good! They are the most expensive part of this frugal meal. They cost around $5 at our local Natural Grocers., but these gluten free goodies are worth it for a special bread to add to a special meal. These are the original. We also like the Garlic Asiago and the Cheddar Parmesan Bacon (so much that they were already gone…lol).

The Dressed-Up Mashed Potatoes are extremely easy. After the potatoes are cooked and mashed, I just sprinkled shredded sharp cheddar cheese over the top and then added green onions, When I have cooked bacon on hand, I crumble some of that up and sprinkle it over the top, too. 

I actually doubled this recipe so that we would have leftovers to enjoy as Salmon Patty Eggs Benedict and as Salmon Patty Burgers. 
Simple Salmon Patties ~ Easily Gluten Free
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (14.75 oz) can of canned salmon or mackerel ~ gluten free if needed ~ I used Chicken of the Sea Jack Mackerel this time, which is gluten free.
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/2 cup + chopped onion ~ When I doubled this, I used a whole extra large onion.
  4. 1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs ~ gluten free if needed ~ I used these Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs from Regular Breadcrumbs
  5. 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
Instructions
  1. Drain and reserve the liquid from the salmon or mackerel. Remove bones - or purchase boneless, which will be more expensive. Removing the bones is actually optional, because they are edible and supposed to be healthy, but I prefer to remove them. (To read about this claim, check out the Chicken of the Sea FAQ's. It's the second FAQ down.
  2. Mix the egg, chopped onion, bread crumbs, and salmon/mackerel together.
  3. Form the meat mixture into patties. If the mixture is too dry, add some of the reserved liquid.
  4. In a skillet, heat the oil. Place patties in the skillet. Brown on each side, turn gently. These do not take very long.
  5. Drain on paper toweling.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. I actually doubled this recipe so that we would have leftovers to enjoy as Salmon Patty Eggs Benedict and as Salmon Patty Burgers.
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