Budget Friendly Crab Cakes

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Budget Friendly Crab Cakes



Crab cakes are sooooo yummy! But when you’re watching your pocketbook, they aren’t the first thing you think of for affordable meals. This recipe blends mild white fish and crab claw meat to help stretch the crab meat to where you won’t even notice it’s not 100% crab in there. Real crab meat has a strong flavor and will overpower the white fish you use and allow you to have real crab cakes (not that yucky imitation stuff) while not breaking the bank! I used flounder in this recipe because it’s what was on clearance in the meat market at our grocery store, but any mild white fish would work like cod, sole, etc… I’ve made this recipe with all halibut fish (not budget friendly but incredibly good) and it’s amazing too. 

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz flounder or other white fish cooked and unseasoned (just steam it on your stovetop) 
  • 6 oz claw meat (it’s cheaper than lump crab meat and just as yummy)
  • 1/2 c Italian or plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Dash worchestishire 
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp Tony’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • Pinch cayenne 
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • Juice 1/2 lemon 
  • 2 T butter (for cooking crab cakes in)

1. Flake your fish apart with two forks and combine fish, crab meat, and the rest of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.





2. Stir it all together and spray a sheet pan covered in foil with non-stick spray. 



3. Form little crab cakes with your hands whatever size you like.



4. I like to cover my cakes with plastic wrap and chill for at least 20-30 minutes to let them firm up because they’ll cook easier and stay together better. It’s not 100% necessary, but I recommend it. Once they’ve been chilled, melt 1 T butter in a large skillet and add your crab cakes. Don’t overcrowd the pan! 



5. Cook on medium high heat about five minutes a side. 



6. Do in batches and you can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven while you’re waiting for your next batch to finish. Serve with the other lemon half or a remoulade sauce! 



Shrimp Linguini With Lemon Butter Sauce

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Shrimp Linguini With Lemon Butter Sauce



This is soooo yummy! It has a light white wine/buttery/garlicky/lemony deliciousness and I absolutely love it! You can of course use any pasta like angel hair, whole wheat spaghetti, penne, etc… But my favorite is linguini 😄

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb shrimp peeled and de-veined 
  • 3 T butter
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1/2 lb pasta (8 oz)
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 glugs of white wine
  • Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and dried parsley

1. Start boiling your water for your pasta. I like to add salt in there to help flavor it up a bit. Then add your noodles.



2. Start melting your butter over medium high heat in a large sauté pan and add a drizzle of olive oil to it.



3. Once the butter is melted, add your shrimp. It’s best to use shrimp after you’ve pat it dry a bit, otherwise it can make the sauce watery. Season it with salt, pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.



4. Now add two glugs of white wine. That’s the sound your bottle makes when you turn it into your pan. If you’re going with box wine, press the spout for a couple seconds over your pan. See how I keep it classy with my pinky out? 😄



5. Now add your lemon juice and garlic and cook for about five minutes. You’ll know the shrimp is done when it turns orange and form little c’s.



6. Once it’s done, turn the heat off and add your lemon zest and sprinkle parsley flakes all over it. Stir it all together.



7. Your pasta should be done by now. Drain and add noodles to your sauce pan. 



Stir it all together, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy! 

Honey Lime Mahi Mahi

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Honey Lime Mahi Mahi



Y’all may recall I said we’ve been eating more fish in our house. Here is my latest attempt to eat something other than plain seasoned and baked fish, and I have to say it’s pretty delicious and I’ll be making it again. It will work with any fish I’m sure, but this was for one pound of mahi mahi. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fish filets
  • 1 lime (zest and juice)
  • 1-2 tsps honey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 green onion

1. Chop your green onion and put half in a small bowl with your lime juice, lime zest, honey, a pinch of salt, and olive oil. Save the other half of the green onion for garnish. Wisk the marinade together. Give your marinade a taste and see if you want to add more honey or salt. 





2. Cover a sheet pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place your filets on the pan and season with salt and pepper. Then pour your marinade over the filets.





3. Make sure your oven rack is close to the top of your oven and place the filets under your broiler for 10-12 minutes or until filets are done cooking.



4. Sprinkle your remaining green onions on top and serve with Cilantro Lime Rice to keep with the lime theme! Yum!



Cilantro Lime Rice

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Cilantro Lime Rice



This rice is soooo yummy! It goes great with almost anything, but I love it with black beans. Yum yum yum! This recipe is enough for 2-3 people, so double it if you need more than that.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c rice (I use converted rice for almost everything, but white or brown rice would work here too)
  • 2 c water (or however much your rice instructs you to use)
  • 1 small sweet onion chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 chicken bullion cube chopped up
  • 1 lime (juice and zest)
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • Cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • Green onions (optional garnish)

1. Put your sweet onion into a pot and drizzle some olive oil on them. Season with salt and pepper and cook for s few minutes on medium high heat. You’re just going to sweat them out a little bit. 



2. Now add your rice and chopped garlic into the pot. Also drizzle additional oil onto the rice, as you’ll be “stir frying” it for a few minutes. Do not walk away from your pot right now – this burns easily! Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently.





3. Now add the zest of your lime, the juice of the lime, the 1/2 chicken bullion cube either chopped or crushed between your fingers, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil for one minute, then put a lid on it and turn the heat down to simmer.







4. Cook the rice 20 minutes (or as your instructions say for your specific kind of rice) and once it’s done, add a few handfuls of chopped cilantro. I also like to garnish mine with green onion and another squeeze of fresh lime. And don’t forget the most important part – a margarita!





Sautéed Greens

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Sautéed Greens



This is a quick and easy recipe for sautéing pretty much any green. This time I had a big bag of mixed greens, but this would’ve been good for any of the greens alone in the mix as well. Serve with a peppery vinegar sauce to take it to the next level of deliciousness!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb greens
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

1. First add butter and oil into your largest sauté pan. Also add your chopped garlic and turn on medium high heat.



2. Next, add your greens to the pan. Today, I’m working with kale, Swiss chard, and spinach!





3. I know it looks like waaaay too much food for the pan, but trust me, it’s going to wilt into practically nothing! This is seriously a serving for two people. You’re going to stir it around every little bit to help the cooked leaves get to the top so newer ones can wilt down too. Watch.







4. Add salt and pepper and enjoy like that or add a little pepper vinegar to make it outstanding! Yum!

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries



Mmm french fries! I love any and all potatoes almost every which way, but there is a special place in my heart for french fries. Yall might remember I’ve posted a recipe before for sweet potato fries dredged in seasoning and deep fried. While delicious and something I do whenever I’m having a “fry me to the moon” sorta weekend, these are a bit better for you and honestly much easier to do. 

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Your favorite seasoning salt

1. Peel and cut up your sweet potatoes into the fry thickness you desire. Use a very sharp knife, because they’re hard to cut through. I’ve broken three fry cutters that swear they’ll cut sweet potatoes, so just get out your knife sharpener if you need to.



2. Drizzle olive oil all over the fries, then season with your favorite salty seasoning (or even just kosher salt) and toss together so the fries are all coated.





3. Spread out evenly over a sheet pan you’ve covered in foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. 



4. Place in your pre-heated oven at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Give them a good shake about halfway through to make sure they cook evenly.



Enjoy 🙂

Lightly Crusted Flounder With Lemon Butter

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Lightly Crusted Flounder With Lemon Butter

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We’ve been eating a lot of fish lately and baking it, while delicious, can get a little old. So I mixed it up this week by putting a light crust on these filets and finishing them with a little lemon butter and dill. If you have rice flour, I recommend using it because it gives a light and crispy crust that you can’t get with regular flour, not to mention gluten free if you’re into that sorta thing. But if you don’t, regular flour works just fine.

Ingredients:
Flounder filets (I did 2 lbs)
Olive oil
1 T butter
Flour
Dill weed (optional but great addition)
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Season both sides of your filet with salt and pepper. Then using your hands, sprinkle a light dusting of flour on both sides as well.

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2. Pour a couple of tablespoons into a skillet on medium high heat. Then put your filets is for a few minutes each side. Leave it 2-3 minutes before flipping it over do it gets a nice crust and is easy to flip. Don’t overcrowd your pan and work in batches, pouring more oil in later if needed.

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3. Set your fish aside on your serving platter once it’s all done cooking. Then add 1 T butter and the juice of a lemon to your pan and stir around about a minute. Then pour lemon butter over flounder filets.

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4. Finally, sprinkle some fresh or dried herbs over your fish before serving. I love the taste of dill sprinkled over mine! White wine is fab with this dish 😄

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Acorn Squash

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Acorn Squash

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If you’re anything like me, acorn squash is probably a bit foreign. I know the first time I decided to try one, I had no idea how hard they were to cut into and that I should’ve sharpened my knife first. I didn’t know what it would taste like and wasn’t sure if I would like it because I know I don’t care for butternut squash. But boy, was I surprised at how delicious it was! Do you like Yukon gold potatoes? If so, you’ll love acorn squash. Do you love mashed potatoes or baked potatoes? That’s how I want you to think of acorn squash. Not that horrible cauliflower substitution for mashed potatoes, but a deliciously creamy and healthy substitution for a potato obsession. This recipe will be like healthy mashed potatoes, but feel free to change it up and serve with cheese and a little sour cream for a “baked potato” version!

Ingredients:
Acorn squash
Olive oil
Garlic salt
Pepper
1 T butter

1. First and most important, sharpen your biggest kitchen knife. If you have a dull knife, you won’t cut through this bad boy, trust me on that.

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2. Now you’re going to scoop out the seeds. I love my grapefruit spoon for this, but a regular spoon will work too if you don’t have one.

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3. Now put your acorn halves on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on both sides.

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4. Now bake on your center rack in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. You’ll know it’s done when you can easily stick a knife in it just like a baked potato.

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5. Now scoop out the inside of the squash into a mixing bowl. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste and your tablespoon of butter.

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6. Mix together and serve just like mashed potatoes! Soooo good!

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Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon

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Ok y’all, if you’re searching for the best salmon ever recipe, you can rest now because this is it! I had seen a recipe using sweet chili Asian sauce and orange marmalade on salmon and thought “Well there’s a cool idea!” and came up with this delicious concoction. It was so yummy my husband had me go back up to the store today and buy four more pounds of salmon to keep in our freezer for me to make this recipe again soon!

*  I have since revised this recipe so that it uses less sauce and it is just as delicious! *

Ingredients:
2 lbs salmon cut into filets about 8 oz a piece
1/4 c sweet chili sauce (found on the Asain isle – I love the Grama’s Sweet Chili Glaze) 
1 T apricot preserves
1 T soy sauce
1 T chopped green onions
1 garlic clove minced
Salt and pepper

1. In a small mixing bowl pour in your sweet chili sauce, apricot preserves, green onions, garlic, and soy sauce and whisk together.

IMG_2391 2. Cover a sheet pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray and lay salmon skin side down on the sheet. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then pour sauce over the top of the salmon and allow it to marinate that way for about 30 minutes.

  

3. Once it’s done marinating place the salmon near the top of your oven under the broiler for approximately 15 minutes. You’ll want the sauce to caramelize on top of the fish and don’t worry if you see the sauce burning that slid off the fish and is stuck to the foil. 

*This is a picture from my original post, but you’ll get the idea of what the fish will look like when it’s done.

  
It’s now ready to eat and so yummy! My husband likes to pour a little extra sweet chili glaze on the side to dip his in. Yum! 😍

Confetti Quinoa

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Confetti Quinoa

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I get asked a lot about how I cook quinoa. The answer is: any way and every way you cook rice. It’s versatile and delicious, and very good for you. If there was a such thing as “the perfect food for you,” this would be it. This recipe is great for side dishes, or served as the main dish with some added grilled chicken or stuffed into acorn squash. I’ll give you my other favorite way to eat it at the bottom.

Ingredients:

1 sweet onion
1 bell pepper or a handful of those sweet tri-colored peppers
2 garlic cloves
3-4 kale leaves (or Swiss chard)
1 10.8 ounce frozen bag of mixed vegetables
1 1/2 c quinoa (any kind – I used rainbow quinoa)
Salt, pepper, cumin powder, Knorr chicken bouillon cube
Olive oil
3 c water

1. Drizzle some olive oil into a pot or Dutch oven and sauté chopped onion and peppers in there about 10 minutes over medium to high heat.

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2. Add the frozen vegetables and chopped garlic cloves and season everything with salt, pepper, and a few healthy dashes of cumin powder.

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3. Chop up your greens and add to your pot.

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4. Add your 1 1/2 c quinoa, 3 c water, and crumble up your chicken bullion cube and turn your heat up to bring everything to a boil.

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5. Put a lid on your pot and turn the heat down to simmer. Allow it to cook just like rice – about 20 minutes. My son loves his with cut cherry tomatoes served on top.

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Mexican Quinoa – add a chopped jalapeño with the sweet peppers and omit kale/spinach. After it’s done cooking add fresh chopped cilantro and 1 can of drained black beans.