Healthier Fish Stick Recipes

Healthier Fish Stick Recipes

I bought some rockfish last night to make some healthier fish sticks. They also had Dungeness crab at $5.99 a pound, so I got two small crabs, and well, we had the crab for supper last night.

I was poking around the cabinet looking for the box with fish fry coating. And thankfully, I'm out. So it's time to go find out how to make a healthier fish stick.

What Kind of Fish

The classic fish stick is made out of cod. You could easily make them out of flounder or halibut. If you can find mahi mahi, it will make a nice firm fish stick. You could also look into haddock, pollack, black cod, striped bass, hake, and grouper.

You want to find fish that is fresh. And it helps if the fish is thicker.

How to Make A Healthier Coating

There are a few types of fish batter. Some are smooth like beer batter and others are crumbly like a cornmeal based fish fry coating.

For crumbly fish fry coatings, most people use panko.  You can season it with spices like Old Bay, parsley, salt, paprika, cayenne, or just about anything. Some people like having a kick. You could look into putting in some jalapenos that are finely diced as well.

You can also use normal breadcrumbs if you want a finer crumb. And some people crush potato chips or cereal.

Here's how to make a Paleo crunchy coating:

For a smooth coating that's Primal and Whole 30 friendly, check out these

Paleo Cupboard Fish Sticks

Bowl of Delicious Fish Sticks

PaleoHacks Fish Sticks

But I saved the best for last. This is what I consider to be a classic beer batter, and it's Paleo

Happily Unprocessed Paleo Beer Battered Fish

How to Cook the Fish

We want our fish sticks to be crispy on the outside and flakey on the inside, right?

You could fry in a large cast iron pan using vegetable shortening. Keep the temperature higher (around 350F) and cook quickly. Then transfer the fish to a cooling rack. I put mine in a baking pan to keep the draining oil in an easy to clean up space.

Or you could bake the fish. I will use a cooling rack on a baking pan so the fish cooks evenly. You may still want to turn the fish midway in cooking.  Cook using a high heat (450F) for about 10-12 minutes depends on how big your fish sticks are.

Finally, you can use your air fryer if you have one. It's on my birthday wish list!

Side Dishes

I love cole slaw. You could make it healthier and make broccoli slaw.

And I confess to loving french fries. If you have an air fryer, go for the potato! You can also make fries from sweet potatoes that are super delicious.

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Easy Vegetarian Soups from Scratch

Easy Vegetarian Soups from Scratch

Why should you make easy vegetarian soups from scratch? Soups are a great way to get filled up. When you make them from scratch, you can save a lot of money. And if you go back for a second bowl, you won't feel guilty.

Bean Soups

Most people think about black beans when they think of bean soups. I love Jamie Oliver and find him fun to watch. Hope you do too.

Here are some other fun bean soup recipes:

Slow cooker white bean soup

10 High Protein Low Fat Bean Soup Ideas

Smoky Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup with Lime Cashew Cream

Vegetable Soups

easy vegetable soups from scratch

You can make amazing cream of vegetable soup recipes without using cream. I love making creamed vegetable soups out of broccoli or asparagus. It feels so decadent and yet it's so incredibly healthy.

I cooked Cauliflower Leek soup last night and will toss it into the Vitamix for lunch today (and then heat it up). And I got two large bags of broccoli in my CSA so I'll be making this Creamy Broccoli soup later this weekend.

Other Types of Vegetarian Soups

I love minestrone. This recipe is a copycat of Olive Garden's minestrone recipe and is vegetarian since you need to use vegetarian broth. You can also try this Tuscan Vegetable Bean soup (I love Ellie Krieger).minestrone soup

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.

Resources

Taco Pie with Avocado Crust

Taco Pie with Avocado Crust

Taco pie with avocado crust sounds, well, interesting, doesn't it? Avocado is a great and healthy fat. If you don't like it, you won't taste it.

Watch the video to see how easy it is:

 

Even I'm thinking I could roll out a crust like that. Now, I hear you going “But…but…SHORTENING?”  Well, first off, it's not that bad for you. And secondly, there is all vegetable shortening out there that is vegan

Make Taco Pie with Avocado Crust Your Own

What I love about recipes like these are that you have so much opportunity to adjust it. If you're feeling vegetarian, skip the beef and add in mushrooms or more varieties of beans. Want more vegetables? Add in corn or spinach. (or any other diced veggie. I would totally put diced zucchini in here.)

And you could put in whatever spices you prefer. I love chipotles with adobo sauce for an all over warmth. Jalapenos are more like a fast jolt. I'm not saying I don't love jalapenos. Pickled ones absolutely belong on my burgers. But, I'm just saying you can change the whole dish just by changing the spices.

Now, what if you used ground lamb and Meditteranean spices? Then you could put feta and diced cucumbers and tomatoes on top and have a Greek gyro pie with avocado crust.

But Can You Make It Paleo

You could easily use rice flour to make the crust. There are also alternative baking mixes that are gluten-free. And, you could skip the idea of a crust altogether and substitute in thinly sliced sweet potatoes or riced cauliflower to make the crust.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Resources

Copycat Starbucks Drinks Part 1

Copycat Starbucks Drinks Part 1

It's time to make your own copycat Starbucks drinks so they're healthier and much cheaper. I'd also like to say that it's OK to cheat and use strong coffee instead of espresso. Do what you have to.

Mug of strong coffee on scattered coffee beans

I have to drink decaff because of my hypertension. I get a spike if I have too much caffeine. So it's just easier for me to do decaff despite all the weird looks.

I'm calling this Part 1 because I'm going to focus on three drinks in this one. I promise to do more.

Copycat Pumpkin Spice Latte

I believe in being as natural as you can to be healthier. The old eat real food that you can recognize thing. So I recommend putting real pumpkin into your pumpkin spice latte.

You can also substitute in almond milk if you're wanting to do dairy free. I recommend sugar free varieties so you can sweeten it yourself. Some people use honey and others use stevia.

For the pumpkin spice, I say it's up to you. I do cheat and buy pre-mixed. If you want to blend your own, go for it!

Copycat Caramel Macchiato (hot and cold)

Ashley shows us the cheaper way to make it (at home)

Now, if you wanted to make it healthier, you can use almond milk. And I'd consider using vanilla paste instead of vanilla syrup. You'll cut down on the sugar.

Look for sugar-free versions of the syrups, but be careful that they're not using fillers and other chemicals.

Check out this recipe from Paleo Hacks on how to lighten it up.

Go Crazy

Here's how to make a turmeric latte. Turmeric is a lovely yellow spice. You see it in curries. Tumeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxident. I love putting it into beans since it's subtle yet effective. It's much better than taking pills.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.

Engagement Roast Chicken

Engagement Roast Chicken

I was able to pick up a whole organic chicken at the supermarket yesterday. It was marked down. That's why I like shopping early in the morning. The butchers have gone through and put the money off stickers on items that are close to their due date.

But if you're like me, it can sometimes get boring making a roasted chicken again. I'm always looking for ways of making it different and fun. Luckily, I found Ina Garden's recipe, and it looks perfect.

Check out the video here

 

Things I Learned

I'd heard about patting dry poultry but never knew why. I figured it was just after rinsing it off that you'd want to dry it a bit before salting.

I also loved learning an easy way to truss the chicken.  The answer is simply. You don't want it to look like it's in bondage. And the reason why you truss poultry is so they roast more evenly.

Finally, making a pan sauce is so easy. I learned how to do that in a Craftsy course and forgot.

I guess I'd better buy some more onions. She calls for Spanish onions and says they're sweeter. I figure that Vidalia or Maui onions will do just as well.

Make It A Meal

I may add in some potatoes with the onions and lemon to round out the meal. I'd quarter small potatoes so they'd get that nice crispy texture along with the carmalized onions.

You could also toss in parsnips, carrots, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and butternut squash.

What's your favorite way of roasting a whole chicken?

 

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

 

 

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

French onion soup is a lovely decadent seeming treat. But it's not as bad as you think. And you can make it into a healthy dinner with a large salad.

Watch this video to see how easy it is:

Uh, Easy?

Ok, Ok, well, nothing is super difficult. But it does take time to cook down the onions. And if you want to make the French onion soup super rich, you can buy beef bones from your butcher. Then roast the bones to draw out more flavor. Toss them into a pot and cover with water and cook it for a few hours.

How to make it easier

Well, you don't have to make the broth from scratch. But the thing is, you can work on it over a few days. Make the broth. Make the soup and then let it hang out in the refrigerator to develop. Then when you're ready, reheat some portions and make the toasted cheese bread and float that on top when you serve it.

But of course you can buy beef broth and make it that way just like the video shows.

And you know, I wouldn't use lower fat cheese. I'd use the full fat stuff and just use a bit less. Again if your'e pairing this with a good salad, you're getting a well balanced meal. And remember you do need some fat in your diet.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Unusual Egg Rolls Made Healthier

Unusual Egg Rolls Made Healthier

If you love the flavor of egg rolls but worry about them being deep fried, then it's time to say hooray. We're going to look at some alternatives

Unusual Egg Rolls Made Healthier

There are so many different ways you can make egg rolls. You can update the filling, or the wrapper. Or you can remove the wrapper and turn it into a bowl. Let's dive in and look at some delicious ideas.

But first, watch this video for making Korean Philly Cheesesteak Eggrolls

How many of us really have a deep fryer at home?  Yeah, me neither. I don't think I'd want one either. It would be too tempting to make donuts and funnel cakes.

But it does get you thinking for updating the egg roll.

Alternate Cooking Methods for Healthier Egg Rolls

The quickest way to make egg rolls healthier is to bake them instead of frying. You will want to put some oil on top of the egg rolls so they crisp up.  Check out this simple egg roll recipe that's got a vegetarian filling.  (and what an awesome way to use up a bunch of veggies that you found in the crisper?)

Here's another healthier egg roll recipe from Hungry Girl. Even though the recipes don't tell you to, I'd rotate the egg roll midway through baking for an even browning.

Another healthier method is using an air fryer. I had one years ago and used it so much that I wore it out after four yearss. I haven't tried the new ones yet, but they look like they are a great alternative.

Mix Up the Filling for Healthier Egg Rolls

Egg rolls are also a great way to use up leftovers. You could make pizza egg rolls. If you have some leftover chicken, you could make chicken pot pie egg rolls.

If you have leftover lamb, you could roll up lamb with some tomatoes and feta to make a gyro egg roll.

Let your refrigerator be your guide.

Egg Rolls without the Roll

The first method is to just make an egg roll bowl. There are a lot of recipes out there on Paleo, Primal and Whole 30 sites on this. So check a few out and get inspired.

Another way to go low carb is to make some cucumber sheets using the Kitchen Aid vegetable sheet maker. Then you can add the filling and roll it up. It will be an interesting texture having the cool cucumber be crisp with the yummie warm filling.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

 

Resources

Roasted Vegetable Enchilada Casserole

Roasted Vegetable Enchilada Casserole

Roasted vegetable enchilada casserole is a super fun and easy dish for when you want to have a vegetarian meal. Watch the video here:

You can see the full recipe here.

What Would I Change?

The black beans would be swapped out for something else. Have you ever noticed your body likes some things and not others? Hubby doesn't process black beans well. I don't know why, and I'm not going to really question.  I love heirloom beans. If you check out Rancho Gordo, you'll learn everything you've ever wanted to know about heirloom beans.  Some are firm, some are soft.

My local supermarket has other brands of heirloom beans and I'll sometimes buy them if I need them right away. Also, Rancho Gordo doesn't carry some of them. I love using snowcap beans in soups and stews. It has a potato texture and flavor and boosts your protein and fiber.

Other Ways to Make Roasted Vegetable Enchilada Casserole

You can continue making this throughput the seasons using different vegetables. The key is to remember to cut the vegetables into pieces so they roast evenly. If this isn't possible because maybe you prefer different texture, then roast the larger items first and add in the smaller items midway.

I could see this as being super delicious with roasted butternut squash as well as roasted broccoli.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Chicken Gyro Bowl Ideas

Chicken Gyro Bowl Ideas

I think I love this chicken gyro bowl so much because it's fresh and fun. What I especially love about this recipe is that it teaches you how to make the pickled onions and tzatziki from scratch. That ensure you can control how much sugar and fat goes in.

A chicken gyro bowl could easily be made into a mason jar lunch.

Adjusting the Recipe

If you're going low carb, leave out the pita bread.  And if you're going whole 30, you'll need to leave out the beans as well. Most paleo diets are ok with legumes like garbanzo beans.

Normally I'd be running away from the kale and quinoa, but in this case, I'd try it out that way first and then make adjustments. Chances are, I'd prefer chard or spinach to the kale. And quinoa is growing on me.

I'm finding it easier to eat since I found out The Big Secret. You have to rinse it before cooking. It removes a bitter flavor.

I don't know any secret for kale. I think you either love it or you don't. And I don't. Mustard greens and collards are as bitter as I'll go.

You can save money by cooking your own beans and quinoa. I love the Instant Pot. Garbanzo beans definitely need extra soaking or longer cooking. For whatever reason, chickpeas just need that extra care.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​

Make Farmer’s Casserole Lighter

Make Farmer’s Casserole Lighter

Taste of Home published a Farmer's Casserole recipe.  It's really easy and a good base to build upon when learning to cook yourself thin.

They recommend assembling it the night before to make it easier to have breakfast faster in the morning.  Watch the video:

How to Make Farmer's Casserole Healthier

You could substitute in riced cauliflower, or thinly sliced sweet potatoes as the base instead of hash browns.

If you are going to use hash browns, thaw them out and dry them off before popping them into the casserole dish. If you want to have a crispy base, bake them for about 10 minutes at 350.  You may need to reduce the baking of the total dish.  Check after 45 minutes and see how the custard is firming up.

If you're concerned about the fat content, you could use ricotta or feta instead of jack cheese. And you could use chicken or turkey sausage instead of ham.

To make it vegetarian, use soy based sausage. A soy chorizo would add a lovely spice to the dish.

I would probably add in more veggies (are you surprised?) like diced tomato, zucchini and spinach. I love thawing out frozen spinach and keeping it in the fridge. Then I can add a pinch in here or there to add in extra iron.

Cook Yourself Thin is the resource hub for women 35-55 looking to lose stubborn pounds by cooking and eating the foods you love.​​​​​​​