At the moment, we Catholics are in the season of Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter, once upon a time it meant loads of fasting, or giving up certain things or foods. This year I’m not giving up anything due to being pregnant – I figured not drinking alcohol or eating soft cheese or salami was sacrifice enough! Sorry God. Generally though I don’t eat meat on Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent) and Good Friday (the end of Lent). Growing up at our Catholic primary school we couldn’t have meat in our school lunches on a Friday during Lent, so to me this time of year (and in particular Friday’s) means eating fish. Of course there are loads of non-meat options other than fish, many of which are in high rotation in any given regular week of the year in my kitchen to be honest, but it’s all very nostalgic this fish on Friday’s during Lent, so just humour me.
I’m also trying not to eat the enormous, carb loaded and super heavy meals I’ve been indulging in during my pregnancy. No problems with that really, just not all the time, and I feel so much better and less lethargic with light, fresh meals in my tummy more regularly rather than a big gorge fest once a day. I make these fish cakes in a ‘I have absolutely nothing in the pantry’ kind of frenzy when we lived so far from the shops – and I am renowned for cooking too much rice, so this is a quick and easy way to use those leftovers up and create another meal. I’ve also been known to make this with leftover quinoa, throw in a can of corn kernals, grated zucchini through it or serve with a avocado, red onion, tomato salsa concoction. Go nuts.
Rice and Fish Cakes with Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Ingredients for rice and fish cakes:
1 can of red salmon (or you can use tuna, I’m not a huge tuna fan though)
1 cup of cooked rice (mine was white but you could use brown to be a more health nut than I am)
1 cup plain flour (you could also use breadcrumbs)
Zest and juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for the yogurt dipping sauce:
2 cups good quality natural Greek yogurt
1 cup grated cucumber
4 cloves of garlic, crushed (or if you’re garlic head me, it’s more like 14 cloves)
Zest and juice of one lemon
Combine all ingredients for the cakes in a bowl and stir until you create a thick batter, add more egg or flour as necessary to create a good thick consistency. Heat oil in a pan until quite hot, drop two large tablespoons of the batter into the pan and shape into a patty with the spoon. Fry until lightly golden, turning once.
Stir all the yogurt, cucumber, garlic and lemon zest and juice together. Serve with the fish and rice cakes with a fresh garden salad.
I always get the thumbs up from this quick and easy meal from Matt, especially in summer after a warm day when you don’t feel like much at all. He’s a huge tzatziki fan too so it might have something to do with it. I generally always have a can of fish on hand in the pantry…and eggs, flour, garlic, lemons, yogurt. In fact we used to make these a lot when we were living on the road camping for a year. Simple, quick, no fuss cooking which also happens to taste pretty delicious. I sometimes make a big batch and send in lunches too, and I like a bit of sweet chilli sauce with mine. Enjoy!