Fear of Frying

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Some foods are just fantastic when fried. Potatoes, mozzarella cheese, and even pickles can benefit from a roll in some batter and a dip in boiling oil.

Fish cakes, like the ones I made last night, are another food that, even when lightly pan fried, taste just a little bit better. Unfortunately, my fear of frying got the better of me, and I baked them.

It turns out that they didn’t need to be fried, even only slightly browned, they were fresh and healthy without all of that extra oil.

I started with a cup of teeny tiny potatoes, tossed into boiling water until they were nice and soft.

teeny tiny potatoes

small potatoes

I also got some water boiling to steam the last of the Alaskan cod from the Foodbuzz Alaska Seafood recipe contest. They sent me a serious amount of cod, and it lasted very well in the freezer over the months. I cooked all of the cod from frozen, as Alaska Seafood mentioned in the materials that they sent me, and I was always surprised how good frozen fish could taste. In this case, I used my steamer basket to cook the cod until it was flaky.

Alaskan cod

I whipped up the seasonings on the side, a cup of panko bread crumbs, some salt-free dill and lemon seasoning, and a few spoonfuls of Dijon mustard.

dijon mustard and dill seasoning

bread crumbs

When the fish and potatoes were tender, I added them to the bread crumb mixture, then mashed my heart out with a potato masher.

cod and potatoes

Once the mix was a bit cooler, I added two whole eggs and thoroughly stirred everything up. The cod cakes went into a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes and ended up nicely browned. They reminded me a lot of Morton’s crab cakes which are full of crab meat and not fried. It turns out some things are good fried, but they are even better baked Smile

dinner is served

Served with a simple side of roasted Brussels sprouts and mushrooms left over from my chicken dish the other night, this was a great meal for a night when I wanted something healthy and warm. Since we are going on vacation to Ireland soon, I am doing my best to get in lots of workouts, vegetables, and water. Once I get to Ireland. . . well, all bets are off. It’s called Supermac’s, it’s Ireland’s higher-quality answer to McDonald’s, and it is fabulous.

Random story and question: The other day, when I was running, I saw a Manwich can hanging out of someone’s busted open trash bag. It brought me back to childhood and the Manwich commercials. My mother would never buy Manwich despite my desperate requests for it. We also never ate Hamburger Helper or sugary cereals like Cookie Crisp.

What food/s did you really want to eat when you were younger but were prohibited by parents? Have you tried them as an adult, and if so, did they live up to expectations?

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Tags: baked not fried, brussels sprouts, cod, cod cakes, cooking, easy recipes, fish, Food, healthy, healthy cooking, healthy recipe, mushrooms, protein, recipe, roasted vegetables

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    I totally agree with you that while some things are great fried, a lot of things can be baked for a healthier alternative without sacrificing on flavor. I definitely do this with fries!

    When I was growing up, I was never allowed to have sugary cereal. So when I went to college, I went crazy at the cereal bar in the DC. But now, I’m pretty boring and prefer multi-grain or Kashi cereals!


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Haha, the DC! I used to go for the Froot Loops!


    2. Daisy’s avatar

      “you don’t have to be a man to love manwich, you don’t have to be a witch either it’s true….”

      hahaha, adam and I sing that jingle everynow and then. thanks for getting it back into my head. I was not fed manwich as a child and have no desire to eat it. I did always want to eat fruit snacks and drink those plastic kool-aid squeeze drinks. mom wasn’t into them.


    3. Shannon’s avatar

      I always wanted lunchables! I NEVER got one. My mom would make her own version with cheese and crackers and lean turkey… at the time I felt like I was missing out but now I think my “lunchable” was so much better!


    4. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

      I have a fear of frying too. I need to get over it.
      My parents never let me eat sugary cereals. When I went to college it was heaven. I ate Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp all day, everyday. I also gained 20 pounds.


    5. Emily’s avatar

      Pretty much any “fun” food (sugar cereals, handisnacks, cafeteria food, twinkies) was off limits in my family. I had the least tradeable lunchbox ever – but now I’m pretty thankful for the healthy habits that my childhood instilled on me. I like french fries like the best of them, but have no desire to eat ho-hos or McDonalds.


    6. Justin’s avatar

      Ha! My mother drew the line at Cookie Crisp too. But of course, because that was the one cereal I wasn’t allowed to have, I wanted it so bad. I eventually tried it and didn’t even really like it that much.


      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        I agree! I would rather just eat a cookie than cookie flavored cereal!


      2. Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle’s avatar

        My parents never let me have white bread (I was always raised on wheat) and as an adult I can’t even look at it, gross! My mom was way ahead of the whole wheat craze, so now I don’t even think twice about eating almost all whole grains (exceptions must be made for restaurant rolls of course)


      3. thehealthyapron’s avatar

        Nothing was really ever off limits in my household…I suppose I was lucky in that respect!


      4. Sandra’s avatar

        Interesting recipe, and I just love it!!! Looks really delicious!


      5. Kate @ Diethood.com’s avatar

        I fear frying, too! I do it when it’s an absolute must, but I really try to avoid it as much as possible.
        My parents never allowed us to drink coke or pepsi. To this day I can’t look at the stuff… I just stick with water. Oh but I will have coke in a mixed drink like bacardi – coke. :)


      6. Leeanne’s avatar

        My parents didn’t forbid much in the way of food. Nor did they force us to eat vegetables. It’s probably why I’m discovering them on my own in my late 20s.

        My mother would forbid the REALLY egregious sugary cereals (Count Chocula, etc.) but somehow it was okay for us to have things like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

        My mother has also admitted to me that if she had to parent all over again, she would pay much more attention to organic and whole foods – knowing just how much crap is out there.


      7. Leeanne’s avatar

        As for frying, we bought a deep fryer on a whim three years ago and now we NEVER use it, unless my husband is making wings for a party. The house smells terrible when we’re done with it, and the fried-oil stench lingers for days. If anything, we pan fry, but we don’t even do a lot of that.


      8. Elizabeth’s avatar

        I knew sugary cereals would make multiple appearances here. Lucky Charms and the like were allowed maybe once a year. Other than that not much. It’s so funny the things you want so much as a kid only to grow up and lose interest in them.


      9. Megan’s avatar

        Sounds so wrong coming from me, but I love sloppy Joes made with Manwich. Ha ha. We got to eat pretty much anything we wanted.

        The fish cakes sound so good, and those teeny potatoes are adorable.


      10. alicia’s avatar

        I love fish cakes – my grandma makes fish cakes at christmas with salt cod – don’t tell her — but I like the idea of fresh/frozen cod much much better!

        I couldn’t have chocolatey cereals, so I really enjoyed the cocoa krispies when I was in college!


      11. John @emptyplateadventures’s avatar

        I don’t fry very often but there’s is one thing I think people miss. In fact, it’s a mistake cooks all too often make. When people fry foods, they often times they turn the fire down while cooking. That’s how the grease gets into the food.


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