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Something’s Fishy…or Not by Johanna Hicks

Something’s Fishy…or Not by Johanna Hicks
  • PublishedAugust 4, 2017

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You have probably heard that the recommendation for fish consumption is two times a week.  Sometimes, that is easier said than done.   Some people are afraid of cooking seafood because of the food safety aspect.  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension can help you so you can confidently cook seafood safely with these tips!

1)      Avoid cross-contamination.  Handle raw and cooked seafood products separately.  Thoroughly clean and rinse your work space between each step.  This includes, cleaning knives, cutting boards, and containers used during preparation.  Plexiglas or plastic cutting boards are preferred over wooden cutting boards that cannot be sanitized properly.  Keep raw and cooked seafood from coming in contact with each other.

2)      Cook fish and seafood thoroughly.  Fish is cooked when it turns opaque and reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.  Follow processor’s directions when preparing frozen, packaged seafood products.

Extension’s “Dinner Tonight” has a multitude of fish and seafood recipes.  The featured ingredient of the week is salmon.  When selecting salmon, look for bright, firm, orange-pink flesh in fresh salmon.  Salmon is high in protein and Vitamin D, and is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega 3’s from food have been studied thoroughly and are found to hold numerous benefits, including eye and heart health, and they may improve brain, joint, and bone health, among other benefits.

One of the staple items that you will find in my pantry is canned salmon.  Salmon patties are easy to make and very economical.  Try this recipe for a tasty main dish.


–  One (14.75 ounce) can reduced-sodium salmon, drained and flaked

–  1 teaspoon lemon juice

–  1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

–  1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

–  1/4 cup egg substitute (or use one raw egg)

–  1 small onion, chopped

–  1/4 cup shredded, reduced-fat cheddar cheese

–  1 Tablespoon dried parsley

–  1 teaspoon garlic powder

–  1/4 teaspoon black pepper

–  1 Tablespoon shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, for coating


1)       Combine salmon, lemon juice, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, egg, onion, cheddar cheese, parsley, garlic powder, and black pepper; mix well.

2)       Shape into four large patties.

3)      Dust lightly with parmesan cheese.

4)      Chill for 20 minutes.

5)       Lightly coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

6)      Bake at 375° for 20 minutes, 10 minutes on each side of the patty.

Nutrition information:

Calories 220, Calories from Fat 70, Total Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 2.5g, Cholesterol 60mg, Sodium 240mg, Total Carbohydrate 12g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 2g, Protein 25g

If you want an idea for a very quick, simple recipe, try Apple Tuna Salad, using a 12-ounce can of tuna (canned in water), and add one small chopped apple, ¼ cup fat-free or low-fat vanilla yogurt, and 1 teaspoon each of honey and mustard.  Combine ingredients and serve on whole wheat bread or crackers.  This recipe makes about 3 servings.

For more recipes using fish and seafood, go to Extension’s Dinner Tonight website, at  You will also see options to watch recipe demonstration videos and sign up for weekly e-mail blasts.


Save $60 on a Marriage License

August slipped up on me and I need to get busy on marketing some upcoming programs!  Twogether in Texas Marriage Education Workshop will take place on Saturday, July 26, at the Extension Office, 1200 W. Houston Street (next door to the Southwest Dairy Museum).  We will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at approximately 3:30 p.m.  The workshop is free and lunch will be provided.  However, I DO need couples to call to reserve seats so I can make adequate preparations – 903-885-3443.

Engaged couples will be given a certificate to save $60 upon applying for a marriage license.  The State of Texas has determined that couples who start off on a strong footing have stronger marriages, and that is the purpose of this workshop!  Married couples are also welcome to attend.

Topics covered will be marriage expectations, communication, conflict resolution, money management, and goals & dreams.  Water, coffee, and refreshments will also be provided, but please call!


Cooking Well with Diabetes

The revised curriculum is finally here!  If you or someone you know would like to learn more about preparing healthy, diabetic-friendly meals, this series is for you!  The four-lesson series is scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, September 12, 14, 19, and 21, at the Extension Office.  A fee of $25, payable at the first session, will cover materials, recipe demonstrations and sampling, door prizes, and great information for preparing delicious, nutritious, healthy meals.  Please call 903-885-3443 to sign up.


Closing Thought

I’m blessed by the number of people who told me they missed my column last week.  I was on a much-needed family vacation, but I’m back in town now.  Thanks for your kind comments!



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