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Fish Cakes with a Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Great as a meal or an hors d’oeuvre for the holiday

Fish is an excellent dietary source of protein that helps us maintain strong muscles and lean body mass, and the consumption of oily fish, like sardines, is linked to many health benefits.

Omega 3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, help to reduce the risk of heart disease, protect from cancer as well as certain types of dementia and arthritis, and improve mental function (1) (2).

As an excellent source of many essential nutrients and health benefits, you may want to give this quick, simple recipe a try to help increase your nutrient intake and overall health this holiday season!

A Few Health Benefits of Sardines

Sardines are small ocean fish found in many bodies of water like the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean. As one of the smaller fish, feeding on plankton, sardines do not contain the high levels of mercury found in larger fish, which makes them a safer choice for getting many essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s play a key structural role in cell membranes, especially those of the brain and retina, and are instrumental in the formation of signaling molecules (eicosanoids) that play key roles in cardiovascular, immune, and endocrine functions (3).

In addition to healthy fats, sardines also provide other important nutrients like vitamins A and B12 and minerals like calcium and selenium (4). Vitamin A is important for proper growth, vision, and immune health as it stimulates the production and function of white blood cells (5). Normal nerve function, red blood cell formation, and DNA synthesis all require vitamin B12, of which sardines are an excellent source (4) (6). As a rich source of calcium and selenium, sardine consumption aids bone health and proper thyroid gland function and protects against infections and free radical damage (7).

Fish Cakes with a Spicy Yogurt Sauce Recipe:

Fish Cakes:
8 ounces sardines (canned in olive oil)
¼ cup yogurt, plain whole milk with no added sugar
¼ cup flaxseed, ground
1 egg
2 tsp. old bay seasoning*
2-3 twigs of thyme, fresh

Spicy Yogurt Sauce:
½ cup yogurt, plain whole milk with no added sugar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. cayenne powder (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

(*old bay seasoning: celery seed, dry mustard, parsley, paprika, allspice, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes)


Fish Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl beat the egg, and add the seasonings, sardines, flaxseed, and yogurt. Remove the stem from the thyme and stir the thyme into the mixture.

Scoop about ¼ cup of mixture onto the baking sheet, and repeat this step until the mixture is used. Bake for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and firm.

Spicy Yogurt Sauce:

While the fish cakes are baking, use a medium-sized mixing bowl and combine all of the yogurt ingredients. Refrigerate the sauce until you are ready to serve the fish cakes.

Note: you can adjust the size of your fish cakes to serve them as dinner (larger) or hors d’oeuvre (smaller).

Serving the fish cakes as a dinner?…this dish pairs nicely with wild rice or baked sweet potatoes, and a side salad, or roasted veggies. Here's another side dish recipe.

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