These delicious cheesy croquettes were quite a surprise, considering I just started throwing stuff from the fridge into the skillet, having forgotten to defrost any major meat for dinner. After Texas’ horrific arctic blast of single-digit temps in February, we all lost a lot of landscape shrubs and trees. Over 3 months now of digging up dead ones, pruning those struggling to stay alive and as always, finding a few new ones I’d like to try. So lately I’m choosing to work in my garden over cooking. I often ‘overdo’ it in the garden, and fatigue blocks my energy to cook dinner………………..so meals on such days are real simple.
My husband loved these and ate three! We both agreed this one’s a keeper for a simple, quick meal. There’s just enough cheese in these to pull all the flavor layers together and to facilitate browning but you can use less if you need to pull the sodium count down a bit. To these I chose to use a hint of Cajun seasoning, but you can use any favorite seasoning blend you like to enhance smoked meats. These tasty patties are suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint followers. With the cheese, they are not acceptable for Paleo.
2 c. cooked spaghetti squash threads (half medium squash)
6 oz. smoked sausage (I use Burton’s)
2 slices thick-slice bacon
1 tsp. bacon grease (if bacon too lean)
1 oz. each red and green bell pepper
1½ oz. yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash black pepper
3/4 tsp. my Cajun Seafood Spice Blend (or spices of your choice)
2T. + 1 tsp. golden flax meal
1 large egg, beaten
1½ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mozzarella)
VARIATION: Use different cheese of choice; use diced shrimp.
DIRECTIONS: Cook the squash with your preferred method. You will only be using half the squash for this recipe, so reserve the rest in the fridge for another use. I cut the stem end off my squash, cut the squash in half lengthwise and microwave face down in a dab of water for about 13 minutes. With a towel, hold the cooked squash in one hand and fork out the threads onto a cutting board. Chop, place into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
On a cutting board chop the onion, red pepper & green pepper fairly small. Next chop the sausage & bacon into 1/4″ dice. Over medium-high heat, cook the bacon & sausage in a skillet until nearly done. Add chopped veggies to the pan and cook all until thoroughly cooked and veggies are softened. I had to add 1 tsp. bacon grease to the pan (included in the fat number below) as my bacon was so lean. You can leave that out if your bacon is fatty enough to fry the mixture properly. Remove from heat and spoon over the squash threads in your bowl. Add garlic, pepper and Cajun Seafood Spice Blend and stir to mix. Add the cheese shreds, beaten egg, flax meal and again stir to blend well. Let mixture rest a few minutes for the egg and flax to properly set up.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle to medium-high. Using a serving spoon, spoon out 8 fairly equal portions of the mixture on the hot griddle. Slightly press the mixture piles flatter. DO NOT move these around as they are quite fragile until they are browned on one side. When the first side is browned upon peeking, quickly flip them to the other side and brown as shown in the photo. You don’t want to under-brown these as it is the browning of the mixture at pan contact that helps them taste their best. I served these with a bowl of buttered broccoli, but they would be nice with any green vegetable or a lovely salad.
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 8 croquettes, each contains:
191 cals, 14g fat, 5.75g carbs, 2.11g fiber, 3.64g NET CARBS, 11.7g protein, 484 mg sodium