Archive for June 2013

Bacon Wrapped Salmon Cakes



Bacon Wrapped Salmon Cakes
Everything's better with bacon! Right?! This is a great option if you are looking for something that appears a little "fancier" for special occasions, dinner parties, or just to get in touch with your "iron chef". It is simple, delicious, and best of all--low carb!
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
  • 2 pounds of wild caught fresh, frozen or 2 cans wild caught salmon
  • 1 package of bacon
  • ¼ cup very finely diced onion
  • ¼ cup very finely diced bell pepper (optional)
  • 2 minced garlic cloves or garlic powder
  • 3 T parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp mustard (Dijon is best)
  • spices of choice (I use salt, pepper, garlic, and herb blend)
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 yellow squash or zucchini
  • 1 onion
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook salmon in skillet (heat canned salmon if using to cook off the juice) You want it to be flaky and have no extra juice
  3. Let salmon cool while dicing onion, garlic, bell pepper, etc
  4. Mix cooled salmon with onion, bell pepper, garlic, parmesan, egg, mustard and spices to make a thick mixture
  5. Cut bacon slices in half. Lay bacon slices on buttered cookie sheet with rim. Use your hand to scoop about ¼ cup of salmon mixture and roll into a ball. Wrap the bacon around the salmon and pin with toothpick (not necessary, but makes eating easier)
  6. Place on cookie sheet and repeat until all salmon mixture is used up.
  7. Place into oven and cook about 15-20 minutes until cooked through and until bacon is crispy.
  8. While those are cooking, sauté peeled and sliced squash/zucchini and onion into skillet with butter and spices and cook until soft.
  9. Boil asparagus for 2-3 minutes, remove from water and sauté with butter and spices (garlic and salt) in same skillet (get squash mix out first) for 1 minute or so.

Salmon is hands down my favorite fish & this recipe was one of my favorites I’ve ever made…come to think of it, I’ve never used salmon in a recipe! Always just grilled with vegetables on the side. It was nice to have some variety and it was a hit at my house. You get a great dose of Omega 3’s with the salmon & it is bursting with flavor. Left overs the next day are even better than the day before! You will love it!  Whats your favorite fish dish?


“What if obesity is a coping mechanism for something far more sinister going on underneath the cell?”

Peter Attia, MD is a favorite blogger of mine who presented this talk at a recent TedMed conference.

For anyone interested in obesity treatment, diabetes, and healthy nutrition it is a must watch video.

Let me know what you think.

Peter Attia, MD at TedMed


Low carb pancakes

LC pancakes

Cream Cheese Pancakes

2oz. cream cheese (reduced fat)

2 eggs

1 packet stevia sweetener

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

1/4 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp vanilla

Put all ingredients in a blender or magic bullet. Blend until smooth. Let rest for 2 minutes so that the bubbles can settle. Pour 1/4 of the batter into a hot pan greased with butter or coconut oil. Cook approx. 2 mins. until golden, flip and cook 1 min. on other side. (Don’t flip too early or they will crack). Repeat with the rest of the batter. Serve with sugar-free syrup or yogurt on top with berries or peaches. Makes approx. 4 pancakes. Double for larger batch.

Keep in mind that some sugar-free pancakes have sugar alcohols which still raise your blood sugar, so I recommend using Maple Grove Farms, Vermont Sugar Free syrup (purchase at Kroger or Wal-mart) OR my favorite option for flavored sugar-free syrup is: (Available online).

This is a surprisingly satisfying substitute for reg. pancakes. And you won’t have the sleepy feeling that usually comes afterwards. It has a good dose of protein and NO carbs!  They are like a thin crepe and a nice treat for Sunday morning breakfast!

Credits: Recipe modified from Big Oven-iphone app.


Health in Nigeria

Health in Nigeria

​As I write this we are preparing to head out on a medical mission trip to Nigeria. The contrasts between health care in the U.S. vs. a country like Nigeria are so striking. Nigeria is the most populous black country in the world. Over 70% of its population is considered poor with an average annual income of $2,600. Average life expectancy is 47 years in Nigeria while 68 years is the world-wide average and 79 years is the current U.S. average. About one out of every six Nigerians dies before age five.

​We Americans tend to die of diseases of excess or ones that naturally become more prevalent with advanced age: heart disease and cancer are way out in the lead, with chronic lung disease (mostly from smoking), stroke, and accidents rounding out the top five. Eating, smoking and drinking too much, and exercising too little, play heavily into these diseases.

In Nigeria, 8 of the top 10 causes of death involve infectious diseases with the top spots going to HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, malaria, diarrheal diseases and measles. Tuberculosis and whooping cough also appear in the top 10 causes of death in Nigeria. In contrast, the top 10 causes for the U.S. only includes one infectious disease category with the combination of flu and pneumonia coming in at number nine.

Why such a difference in the causes of death? The answers are numerous:
• Lack of adequate water sanitation
• Lack of consistent food sanitation
• Poor nutrition
• Low immunization rates
• Marginal pest controls
• Low availability of quality medical care
And so, the list of diseases that I never see here in the states, but with which I need some familiarity, is a bit mind-boggling: diseases like yellow fever, typhoid, guinea worm, dengue fever, river blindness, lassa fever, hepatitis, schistosomiasis, and even plague. In contrast, chronic diseases that we treat so commonly here, such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and elevated cholesterol, won’t even show up on my radar. The people we will be seeing will not have access to the kind of ongoing follow-up that would be needed to effectively treat these. Likewise, the infectious diseases we have mentioned are much more likely to cut short their life than arteries getting blocked by plaque from cholesterol.

​Our group of 11, including my spry 87 year old father-in-law, realize our efforts are the proverbial drop in the bucket in a land of such need. But we hope our labors will be a tangible expression of concern and compassion, done in the name of Christ as we seek to bring a small bit of relief to a few. And the experience of working in these needy places is always a reminder of how materially blessed we are in our own country. This is always an eye-opening experience for me, and in this case, for my teenage youngest daughter as well. Blessings!

Andrew Smith, MD is board-certified in Family Medicine and practices at 1503 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville. Contact him at 982-0835