A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Quick and Healthy Cakes for Dinner

No, not the fluffy sweet versions; I’m talking about mini tuna (or salmon, crab, chicken, beans, etc.) cakes you can customize to your liking. Do you like crab cakes? I love crab, but if you haven’t noticed, crab can be pretty expensive and canned tuna or salmon works just as fine for lower a cost. Plus the crab cakes at restaurants are usually cooked in too much butter/oil and white breadcrumbs….no thanks.

I was inspired to make my own version after reading about a salmon cake recipe in Runner’s World Magazine. The versatility of the ingredients makes the cakes easy to accommodate multiple tastes (i.e. spouse, kids, etc.). Along with the versatility, the ingredients are commons staples most of us have around the kitchen already.

Here is what I used to make one of our work lunches for the week; this will serve about 4 people as long as there are sides:


- 2 (5oz) Cans of No Salt Added Tuna; use crab, chicken, mashed beans, etc if you don’t have the tuna
- About 8oz of your favorite salsa; the amount varies, just eyeball it and add more towards the end if needed
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach or collard greens; thawed and drained of excess water
- 2 tablespoons brown mustard
- 1 whole egg or 2 egg whites
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- Ground black pepper to taste; no need for salt as there should be enough in the salsa and mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne; I use more (sorry, Kelley), just adjust as you would like
- 1 tablespoon dried cilantro


- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix to incorporate well. Scoop the mix into a lightly oiled 12 cup muffin pan (I used 9 of the 12 cups) and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven (should have a nice brown crust on top) and let cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Top each cake with extra salsa and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Serve with a big side of steamed veggies and, if desired, your grain of choice.
Using oats provides a lot more nutrition than the usual breadcrumbs you see in most recipes, and salsa makes for adding a quick mix of tomatoes, peppers, and onions. If you have more time, add fresh cut bell peppers and sauté some onions and garlic before adding to your mixture. If you don’t use salsa, adding a little extra salt will help with flavor…just not too much!
1 Work Lunch Ready to Go!

These are a great weeknight meal idea for something different. Just make extras and bring to work for lunch the next day…perfect! And, as I mentioned before, there is no set recipe for this. I used ingredients representative of Spanish food, but I think next time will be something Greek themed. Instead of salsa and brown mustard, I think Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and dill would make for a totally different, yet still tasty….errr cake.

Do you have a good idea for ingredients to make your own mini cake? Please post to comments on your version if you feel like sharing.

1 comment:

  1. That sound great! You can make them when you and Kelley come to visit later this month! We'll go shop for all the ingredients together so I can make them later for Steve and me.