Mediterranean Salmon Cakes


This recipe for yummy Mediterranean Salmon Cakes was developed by my good friend and long-time collaborator, Regina Ragone.

She shares her story growing up with fish during Lent, something you may remember as well...

As a kid I remember eating fish mainly during Lent, usually in the form of fish sticks, fried shrimp or fillet of sole. I always looked forward to it but it wasn’t a regular part of our family’s meal repertoire. Fast-forward many years and, even though there is an ocean of fish available most of us still aren’t making it a regular part of our dinner rotation.

Health experts generally recommend about 250 to 500 milligrams of omega-3s per day, on average, for healthy people and 1,000 milligrams (1 gram) per day for people with heart disease. The average American is woefully short of that. One of the obstacles to eating more fish is that it’s perishable so when you buy it you have to cook it in a day or two. With busy schedules, as much as we know it will help us, most of us don’t plan so buying a piece of fish is a commitment we may not be able to keep. The other issue is price, since fish is more costly than most other proteins many people are afraid to make the investment unless they can be assured it will come out perfectly.

Solutions to both those quandaries may already be sitting in your pantry. Regular canned salmon, with skin and bones, has about 10 to 14 grams of total fat per 4 ounces (about ½ cup), which provides about 2,000 milligrams of omega-3s. Skinless, boneless, "premium" canned salmon has much less total fat (about 3 to 4 grams per 4 ounces), and thus only about 650 milligrams of omega-3s. A few easy ways to get more is flaked on top of a salad, made into an actual salad or in our crave-worthy patty recipe below.

 Mediterranean Salmon Cakes

 Makes 4 servings

 Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 21 minutes

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely diced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

15 ounces canned salmon, drained, or 1½ cups cooked salmon

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1½ cups fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Heat 1½ teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in dill; remove from the heat.
  3. Place salmon in a medium bowl. Flake apart with a fork; remove any bones and skin.
  4. Mix well. Add the onion mixture, egg, mustard, breadcrumbs and pepper; mix well. Shape the mixture into 8 patties. You can also make these patties smaller or cut in half after they are cooked for your bariatric portion. 
  5. Heat remaining oil in the pan over medium heat. Add 4 patties and cook until the undersides are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn them over onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining patties.
  6. Bake the salmon cakes until golden on top and heated through about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve over salad, vegetables or on with Yogurt Dill Sauce if desired.

Per serving: 287 calories, 10 g fat (2 Sat), 18 g carbs, 31 g protein, 2 g fiber

1,250 mg Omega 3’s

 Yogurt Dill Sauce

Combine ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt with ½ cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber, 2 tablespoons chopped dill and 1/8 tsp salt.

As a culinary dietitian and independent consultant for Pampered Chef, Regina's committed to creating better-for-you recipes for savvy cooks as well as beginners in the kitchen and shows you the techniques and tools to help create them.

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