Monday, May 10, 2010

Paula Deen's Lean: Faux Crab Cakes

For some insane reason that I cannot explain, I have developed a shell fish allergy in my adult age. Needless to say, this makes me extremely sad. There was once a time in my life where I enjoyed the occasional indulgence of lobster dipped in melted butter or steamed shrimp covered in Ol' Bay. It still looks and sounds mouthwatering to me, but my body does not agree. My shellfish-eatin' days are over.

If I had never experienced life as a shellfish eater, then I wouldn't know what I'm missing. But I did. And that is OK, 'cause you know what "they" say, "Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." Well crab cakes, I did love you and since we just weren't getting along like we used to...I had no choice but to move on. Please meet my new love...faux crab cakes.

It's not what you are thinking; no imitation crab here. These delicious pan-fried cakes are made out of tuna. Check out how to make these shellfish-free, lean, fast and extremely affordable cakes.

Serves 4 (2 cakes each)


1/4 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise dressing

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 tablespoon sweet relish

1 egg, beaten

2 (6-ounce) cans tuna fish (in water)

Cooking spray; for frying 

1/2 cup PANKO bread crumbs

1 pinch salt

1 pinch pepper

Lemon juice, optional

Heat large skillet over medium heat; coating with cooking spray. While skillet is heating, combine tuna, beaten egg, onion, mayonnaise dressing, 1/4 cup PANKO bread crumbs, salt, pepper and lemon juice, to taste, if desired. Form into patties and dust with additional bread crumbs. When skillet is hot, fry patty until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove and serve alone or over a green salad.

I was really impressed with the flavor in these faux crab cakes. Sometimes canned tuna can be a little strong, but there wasn't an overwhelming tuna taste or aroma to these. They are closer to crab cakes than I had imagined. I give them an A+.

I put my tuna cakes right over a green salad and drizzled a little bit of light ranch on top to complete the meal. This is a great, last minute meal to throw together that is healthy and light. I always have these ingredients (except for the Panko) on hand. By the way, if you have not used PANKO yet, I strongly encourage using it in place of regular bread crumbs. They are Japeneese bread crumbs and in 1/2 cup, there are only about 100 calories and 25 g of carbohydrates! For breading, that isn't bad at all. I am going to try making some oven baked onion rings using PANKO. I'll keep you all posted on the outcome.

I can see myself making this dish quite a bit over the summer, since I will be home for lunch. I eat tuna at least once or twice a week for lunch anyway. This gives me another way to switch it up and keep lunch exciting.

Give it a try. You won't be disappointed!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 169 calories;  2.69g fat;  10.35g carbohydrate;  24.27g protein;  .25g fiber

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