Summer Eats. Poor Man’s Crab Cake {Tuna Cakes}

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My Husband and I absolutely love a good crab cake. You know, the kind that has huge chunks of meat and is not overloaded with breading or overpowering flavors. It is simple, fresh and full of natural flavors. Ah, so good. Well, unfortunately we cannot afford to eat them all that often because a good crab meat is so expensive. I was craving crab cakes on our tuna budget the other day so I had to come up with something to satisfy that craving. This is how my “Poor Man’s Crab Cake” came to be…I hope you try it and are just as pleasantly surprised by it’s flavor. My husband even made the comment that these could fool you to thinking you are really biting into a crab cake!

 

The most important ingredient in this is getting the right tuna. The tuna I used is from Costco, if you have a Costco near you please go by yourself this little treasure. The brand is Wild Planet. It is 100% pole and troll caught wild albacore tuna. It is NOT in water or oil, just the natural tuna juices, which is one reason this tuna is so good. The label reads perfectly so I will just quote it for you:

You’ve never tasted tuna like this before! We hand-cut and pack delicious, premium tuna steaks in a micro-cannery process. All the Omega 3 oils are retained and no liquid is added; please don’t drain. We selected smaller albacore which accumulate less mercury than the larger albacore typically used by conventional tuna companies. Wild Plant packs 100% pure tuna! No water, oil or fillers added. No BPA used in can lining.”

The label is not misleading by any means, what they say is what you get with this little can. It truly is a tuna “steak” and comes in one nice big piece, this makes it perfect for cutting bigger chunks for the tuna cake recipe. It is around $10.00-$11.00 for 6/5oz cans. Although when I bought it Costco had a coupon making them only $9.00! Gotta love Costco.

Here is what the packaging looks like:

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Poor Man’s Crab Cake {Tuna Cakes}

Makes 6-8 cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans 10oz Wild Planet tuna (not drained)
  • 1/2 c. plain bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T. mayonaise (*see note at bottom on organic mayo tips)
  • 2 T. parsley, chopped
  • 1 sprig green onion, chopped
  • 1 t. old bay
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • organic olive or grape seed oil, for frying
  • 1 lemon, for squeezing on cakes after they are finished
  • Tomato, lettuce and raw cheddar cheese for the toppings

Preparation:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Form the cakes to your desired size
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium/high heat
  4. Add your cakes to the pan, I fit 8 in a pan
  5. Sprinkle more old bay on them before flipping
  6. Fry until brown on both sides, about 4 minutes each side
  7. Serve warm on a toasted bun, I found some really yummy cheddar buns at the store

**Tips for buying mayo:

Your typical store bought, white and creamy mayo is full of GMO’s. I have to admit, it is really yummy and finding a good alternative won’t happen. Although there are some options out there. You can find this brand:

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Spectrum Organic Olive Oil Mayonnaise at most health food stores and it is a decent alternative.

 

 

Or I have found some recipes for making your own. Here is one that I have not tried, but it looks pretty good! Here is a video tutorial on the recipe via Girl Meets Nourishmenthttp://girlmeetsnourishment.com/gmnwordpress1/how-to-make-lacto-fermented-mayo/

 

 

 

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Ain’t Your Grandma’s Coleslaw {gluten & dairy free}

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I have never been a huge fan of the mayo based coleslaw or even cabbage itself. Just not my taste. But, as I have been reading various articles I knew that cabbage was a vegetable I wanted to add more of in my diet. It is rich in fiber, vitamin C, a natural detoxifier and has even shown signs of reducing risk of cancer. I just needed to make a recipe that suited my taste buds, but could never bring myself to buy it.

Low and behold, last week in my farmers market basket (my local organic co-op) what did I get? A huge head of cabbage! I knew this was my opportunity to make it shine and shine it did in this coleslaw. Everyone loved it and it did not last long around here.

I hope you enjoy it!

Ain’t Your Grandma’s Coleslaw

Ingredients:

Salad.

1 lg. head of green cabbage, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 small onion
1/2 c. cilantro

Dressing.

1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 T. sesame oil
1 t. ground ginger
3-4 T. raw sugar

Preparation:

In a small bowl whisk the dressing together and set aside.
Cut up all veggie and place in a large bowl.
Toss with dressing and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Day Forty Nine. Revenge Of The Sugar Demon.

Day Forty Nine.

 

Can I just say living with small children in a world surrounded by sugary treats, packaged in boxes plastered with their favorite TV and movie characters is SO HARD. Not to mention all the super cute birthday parties they go to with cakes, cupcakes, cookies and candy all begging for them to consume them…in large quantities. Drive through fast food chains with bright colored signs and the most fun looking playgrounds conveniently placed right in the front of the store, and do not forget all those toys they “give” you in a kids meal. Marketing to kids does not stop there. It continues to toothpaste, soaps, lotions and even medication. My kids are bombarded daily with reminders that we “eat differently” now and it has been a source of constant discussion to “why” we cannot eat this or buy that. Topping the list off my son, poor thing, for the time being has to eat a gluten free diet. This causes even more questioning to why Sissy gets to eat that sandwich bread and he has to eat the grainy, smaller gluten free piece.

 

You might think I am complaining, I am not, really. I am just even more aware recently to how addicting processed foods can become, not only with the way they taste, but also with the novelty of their favorite characters being on them. If Cinderella and Spiderman like fruit snacks then they must be good for you and you better believe your kids will beg just to hold that box. We have been on a journey to eat no processed foods or foods containing GMO’s over the last few months. It has been hard, but oh so good. However, recently I have found myself “slacking” when we are out. Letting my kids eat a piece of candy at a birthday party or giving them a cookie while in Publix (my friend just started a blog and she has a hilarious post about Publix here). I have become lazy and it is paying, the sugar demon has emerged and it.is.nasty.

 

One taste of processed sugar after several months of eating a clean diet and now my kids are begging constantly for sugar. It is crazy how quickly your body remembers the pleasures of processed sugary treats and once you eat one you cannot stop. Your body only craves more and more. It is a vicious cycle.

 

One addiction for this Mommy is in the form of drinks. I know, you are never supposed to drink your calories. I love coffee, specifically Starbucks. Their drinks are so bad for you and I know that, but for some reason (sugar demon?) I keep wanting to go back for more. Do you find this is the same for you? Maybe it isn’t Starbucks, but some other guilty pleasure? Please tell me it is not just me 🙂

 

Here is a healthier recipe for one of my favorite cold drinks at Starbucks: Sweetened Iced Passion Tea Lemonade.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 3 Tazo Passion tea bags
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 c. raw sugar
  • Lots of water and ice

Preparation:

  1. Boil a full tea kettle of water
  2. Place 3 tea bags in a large, 1/2 gallon pitcher
  3. When the water has boiled pour over tea bags and let it steep for 5 minutes
  4. Remove tea bags and stir in sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice
  5. Add cold water to fill the pitcher
  6. Serve over ice and a slice of lemon

Have a happy and healthy Memorial Day!

 

 

Cinco de Mayo, Recipe #4 {Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup)

I absolutely love using the slow-cooker. The only down side is most recipes are gross. They turn out mushy and just taste bleh. However, there are a couple recipes I have done recently that utilize the slow-cooker and happen to taste wonderful. This soup recipe being one of them. You can double the recipe, eat half and freeze half. It holds up well in the freezer and does not taste watered down when thawed.

 

Why don’t you throw this soup in the slow-cooker tomorrow morning? You can enjoy your Cinco de Mayo festivities, maybe even have a nice cold margarita, while your dinner cooks for you!

 

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic whole chicken, meat removed from bone and shredded 
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 can organic kidney beans
  • 1 can organic diced tomato’s
  • 1 can organic corn kernels
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium orange pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 handfuls cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (seeds removed if you do not like spicy)
  • 2 c. organic chicken stock
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. paprika

Preparation:

  1. Throw everything into your slow cooker and turn on low. Let it cook for 6-8 hours.
  2. Serve topped with shredded cheese, fresh cilantro and a dab of organic sour cream.

 

Cinco de Mayo, Recipe #2 {fresh salsa}

Fresh Salsa. I can go overboard when it comes to salsa. I love the chips/dip combo and salsa is one of my favorites. This recipe is SO easy and super cheap. This is my basic salsa recipe and it can easily be jazzed up with corn, grilled peaches, mangos, etc.

I said it was cheap and I really mean it. You cannot get a fresher organic salsa in this quantity for this price. Here is what I spent to make 32 oz of salsa.

  • $.69 (6) roma tomatoes @Aldi
  • $.86 (1) medium white onion @ Publix
  • $.15 (1) large jalapeño @ Publix
  • $.79 (1) bunch cilantro @ Publix
  • $1.69 (1) can 14.5oz Muir Glen organic  fire roasted tomatoes @ Publix
  • Spices (had on hand): cumin, kosher salt, garlic powder, olive oil

TOTAL = $4.18 

Here is the recipe. Feel free to be creative, add to it and play around with your taste buds. Let me know the variations you come up with and how it turned out!

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Fresh Salsa.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion, diced finely
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (you can add less if you would like, I just love cilantro!)
  • 1 14.5oz can Muir Glen organic fire roasted tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 6 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 T. olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Chop all the ingredients and mix in a large bowl. 
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.