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Monday, November 11, 2013

Whole30: Salmon Cakes

Most of you know that last Monday (11/4/13), JR and I started a Whole30.  If you haven't heard of this or ever done one, I urge you to read up about it and give it a whirl.  It's 30 days of no sugar, no alcohol, nothing processed, no legumes, no dairy, no grains (of any kind, including seeds like quinoa that mimic grains), and no soy.  Yes, I realize that soy IS a legume, but because it is in nearly EVERYTHING in the aisles of the grocery store, it needs to be mentioned in its own category. If 30 days of this sounds impossible to you, then you most definitely need to do this.  After all, it's only 30 days!  (Trust me when I say that if you--for instance--get seven days into this and try one tiny Reese's peanut butter cup, you'll want to continue with the Whole30 way of eating past the 30 days...not that this happened to me...this morning...)

Anyway, I've made lovely, wonderful, REAL food for a week now!  Thus far, our two favorite things have been some Mexican oven-braised beef short ribs and some salmon cakes.  In this post, I'm going to show you the salmon cakes!  Mmmmm--seriously, go get the things for it right now and make them tonight.  I made a bunch last night to freeze, just so I can have them whenever I want!

I found the original recipe on Everyday Maven, and though it is wonderfully Whole30 compliant as is, I tweaked it a little (solely because of the flavors I was wanting at the time--I'm going to try the original recipe next time!).  So here it is!

Whole30/Paleo Salmon Cakes

1 can (14.75oz) wild-caught salmon (I get the kind with bones and skin...pick out the few bones, leave in the skin)
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 large egg
1/2 cup almond meal (you can use almond flour if you want--I only have almond meal in the house at the moment)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
2 Tbsp minced fresh dill (or 2 tsp dried)
2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin
2 Tbsp minced shallot
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt (pink Himalayan sea salt FTW!)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp liquid fat*

* I list "liquid fat" because I'm leaving it up to you as to which fat you use.  Olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, clarified butter...these are all great choices.

1.  Preheat the oven to 425.  Put parchment paper on a baking sheet and set aside.

2.  Drain salmon and crumble fish into a large bowl.  Add all ingredients except for the liquid fat and mix until well-combined.  Chill 5-10 minutes.

3.  Brush parchment paper with liquid fat.  Using a 1/3 C measuring cup, fill and gently pack with salmon mixture.  Drop onto the parchment paper (I had to whack my cup on the baking sheet and it plopped right out).  Cakes will be about 2.5" wide and 1" thick (or thereabouts).

4.  Bake for 20 minutes, flip salmon cakes, and bake another 10 minutes.

I served these over a salad with a Paleo Ranch dressing (I actually made it up as I went along, but then found an almost identical recipe the next day!).  If you want to make the dressing, it is as follows:

3-ish Tbsp Paleo mayo (if you don't want to pay upwards of $7 for a jar of it, make your own for a couple bucks--it's one egg, some lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and dry mustard)
1 Tbsp almond milk (it goes without saying that you shouldn't be using a sweetened or vanilla form of almond milk for a Ranch dressing...)
salt and pepper
garlic powder
onion powder

Don't go overboard with the seasoning amounts.  In that small of a wet amount, we're talking a pinch or two of each.  Put everything in a bowl and stir.  That's it. 

Have fun and happy Whole30-ing!

You can't tell from the picture, but Dr. Habib ate three of these suckers for his dinner and was a VERY happy camper!