Recently I came across an article from Sparkpeople called the Top 10 Healthiest Foods You’ve Never Tried. I love Sparkpeople as a resource to track my daily calorie and macronutrient intake, and its sister website Sparkrecipes for calculating out nutritional content for my recipes. However, I have to say I disagreed with this list. If you take a peek, I think you might agree with me that none of the foods are all that uncommon or strange. In fact, a few of them – edamame, shrimp, pomegranate, lentils and quinoa – are some of my favorite things to eat and cook with. There was just one item on the list, however, that surprised me. And that is canned salmon. I love salmon, but I never really thought good things about canned salmon. I tried it once for a salmon patty recipe that didn’t turn out so well, so that was the end of my experience. Never really thought about putting it on salads or adding to other dishes. And on top of that, I was completely stumped on why the article specified canned salmon – why would that be any healthier than fresh? Well, it turns out that while fresh salmon is available wild or farmed, canned salmon is always wild, and wild contains more omega-3 fatty acids and is more environmentally sound. And of course, canned is a cheaper alternative to fresh.
So, my curiosity got to me and I decided to give canned salmon a shot again. I quickly came across this Cooking Light recipe for Wasabi Salmon Burgers with Cilantro Edamame Pesto. It was particularly appealing because it also contained another of the Top 10 Foods – edamame, replacing most of the oil and all of the nuts in a traditional pesto. Actually, that pesto sounded quite fabulous to me.
I made the burgers pretty close to the recipe as written, with just a few small changes. I served them on Arnold Sandwich Thins, our current 100-calorie favorite for burgers and breakfast sandwiches alike. These came out moist and flavorful, and the leftovers were great for lunch the next day too. The wasabi flavor really gave them a nice kick, and as I expected, the pesto was delicious! I could see making the pesto again to just serve as a dip, or blending it with chickpeas for a delicious twist on hummus.
4oz soft tofu
2 (6-ounce) cans skinless, boneless pink salmon in water, drained
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp egg substitute
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon olive oil
Cilantro-edamame pesto*, thick slices of tomato, field greens, and your choice of rolls for serving
Place the tofu on a plate on top of several layers of paper towels, fold over to cover the tofu and let stand at least 5 minutes. Gently press with the paper towels and then place in a bowl with the salmon; crumble together with a fork. Add onion, mustard, wasabi powder, pepper, and egg substitute and mix together.
Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tsp olive oil. Place the panko in a shallow dish. Form the salmon mixture into 4 equal patties and dredge both sides in the panko. Place on the skillet and cook about 5 minutes per side, until crispy. Serve on rolls with pesto, greens, and tomato slices.
*I made one slight change to the pesto recipe, but not worthy enough for rewriting the whole recipe. That was just to add the juice of about 1/2 a lime. I figured that like any other pesto, this could benefit from a splash of tangy citrus.
Nutritional Information, for burgers only
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 4.6 g
Cholesterol: 30.0 mg
Sodium: 182.0 mg
Total Carbs: 10.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 24.0 g