It’s time for another reader’s request recipe, and this one comes compliments of one of my long-time readers named Amanda. We’ve never met in person, but Amanda and I are kindred spirits when it comes to food because we both have hearty appetites and a special place in our hearts for a mean ahi tuna salad. There’s more about ahi tuna to come in a couple of weeks, but for now, let’s chat about her request.
She asked for some high-protein snack ideas that she could take with her on the go, to and from the office. The specific needs were as follows:
- high in protein
- could be prepared ahead of time – ideally in larger batches
- not a sweet bar or energy ball
- low in sugar
I think that a lot of times when we talk about snacks, it’s super easy to default to bars, energy bites, and sweeter foods like fruit and trail mix. They’re convenient, and there’s about a bajillion bars on the market so there’s also plenty of choice. BUT in this instance, my mind went to creating something savoury. I personally find that the less sugar I eat, the less my sweet tooth speaks up. And knowing Amanda loves seafood like I do, I thought about how I could tie that in.
As someone who eats animal products but still follows a primarily plant-based diet, sustainable sourcing of food has become really important to me. I never used to care much about more than price when it came to meats and seafood, but moving to the west coast has led to learning much more about things like the Vancouver Aquarium’s OceanWise program and The Marine Stewardship Council.
In short, the MSC is an international non-profit that stands for sustainable wild-caught fishing practices. Brands can be certified by the MSC if they source their ingredients from sustainable, well-managed fisheries, and you’ll know this is the case if the product has a blue MSC seal on the package. (You can find certified brands in your country using this handy search.) All the seafood brands I buy today are certified, including Ocean Brands‘ Gold Seal Sockeye Salmon and Pole & Line Tuna.
Back to Amanda’s request. With a few cans of sockeye salmon in my pantry, I began brainstorming ideas and eventually landed on Thai Red Curry Salmon Cakes. These are SUPER easy to make, and there are so many different ways you can customize them to suit your taste preferences. They’re not just for snacks either – they’re perfect as part of a bigger meal or on top of an entree-size salad.
One quick note on canned salmon: If you’re freaked out by the bones you see when you open a can of salmon, don’t worry – I used to be too. My usual routine is to pick through with a fork and take out any noticeably big chunks, and consider the rest a quality contribution to my daily calcium intake. You won’t notice them in this recipe because you’re going to toss everything into the food processor anyway.
As I said, the flavour possibilities are endless here. I used Thai red curry paste and lightly salted gluten-free crackers which produced an out-of-this-world flavour, but you could also play with these combos:
- Indian: curry powder + diced mango + onion + ginger
- Mediterranean: tomatoes + capers + fresh herbs
- Mexican: tomatoes + jalapenos + chili powder + peppers + corn
PS. While writing those ideas I decided they must come to live, so you’ll probably see them appear in the near future. But for now, Thai Red Curry!!
Thai Red Curry Salmon Cakes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Ingredients (6 salmon cakes)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp grated lime zest
- 2 tsp Thai red curry paste
- 213g can sockeye salmon, drained
- 2 tsp minced fresh Thai basil
- ¼ cup each diced red and yellow pepper
- 1/2 cup gluten-free cracker crumbs (made by pulsing gluten-free crackers in a food processor)
- lime wedges, to serve
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, curry paste, ginger and lime zest.
Pour the egg mixture to the bowl of a food processor and add the salmon and basil. Pulse these ingredients until evenly incorporated. (Don’t puree, just pulse.)
Transfer the contents of the food processor to a bowl and stir in the bell pepper, then the cracker crumbs until a coarse mixture forms.
Using your hands, form 6 balls. Place them on the baking sheet and use the bottom of a glass to press them down into patties.
Bake for 10 minutes per side. If you like, switch the oven to the broil setting for the final minute or two of cooking to make the outsides golden and more crispy. (It’s best to supervise this – burning can happen quickly!)
Serve drizzled with sriracha, with kimchi on top, or your dipping sauce of choice.
So tell me… what are some of your favourite savoury snacks right now?
PS. Don’t forget to enter the WithinUs TruMarine Collagen + TruMatcha giveaway from Monday’s post. I’ll be closing the giveaway on Friday, so you still have time to get your bonus entries in!