Crab Cakes/Salmon Cakes and a [White Vinegar] Salad Dressing

We can’t order in.  Its too expensive for so little my husband can’t eat.  So I’m cooking…a lot!  I’ve decided that food tastes better when someone else cooks it for me.  So I miss ordering in…and because of the little one we don’t eat out (not that we could).   Every now and then I like to make something special, not uber expensive, but not necessarily the most budget friendly.  We have a good friend who LOVES crab cakes.  For a while I could buy the pre made crab cakes and just bake or fry them but on the headache diet, its from scratch.  I found a healthy, delicious crab cake recipe and I’m excited to share.  I also got to go to Santa Monica Seafood! Its a restaurant and fish market and they sell the freshest, most delicious seafood.  I love their Indian Candy (Salmon in Maple Syrup).  I bought fresh crab meat. $43.00 per pound!!  Holy crap!  But, deep breath, we’re not eating out, so, saving money there for a special treat here.  The inexpensive version of this recipe, I discovered, is to use canned salmon (which you can buy at Costco-yay). So this recipe can go both ways, expensive Crab Cakes or budget friendly Salmon Cakes.  Both are delicious, served with a salad.

One of the more challenging aspects of the diet is the lack of condiments I can use. Mayo in moderation, hot sauce is fine (except those that have sulfites or any other bad ingredients) but everything else is iffy.  We can, however, use distilled white vinegar.  Not the most flavorful vinegar.  Anyway, I found a good dressing recipe from Heinz’s website, in fact.  I would cut it in half, it makes A LOT!

Crab Cake/Salmon Cakes adapted from Cooking Light

1pound lump crab meat / 2.5 cans canned salmon

1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

3 tablespoons finely chopped celery

1/4 cup finely chopped leeks

2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 large egg

1 large egg white

2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add bell pepper, celery, and leeks to pan; sauté for 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Place vegetable mixture, crab/salmon, panko, 1 tablespoon dill, ground red pepper, egg, and egg white in a large bowl, stirring gently to combine. Working quickly with damp hands, gently shape about 1/2 cup crab mixture into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Repeat procedure with remaining crab mixture, forming 8 patties. Wipe pan with paper towels. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden and thoroughly heated.

Honey Poppy Seed Vinaigrette adapted from

1 1/3 cups Heinz® Distilled White Vinegar

1/2 cup honey

1 1/3 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 2/3 cups vegetable oil


  1. In a 2 quart or larger container, combine all ingredients except oil. Stir with a whisk to blend.
  2. Add oil slowly, whisking constantly until well blended.
  3. Use as a salad dressing or marinade. Refrigerate any leftover vinaigrette.



Stuffed Bell Peppers

My mother in-law has thrown up her hands.  How the heck does she make food for her family? Her son has given up all tyramine laden foods which includes many cooking staples including onions and msg (and is trying a low carb diet – ugh).  Her daughter in-law (me) is a lactose-intolerant vegetarian.  Her other son and daughter in-law are kosher vegetarians and there’s a toddler (and all the food struggles that go with her).  Hands…in…the…air.  I don’t blame her.  Its freakin’ hard to cook something edible, with flavor…and edible.  

Okay, here’s a recipe that actually got two thumbs way up and also meets the hubby low carb criteria.

Ground Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers 

1-2 lbs ground turkey

4 bell peppers (Red, yellow, orange, green are all fine)

2-3 cloves of garlic minced

2 leeks finely chopped

1 zucchini finely chopped

8 slices american cheese, 4 chopped (optional)

2 tbsp. canola oil

Salt and Pepper

Pinch of paprika

Preheat oven to 350F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Chop off tops of bell peppers and clean out the seeds.  Submerge the bell peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes and then place on paper towels to drain and dry.  Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Saute garlic, leeks and zucchini until onions are transparent and golden and zucchini is cooked through.  Transfer vegetables to a bowl and add the remaining 2 tbsp. oil to the pan. Add the ground turkey and saute until browned.  Mix meat in with the vegetables.  Add the chopped American cheese to the mixture (or leave out the cheese if you’re a lactard like me).  Place bell peppers in a deep baking dish and fill with the meat and vegetable mixture.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.  Place the rest of the cheese slices over the bell peppers.  Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until the cheese melts.