Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Salmon Patties Help Celebrate March

Salmon Patties Perfect for Spring Menus

In celebration of St. Patties day, the Recipe Redux theme for March is patties, whether they be beef, chicken, tuna, bean, or whatever. I love salmon so I decided to make fresh salmon patties. Add, in keeping with St. Patrick's Day theme, I added dill for a bit of the green.

Fresh or frozen salmon can be used for this recipe, but I find it is best with fresh. The salmon in this recipe is chopped by hand instead of using a food processor to give the cakes a courser texture.

 Here is the recipe:

Dilly Salmon Patties


1 pound fresh or frozen (thawed) salmon fillet, pinbones and skin removed if needed

1 slice whole wheat bread, crusts removed and discarded, chopped fine

2 tablespoons lowfat mayonnaise

¼ cup finely chopped green onion

1 lemon, divided (1/2 used for juice; other half cut into wedges for garnish)

2 tablespoons fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup white wheat flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons canola oil


Line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.

Cut salmon with knife into pieces about ¼-inch in size. In medium bowl, combine chopped salmon, bread, mayonnaise, onion, lemon juice from half a lemon, dill, and salt. Using a ¼-cup dry measure, make 6 patties and place them on the foil-lined baking sheet or plate. Freeze the patties for about 15 minutes.

Dip each patty into flour, then egg, and, lastly, the panko bread crumbs. Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the patties. Cook about 3 minutes on each side. You will likely need to cook the patties in two batches, depending on the size of the skillet. Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information per Serving:

298 calories, 12 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 42 mg cholesterol, 2 g dietary fiber, 20 g protein, and 341 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of protein and several B vitamins.

Cost per Serving: $1.61

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except the green onions which were on sale for $0.59 a bunch.

Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.

Be sure to check out these other March patties.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Macaroni and Cheesy Cauliflower

Macaroni and Cheesy Cauliflower

I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

March is National Nutrition Month and the theme this year is "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right." It’s also time for another recipe challenge. This time the California Milk Advisory Board  is celebrating "dairy good" nutrition by challenging Recipe Reduxers to lighten up some of their favorite recipes with real California dairy foods. The hardest part for me was deciding which California dairy products to use, as there are hundreds of them available nationwide.

California leads the nation in production of milk, butter, and ice cream. They are number two in cheese and yogurt production. While they may not be the leader in cheese production, they are at an all-time high.  Real California milk and dairy products are sold nationwide and can be identified with the Real California Milk or Real California cheese seals on packaging. Look for the Real California Milk seal on packages of butter to identify dairy products made exclusively with milk produced on California dairy farms.

Click on RealCaliforniaMilk for an extensive list of milk and dairy products, recipes, cooking tips and numerous cooking techniques on proven ways to work with California dairy products.  Also, go to the website of the Dairy Council of California for information and resources for educators and schools, health & wellness providers, and consumers who want to eat healthier for themselves and their families.

This “healthier” mac and cheese shows how California dairy products (milk, butter and cheese) can play an important role in a healthy diet. One trick is to use an extra sharp cheese so that less of it is used than in a “typical” mac and cheese recipe. And sprinkle some of the cheese on top to get more cheese flavor. The butter is just enough to add wonderful flavor and nonfat milk is used to make a lower fat cheese sauce. Also, because cauliflower is such a hot trendy vegetable right now, I decided to use it instead of two-thirds of the macaroni that would be used in a typical mac & cheese recipe. This substitution alone saves close to 600 calories for the whole recipe. Kids and adults will love the cheesiness of this comfort food favorite.

Macaroni and Cheesy Cauliflower


1 cup dry macaroni (whole wheat or high fiber)
1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed, cored, and cut into florets (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons California butter
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups California nonfat milk
1/2 cup frozen peas
6 ounces California extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 cups fresh whole grain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil macaroni in large pot of boiling water, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes (or according to package directions). Add cauliflower florets to pasta water during last 7 minutes of cooking. Remove pasta and cauliflower from pot; set aside. Reserve 1 cup cooking water.
Melt California butter in large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in California milk, garlic, and reserved cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat 7 to 10 minutes, or until sauce is thickened, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat. Stir in peas, all but 1/2 cup shredded California Cheddar cheese, ground peppers, and nutmeg; stir until cheese is melted. Stir in cooked cauliflower and macaroni.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer cauliflower mixture to dish and spread evenly.  Top with bread crumbs, remaining 1/2 cup shredded California Cheddar cheese, and parsley. Bake 30 minutes, or until casserole is hot and bubbly. Place under broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until breadcrumbs are crisp and lightly brown.
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving (1/8th of recipe):
247 calories, 11 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 4 g dietary fiber, 12 g protein, and 266 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of protein, vitamins C and K-1, calcium, and folate and a good source of riboflavin and thiamine.

 Cost per Serving (1/8 of recipe): $0.83
Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.

Be sure to check out these other "healthier" favorites.