What usually comes to mind this time of year? Warm, some-what heavy, filling, and oh-so-satisfying meals, snacks, and treats alike. The classic crab cake fits the bill on all things above- including a heavy helping of calories, sodium, and saturated fat. Not only junked up with caloric and sodium-laden fillers (read imitation crabby meat) most are then deep-fried and drenched in too much sauce.
Put this classy party treat within nutritional reach. For the best taste, look for pasteurized crabmeat in the refrigerator case at your market’s fish counter, a much better choice than canned varieties. I swapped mayonnaise for the thick and creamy Greek variety of yogurt, and preffered egg substitute for the whole eggs to bind it all together. Skipping the vat of frying fat- my cakes were cooked in just a couple teaspoons of oil. These healthy tweaks helped to cut overall calories and fat.. especially the saturated kind!
Cooking for a larger crowd? Make the vinaigrette ahead of time and provide use of your muffin pan once more. Take the frying and fuss out by shaping and baking them in muffin tins. Talk about quick when your time is crunched- plus save a couple grams of fat, too!
Another side note.. keep in mind all of your guests have different taste preferences and avoidances- one of the most common would be that of seafood. Play it safe and provide a menu that is fit for everyone with quite the variety.
with Sweet Peanut Vinaigrette
1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (such as FAGE)
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons egg substitute
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon prepared horseradish (I like the spicy kind!)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
20 unsalted saltine crackers, finely crushed
1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 garlic clove, crushed
Dash of ground red pepper
Combine yogurt, onion, and next 10 ingredients (through crackers). Add crab; stir just until blended. Divide mixture into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 6 patties; cook 3 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; cover and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and 6 patties.
To prepare dressing, combine vinegar and next 6 ingredients (through red pepper), stirring with a whisk.
Serves 6 (2 crab cakes and about 2 tablespoons dressing each)
Fat: 6.4 g
Carbohydrate: 13.3 g
Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 20.1 g