Last week after completeing my first blog challenge, I started to look for others and stumbled upon the Eat to the Beat challenge hosted by Elly of Elly Says Opa - you pick a song or a band or lyrics and relate it to a recipe.
I started really listening to songs on the radio and let's face it, most songs have a common theme of love. As I listened more I realized that so many of these love songs had another common word in them besides the word love: heart.
Think of it, there's a band named Heart. There's also "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion, "Cross My Heart" by George Strait, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler, "Unbreak My Heart" by Toni Braxton, "Heartbreaker" by Mariah Carey, "Open Your Heart to Me" by Madonna, etc. Obviously I could carry on about songs with the word heart in the title, nevermind the word heart in the lyrics - I'm sure there are thousands of those!
So while I hadn't chosen one particular song, the common thread of the word "heart" in so many songs, and song titles (and even one band name!) led me to making a heart healthy main dish.
First I had to do some research on heart healthy foods and was easily able to find a great list on WebMD. The first food on that list is salmon. Salmon immediately struck a chord with me because I haven't had salmon in a long time. However, I really didn't want to just make a boring piece of salmon so I started searching for ideas. On Martha Stewart's food site I found a recipe for salmon cakes that piqued my interest but, per usual, I wanted to make some of my own modifications to it.
To help the cakes stick together, instead of using breadcrumbs in the mixture itself, I used oatmeal which is also on WebMD's heart healthy foods list. The recipe already called for some finely diced red bell pepper (on WebMD's list again) but I decided to add another veggie from the list - carrots. So, in the salmon cakes alone, I had 4 heart-healthy ingredients that you can Eat to the Beat with!
Check out the results and eat your heart out! I was really pleased with how these came out in the end - a nice crunchiness on the outside of the cakes and lots of great flavor inside. I served the salmon cakes atop some orzo tossed in olive oil and pepper. Unfortunately I was so consumed with the blog challenge that I hadn't put any thought into a side dish at all. Oops! Luckily this entry is about the salmon cakes!
(inspired by Salmon Cakes recipe on MarthaStewart.com)
2 - 6oz pouches of salmon (I used Bumble Bee which was already de-boned)
1 small red bell pepper (or half of a large pepper), seeded and finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped carrots
¼ cup grated onion
3 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of ground ginger
½ cup quick cooking oats
½ cup bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a bowl, combine salmon, bell pepper, onion, egg, egg whites, mustard, paprika, celery salt, pepper, and ginger, and oatmeal. Using hands, combine well.
Pour bread crumbs into a shallow bowl. Form salmon mixture into 8 three-inch patties. Coat patties in bread crumbs; place on prepared baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes and flip cakes and return to oven another 15 minutes (for a total 30 minutes of cook time). Serve warm.