Just because you’re lazy and/or short on time doesn’t mean you can’t whip up a tasty meal a bit different from the norm. It is a satisfying thing to put together a quick meal when you get home from work that has nice fresh flavours and provides a good balance of nutrients, but is speedy. Honestly, on weeknights, if it won’t happen in under 30 minutes, forget it.
Fish is handy on weeknights because it is fast and soooo healthy (especially salmon, loaded with all those good fats), but it can be hard to fit in without careful planning when you’re picky like me. What makes me picky? I don’t like anything but very fresh fish, and I am never organized enough to pick it up on the way home to ensure that it will be fresh enough to please me.
Canned salmon is my recent solution to this problem. It is easy to find, relatively cheap, and lends itself well to meal preparations that don’t need the freshest fish possible. Salmon cakes are delicious comfort food that work well with canned salmon, and also keep well enough for lunch the next day. Plus, they’re easy and fast. How do I cheat even more? I buy the canned salmon that is already bone- and skin-free. Sorry, if I’m lazy enough to be opening up a can for dinner than I do NOT want to be messing around with bones and skin.
The action plan for this meal: the minute you get home, turn your oven to roasting temperature and prepare your veggies. Toss them in the oven and let them roast away while you prepare the salmon cakes and cook them on the stove top. In 30 minutes you’ll have a delightful dinner with leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. Success!
Feta Salmon Cakes with Roasted Vegetables
Yields 2 servings (2 cakes per serving)
These flavourful patties come together quickly for a healthy meal, and provide a good lunch for the next day, too. The tangy brine of the feta nicely complements the salmon.
1/4 cup uncooked oat bran (you could also use bread crumbs or crackers here)
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
2 tbsp sour cream
1 180g-can of salmon (I prefer skinless and boneless)
1/2 cup parsley, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of halved mushrooms
2 zuchinni, sliced thickly
2 bell peppers, chopped coarsely
bit of olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tsp Montreal steak spice
To roast vegetables: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Coat two roasting pans with cooking spray. Toss your chopped veggies in a large bowl with a touch of olive oil and your spices (I used Montreal steak spice, but anything handy in your cupboard would work). Spread veggies on your roasting pans and set in the oven. Keep an eye on them by giving the vegetables a stir every ten minutes or so to keep them from sticking.
To make salmon cakes: In a medium bowl, mix all your ingredients together. Depending on how salty your feta is, you might want to take it easy on the salt. Tread lightly.
Form the mixture into four patties. Lightly coat a cast-iron skillet or a non-stick pan with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Once pan is hot, add your salmon cakes and cook for about 4 minutes each side or until done to your liking.
Depending on the size of your pan, you might need to cook them in two batches. When your salmon cakes are done, your veggies are likely finished. Serve together, with a little dipping sauce (I like both grainy mustard and hot chili sauce) on the side, if you’d like.
Note: nutritional information is for the Feta Salmon Cakes only. 2 patties per serving: 326 cals, 18 g fat (all the good omega-3 fats!), 10 g carbs, 33 g protein