Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Salmon Lentil Cakes

Feature Ingredient: Canned Sockeye Salmon

Among the canned swimmers, convenient and ultra-versatile sockeye salmon is a nutritional heavyweight. It is brimming with:

Omega-3 fats
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish have been purported to boost brain powder and keep the ticker beating strong. For good health, experts recommend consuming an average of 250 to 500 milligrams of the omega-3s found in fish daily. A 3 ounce serving of canned sockeye salmon contains about 1400 milligrams so just one serving gives you nearly a weeks quota.

Vitamin D
Salmon is one of the few foods to contain a significant amount of vitamin D. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people with low vitamin D levels are at greater risk of dying from all causes including  heart disease. Vitamin D behaves like a hormone to impact a large number of bodily processes. It should be noted that canned sockeye salmon has more vitamin D and omega-3s than pink salmon.

Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is required for the proper formation of red blood cells which transport oxygen throughout the body. We also call upon vitamin B12 for a healthy nervous system and DNA synthesis. According to a recent study in the journal Neurology, vitamin B12 may help protect against Alzheimer's disease.

If you nosh on the soft bones in canned salmon, you’ll get a hefty dose of bone-building calcium.

In the body, the mineral selenium is incorporated into proteins that have antioxidant power. This means they can help disarm free radicals before they can do some serious cellular damage.

I always splurge and purchase canned salmon from one of the smaller companies such as Wild Planet or Raincoast Trading because frankly the flavor of their products is far superior to the stuff canned by larger producers. I also appreciate that they practice sustainable methods for harvesting their salmon and other fish. The salmon comes from healthy wild stocks and not farms that are rife with environmental problems.

I always try to keep a can or two of salmon on hand for when I need to whip up a quick dinner. It can be used for tasty burgers, mixed into bean salads or, as I did here, turned into tasty, no-fuss muffin tin cakes.

The lentils add some fiber (nad perhaps some windy effects later on!) but make sure to use red lentils as they turn to mush much easier than green/brown lentils. Each bite has a bit of kick from the horseradish which is really wonderful.

I made a chili garlic sauce to accompany these but it wasn’t really a great flavor combination. So does anybody have another suggestion for a good topping?

Lentil Salmon Cakes

2/3 cup red lentils

2 shallots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

½ tsp cumin seeds

6 oz. can sockeye salmon

1 tbsp horseradish

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp fresh dill

½ cup bread crumbs

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a saucepan, bring lentils and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils have become very tender and water has mostly been absorbed, about 10 minutes. As lentils cook, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet and cook shallots for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin seeds and cook 1 minute more.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Mash lentils with a fork or potato masher and combine with shallot mixture, salmon, horseradish, eggs, dill, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Divide mixture among 10 medium sized muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until set and slightly golden on top. Let cool before unmolding.


  1. i would go with a cool cucumber sauce made from grated or finely chopped cucumber, 0% Greek yogurt, and some cumin and sea salt.

  2. Thanks for the recipe - I've made it twice in the past two weeks and really like it.
    The cool cucumber sauce is perfect. Also I think it would go well with a guacamole type "sauce", with mixed chopped avocado, onion, tomato, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

  3. These look great and I'm looking forward to trying them!

    I am also keen to try both those suggested sauces - my suggestion would be a light dill & lemon mayo. :)

  4. I've been looking for more ways to use lentils. This recipe looks great.

  5. Sounds awesome! I'm not usually a fan of salmon, but this sounds like it would be good!


I love hearing from fellow muffin tin fans, so let me know what is on your mind.