Category Archives: Healthy

Baked Dungeness Crab Cakes

Newsflash: Figuring out how to mother two small children is kind of tough. Mostly in a good way. Mostly. I knew the leap from one to two would be big, but it has been far, far bigger than I anticipated. Evan is 10 months old now, and I’m finally coming up for air. It feels good to breathe again. How does everyone else make it look so easy?!

Anyway, it’s crabbing season around here (my favorite time of year), and we had a delicious dinner last night using our weekend bounty, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

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We love crab cakes, but I’m not a huge fan of my house smelling like fried seafood. I found several recipes for baked crab cakes and merged them together with my friend Katie’s amazingly delicious recipe and came up with the following. I like how you can cook a dozen of these at once, too, so in addition to saving calories from frying and avoiding a stinky house, you also get the benefit of a few extra minutes in your pocket. And hey, who can’t use a few extra minutes?! Win win.

I’m also going to make these for my OAMC freezer club. My plan is to put the uncooked crab cakes on a cookie sheet and freeze them individually, then pack them using our FoodSaver vacuum sealer. I think they will bake well from frozen with an extra two minutes or so on each side.

Baked Crab Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Old Bay™ seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 lb. lump Dungeness crab meat, cooked
  • Fresh lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet or line with a silicone baking mat.
  2. Place butter in large microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for 20-30 seconds to melt.
  3. Remove bowl from microwave and add mayonnaise, Worcestershire, garlic, onions, parsley, mustard powder, pepper, seafood seasoning, baking powder, and beaten eggs (everything except the crab and bread crumbs) to melted butter. Stir well until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Fold in crab meat, then fold in panko until well blended.
  5. Shape mixture into 12 crab cakes, about 3/4 inch thick, and place onto prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then turn the crab cakes over, flatten slightly with back of spatula, and bake an additional 10 minutes, until nicely browned.
  7. Remove from oven and let cakes rest/set for five minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.

Grilled Corn, Avocado and Tomato-Sweet Onion Salad with Fresh Basil Dressing and Blue Cheese

My name is Hillary and I am a cooking show addict. I could watch Bobby Flay work his magic all day long if you let me. We recently cancelled our cable, though, so now I’m stuck with actually making his recipes, versus watching him from the couch while thinking, “I should really try that someday …” But hey, we’re saving about $100 a month and television rots your brain anyway, right? Right? (If you can’t tell, I’m still trying to convince myself. I really miss my summer indulgences of Food Network Star and Royal Pains.) “This is good for me, this is good for my children …” Deep breath. Repeat.

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This grilled-corn salad is one of my favorite Bobby Flay recipes. My friend, Jen, introduced me to it at a barbecue a few years ago, and I’ve made it several times each summer. We’re growing corn and tomatoes in our garden right now, but neither are quite ready, so I had to hit up the store for the ingredients. I’m really looking forward to making it with what we’ve grown ourselves … just a few more weeks! It’s such a great salad for what a lot of people are growing in their own backyards.

The original recipe calls for grilled corn, but for ease and speed this time, I pan roasted mine in a cast-iron skillet and it worked beautifully. (This also will free up the grill for your main course.) The only other changes I typically make are adding two diced avocados, and roughly chopping, versus thinly slicing the onion. I like small pieces of onion in each bite.

The original recipe also says the salad can be made one day in advance, but I DO NOT agree. In fact, don’t even make it hours in advance. You can do the prep work and blend the dressing, but I really think the main ingredients should be combined only up to 30 minutes before serving — it can get pretty mushy otherwise. And plan on eating everything you make the day of. I thought the mushiness might be due to the avocado, but I’ve had leftovers with and without avocado, and find them to be less than delicious. That said, this salad will rock your face off when it’s freshly prepared.

My favorite kitchen trick for this recipe is to microwave your corn for a few minutes before shucking to loosen the silk. You can watch the full process by viewing this America’s Test Kitchen video. Seriously, do yourself a favor and watch it. You’ll never again shuck corn the old-fashioned way. It is such a great time-saver!!

Grilled Corn, Avocado and Tomato-Sweet Onion Salad with Fresh Basil Dressing and Blue Cheese

(Serves 8 as a side dish)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ears corn, grilled in the husk, kernels removed, or pan roasted
  • 1 sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), roughly chopped
  • 2 Hass avocados, diced
  • 1 pint Sweet 100 tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

Directions

Combine the vinegar, basil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Dressing can be made two hours in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.

Combine the corn kernels, onion and tomato in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat, season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Fold in diced avocado and crumbled blue cheese, and garnish with basil sprigs just before serving.

Nectarine Caprese Summer Salad

My friends over at Beauties and the Feast have been posting some super delicious recipes for summer salads this month. Emily’s peach caprese, in particular, had my mouth watering within a few seconds of looking at the picture. I decided to make it this past weekend with a very slight twist — nectarines in place of peaches — for a lovely housewarming celebration we attended at our friends’ gorgeous new home in Tacoma.

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The boys golfed during the day, and the ladies stayed back with the kiddos, enjoyed cocktails (or mocktails, in my pregnant case), and played in the kitchen. We turned out an awesome spread for dinner — flank steak with a garlicky chimichurri sauce; amazing sweet corn and mushroom tamales with tomatillo-avocado-pumpkin seed salsa (from the Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook); parmesan pea pods; nectarine caprese salad; and tres leches cake for dessert. Two days later and I am still stuffed! My friend Jenny certainly knows how to throw a proper dinner party!

This salad is so easy and fresh, I think it will be gracing our table as frequently as possible while nectarines are in season. Enjoy!

Nectarine Caprese Summer Salad

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe nectarines
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch chunks (I like Trader Joe’s ciliegine whole milk fresh mozzarella)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

    1. Cut each nectarine into 6 to 8 wedges, then cut each wedge in quarters crosswise.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the nectarines, basil, and mozzarella. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and toss. (You can cover and refrigerate the salad for up to several hours.) Serve cold or at room temperature.

Milk Makin’ Oatmeal-Flaxseed Lactation Cookies

When I went back to work after having Lucas, I pumped my boobs off to meet my daily breastmilk quota. It was difficult and stressful, but I discovered a few things along the way that really helped my supply, namely these lactation cookies. They’re also just dang tasty, whether or not you’re breastfeeding. Tell your husband not to worry if he can’t help himself and eats a few, he will not spontaneously lactate. Promise.

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There are a lot of recipes for similar cookies floating around. I combined a few and after many, many batches, think I have the recipe perfected. I’m due with our second baby this October and plan to have a large stash of this dough in the freezer before our little one arrives. I also like to make them for new moms as a baby-welcoming gift. (And if you just don’t feel like baking, you can buy the Milkmakers brand of pre-made cookies. I hear they’re yummy, but haven’t tried them myself.)

Lactation cookies help boost milk supply with three key ingredients; oats, ground flaxseed, and brewer’s yeast. My lactation consultant originally recommended this recipe, which also details why all of these ingredients are so important for nursing moms. I like to use coconut oil instead of butter, since the lauric acid it contains has beneficial antiviral, antibacterial, and parasiticidal properties that support the immune system of both baby and mama. If you just want a terrific, fiber-rich cookie recipe, feel free to leave out the brewer’s yeast.

Milk Makin’ Oatmeal-Flaxseed Lactation Cookies

Makes about 2 1/2-3 dozen.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3 T. brewer’s yeast
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In KitchenAid or other stand mixer, slowly mix together coconut oil, sugars, eggs, peanut butter, applesauce, vanilla extract, ground flaxseed, and brewer’s yeast until mixture is smooth.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, mixing on level 1-2 until almost combined. Then, one at a time, add in oats, cranberries, walnuts, and chocolate chips, and mix until the dough comes together with no streaks of flour remaining.
  5. Drop 1-inch balls of cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving a little room for the cookies to spread.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set.
  7. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. To freeze dough, flash freeze dough balls on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Once frozen, place individual dough balls in Ziploc bag to store. Bake from frozen, adding 1 to 2 minutes to final baking time.

Four-Ingredient Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

My kiddo cannot get enough of these ridiculously easy, four-ingredient “breakfast cookies.” And to be honest, neither can I. They’re a great snack for this pregnant, on-the-go mama, and Lucas thinks it’s pretty freakin’ awesome that I’ve been letting him eat “cookies” for breakfast … and snack, lunch, etc.
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Yes, it has been a cookie bonanza around our house since I discovered this recipe a couple months ago — variations are plastered all over Pinterest. These cookies seriously take only about five minutes to whip up, around 15 minutes to bake, and they will disappear faster than you can blink!

I only have made these with bananas, but any very ripe, mashable fruit will work. My friend Camille made them with half bananas and half strawberries, and said they were amazing. I’ll be trying that combo soon!

Four-Ingredient Oatmeal and Fruit Breakfast Cookies

(Makes about a dozen cookies)

Ingredients

  1. Two very ripe bananas (Or equivalent amount of other ripe, mashable fruit, e.g., strawberries.)
  2. One heaping tablespoon of creamy peanut butter
  3. One cup of raw oats (I always have old-fashioned oats on hand, but quick-cooking oats will work, too. Just don’t use steel cut.)
  4. One-quarter to one-half teaspoon of cinnamon (Use your own taste preference.)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mash up the bananas and peanut butter, mix in the oats and cinnamon, and drop by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet. (I never have used my Silpat Non-Stick Silicone Baking Liner as much as I have since beginning to make these cookies all the time!)
  3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. The cookies will not brown or spread very much. And by very much, I mean at all.
  4. Slightly smash with the back of a flat spoon when you remove from the oven, then let cool.
  5. Enjoy!