Saturday, May 14, 2011

Recipe Rx - Wasabi Salmon Burgers

Whenever I ask a client about what food group they should avoid eating, most usually answer "fats." Although I tend to agree that consuming large amounts of fat should be avoided, there are some types of fat that we simply can't live without. Among them are the omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids not only play a vital role in the health of the membrane of every cell in our body, it also helps protect us from a number of key health threats such as heart disease and stroke.

Some research has even shown that omega-3s can help to reduce symptoms of hypertension, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain and other rheumatoid problems, as well as certain skin ailments.

More recently, research indicates that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can boost the immune system and help protect us from the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Today’s Recipe Prescription is for Wasabi Salmon Burgers. Delicious and easy to make, this recipe brings out the flavors of salmon with a Japanese-inspired fusion of ginger, sesame oil and wasabi, Plus, they are packed with omega-3s and additional nutrients and anti-oxidants.

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi powder, (see Note) 1/2 teaspoon honey 2 cans boneless, wild caught pink salmon (drained) 2 scallions, finely chopped 1/4 red bell pepper (finely chopped) 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs 1 egg, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Whisk soy sauce, wasabi powder and honey in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients and mix by hand. Form the mixture into 4 patties. The mixture will be moist and loose, but holds together nicely once the first side is cooked.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and cook the patties over medium heat for 1-2 minutes for each side. Turn and continue to cook until firm and fragrant.

Spoon the reserved wasabi glaze evenly over the burgers and cook for 15 seconds more. Serve immediately (4 servings).

If you serve these patties on whole-wheat buns, consider reduced-fat mayonnaise and sliced cucumbers as condiments. Or skip the buns and set the patties atop a vinegary salad of greens, carrots, radishes and sprouts.

Tips & Notes:
Wasabi powder, when mixed with water, becomes the green paste most of us know from sushi restaurants. The powder is available in jars in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets or in almost all Asian markets. Store at room temperature for up to 1 year.

Nutrition Per serving:
184 calories; 7 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 117 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 0 g fiber; 369 mg sodium; 464 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus:
Selenium (84% daily value), omega-3s. Exchanges: 4 lean meat

Until next time - Live Life Well,

John Aaron Villarreal
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For more info on Omega-3 benefits, click here

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