Simply Healthy Family: Tuna and White Bean Cakes with Shaved Spring Asparagus and a Light, Lemon Tarragon Sauce {gluten free}

23.4.14

Tuna and White Bean Cakes with Shaved Spring Asparagus and a Light, Lemon Tarragon Sauce {gluten free}























Question.  How do you make crab cakes when you're craving them like nobodies business but you   a.) don't have any crab and  b.) are on a budget? 

Answer.  You doll up some tuna with fresh herbs, lemon and shaved asparagus, dip it by the forkful with no shame into a tangy lemon, tarragon yogurt sauce and wash it down with a glass of Pinot Grigio.


Delima averted.





Then, just to gloat, you tell yourself that you are being super health conscience because you ate a practically perfect meal by utilizing the antioxidants in the wine and gave your body a good dose of healthy Omega 3's which are hard to come by these days, thereby forgetting all about the fact that you aren't  in fact  having crab cakes.  Pssshhhh, who needs em?






These tuna cakes are easy enough for a Monday night dinner -- or in my case a Tuesday night dinner. Tuesday's, without fail, are the crazy busiest Orthopedic days in surgery for some reason. Coincidentally (or not) it's also when people tend to call in sick, have some sort of emergency or just decide to spend the day soaking up the Spring sunshine (I would choose option 3 but I'm too chicken to make it happen).


This particular Tuesday provided to be all of the above plus an added curve ball. Seeing as we were short staffed (more than usual) I didn't get to work with the Ortho Doc who I usually assist during Makoplasty surgeries. Instead, I ended up doing total hips and knees with a Dr. I hardly ever work with meaning I couldn't rely on my "Auto Pilot" and had to use my memory/mommy brain instead....  at least until my coffee kicked in.... around noon. Not good.


My point,  I am mentally and physically and in all other ways exhausted on most every Tuesday. These tuna cakes are just a tad bit more complicate that spaghetti and meatballs or in our house, spaghetti and Italian sausage. You get the point. They are super easy to throw together.


A few chopped veggies and herbs thrown in a bowl with an egg and a can of tuna and you have yourself a  not so  fancy meal.





How can you not add asparagus to every meal during the Spring? Wait, am I the only one who worships this gorgeous veggie? No wonder since it's cousins are onion and garlic! 





I pulse a bit more than half of the white beans in my food processor and reserve some to add texture. 
Instead of using bread crumbs which you already know are high in gluten and cause bloating, stomach fat and various other ailments, I used finely chopped veggies and green onion and  nutritional yeast to bind the ingredients together. As you can see, they formed patties quite nicely.
If I had to pick one one of my top 3 favorite kitchen tools, my stone baking pan would and will be on the list forever! It browns veggie patties quickly and evenly using NO added oil and cleans by scraping with a spatula and hot water. Good bye fryer! 


{If you are at all interested in purchasing a stone baking sheet or any of my other favorite kitchen gadgets or ingredients, please consider buying through Simply Healthy Family's 'Store' and help support this blog. It's very much appreciated!} 





Using a simple veggie peeler, shave thin strips of asparagus and pile on top of your cooked tuna cakes. There is no need to cook or even blanch the asparagus, it tastes amazing when shaved into such thin strips and pairs perfectly with these tuna cakes. In fact, I found myself nibbling on my pile of curled asparagus while admiring the beautiful purple and green of my favorite vegetable.

Oh, you'll want to cut off the very tips of the asparagus, the spear, and save it for tomorrows salad or stir fry. The tips don't shave well but are conveniently most peoples favorite part.







This light and tangy dressing is the key to these tuna cakes.  I must admit that however healthy and flavorful they are, tuna cakes as well as any other fish cake are a bit dry without some sort of sauce to jazz it up. It makes a mundane meal extraordinary.

Crab cakes usually come with some version of aioli paired with them not only to compliment the flavors, but to add moisture. My tuna cakes are no exception. Instead of aioli, which base is mayo (if you know me, I can't stand mayo) I made a thick and creamy yogurt lemon-tarragon sauce to spoon on top of my cakes.  Not sure which I ate more of, the tuna cakes or the sauce.

















TIME    30 MINUTES        SERVES    4-6

INGREDIENTS

2, 6 oz cans of Chunk Light Tuna, drained

1 cup cooked (or 1 can, drained and rinsed) cannellini beans

1 lemon, juiced 

2 eggs
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
2 tablespoons green onion, finely diced
1/4 cup carrot, grated finely (optional, adds sweetness)
2 tablespoons green onion, finely diced
 4 asparagus spears (tips removed and saved for future use) 
2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1 tablespoon dried Tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
 1 cup Greek yogurt 
1 lemon (from above) zested
1 tablespoon dried Tarragon
pinch of sea salt



Preheat oven to 400F
In a food processor, pulse 3/4 of the beans until smooth. Spoon beans into a large bowl and add remaining whole beans. Add tuna, eggs, lemon, bell pepper, onion, nutritional yeast, tarragon, salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined. 
Using hands, shape mixture into small patties and place onto stone baking sheet or parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Flip patties over and cook another5-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare lemon tarragon sauce by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl. 
Shave asparagus as instructed above. 
Remove tuna patties from oven and place on plate.  Dollop with lemon, tarragon sauce and top with shaved asparagus.

Serve with a side of mixed Spring field greens and chilled Pinot Grigio.













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11 comments:

  1. What a brilliant recipe and I love asparagus so much! Have a great day, darling. xo

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  2. It looks delicious, thanks for this food guide.

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  3. When you can't have crab cakes...eat tuna. I like the way you think!

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  4. I definitely can live with these tuna cakes! They look fantastic.

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  5. What a beautiful plate of food. I was at a restaurant last week that shaved asparagus. I need to do that very soon. Looks so pretty.

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  6. I love tuna cakes, these look so pretty! Great idea to add the beans!

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  7. Not usually a big tin tuna fan because of the fishiness but these were really moreish and a relatively quick and cheap meal. Not too fishy :) I used butter beans and mashed them with a potato masher, and guar gum because I didn't have the yeast. The bean mash and egg actually holds it together well, I don't think you need the guar gum or yeast. Served them as a light lunch for Mother's Day, got plenty of compliments and was asked for the recipe. Will definitely make them again.

    ReplyDelete
  8. These were really moreish and a relatively quick and cheap meal. Not too fishy :) I used butter beans and mashed them with a potato masher, and guar gum because I didn't have the yeast. The bean mash and egg actually holds it together well, I don't think you need the guar gum or yeast..

    I made them for a light Mother's Day lunch and got plenty of compliments and was asked for the recipe. Will definitely make them again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Irene! Actually, nutritional yeast is not a 'bakers yeast' used in breads it's a nutritional supplement (used by many vegetarians in place of cheese) that has vitamin 12
      http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2011/10/what-the-heck-is-nutritional-yeast.html
      Sorry for the confusion! It's not necessary in this recipe except for to add vitamins and a nice 'nutty cheese' flavor.

      Delete

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