This recipe was inspired by my first dietetic internship rotation. I was at a mobile food pantry in Toledo, OH called Food For Thought, where the focus is on providing low-income individuals with healthier packaged food options and fresh produce. Before seeing it in person and talking to the pantry patrons directly, I really didn’t have a true sense of the many barriers this group faces when it comes to healthy living. I now know that when the primary goal is to simply provide enough food to feed your family, nutrition takes a back seat unfortunately.
In an effort to demonstrate how some of the healthier, less commonly chosen foods could be used, one of my projects was to find and develop recipes to give to patrons. I noticed many people avoided the canned salmon and I don’t blame them! Canned tuna and chicken is one thing, but canned salmon? In my non-cooking days, this ingredient would have intimidated me as well.
Thus, after some experimentation of my own, an easy salmon burger recipe was born. This recipe is a play on the original version I made for the food pantry because I spiced it up by adding sun-dried tomatoes and an avocado aioli. Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids which offer a multitude of benefits including improved cognitive function, better eye health and reduced inflammation. If that’s not enough, evidence suggests consuming fatty fish like salmon can improve heart health and reduce the signs of aging. Sign me up.
1-15oz. canned salmon, bones removed
½ C breadcrumbs**
1 egg, beaten
¼ C sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 scallion (white and green parts), chopped
½ T Dijon mustard
Pepper to taste
Whole wheat buns, tomato slices and spinach
1 large avocado
½ C light mayo
¼ tsp. garlic powder
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Stir and combine all the ingredients for the salmon burgers in a medium bowl. Form into 4 patties. Coat a preheated, large skillet with olive oil. Add patties and cook 3-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and browned on top.
Meanwhile, add all aioli ingredients to a food processor to combine. Once burgers are done, place on buns with sliced tomato and spinach and finish with a dollop of avocado aioli. Serves 4.
** Cooking tip: I like to make my own breadcrumbs by toasting a slice of bread then adding it to the food processor, pulsing until fine crumbs are formed. One slice of bread is equivalent to ~1/2 cup breadcrumbs.