Whole30 Baked Tuna Cakes with Dijon Sauce
My husband’s girlfriend (Paula Deen) has a recipe she calls Faux Crab Cakes. I’ve loved that recipe for years because it’s so quick and easy to make—and perfect for low budget weeks. Plus, the taste is great. Surprisingly, the recipe contains no butter at all. But Paula’s recipe doesn’t quite fit into a Whole30 lifestyle on account of the breadcrumbs and frying in oil. I decided to fix that—and I developed this recipe for Whole30 Baked Tuna Cakes with Dijon Sauce.
We typically enjoy our tuna cakes with tartar sauce, which is also difficult to find in a Whole30 variety without spending way too much on a condiment. The Dijon sauce that accompanies these delicious tuna patties boasts all the yummy flavor of tartar sauce in a quick and fresh homemade alternative. (The litmus test—our 5 year old scarfed down his tuna cake in no time.)
Over the years, I’ve strayed away from recipes that require frying. Whether or not I’m following a Whole30 lifestyle, I find the excessive use of oil for frying a bit wasteful. And we all know that it’s about the least healthful way to cook. I understand that frying results in a pretty tasty dish (most of the time), so that’s why I added a touch of Whole30 compliant mayo to these tuna cakes. The oil in the mayo helps to crisp up the patties in the oven, and the ground flax seed sprinkled on the outside adds texture. I honestly didn’t miss the fried version one bit. And baking them made the recipe even more hands-off—which is fantastic when you have an 18-month old constantly distracting you in the kitchen. This is absolutely going to be my keeper recipe from here on out. I may not be on Whole30 all the time, but some of the recipes I’ve found and developed have been real winners.
That brings to mind this point—Anyone can enjoy these Whole30 recipes. You don’t have to be following the program. You might be simply following a low carb lifestyle or going gluten free. Or perhaps you’re just trying to cut out overly processed and highly refined ingredients (which I’ve been systematically trying to do for a decade). These recipes may be labeled Whole30, but for me, it’s about helping people to build better habits. In some cases, it’s helping people find delicious, everyday recipes free of ingredients they are no longer able to consume due to health reasons. All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t shy away from trying a recipe just because of a label. You might be surprised!