Friday, January 23, 2015

Spicy Tuna Cakes Whole30

Christmas is over and the goose has gotten fat (ter) so now it is back to the Whole30 super restricted paleo routine.  I am kind of surprised but this time it has not been as difficult to start.  Some of that might be because I know what I need in advance and I started cooking ahead of time.  I have freshly made broth, super concentrated in little packages in the freezer, likewise for paleo ketchup, mayonnaise, and thai chili sauce.  This weekend I am finishing barbecue sauce  ( have to finish the date paste first) and paleo non- peanut sauce.  I also have vegetables I know I will need bought and semi prepped so meal time cooking will be faster.

Another thing I learned last time is that I will feel less inclined to cheat if I eat tasty food.  I am a pretty creative cook in my own right, but this is a different ingredient list and different method than I am used to.  I am not at all above searching the internet for tried and true delicious recipes.  Right now my favorite stop is Nom Nom Paleo.  Not all of her dishes are Whole30 compliant, but some tweaking makes nearly everything on her blog work, plus nearly all of them look like something I would like to try.

While I was in my cooking frenzy on Day 1, I came across this recipe.  It makes a bunch and is supposed to last a few days in the fridge, but I put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer so they are individually frozen. Then I stacked them with waxed paper (squares cut from the bags inside cereal boxed) and put them in one bag.  Will let you know later if it works.

                                                            Spicy Tuna Cakes

3 tablespoons melted ghee (divide 1 tablespoon for greasing the pan and 2 tablespoons for the recipe)
2  5oz. cans of water packed albacore tuna, drained
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 full teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper ( I used 2 tablespoons but we like heat)
1 1/3 cup mashed baked sweet potato
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt to taste ( I used about 1/4 teaspoon)
black pepper ( about 4 turns of the peppermill )
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard ( not original to the recipe but I thought it needed it)
lemon wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Melt the ghee and set 2 tablespoons aside ( You can probably use any Whole 30 compliant oil here but I followed the recipe mostly) Use 1 tablespoon for greasing a 12 regular size muffin tin.  (I read the comment section under the recipe and there were a few people who had trouble getting the muffins out of the pan, so I opted to go ahead and put mine on a greased cookie sheet.  They were more pancake looking than muffinish, but they didn't stick so it worked for me.  If you want the directions for filling the muffin tins click on the link above.)

In a medium bowl mix the ingredients in order making sure everything is well blended.  Using a spoon put 12 equal sized portions  ( appx, 1/4 cup) of the the tuna mix on/in your well greased pan of choice.  If using a baking sheet, press the topside of the mound so each "patty" is an even thickness. Pop the tuna into the oven and bake about 20-25 minutes. Nom Nom Paleo suggests using the inserted toothpick method to judge the doneness.  Since mine were thinner I just relied on the finger test.  When they felt "solid" to the touch I took them out of the oven. I didn't have the density for the toothpick test.

Either serve them hot from the oven or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1 week.  Reheat and eat.

I had these for lunch yesterday ( the day after they were made).  They were cold from the refrigerator so I heated 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a small skillet and crisped them.  They were thin enough that it only took a couple of  minutes on the first side and maybe a minute on the second.  I served them with a squeeze of lemon.  For the picture I put a small dollop of mayonnaise sprinkled with paprika.on the   I intended to scrape it off before I ate it, but didn't.  It was delicious.  I really don't think I can thank Nom Nom Paleo enough.  I will make sure I have this available for the duration of the challenge!

If you want something easy, delicious and pretty good for you try this!


  1. This doesn't sound like a recipe for me, but I'm glad that it worked for you. Good luck with you new eating. It sounds like it will be much easier this time around. I hope so.

    1. I just needed something tasty that would be available. It is much easier this time, but having done it before I am also not as worried about a tiny amount of non-compliant ingredients. I ordered a salad for lunch yesterday that has a small amount of grated cheese on it. last time I would have freaked out and not eaten it. This time I just ate around the cheese and am not going to worry about small microns of dairy I might have consumed accidentally.

  2. I'm interested to try these, although I wonder if you actually need the oil in the cakes? Was the original recipe supposed to be more of a muffin? The idea of a tuna muffin kind of grosses me out, so I am going to stick with the whole patty idea I think... :)

    1. I think the oil was probably added to help them release from the pan. I would have made them as muffins prior to reading the comments about the sticking issue. Definitely oil the baking sheet, even as a patty it had a slight (though manageable) sticking issue. But now that you mention it tuna cupcakes do sound gross! And yes the original recipe was a muffin.