One of the easiest ways to eat healthy at home is to stock your kitchen with nutrient-packed food. The pantry often plays second fiddle to the fresh perishables of the fridge, but take a closer look in your cupboards and you’ll appreciate the variety that healthy basics like whole grains, dried legumes, canned beans, olive oil, nuts, and canned tomatoes offer. What about seafood? Consider stocking a few cans of heart- healthy fish, like wild salmon. (Look for wild-caught canned varieties from Alaska for the most sustainable choice.) Half the price of fresh and perfect for in-between seasons, canned wild salmon is one of my go-to pantry staples. Flaked and folded into chopped whole grain salad, garlicky broccoli rabe pasta, or chilled corn and coconut soup, canned salmon adds healthy nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and protein in a flash.
This type of salmon also works great with fish cakes. And these Pan-Fried Salmon Cakes use another pantry favorite, Pennsylvania Dutch hard pretzels. Ground pretzels replace breadcrumbs and give the cakes a zippy flavor. I love using mayonnaise (or substitute Greek yogurt) and a handful of fresh herbs, dill, parsley, or chives, with chopped scallions and finely grated lemon zest. This mixture cooks up best if it’s had some time to chill. Make a batch the night before, and the next day, you’ll have crispy, hot salmon cakes on the table in under 10 minutes. Serve with a simple arugula salad squeezed with fresh lemon juice and a light drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Or makes these cakes into larger patties and serve with sliced avocado and lettuce on sandwich buns.
Next time you’re planning dinner, bypass the trip to the fish counter and head straight to your pantry. You can’t beat the convenience of opening a can!
Tune in every Sunday for a new Healthy Appetite video from Shira Bocar.
Watch Shira make these easy salmon cakes, then make them your next pantry dinner: