March 24, 2002 – Here's a healthful fish dish for Good Friday: a low-fat salmon loaf.
While there are no salmon swimming around Virgin Islands waters, it is one of several cold-water fish that have found their way into the local cuisine as a legacy from the Danes dating back to the days when long voyages necessitated foods that stayed good for a long time.
According to local history, many fishermen traditionally didn't venture out in their boats during Holy Week. So, for Good Friday, dishes featuring salt cod (such as saltfish and dumplings), herring (made into gundy) and salmon (often as in balls or fritters) would take the place of fresh fish on many family tables.
Salmon comes in many forms. Pacific salmon or king salmon, the most expensive, is highest in fat, soft-textured with flesh ranging from off-white to bright red. The pink to orange-red flesh of the coho or silver salmon is firmer textured. Sockeye or red salmon — what you find mostly in canned form — is not as fatty, has a firm pink to red flesh, and is perfect for the loaf recipe here.
Nutritionally, the fat found in salmon contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. This fish also is relatively low in calories and high in protein and is a good non-dairy source of calcium if you don't remove the tiny, soft bones.
The low-fat advantage of the salmon loaf recipe here compared to traditional salmon dishes is that it is baked, thus eliminating the added oils of deep-fat frying. It also contains egg substitute instead of whole eggs. Also, the added red and green bell pepper and parsley provide vitamins and minerals, while the whole wheat bread adds dietary fiber.
Also given here is the recipe for a low-fat white sauce that is a good accompaniment for the salmon loaf. Or just spoon your favorite tomato sauce over it. Serve with peas and rice and a fresh green salad for a healthful holiday meal.
Low-Fat Salmon Loaf
Non-stick cooking spray
14 3/4-ounce can salmon, drained and flaked
1 cup liquid egg substitute or 6 egg whites
2 slices whole wheat bread, crumbled
2/3 cup non-fat dry milk
1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon lemon zest, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
Low-fat white sauce (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick coating spray. In a large bowl, combine salmon, egg substitute or whites, bread, milk powder, peppers, onion, lemon juice, basil, parsley, lemon zest, salt, pepper, mustard and celery seed; mix thoroughly. Spoon mixture into loaf pan. Bake uncovered for 1 hour, or until top of loaf is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve in loaf pan or remove to a serving plate. Top with low-fat white sauce if desired.
Makes 8 servings. Per serving without white sauce: 280 calories, 9 gms fat (30 percent fat calories), 3 mg cholesterol, 975 mg sodium. Per serving with white sauce: 340 calories, 12 gms fat (31 percent fat calories), 4 mg cholesterol, 1040 mg sodium.
Low-Fat White Sauce
1 tablespoon low-fat butter or low-fat margarine
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 cup skim milk
Melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan. Stir in the flour so you have a paste. Cook mixture on high heat for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Spoon sauce over Salmon Loaf.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.