February 23, 2012

Hearts for Hearts

Turns out, taking care of your teeth is mighty important. I was reminded of this during my hour and a half dentist appointment this morning.

(Don’t worry–I get to keep all of my teeth. And they even told me I am a super brusher. Not gonna lie. I may have blushed a little. And I’m considering putting it on my resume)

But there is another part of your body that needs love. Maybe even more so than your teeth. And that’s your heart.

This rubber band knows what I’m talking about.


Even if you don’t have any health problems, your heart literally keeps you pumping. And whether or not you have to watch your salt intake, cutting down on cruddy food and filling up with healthy meals will definitely show that love muscle of yours that you care.

In lowering the sodium, you end up using more whole foods and enjoying the natural flavors in vegetables, fruits, grains, and proteins. You also end up eating less sugar, cornstarch, and ingredients you cannot pronounce as well as using less processed goods and plastic.

So low-sodium food isn’t just good for your heart; it’s good for your skinny jeans and the planet too.

But why is this important? And why is there a crab cake at the beginning of this post?

Because tomorrow, your heart is about to get pounded with culinary hugs. As it is finally time for the second annual LOVE YOUR HEART RECIPE RALLY.

Starting at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 24th (yes, tomorrow), a host of bloggers will offer salt-free, low-sodium recipes for your enjoyment. We’re talking soups. Dips. Pastrami sandwiches. And of course, fake crab cakes.

So save the date. Invite your friends. Get your taste buds ready. Because it’s time to show your heart just how much you care.

And if you can’t wait for tomorrow to roll around, feast upon LAST YEAR’S GOODIES to whet the appetite.

Thank you in advance to all who are participating. And to all those attending, I’ll see you soon.

Chow on. And let’s get to those Fake Crab Cakes.


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt-free garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed (brown or yellow)
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
Put all the spices into a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or small food processor and blend.Blend. Blend.



  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pounds sole or true cod filet
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt-free Old Bay Seasoning (above)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt-free chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Zest and 1 teaspoon juice from ripe, sweet lemon (and an optional second lemon for wedges)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plain, low-sodium Greek yogurt. plain So Delicious coconut yogurt, or creme fraiche
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal (yellow or white) + extra
  • Freshly ground Black pepper
  • Vegetable oil


To begin, we need to cook our fish and break it into chunks to look more like crab meat. So, let’s heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and when hot, add the fish. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, turning the fish at the half point, until the flesh is cooked through and white. Allow the fish to cool, ten minutes.

To get rid of the fish juice and grease, place the fish in a strainer over a bowl. This will not only help the fish cool, but it also a perfect time to use a fork and break up that fish into chunky, crab-like pieces. Press the fish against the strainer to get out as much liquid as possible and then put the fish chunks into another clean bowl.

Gently mix the Old Bay seasoning, chili powder, chive, dill, honey, lemon zest and juice, yogurt, egg, and cornmeal with the fish. When well combined, cover with plastic wrap and let the fish mixture cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.

As your fish is cooling, set up your frying station. That’s right. You need a frying station.

Put a cooling rack over some paper towels. Grab a good spatula. Place a cup or two of extra cornmeal on a plate or in a bowl and go ahead and mix in some ground black pepper or any other spices you desire. And make sure you have an extra clean plate for molding those Fake Crab Cakes.

Take the cool fish mixture from the fridge and using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, mold your crab cakes and roll them in the extra cornmeal, covering both sides. Place them on that clean waiting plate you set up.


Then, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, use the spatula to carefully slide a crab cake into the hot oil. You can cook 2 to 4 Fake Crab Cakes at a time as long as you don’t overcrowd that pan.

Let them fry about 2 to 4 minutes per side and then use the spatula to carefully remove the cakes and cool them on the wire rack. Repeat until all those Cakes are lightly crisped and golden brown.

To serve, give guests a simple lemon wedge. Some apple cider vinegar for dipping. Caramelized shallots and some fresh herbage. Or even your own home-made seafood sauce by mixing low-sodium Greek yogurt or creme fraiche with low-sodium horseradish.

Dig in and enjoy.

waiwa February 24, 2012 at 9:42 am

nice badge SG

Di February 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Do you list the nutritional info for your Recipe?

Rebecca February 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

These look amazing!! Will you PLEASE make these for me??

frank harvey March 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm

dear SG, I am _so_impressed_ with your efforts to lower sodium intakes! I too have seen the difficulties in trying to get my sodium intake down to rock bottom (1500mg/day, NIH DASH diet). Unfortunately, I also have to watch protein and calcium (for kidneys) so I really need the Nutrition Facts table for a recipe before I’ll use a recipe. The abbreviated form might work. Not sure. Of your listed posts (March 15th), only Whole Foods and Davita provided NF. The reuben chef showed sodium before and after her efforts. That was good but I still can’t use it. I truly appreciate the efforts of those who have worked out these recipes but, to me, the recipes are “almost useful”. Could you encourage your submitting fans to also include Nutrition Facts? I saw, on some federal website, a service (?) which would figure out the NF for a recipe submitted there. Would you like me to go find that for you?
Your 3/30 visit to SF is on my calendar…
frank, 30 mi east of San Francisco

Mimi Merlot October 30, 2014 at 11:02 am

OMG!!! I just fell in love with you and your story (and your website). My mom was just diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy AND Congestive Heart Failure, which is sort of devastating but with some “natural” help from magnesium and coq10, I’m praying for recovery. Anyhow, we’re an Italian family with salt being a MAJOR part of our everyday (from pasta to soups and even chips and salsa), and my mom is disappointed with all of the changes she’s gonna have to make. Your website is the first one I’ve browsed that’s given me a ton of recipes that I probably would have never thought of, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart (no pun intended) for all of the time and effort you put into this website. Although personal tragedy is a terrifying experience, through trial and error, your ecperience has brought some hope to our family. God bless you and I pray for your own health as well.

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