Paleo Tuna Cakes

Have you heard of the paleo diet?  It seems to be everywhere I look these days and, I have to say, it seems to be founded on some pretty good concepts.  The driving idea behind it is  that we should eat foods that our ancestors ate.  In other words, no twinkies.  It is a little meat-heavy for my tastes (although proponents of the diet advocate for grass-feed, ethically raised meat) and it also involves cutting out grains.  What I do like about it is the emphasis on natural, whole foods and vegetables.  I’ve been incorporating some paleo principles into my diet for a little while now, but I’m definitely not an avid follower.  Any diet that says I can’t eat nachos at 1am now and then is just not sustainable for me.  But I believe you don’t have to do something perfectly 100% of the time to see real benefits from your efforts.

So that’s how these paleo tuna cakes ended up in my kitchen.

What separates these from most other tuna cakes is the fact that these don’t have bread crumbs or much else in the way of “fillers”.  This gives them a satisfying, meaty texture but it does mean that they don’t crisp up like some others you may have tried.  Personally, I liked them this way…healthy and satisfying.  Serve them with veggies for a true paleo experience.

For the tuna, I splurged on a brand called “Wild Planet” that’s committed to sustainable seafood products.  Not to mention it tastes better and is recommended by the expert folks at Cook’s Illustrated.

Paleo Tuna Cakes
makes 4 large cakes
adapted from Raf’s Kitchen

Ingredients
- 2 cans good quality tuna
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp almond flour
- 2 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 pinches cayenne powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil for cooking (I used coconut oil, which did give it a slightly coconut-y taste.)

Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.  Form mixture into 4 patties.

Heat oil over medium-high heat and cook the patties for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  Flip carefully to avoid breaking them.  Serve immediately.

* I added this post to this week’s Fight Back Friday and Fresh Bites Friday.
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29 thoughts on “Paleo Tuna Cakes

  1. This is an interesting recipe. I am new to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did that. I really likethe food and recipes you share with your readers and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  2. First time I see the paleo concept (your post). I agree it’s probably almost impossible (unless you have your own self-sustaining farm I suppose) to go paleo 100% but I do like the concept. I heard somewhere that before the 1970′s everyone ate grass-fed beef (now called organic). That would mean fast food chains actually served organic beef patties until beef was industrialized and switched over to corn in the 70′s … anyway thanks for blogging about paleo.

    • It’s not impossible. We have been on the Paleo lifestyle for a year now. Family of 5, and we do not miss mac-and-cheese (even though always homemade, it made us sick).

    • grass fed and organic are different things. grass fed means the animal is on a pasture and eats grass and hay. organic means there are no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or any other chemical additives anywhere along the animal’s food chain, environment, or added to the meat afterwards.

  3. This sounds great, especially as I’m intolerant to wheat. I still eat the occasional slice of bread, though. Anyway, wouldn’t be able to find neither the almond nor coconut flour. Wonder if I could grind those as dry ingredients? Worth a try.

    • I’m not sure about the coconut flour, but I do grind my own almond flour. You just have to be careful not to grind for too long or you’ll end up with almond butter! I was thinking it might be worth trying flax seeds in place of coconut flour but, as I haven’t tried it myself, I can’t vouch for whether it will turn out or not. Let me know what you come up with!

  4. These look great! I don’t follow the paleo diet exactly, but I do agree with so much of it! I like the lower carb intake part of the diet, so I’m always looking for recipes labeled “paleo!”

  5. I have been trying to find tuna recipes that don’t call for noodles or cream sauces since switching to Paleo, without much success. I made these today for lunch (fried in avocado oil and topped with a mustard dill sauce) and they were very tasty and super easy! These will definitely go on our meal rotation! Thanks! :)

    • I would guess that about 1/2 lb of tuna would do it, but unfortunately I’ve never made this recipe with fresh tuna so I’m not sure how you would go about it. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

  6. Really helpful for a student on a tight budget. This is a very easy and cheap recipe to make, and that makes eating healthy on a student income and study schedule so much more doable. Thank you!

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    • Awesome! Thanks for the feedback. I would really love to hear how these work with salmon. I’ve been a little scared to try canned salmon (I have no idea why) but it might be great in this recipe. Let me know if you try it!

  8. Love this recipe! I’ve made it several times. Right now, I have tons of spinach and kale in the garden so, I’ve been sauteing chopped spinach or kale with chopped garlic and adding that to the mix. Super delicious! I also really love a hollandaise sauce with them so, I put 3 egg yolks in a blender with a T of lemon juice and a dash of whole grain mustard, wiz it around while drizzling in 1/2 cup of melted (bubbly hot) butter. Makes a fabulous hollandaise but if you refrigerate it, it’s Mayo!

    This is a really flexible recipe – I’ve added chopped celery and peppers as well and they always turn out great! Thanks for the recipe :)

    • Wow, I’m so glad that they’ve been the basis of so much kitchen experimentation. I’m totally going to have to try that hollandaise sauce; it sounds mouthwatering!

  9. i just made these… they are SCRUMPTIOUS!! thank you. just started out on paleo, looking for a tuna recipe – YES!! thanks so much!

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  12. These were so good! Reminded me of my mom’s salmon pie. Don’t skimp on the pan grease – they stick very easily! I added a pinch of cajun seasoning while they were in the pan and wish I added a bit more. I ended up dipping mine in ketchup. In any case this was a super easy weeknight meal and I was actually able to put together a crockpot meal for the rest of the week while I whipped these up! Thank you!

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