What Am I Sneaking This 4th?

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My good friends are coming for a Fourth of July blowout in just three days – so I'm in planning menu mode. This year I decided to do things a little differently and make crab cakes (recipe below) for my friends since they're trying not to eat red meat or chicken these days.

I thought back to my crab cake recipe I developed for my Mens' Book, and I was excited to replace high fat mayo with my simple puree of white beans. I also snuck in some amazingly healthy wheat germ instead of empty white bread crumbs – my hubby Rick loves these, and the best part is, no matter what time of year you make them, you'll feel like you're on vacation!

Just pick up a can of lump crab at the market (or even cheaper at Costco) and some canned white beans – I'll probably pick up some nitrate-free* organic hot dogs for the kids in case they're not feeling adventurous. 

I'm also making my sneaky cole slaw and potato salad (recipes below) using that same White Bean Puree to replace the mayo. Since I have to break out the new bathing suit, I will not be missing the extra fat in these salads!

*why nitrate-free? Although not proven, nitrates are being studied as possible carcinogens – why take the chance when really delicious nitrate-free versions are available these days? If you do serve regular hot dogs with nitrates, have a vitamin-C rich food or drink with them to mitigate the harmful effects (such as orange or tomato slices).

Here's to a delicious, fun and healthy Fourth,


I can’t think of a tastier way to give your man a good dose of fiber and omega-3s than with these authentic yet low-fat crab cakes. Put on a Jimmy Buffet disc and your favorite sundress and you’ll feel like you’re in Key West for a romantic getaway.

Makes 8 crab cakes
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise 
1 egg white
1⁄4 cup White Bean Puree
1 tablespoon Dijon or coarse-grain mustard
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1⁄3 plus 1⁄3 cup wheat germ
Freshly ground pepper
1⁄2 pound fresh lump crabmeat (about 2 cups), drained
Optional extra boost: handful of chopped green onions, celery, and/or bell peppers 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with oil.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk the egg white, then mix in the White Bean Puree, mustard, hot sauce, Old Bay, 1⁄3 cup of the wheat germ, a few grinds of pepper, and the crabmeat. 

Pour the remaining 1⁄3 cup of wheat germ on a plate. Scoop about 1⁄3 cup of crab mixture and form it into a fairly thick cake. Dredge the cakes in the wheat germ, fully covering all sides of the cake, and place the crab cake on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining crab mixture. Spray the top side of the cakes with oil and bake for 10 minutes. Flip once, spray oil on the tops of the cakes, and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.


Makes 6 servings
6 tablespoons White Bean Puree 
6 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon celery seed
1⁄4 cup oat bran
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 (16-ounce) bag pre-washed cole slaw mix
Optional extra boost: 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds; 2 green onions, chopped

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the White Bean Puree, mayonnaise, celery seed, oat bran, sugar, and salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the cole slaw mix and toss well. Garnish with the slivered almonds and green onions, if using. Serve chilled.

Sneaky Tip:
Green onions, also called scallions, have significant prostate cancer–fighting properties. In one study, men who ate as little as one-tenth of an ounce of green onions per day experienced a 70 percent reduction in the risk of developing prostate cancer.


This is a classic potato salad, perfect for everyone who doesn’t like fancier versions. The herbs add great flavor, but feel free to omit them if seeing green will make anyone in your family see red! If you decide to limit yourself to the healthiest of all the optional extra boosts, go for the green onions.

Makes 4 servings
2 pounds small Yukon gold or small white potatoes
1⁄2 cup White Bean Puree
1⁄4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon and/or fresh dill (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Optional extra boost: 1⁄2 cup chopped celery and/or red or green onions 

Peel the potatoes if you don’t want to see the skins in the potato salad, then place them in a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let cool.

In a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes, whisk together the White Bean Puree, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, and celery and/or onions, if using.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, quarter them and add them to the bowl, stirring gently until all the potatoes are coated with the mayonnaise mixture. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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