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Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado

Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado from Salad as a Meal

My next recipe from Patricia Wells’ new Salad as Meal cookbook is a keeper. Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado is light, delicious and insanely easy to prepare. If you can chop, shake your arm and operate a toaster, you can impress your friends with this recipe. The only tricky part may be finding fresh lump crabmeat, depending on where you live.

The recipe requires chopping some celery, bell pepper and avocado, then mixing in some jumbo lump crabmeat and spices with a creamy dressing involving lemon and chives. Toast some sourdough bread to serve alongside and you’re good to go. What could be simpler?

Using a light hand when mixing the crab – you want to preserve the hunks of meat. You paid good money for high-quality lump crabmeat so don’t shred it beyond recognition.

You may be tempted to skip the sourdough to reduce your carb count. Don’t! Have a small piece if you must, but the crunch factor is so worth 18 or so grams of carb.

I substituted fat free half-and-half for the light cream in the Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing. (Note this is the same dressing used in Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Parsley & Spring Onions.) The nutritional information underneath the recipe below is for Patricia’s original recipe (with light cream). If you want to cut some fat and cholesterol, keep in mind that a cup of regular half-and-half has 28g of fat (17g saturated) and 190mg of cholesterol. Fat free half-and-half has 0g fat and 1mg cholesterol. Even though Patricia says that a higher fat content will help resist curdling when you add lemon juice, I had no problem with curdling using fat free half-and-half.

To make the Red Hot Salt, I used Ancho chili powder, some smoked paprika my stepdaughter brought me from Hungary and Bahamian sea salt. It probably doesn’t have exactly the same flavor of the recipe below, but they were all ingredients I had on hand.

This crab salad is full of Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and Selenium. It is also a good source of Protein, Niacin, Vitamin K, Folate, Phosphorus, Zinc and Copper.

All nutritional information provided here was calculated by Diabetic Foodie using the tools on the nutritiondata.com website.

Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado

Reprinted with permission from Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells

I could easily sample this bright, flavorful salad once a week, and often do. It’s low in calories and fat and high in protein, just the right fit for someone who loves to exercise, as I do. It goes together in seconds, making it all that much easier to love. This salad as a meal is a good lesson in salad construction: toss each of the ingredients separately with the dressing so that all parts are evenly and lightly dressed. If the limes in your market are not top-rate and don’t have enough peel to make a good zest, opt for organic lemons. Serve this with a slice of toasted bread slathered with Guacamole Light (page 23).

4 SERVINGS
EQUIPMENT: 4 CHILLED LARGE DINNER PLATES

1 pound (2 cups) fresh cooked lump crabmeat
Grated zest of 2 limes or lemons, preferably organic
1/4 cup Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing (page 326)
Fine sea salt
Coarse, freshly ground black pepper
1 orange or red bell pepper, trimmed, seeds removed, and minced (1 scant cup)
2 celery ribs, finely minced (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, chervil, or parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon Red Hot Salt (page 307) or fine sea salt
1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into very thin half-rounds
4 thin slices sourdough bread, toasted, for serving (see page 270)

1. In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat and citrus zest and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the crabmeat. Taste for seasoning.

2. In another bowl, combine the bell pepper, celery, cilantro, and Red Hot Salt and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the vegetables. Taste for seasoning. Combine the contents of the two bowls, mixing gently to blend.

3. Mound the salad in the center of the dinner plates. Arrange the avocado slices around the salads. Serve with the toast.

WINE SUGGESTION: The last time I prepared this salad we had it with a mineral-rich Riesling, the Domaine Ostertag Clos Mathis.

Makes 4 servings (includes bread, but not dressing or Red Hot Salt)
Per serving: 285 calories, 9g fat (1g sat), 87mg cholesterol, 568mg sodium, 25g carb, 5g fiber, 3g sugar, 26g protein

Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing

Reprinted with permission from Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells

Salad dressings do not need to be rich or calorie-laden to be delicious, and this dressing drives home the point. With the lactic touch of light cream, the gentle acidity of the lemon juice, and the bit of color and pungency of the chives, this all-purpose dressing is a standard in our kitchen. Use it to dress a simple green salad, a couscous salad, a potato salad, or a light green bean salad.

1¼ CUPS
EQUIPMENT: A SMALL JAR WITH A LID

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup light cream
1/3 cup finely minced fresh chives
Lemon zest

In the jar, combine the lemon juice and salt. Cover with the lid and shake to dissolve the salt. Add the cream, chives, and lemon zest. Shake to blend. Taste for seasoning. The dressing can be used immediately. (Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Shake to blend again before using.)

But will it curdle? Given the right circumstances, such as the addition of acids or heat, any milk or cream product will curdle (meaning the curd protein coagulates and forms clumps). The greater the fat content of the milk or cream, the more it will resist curdling. I use a light cream with a 12% fat content, much like what is also called half-and-half, and have never had a problem with curdling when adding lemon juice to the cream.

Makes 10 servings
Per serving (2 Tbsp): 33 calories, 3g fat (2g sat), 9mg cholesterol, 126mg sodium, 1g carb, 0g fiber, 0g sugar, 1g protein

Red Hot Salt

Reprinted with permission from Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells

I love spice and color in my food, and this vibrant red salt provides a pleasantly smoky aroma, great color, and a fine, mysterious flavor. It will brighten up just about any salad, vegetable, meat or poultry, and the combination is an essential ingredient in my Spicy Basque Mixed Nuts (page 8).

4 TEASPOONS
EQUIPMENT: A SMALL JAR WITH A LID

2 teaspoons ground piment d’Espelette or other ground mild chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot-smoked pimentón de la Vera or other hot-smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Combine all the ingredients in the jar. Cover, and shake to blend. (Store the salt mixture, sealed in the jar, at room temperature for up to 1 month. After that, the flavors will begin to fade.)

NOTE: Piment d’Espelette, the mildly spicy pepper from France’s Basque region and the pimentón from Spain, can be found on my Amazon Store on the home page of PatriciaWells.com.

Makes 16 servings
Per serving (¼ tsp): 1 calories, 0g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 149mg sodium, 0g carb, 0g fiber, 0g sugar, 0g protein

 


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6 comments to Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado

  • I’ve had my eye on this recipe. Your picture looks beautiful and interestingly, I used fat free half and half in a second round of the creamy lemon chive dressing and it tasted essentially the same. Nor did mine curdle. Great pointer! Also about the sourdough… although I’d never skip a carb! ;-)

  • Biz

    That crab salad looks delicious – love the lime and avocado! I am diabetic too, and always on the look out for great diabetic friendly recipes. :D

  • diabeticFoodie

    Welcome to the Diabetic Foodie family, Biz!

  • Thanks for your great blogging and great photos! Patricia Wells

  • Pammie

    I am a big fan of Patricia Wells, just saw her on the Today Show and am very excited about preparing this crab salad. The spices sound phenomenal!

  • diabeticFoodie

    Pammie – The salad is delicious! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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