And to think that it’s not even “officially” summer yet!
All this heat tends to wreak havoc with our appetites and with our energy levels — which can make us feel rather crabby.
So, I was casting about for some kind of tasty, yet cool, snack that hubby or I could enjoy whenever we wanted, and I thought how lovely and cool a dip is!
No, no, no — not that kind of dip — ‘though this certainly is the weather for a refreshing dip in the pool!
No, I decided that a cool, tasty crab dip — something to spread onto crackers or enjoy with some fresh veg — would be just the ticket!
I will admit, though, that I didn’t use real crab — which tends to be pricey — but an affordable, yet natural artificial crab made with surimi. I prefer a brand called Crab Smart, which is made by Shining Ocean and is sold in the fish case of my local grocery. As their web site tells us, Crab Smart is a healthy, natural product derived in an environmentally sustainable manner:
The Crab Smart Natural product line is fortified with 400 mg of the finest Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) fish oil – 4 times the amount of our closest competitor. Although the FDA has set no Daily Value for Omega-3, 400 mg is more than half the daily amount recommended by the leading scientific body on fats.
Crab Smart Natural is the first national brand to remove all the phosphates, sorbitol, artificial flavors and artificial colors from our surimi seafood. The Crab Smart Natural line uses a natural flavoring system and anti-oxidant lycopene derived from tomatoes for color.
The Crab Smart Natural product line is made from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified wild caught Alaskan Pollock, which is naturally low in mercury. The New England lobster and Snow Crab are both rated a “good choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.
Thank you, Mom, for turning me on to Crab Smart!
Is it real crab? No. And I know some of you would never, ever have a thing to do with artificial crab, and that’s fine — this blog entry just isn’t one for you.
But is it affordable? Yes, it is, especially when I can catch it on sale, as I did the other day — I picked up two 8-ounce packages for $5 — that’s a pound of crab for a $5!!
Inspired by a recipe on the Shining Ocean website (http://www.kanimi.com), I whipped up some Crab Dip this weekend, and it’s been serving us as a cool, yummy snack ever since. 🙂
The cream cheese offers calcium as well as protein, and of course, the surimi crab adds protein, as well. It comes together in a jif and then sits, ready and waiting in your ‘fridge, the flavors melding together into more and more deliciousness, until you’re ready for it.
Cool, Quick, and Easy Crab Dip/Spread
- 8 ounces (1 package) artificial crab (you could use artificial lobster, also)
- 8 ounces (1 package) reduced-fat (Neufchâtel) cream cheese
- Healthy dollop (about a 1/4 cup or so, more or less) of reduced-fat mayonnaise or reduced-fat salad dressing
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
- A generous helping of horseradish, to taste (around 2 to 3 tablespoons)
- Generous splash of lemon juice (a couple of tablespoons or so)
- Good splash of Tobasco sauce, to taste
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together softened Neufchâtel cheese and light mayonnaise or salad dressing (e.g., Miracle Whip) until smooth.
- Mix in lemon juice, horseradish , and Tobasco sauce.
- Stir in green onions and celery.
- Add in Crab Smart, flaking it if in chunks, and stir together.
- Give it a sample taste to see how it is, keeping in mind that the flavors will develop further as the dish chills out in the ‘fridge. Give it two sample tastes, if need be. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Repeat the step above until satisfied with the results. Resist the urge to eat all of it during this process. 😉
- Allow to mellow in the ‘fridge for a bit. Enjoy with crackers, bread rounds, or with some fresh veggies.