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Heart-Healthy Main Dish: Baked Crab-topped Salmon

What do you do when one person wants salmon and another wants crab cakes? Make both in one main dish: Baked Crab-topped Salmon. Both taste good together, and both also have health benefits. Salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, essential vitamins, and selenium, which may fight heart disease, cancer, mental decline that comes with age, and thyroid disease, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Some types of crab can be high in cholesterol, but crab, in general, is low in calories, high in protein, and rich in minerals and several B vitamins. So enjoying salmon and crab together isn't a bad thing. Nonetheless, salmon and crab can be pricey, so you may want to save the recipe I'm offering you today for a special occasion or treat. The salmon bakes up moist and flavorful under a topping of succulent crab mixed with savory vegetables and bread crumbs. Yes, the dish is rich, but, yes, it's actually pretty good for you. Enjoy!

Baked Crab-topped Salmon

Baked Crab-topped Salmon -- Serves 6+

1 1/2 - 2 pounds of salmon fillet

1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper, divided

1/4 cup of green onions, chopped

1/4 cup of celery

1/2 cup of bell peppers, chopped (yellow, red, or a mixture)

1 pound of crab meat (preferably light/white)

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes

1/4 cup of chopped fresh dill, divided (or use 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried dill)

1 egg

2 tablespoons of light mayonnaise

2 tablespoons of plain fat-free yogurt

1 tablespoon of grainy Dijon mustard

1 - 1 1/2 cups of soft bread crumbs, divided

Paprika (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line the sheet with aluminum foil and coat the foil with the cooking spray. Lay the salmon out on the baking sheet and sprinkle on half of the lemon pepper. In a large bowl, combine the green onions, bell peppers, and celery and microwave them for 1 minute or until crisp tender. Add the crab, garlic powder, parsley flakes, 2 tablespoons of chopped dill, the egg, mayonnaise, yogurt, and mustard, mixing everything gently but well. Add 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and mix them in. If the mixture seems too moist, add up to another 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (the texture will depend on the level of moisture in your crumbs). Let the crab mixture stand for 5 minutes and mix it gently again. Top the salmon with the crab mixture, spreading the crab out to cover the salmon. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of bread crumbs evenly on top of the crab and sprinkle on the remaining 2 tablespoons of dill. Dust a little paprika on top is you'd like. Mist the top of the breadcrumbs/dill/paprika with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil. Bake the fish for about 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the salmon flakes easily with a fork. Let the crab-topped salmon cool for 5-10 minutes before serving it.

Baked Crab-topped Salmon

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