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Florida's Winning Recipe: Bountiful Florida Fish “BFF” Cakes

“My mom and I created this healthy seafood recipe, giving it a Latin twist since my grandparents are from Cuba. We decided to use tropical fruits and vegetables to make the salsa. The avocado and mango grow right in my grandparents’ backyard. We also added orange and lime because fish goes great with citrus. Living in Florida, it is very easy to find the most delicious, sweet oranges. I love oranges and it really helps to brighten the flavors in this dish! My grandparents said the fish cakes were so delicious.”

- Olivia LaRochelle, Age 12, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Florida


Makes 4 Servings


For the Fish Cake:

  • ¾ pound skinless large-mouth bass, or any white meat fish such as cod, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • ½ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

For the Salsa:

  • 1 ¼ cups diced mango
  • 1 ¼ cups diced strawberries
  • 1 cup diced avocado
  • ¾ cup diced cucumber
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

For the Orange-You-Glad Yogurt Sauce (not pictured):

  • ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • Orange wedges, for garnishing


  1. To make the Fish Cakes: Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except breadcrumbs. Form mixture into 4 patties, pressing each patty together so it holds its shape. Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Put breadcrumbs on a plate and roll the patties in the breadcrumbs. Place each patty on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown and fish is cooked through.
  2. To make the Salsa: In medium bowl, toss salsa ingredients until well combined.
  3. To make Orange-You-Glad Yogurt Sauce: In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients.  
  4. To Assemble: Top each fish cake with Salsa and drizzle with Orange-You-Glad Yogurt sauce. Sprinkle with additional cilantro if you wish. Serve with orange wedges and a glass of low-fat milk. 

341 calories 8g fat 45g carbohydrates 24g protein