We all know that the omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish like sardines, trout, and salmon are great for kids’ growing bodies and minds. But kids don’t get enough, even with parents’ best intentions. Lots of parents don’t immediately leap to the idea of fish for dinner. Fish can be a hard sell at the table when everyone is used to chicken nuggets. But it’s worth it: it’s less expensive than beef, pork, turkey, and chicken, and heart-healthier, too.
With this recipe for inexpensive salmon burgers, everyone will be happy. First of all, they taste great. Second, because they’re pan-fried and can be made into any shape, they look golden and nugget-ish. That will appeal to the kids. Third, no one will notice the spinach. But it’s in there, doing all kinds of nutritional excellence for the family. Isn’t that sneaky? Isn’t mommy a genius?
Simply Smokin' Kid-Friendly Salmon Burger
- 2 cans good-quality canned salmon Bumblebee was voted best in a recent Chowhound survey
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs home-made, from left over whole-wheat bread packs the greatest fiber-rich punch
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach thawed and dried with a tea-towel to remove most of the moisture
- zest of one lemon
- juice of one lemon being sure to remove the bitter, hard pits
- 1 teaspoon dried basil if you have fresh, use it for even fresher flavor
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- olive oil for pan-frying
- In a large bowl, mix all ingredients, using a wooden spoon. Form into patties or smaller nugget-shapes. The kids can help, just be sure they wash their hands before and after because of the risk of salmonella contamination from raw eggs. In fact, put them in aprons and get them involved in food preparation. Having them help in the kitchen increases the chances they'll be more adventurous eaters at the table. Plus it's a valuable life skill -- think of all those doctors-in-training learning how to cook late, in their 20s and 30s.
- Put the formed patties into the fridge for half an hour, to firm up.
- Remove, and pan-fry one by one in the olive oil on medium high heat until very firm and a light golden brown.
- Serve warm or cool, with everyone's favorite condiment: ketchup. Enjoy! It's the most healthful nugget the kids will ever love.