So when it comes to cooking, I really need my kids to eat the same food my husband and I eat. I will not—cannot—become a short-order cook.
Luckily, the kiddos do pretty well with food and we've found a lot of common ground so far. Turkey burgers. Roast chicken. Eggs. Baked macaroni and cheese. But fish, that's uncharted waters.
My good mommy side knows all about the magic of omega-3 fatty acids, and that the experts think we should be eating a lot of them. They're important for heart health. They help little brains develop. The best source for them is fish.
But the practical, time-crunched mommy side of me wants to know how to get my little finger-food-eating, four-teeth-chewing cuties to eat fish. The box of "all natural" fish sticks that has been sitting in my freezer for months is just not the fish introduction I had in mind.
Turns out my answer was in a can. In a desperate pantry sweep I found a sleeve of canned salmon that my mom bought me on a Costco run. I suddenly remembered why she got them for me.
My brother and I refused to eat fish as kids, but boy did we gobble up salmon patties. My mom's salmon patty recipe always included a side of spaghetti and marinara, so there was nothing not to love. My husband and I eat them with a side salad. The big question: Will the trio eat them, too?
With a huge sigh of relief, I can tell you the answer is a resounding YES! If that weren't fantastic enough, the patties freeze well, so I can just reach into the freezer on one of those (all too many) days when I'm too exhausted to start making something from scratch.
Maybe it's my imagination, but I think those omega-3s are already kicking in. All of them are now able to point to their belly buttons. And, no matter how hard I try to keep my shirt down, they can find mine.
Salmon Patty Recipe
14 ounces canned salmon
1 medium red or white potato
1 carrot, grated
1 small onion, grated
2 Tbsp bread crumbs
Black Pepper to taste
Olive or canola oil for cooking
Drain salmon. In a large bowl, flake salmon and remove any bones (or, if desired, mash them—they are edible). Mash salmon finely. Peel potato and then boil until soft. Mash boiled potato into salmon. Beat the eggs with a dash of black pepper. Mix eggs into salmon mixture and combine well—smash finely. Mix in grated carrot and onion. Add breadcrumbs until the salmon is a good consistency for making patties.
Shape salmon into 12 3-inch patties. Spray frying pan with cooking spray and heat pan. Once pan is hot, add patties, 1 tsp oil, and reduce heat to medium. Flip patties when edges are bubbling and turning white. Cook until both sides are golden brown. Add oil as necessary to complete each batch.
Place cooked patties on a plate lined with paper towel to capture any excess oil.
For maximum omega-3s, use wild salmon.
If you're not serving them immediately, you can keep them warm on a cookie sheet in a 300-degree oven.