Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day = Food

This year, my mother requested food for Mother's Day. Not just on the actual day, but some homemade meals she can keep in the freezer and pull out when the inevitable question arises: "What's for dinner??"

My plan is to start with some simple things, like, tomato sauce - always good to have on hand! - then perhaps some beef stew in the slow cooker and a salmon loaf (think: a high omega-3 version of meat loaf), which freezes well.

Here's the general recipe for the salmon loaf, though I tend to change it a bit each time:

  • 2, 12oz cans Wild Salmon, drained, but reserve the liquid from 1 can 
    • Note: canned salmon contains bones, which disintegrate when you mix it up. I like getting the extra calcium, but some folks may find this creepy. In any case, there shouldn't be a choking risk from the bones. 
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs (I usually throw 2 end pieces into a food processor and that's enough)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Milk
  • Black Pepper, freshly ground, to taste. I find this recipe doesn't usually need salt, but sometimes I throw in some garlic powder and some herbs like parsley or rosemary.
  • 1 cup whatever veggies are on hand - I've tried chopped kale, corn (or both), chopped green beans, shredded carrots...whatever sounds good to you. 

Mix together all of the ingredients above. It should be moist and stick together - you may need to add 1 - 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid or some extra milk. Bake in a large loaf pan or casserole dish on 350 F for approximately 45 minutes. The best way to tell if it's done is to use an instant-read thermometer (like the one I have in the photo here). Because this dish contains eggs, the internal temperature should be at least 160 F.

Here's a handy PDF brochure from USDA on safe cooking temperatures!