School Lunchbox Idea: Fresh salmon cakes and black quinoa with corn salsa salad

Fresh salmon cakes, black quinoa and corn salsa salad, steamed aspraragus and broccoli

Fresh salmon cakes, black quinoa and corn salsa salad, steamed aspraragus and broccoli

As part of my ongoing effort to diversify the types of food that we eat, I decided to pair the familiar and loved with another dish that is quite unfamiliar and untried. Salmon is a favourite in this house. The first time dear son was served with Salmon cakes at about 15 months old (?? I can’t remember,) he scarfed up about 6 of the cakes in one sitting and fell asleep within 8 minutes – while still sitting in his high chair. What surprised me was the fact that the cakes were full of herbs – dill, chives, parsley… he ate them all up with nary a complaint.

So, I wanted the family to try black quinoa. As we all know, quinoa is the supposed wonder-grain and for those interested in reading about this seeds (not grain, though, it has been used as grain,) please click on the following link – World’s Healthiest Foods

The hope here is that by associating quinoa with salmon cakes, the former will forever after be viewed in a positive light.

Other strategies employed in introducing this new food to dear son are as follows:

  1. Choose a day when he will be hungry at lunch time – He has an early swimming session on Mondays, after swimming, everything tends to taste good!
  2. Pair it with veggies that he likes – corn salsa, yumm!
  3. Talk up the food item a few days ahead, get him to help you find it at the supermarket, (actually, I could not find it because it was on the higher shelves!)
  4. Associate the texture with food he loves (e.g. the texture is similar to the flying fish roe that we get with sushi and the taste is rather nutty.)

Anyway… it was a success as son came home with his lunchbox empty and requesting for quinoa salad again. Now, now, everything in moderation, so I told him it will be there in his lunchbox on a weekly basis.

Fresh Salmon Cakes (makes about 4)

  • 200 gms salmon fillet – no skin – poach in water with some salt, bay leaves, whole black peppercorns and dill stems. Once cooked, flake into large pieces
  • 1 russet potato – boil and mash fine
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped scallions
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 egg – whisked
  • wholemeal breadcrumbs for coating
  • a little oil to coat baking pan
  1. Preheat oven – 180 degrees celcius
  2. add chopped herbs to mashed potato – season with salt and pepper
  3. gently mix salmon flakes. Form into patties.
  4. Dip patties in egg and roll in bread crumbs – place on greased pan
  5. cook in oven till golden brown.

Black Quinoa and Corn Salsa Salad

  • 1/2 cup black quinoa (wash and drain)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock

Cook quinoa in vegetable stock, bring to a boil and lower heat – cook covered for 15 – 20 minutes till tail begins to appear from grain.

When the grains have soaked up the stock, switch off heat, leave the quinoa covered for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with fork. Cool.

  • 1/2 cup corn (1 used canned sweet corn kernels)
  • 1/2 onion – chopped fine
  • some red pepper – chopped
  • half green chili – remove seeds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

– mix all the above together, add cooked quinoa. Leave for flavours to meld for a few hours in the fridge. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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About mumstech
Retired at 40 after working in various industries including banking and financial services, oil and gas as well as higher education.Now a stay-at-home mum, cheerleader for husband and son, cleaner, nutritionist, cook, laundry lady, driver, clerk cum administration assistant, public relations, personal assistant... I never knew that squeaky clean floors can give me such satisfaction!

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