Red meat is an area where I think everyone should agree to disagree. It certainly has it's health benefits for children. Red meat is high in protein and iron. Ground beef can also have high fat content which leaves the meat tender and flavorful. However, some studies have shown that beef should only be given to children in moderation.
Usually, great and healthy substitutes for dishes that call for ground beef are ground turkey and chicken. Often overlooked however is Salmon. Salmon is a food that is rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids which have been proven to stimulate brain and heart function in both children and adults.
I really wanted to incorporate salmon into my son's diet after reading about all of the health benefits omega 3's would provide for him. It was also convenient as my wife and I often eat Salmon prepared various ways for dinner. Unfortunately, my son didn't click with grilled salmon, so I experimented with a variation on a traditional salmon patty. Depeding on your tastes, you can either fry or bake these, they are delicious either way.
Total Preparation and Cook Time - 30-45 Minutes
This recipe makes roughly six medium sized meatballs.
6 oz. Fresh Salmon
1/2 Cup Chopped Basil
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbls Garlic Powder
1/2 Tbls Black Pepper
1 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbls Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Pinch of Sea Salt
1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
1 clove of garlic
Crush garlic and gather ingredients, remove skin from Salmon and place together into food processor. Gently blend until salmon is finely ground and ingredients have mixed together. Roll mixture into balls roughly the size of medium sized strawberry.
Always remember to be safe when cooking with oil and make sure children are out of the room!
Place a cast iron skillet on stove and pour enough oil so that bottom of your pan has a generous coating. Allow oil to heat for a few minutes.
Drop the meatballs into the cast iron skillet and brown each side for 2-3 minutes. After all sides have a crisp brown exterior place on a plate with paper towel above and below to absorb excess oil.
Preheat oven to 360F degrees
Spray your baking sheet with no stick cooking spray. Place salmon meatballs on baking sheet roughly an inch apart. Bake for 14-17 minutes, flipping each meatball once after about 6-8 minutes.