Winner Winner, NOT a Chicken Tender Dinner!

Ask almost any parent about their children’s eating habits and they can regale you with complaint after complaint. Little Johnny doesn’t like vegetables. Little Susie refuses to drink milk. Little Tommy eats only foods that are white. Little Patty only takes meals in smoothie form. The list can go on and on. If I had to name my biggest complaint with Sarah, it was that for many years, she did not like protein. Oh, she liked it well enough in chicken nugget form or in tubular hot dog fashion. And of course, who doesn’t like bacon? But good old beef? Nope. Chicken? Tolerable. And fish? No way dude.

Time after time she refused any attempt on my part to introduce protein into her diet. And by “refused,” I mean, she gagged and gagged and then finally spit it not too discretely into her napkin. In fact, I had all but given up and basically stuck to rotisserie chicken, bacon, and scrambled eggs for her. But one day last summer, she went over to a friend’s house for dinner and had salmon…and liked it! HALLELUJAH! When she told me about it, I basically danced a jig in my kitchen. Yes, this is what happens when you become a mother. You dance because your child will eat a new food. Sad, but true.

Since then, I’ve tried to prepare it a few ways but this Maple Soy Salmon recipe is our favorite. It has just the right amount of sweet and salt. Another bonus is that you can you prep it earlier in the day and stick it in the fridge. The longer it marinates, the better, and most of the ingredients are ones you have your kitchen already.

REICHERT RATING: Another rare 4 thumbs from all of us. Katie yells “hooray!” whenever I tell her I’m making it. Sarah gobbles it up and it is flavorful enough for Chris and me. Our girls especially love to wrap it in dried roasted seaweed with white rice. Yes. You read that right. Sarah won’t eat pork tenderloin but she will eat dried roasted seaweed. What can I say? The Korean genes rule again.

THE “BUT I WANT TO HELP” QUOTIENT: With so few ingredients, it’s easy to let the kids pour, mix, and baste. Here’s Katie spending A LOT of time “painting” the sauce onto the filets. She was so consumed doing it, I was tempted just to let her do it all day long while I read my back issues of People, knocked back a few vodka sodas, and ordered a pizza for dinner.

BONUS POINTS: Whenever I serve the girls this, I feel something I very rarely feel as a mother: virtuous. Look at me serving my family salmon: rich in Omega-3 fats, lean, and oh-so-healthy for you. I rock.


1/2 cup maple syrup

4 T soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pepper to taste

1.5 lbs salmon, skin removed if desired

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In large baking dish, mix in all ingredients except the salmon.
  3. Place salmon filets into dish and coat with sauce. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (I usually do it for 4 hours).
  4. Before baking, spoon some sauce on top of salmon. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve with some sauce on top.

Yes, I serve white rice with everything. I can’t resist it.


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