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Video: Overcome ‘dinner dread’ with maple soy salmon

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    want to eat.

    >>> now on "today's kitchen," what's cooking? you come home from a long day of work and are cringing of the idea of making dinner for the whole family, but they are hungry.

    >> founder of "take back the kitchen" is a clinical social worker and chef who can help you overcome the dread of cooking.

    >> welcome. why are people so afraid of cooking?

    >> people have a lot of issues. not everybody, but a lot of people. historically, as you know, women were taught how to cook. if they didn't, no one would survive.

    >> if you don't know how to do it, you're intimidated.

    >> yes. the main thing to remember is cooking is a learned skill, it's not innate. people feel they are not enough of a nurturer, a wife or care taker, but it's something you learn.

    >> you feel a lot of this stuff we need happens to be in our fridge, by "our" fridge i mean the one at the "today" show.

    >> you know what you like to eat. you go to restaurants and you eat certain foods. you start to get a sense of what you like. there can be wine for you. if you like to eat salads and salmon and cold peanut noodles, you stock your fridge, freezer and pantry with staple items that are always there and you can whip these up. first thing is maple soy salmon. sounds glamorous, but the truth is this is a three-ingredient dish. talk about the prep. keep individual servings of salmon in your freezer. when you're ready to eat, if you think about it ten minutes before, quickly take it out, immerse it in warm water or you remember that morning and the night before, take it out, defrost it or buy it fresh if you have the time. these ingredients are -- i have to show you. they are in your fridge. soy sauce and maple syrup . that is it. stick it in a saucepan, reduce it down to a thick syrup which means boil it for a while. don't get caught up in the technical terms. you're putting it on a high flame and watching it so it gets syrupy.

    >> we are wasting energy. close the door . lights on and doors closed.

    >> we get it.

    >> we'll reduce the sauce and pour it over the salmon. we are on to the next dish already. if you like salad and you want to be healthy. buy prewashed greens. it may cost more, but they are prewashed.

    >> she is obsessed with the fridge door being open.

    >> then you have dried fruit you like, sunflower seeds . you keep them in the fridge. okay. i'm going to close this.

    >> come down to the noodles.

    >> and add parmesan cheese . close it up. we're done.

    >> it keeps the room cool.

    >> we have 30 seconds. chick peas .

    >> love those.

    >> they're in a can. you already have them. and drizzle the dressing over them. these are staple ingredients you have at all times. oil, sesame oil , rice vinegar , noodles.

    >> it's on our website. you rock.

    >> find these recipes on klg and hoda.com.

    >> he's fantastic. this is "today" on nbc .

    >>> he is a chart-topping, multigrammy platinum-nominated singer/songwriter. one of my favorites "bottoms up".

    >> he's a sweetheart. trey songz has done a lot to capture the hearts and minds of

TODAY recipes
updated 8/20/2012 6:59:22 PM ET 2012-08-20T22:59:22

Recipe: Maple soy salmon

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 6-ounce salmon filets

In a sauce pan, boil 1/2 cup soy sauce and 1/2 cup maple syrup until it is syrupy. You must watch over this and stir continuously because if you let it go too long, it will burn. It should take about 10 minutes but don’t quote me on that — every stove top has different levels of heat intensity. Just watch it and stir. Don’t go multi-tasking, checking your mail or folding laundry because it WILL burn while you are gone. When it is syrupy, set aside.

Bake at 350 degrees F or pan fry salmon until it is opaque in the center. If you are frying, use a little olive oil and if you are baking use parchment paper in a baking dish (If you have not bought parchment paper, go do it NOW!)

Pour the syrup over the salmon. Save the leftover sauce for another day in a tupperware in the fridge. Serve this sauce to your kids with tofu, chicken, other fish or vegetables.

Recipe: Green salad with nuts, seeds, and maple soy dressing

  • 8 cups leafy greens
  • 3 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds or any other type of nut or seed that you have handy
  • 3 tablespoons dried cherries, chopped or raisins or any other chopped dried fruit you have on hand
  • 1/2 can chick peas (15.5 ounce can)
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Maple soy salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 8 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Whisk all marinade ingredients together until fully combined and store in fridge. Use on salad.

Recipe: Cold sesame peanut noodles

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth or even water
  • 3/4-1 pound linguine or lo mein noodles chopped scallions and chopped, peeled cucumber for garnish

In a medium sized saucepan, combine all ingredients up to and including the chicken broth. Cook on medium heat, stirring until it is thickened and smooth. Let cool.

Cook noodles, drain and rinse in cold water. Transfer noodles to a big bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve at room temp. and garnish with the scallions and cukes.

IMPORTANT NOTE! If you make the sauce beforehand, DO NOT toss with the noodles until you are ready to serve. If they sit for a while already mixed, the noodles will soak up all the sauce and it will get dried out. You can make the pasta before as well as the sauce  but just keep them in separate bowls. You can prep the garnish before also and leave it in the fridge in a small covered bowl or tupperware. Enjoy!


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