These Japanese onigiri rice triangles can be filled with anything—peanut butter and jelly, leftover chicken, sustainable canned salmon, or fresh fruit. Make in advance and refrigerate overnight. For a recess snack, shape onigiri into 1 1/2 in (4 cm) balls instead of palm-sized triangles. Pack two different kinds for lunch so the flavours are a surprise.
2 cups (500 mL) sushi rice
2 cups (500 mL) cold water, plus more for rinsing
1/4 cup (60 mL) + 2 Tbsp (30 mL) unseasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) organic cane sugar
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) water
1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked chicken or sustainable canned tuna or salmon mixed with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) peanut butter (or sunflower butter) and 1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) jelly
3 packed Tbsp (45 mL) diced dried fruit (prunes, figs, apricots) or fresh fruit (grapes, plums, peaches)
Place sushi rice in medium pot. Add water to cover by about 1 in (2.5 cm). Swirl rice with your hand until water is cloudy, then drain and repeat the soaking, swirling, and draining process 2 more times. Use fine-meshed sieve to catch escaping grains when draining.
Add 2 cups (500 mL) cold water to drained rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once simmering, cover pot and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to its lowest point for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat but leave covered for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, combine 1/4 cup (60 mL) rice vinegar with sugar and salt, mixing to dissolve, and slowly drizzle over rice while gently stirring with spatula to combine. Let cool for at least 5 minutes.
Combine remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water in shallow bowl and coat your palms so they don’t stick to the rice. Scoop a scant 1/2 cup (125 mL) rice into one hand. Make a shallow well in the rice for filling. Place 2 tsp (10 mL) of your filling of choice inside, pressing so it’s flat with the rice. Shape rice around filling to seal. Cup both hands and squeeze rice into approximate shape of a triangle or ball (a ball is easier). Press just hard enough so the triangle (or ball) doesn’t fall apart. Repeat with remaining rice and fillings, re-soaking hands in vinegar water each time.
Makes 6 onigiri triangles and 4 to 6 balls.
Each peanut butter and jelly rice triangle contains: 206 calories: 4 g protein; 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 43 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 226 mg sodium
source: "Build a Better Lunch", alive #383, September 2014
These mildly spiced salmon tacos served with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds will bring a party together. Make a small quantity of salmon go further when you pair it with a fresh red cabbage slaw featuring citrus and cilantro. Drizzled with some bright lime yogurt, the flavours come together perfectly. Sustainability status Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are considered among the most sustainable, as the fishery is subject to limited harvests. With salmon stocks in decline, supporting managed fisheries such as these can help maintain populations into the future. That may also mean eating salmon less often than we do now. Salmon is a favourite Salmon is the most popular variety of fish in Canada and the second most popular in the US.
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
The delicate flavour of shrimp is highlighted with just a touch of lemon and a hint of mustard, while radish and celery give some fresh crunch to this dish. Eat it in lettuce cups, on top of greens, or served on whole grain bread for a filling snack. Sustainability status Both wild and farmed shrimp can be sustainable depending on where they’re caught and how they’re raised. See our article “Sea Change” for more information about choosing ethical shrimp.
Steaming fish in parchment-paper packets, also known as cooking en papillote , is a classic technique that allows you to cook all your vegetables and fish at the same time in a quick, easy, and convenient way. Flavours of lemon, garlic, and spicy dried chili make this a simple, yet showstopping meal. Sustainability status Wild-caught Pacific halibut has Ocean Wise and Marine Stewardship Council certifications and is fished using longlines, which is a more selective method of fishing that results in less bycatch. Prep party Involve family or guests in the prep and have everyone make their own packet. Once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s easy to change up the ingredients. Make sure you select vegetables that will cook at the same rate as the fish.