Japanese bento lunch boxes are budget-savers. Beautifully crafted bentos are often on sale hours before closing in department store basements in Japan. The artistic mosaics of foods arranged in accordance with the season are also available for a reasonable price on bullet train rides and station kiosks. Still, bento boxes like brown bags when homemade are inevitably infused with an invaluable ingredient – love.
A balanced bento:
Heart Healthy Salmon Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) and almonds
are accompanied by Chocolate Péjoy Banana Rum Mini Cakes.
Bentos made by a parent or a spouse at home also allow for specific taste tailoring. Of course, the cookie monster in your house may vote for a cookie bento. But if the aim is providing a happy AND healthy lunch, a bento with onigiri rice balls stuffed with salmon (beef or other heart-healthy protein) is ideal. (Japanese – English dictionaries usually translate onigiri as Japanese rice balls. The translation is baffling to this Ninja Baker; traditionally the rice “balls” are actually more triangular in shape.)
Salmon: A fish with a myriad of virtues and versatility.
Salmon is a fantabulous choice for onigiri filling. Here are a few reasons why:
- reduces heart disease risk
- decreases the chance of blood clots
- keeps the heart beating normally (thanks to the potassium and unsaturated fats in salmon)
- fights cancers
- assists with anti-aging
- contains phosphorus which works well with calcium to strengthen bones and teeth
- flows with vitamin and mineral rich B6, B12, zinc, iron and niacin
- Last and not least, salmon is packed with protein. Women need 46 grams of daily protein, men require 56 grams. 3 ounces of salmon holds 22 grams of protein – perfect for stuffing into a Japanese onigiri. And the triangular rice balls are marvelous companions in a bento box to almonds, leafy greens and the Ninja Baker’s Chocolate Péjoy Banana Rum Mini Cakes!
One kitty who appreciates the benefits of salmon!
Thank you to Ethel of EatingInInstead and Lori of FoxesLoveLemons for hosting this Heart Healthy-themed SundaySupper. Besides attending the virtual dinner party at Twitter (scroll down for details) here are recipes to keep your heart healthy and your tummy happy!
Better for you breakfasts:
- Apple Pie Oatmeal by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Scones by Brunch with Joy
- Create-Your-Own Overnight Oatmeal by Rhubarb and Honey
- Orange, Mango, Lime & Ginger Smoothie by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Pear Bran Muffins by Magnolia Days
- Stovetop Fruit & Honey Granola by What Smells So Good?
Jump start your health with these appetizers and snacks:
- Almond Crusted Chicken Nuggets by Momma's Meals
- Chipotle Black Bean Dip by Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
- Lemon Aioli with Spring Vegetables by Jane's Adventures in Dinner
- Mala Baked Tofu Bites by Palatable Pastime
- Parmesan Pistachio Kale Chips by The Texan New Yorker
Soups that'll win your heart:
- Asian Soba Noodle Broth Bowl by Hip Foodie Mom
- Kale, Spinach, and Bean Soup by Ruffles & Truffles
- Mushroom Quinoa Soup by Pies and Plots
- Quinoa Chickpea Soup with Roasted Garlic & Veggies by Sue's Nutrition Buzz
- Turkey and Black-Eyed Peas Soup by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Veggies, Sides, & Salads your heart will thank you for:
- Collard Greens with Cumin and Paprika by Nik Snacks
- Salmon Caesar Salad by Casa de Crews
- Kale Roasted Beet Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing by Noshing with the Nolands
- Lightened-Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Roasted Teriyaki Green Beans and Mushrooms by NeighborFood
- Salmon Salad Niçoise by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Seasoned Spinach & Bok Choy by Nosh My Way
- Spinach Berry Salad by Country Girl in the Village
- Sweet & Smokey Cauliflower Salad by Take a Bite Out of Boca
- Winter Citrus Salad with Avocado-Basil Dressing by Foxes Love Lemons
Healthy is the center of attention in these main courses:
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
- Celeriac Noodles with Mushroom Ragu by The Joyful Foodie
- Gluten Free Roasted Chicken and Kale by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Heart Healthy Salmon Bento by The Ninja Baker
- Lemony Grilled Chicken by Peaceful Cooking
- Moroccan Salmon Tagine by Curious Cuisiniere
- Olive Oil-Poached Salmon with Pickled Cherry Salsa by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- One Pot Mexican Quinoa by Have Fun Saving
- Oven Baked Tilapia Tacos by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Piperies Yemistes me Pligouri - Bulgur Stuffed Peppers by Food Lust People Love
- Salmon with Mango Salsa by Cooking Chat
- Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake by Food Done Light
- Vegetable and Ginger Congee by eating in instead
- Vegetarian Cuban-Style Black Beans & Rice by MealDiva
- White Bean, Corn, Tomato and Rice Skillet by Family Foodie
Staying healthy doesn't mean giving up desserts!
- Baked Figs with Vanilla and Honey by Happy Baking Days
- Caramelized Pear Tart by PancakeWarriors
- Cherry-Blueberry Trifles by The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch
We heart wine.
- Wine Pairing Recommendations for Heart Healthy #SundaySupper by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Wishing you and yours healthy hearts that sing with happiness!
The Ninja Baker
© ™ Watkinson 2012
The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.
Follow Ninja Baker @NinjaBaking's board NinjaBaker.com Savories on Pinterest.