Chicken Meets Sushi, Musubi Style-Chicken Musubi

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I find it kind of ironic that my 6 year old who obsesses about sharks loves anything with seaweed. He chows down California sushi rolls, toasted seaweed in a bag and Spam Musubi. I introduced him to Spam Musubi a couple of years ago when I ordered it at a local Hawaiian BBQ, trying it myself for the first time. I believe he fell in love with Spam that day.

If you’ve never heard of Spam Musubi, it a delicious double deck of cards sized snack originating from Hawaii, with 2 layers of sweet sushi rice and a sweet and salty oyster sauce covered filling of Spam in the middle, all wrapped up in toasty nori-seaweed. It’s delicious.

Well this was before my son was diagnosed with autism and ADHD and we realized every time he eats a hot dog or processed meat product packed with nitrates, he gets hyper as heck. So I’ve been making it my mission to take my boy’s favorite foods and turn them into nurturing autism friendly culinary delights.
And then I remembered he loves teriyaki chicken!
Chicken Musubi
 
Sushi Rice
2 cups calrose rice, rinsed and drained
3 1/2 cups water
2 Tb rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Chicken Musubi Filling

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup sugar
6 sheets toasted nori seaweed
Sesame oil
Directions:
Put rinsed and drained rice and water in rice cooker or pot to cook and steam until done, about 30 minutes.

 

Meanwhile slice the chicken breast horizontally into thin rectangular strips.
Tip: do this while the chicken is partially frozen.
Whisk together low sodium soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar and pour over chicken slices in a bowl. Marinate for 10 minutes.
Preheat large skillet with 1Tb sesame oil.
Add chicken, leaving marinade in bowl.
Cover and cook through about 8 minutes. Remove cover. Flip chicken over, add remaining marinade and cook uncovered about 3 minutes more until cooked through and sauce is bubbly. Remove from heat.
Remove 6 sheets nori and cut in half in direction of perforation.
When rice is done, flip out onto large cookie sheet, spread evenly with spatula, sprinkle with sugar and rice vinegar and gently incorporate throughout.
This stuff is sticky but delicious. If any falls on the floor it will haunt you all day. I should know-my kids like to eat sticky rice leaning over the floor. Gah!
Time to assemble!
Left to right, using Musubi press or wet hands, add 2 heaping Tb sushi rice to bottom layer over nori sheet half. Keep a small bowl of water nearby to wet press so rice doesn’t stick. Add slice of cooked chicken over first rice layer and brush with marinade from pan. Add 2 more heaping Tb sushi rice. Press mold all the way through. Wrap Musubi by folding over nori and seal by moistening edge of nori with water. Slice in half to serve.
Makes 12 Chicken Musubis or 6 servings.
This is a kid tested recipe that all my boys loved-even the boy next door! My 6 year old didn’t even miss his spam. He said it tasted the same.
And there you have it, nitrate free meat but all the goodness of chicken and Musubi.

Falafelly Good for You-Baked Falafels

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“Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you…”, um get healthy?

Yes!  Did you know garbanzo beans are one of the most healthiest foods on the planet?  (Yes, I said most healthiest-because they are that good!). Yup, this heart healthy and versatile food is at the top of our bean chain!  And they are delicious!
One of my favorite meals that feature garbanzo beans as their star are falafels!  Falafels are fried little fritters comprised of dried garbanzo beans that have been soaked in water for 12-24 hours and are then mixed with garlic and fresh herbs and spices. They are traditionally served with a tahini sauce, which is sesame butter, in a pita, flatbread, on a salad, or as a side dish. I like mine in pitas.  And they can be rolled into any shape. I make mine into logs so they are like dippers for my kids-like fish sticks!
I like to stick to the healthy theme here of these falafels and bypass the three inches of frying oil. I bake mine!
Baked Falafels
2 cups dried garbanzo beans, covered with two inches of water for 12-24 hours, then rinsed and drained
1 tsp baking powder
1 small onion, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic (Finicky Shark says if too spicy-use less garlic)
1 Tb coriander
1 Tb cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 handfuls fresh flat leaf parsley
1 handful fresh cilantro
Zest AND juice of one lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking spray for baking or canola oil for frying
Serve with:
Warm pitas or Greek salad
Various veggies for pita pockets-sliced cucumbers, red onions, lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.
Tahini Yogurt Sauce (recipe under Dips)
Preheat oven to 425*F.
Place garbanzo beans in food processor and pulse until broken down. Add remaining ingredients except for S&P and combine well. Add S&P to taste.
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence.  Everything is better with lime.  I love my microplane!  Every passionate cook should own one of these!
Scoop mixture by tablespoons and form into small balls-1 Tb, or roll carefully into logs-2 Tb. Transfer to cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Spray falafels again with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate falafels, spray again and bake for another 15 minutes until browned evenly.
Alternatively drop carefully into hot oil and fry about 5 min each, turning to brown evenly, being careful they don’t stick to the pan.
Serve in warm pitas (pictured above) or over Greek salad.
Serves 4, makes 16 logs or 32 balls
To make a quick Greek Salad, chop some lettuce, and add sliced tomato, red onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, kalamata olives, pepperoncinis and feta cheese.  Toss with EVOO, balsamic vinegar and Greek seasoning.
These are amazing with Tahini Yogurt Sauce. And the sauce is so delicious and good for you, my husband enjoyed half the bowl!  See recipe for Tahini Yogurt Sauce under dips.
And we can’t finish this out without a Finicky Shark version. My kids like these with ranch. Or ketchup. I also give them the Tahini option.
Served with a side of carrot fries!
*Slice peeled carrots into French fry size pieces, toss in olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper.  Then bake on  cookie sheet at 450*F for 20-25 minutes.
Sharky reviews:
My oldest shark inhaled these with ranch dressing and requested seconds.
My most finicky super sensitive shark prefers less garlic, but did attempt to eat these. He said they were spicy-less garlic would fix that, as I do recall him eating these in the past.
My youngest shark ate a few bites with ranch dressing. The carrot fries were also enjoyed. And they really liked the flatbread circles.  I found preservative free whole wheat pita flatbreads for myself and hubby at Fresh and Easy. For the boys I chose smaller 100 calorie circle flatbreads.
Enjoy!  And don’t forget to add the Tahini Yogurt Sauce!

Baked Falafels

Prep Time: 23 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 24 hours

Number of servings: 4

Per Serving 398 calories

Fat 7 g

Carbs 68 g

Protein 21 g

4


Baked Falafels

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®:

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried garbanzo beans
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic (Finicky Shark says if too spicy-use less garlic)
  • 1 Tb coriander
  • 1 Tb cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 handfuls fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • Zest AND juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray for baking

Instructions

  1. 12-24 hours before hand, cover the dried garbanzo beans with two inches of water and let soak, then rinse and drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 425*F.
  3. Place garbanzo beans in food processor and pulse until broken down.
  4. Add remaining ingredients except for S&P and combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Scoop mixture by tablespoons and form into small balls-1 Tb, or roll carefully into logs-2 Tb. Transfer to cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spray falafels again with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Rotate falafels, spray again and bake for another 15 minutes until browned evenly.

Notes

Alternatively drop carefully into hot oil and fry about 5 min each, turning to brown evenly, being careful they don’t stick to the pan. Serve in warm pitas (pictured above) or over Greek salad. Serve with Tahini Yogurt Sauce.

How will serve your falafels?
 
 

Tahini Yogurt Sauce

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Sauce so delicious and good for you, you’ll try to see what else you can dip in it.

 

Tahini Yogurt Sauce
 
1/2 cup tahini (sesame butter)
3/4 cup Fage Total 0% Plain Greek yogurt or other plain yogurt (for a vegan version of this sauce, you may substitute 1/2 cup water or almond milk and omit the 1/4 cup water; this will change the consistency slightly)
1/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of one lime
Juice of two limes
Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator to marry flavors.

 

Serve with Baked Falafels (recipe in Meals and Vegan) on warm pita bread or flatbread, or with fresh veggie sticks.
Serves 4, about 3 Tb per serving.

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