Who doesn’t love sushi? I think it’s one of the few meals you could wake me up for in the middle of the night. Although, it takes a little practice, but creating your own custom sushi can be such a fun and very rewarding activity. Last week I had a great time with a lovely friend while making some quinoa avocado sushi rolls.
Sushi is generally regarded as a healthy choice for keeping weight off and boosting nutrient intake. When you think of sushi, healthy slices of raw, fresh fish, with a small amount of rice, rolled up in some nutritious seaweed paper probably cross your mind. However, sushi has become so diverse and flamboyant over recent years that those are not the only ingredients anymore. It now comes packed with fatty mayonnaise, artery clogging fried fats, and sugar-laced white rice that make it tastier, but also unhealthier.
Stodgy white rice is the main ingredient in sushi — sometimes making up as much as 75 per cent of the dish. Like long-grain white rice, it is heavily processed, causing it to lose vitamins, minerals and fibre, the last of which is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system.
I don ‘t want to bum you out, so here is a recipe of a very healthy version of the traditonal sushi, based on quinoa. Quinoa is derived from the seeds of the quinoa plant, which is connected to the spinach family. Centuries ago, quinoa was the prime focus of the ancient Incan diet. Not only high in protein and fiber, quinoa is also gluten- free and a great source of iron, calcium and polyunsaturated fats. Apart from all its health benefits, quinoa has an amazing nutty and delicate taste.
Ingredients for 2 rolls:
- 1,5 cups quinoa
- 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
- 2 sheets toasted nori
- 1 avocado
- 1 cucumber
- 3 carrots
- 1 red bell pepper
- Bamboo sushi rolling mat
- A very, very, sharp knife
- In a strainer, rinse quinoa well. Then transfer to a pot and mix with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the water has been fully absorbed. This will last about 10 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, prepare the filling. Whatever filling you use, it is very important to slice it thinly.
- Once the quinoa is cooked, transfer to a bowl. Pour the brown rice vingar over it, this will help the quinoa to stick together. Don’t let the sushi cool complety, cause this will result in falling apart.
- Lay a nori sheet on your bamboo mat and spread the quinoa over the nori. Use a spoon to press it as close to the edges as you can, but –this is very important- leave one clear strip (about 1 inch) at the end of the nori sheet farthest from you.
- Place the fillings in the middle of the sheet, in a horizontal line across the width of the nori sheet. Be sure not to overfill your wrap or sealing will be very difficult.
- Here comes the fun part: roll the sushi. Starting at the end closest to you, tuck your fingers around the bamboo mat, rolling the mat and the nori over the fillings closest to you. Once the nori has rolled over, squeeze together and use the mat to guide the nori. Roll the nori evenly to the opposite, using your fingers to hold the fillings in place along the roll. To seal the wrap, moisten te opposite and press tightly. If you have never rolled sushi before, I recommend watching a youtube tutorial.
- Use a very sharp knife in a gently sawing motion to cut the toll into 8 even pieces each. My knife had a blunt blade, making it really hard to cut the roll, so I highly recommend investing in a good knife!
- Serve with dipping sauce, I used Tamari soy sauce, and enjoy!
Lots of love, Leila
– If we wait until we are ready, we will be waiting for the rest of our lives ~Lemony Snicket