I love sushi, but as a vegan and holistic health consultant, it’s very important for me to eat clean/fresh/whole organic produce, a balanced meal, and no added sugar. With all of these requirements, my choices out there are slim. There are not many restaurant options to accommodate vegan raw sushi that tastes great, offers a balanced roll with a good source of protein, complex carbs, good fats – and ORGANIC ingredients. I can think of three places in Los Angeles (1 raw, two vegan), but all three have only one or two choices, and protein density is questionable. It’s not like we can say “hey guys, let’s go out for some great organic-vegan sushi!” Remember: We always want to eat a balanced meal, so we can create cellular energy and not have cravings or sleepy-times in the middle of the day.
Because necessity is a predecessor to creativity, I came up with this flavor-bursting-in-your-mouth sushi roll that my husband is crazy about. Taking matters into my own kitchen once again, I had a variety of sushi options flowing to and through my mind, and all were easy to make, delicious to eat, and nourishing for the body. Making sushi is an activity that is also loads of fun to do with a friend, a spouse, or on your own. Prepping the veggies (cutting) is the longest, and from there on it’s all about getting the hang of making those rolls tight. All you need is your bamboo sushi mat, rice paddle, and fresh produce. Let’s get creative!!!
Prep: First, slice the mushrooms into strips and cut the strips in half. In a small deep bowl, squeeze the lime juice, and add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, ground black pepper and mushrooms. Set this aside while mushrooms soak up the lime juice.
In a small pot, place the quinoa, rinse it well three times, drain, and add 1 1/2 drinking water, turmeric, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and Celtic sea salt; mix and set in stove under high heat. When it begins to boil, bring the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the water is gone and the quinoa is nice and fluffy but dense. Set aside to cool enough to handle with your hands. Don’t let it get super cold – this will prevent the quinoa from sticking.
While the quinoa is cooking, chop the red bell pepper, cucumber, carrot into thin slices and keep in fridge until ready to assemble into rolls. For the pistachio wasabi, place the pistachios with a little bit of water into small food processor and grind well until it becomes like a paste. Set aside in fridge.
I make a special/signature “Silvie” sauce that I add in the assemble of this sushi roll to kick the flavors up to the next level. Add the yellow miso into a small mixing glass bowl and dissolve it with a little water. Place the soaked and rinsed cashews in a small food processor and add 1/4 cup of water, the dissolved yellow miso, dijon mustard, tahini, red onions, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 small raw clove with no germ) and a pinch of Celtic sea salt. Puree all ingredients until they are blended well and have a paste texture. Set aside for assembly.
To assemble, place your bamboo mat with the flat side up on a large flat cutting board. Place the glossy side of the nori down on top of the mat and with your rice paddle take some quinoa and set it in the middle of the nori. Spread the quinoa with your fingers by pushing it down and out to the sides, making it stick together. Spread the quinoa evenly across the nori leaving one inch of clear space at the bottom and at the top. Keep pushing the quinoa down making sure it is all compacted. Turn the nori upside down on the mat. Spread the Silvie sauce on 1/2 of the nori (the area closest to you) on top, add the pea sprouts, mushrooms, carrots, red bell pepper, cucumber, and onion sprouts. At the bottom of all the veggies add a strip of the pistachio wasabi that should look like a long line from one side to the other. Wet the top of the edge of the nori with a little water to help seal. Roll real tight (google some videos to get the rolling idea perfect). Using a very sharp and wet knife, cut the roll into six pieces, wiping and wetting the knife in between cuts. Arrange sushi on a plate and make balls out of pistachio wasabi. Enjoy!!!!
Nutritional Info: What I love about this sushi is that, not only is it gluten-free, it is also packed with vegan protein.
- ❉ Quinoa is a gluten-free whole grain that provides all the essential amino acids you need (it’s a complete protein in itself, a rarity). It is also rich in the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Because this grain is very high in manganese as well as magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, it may be especially valuable for people with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
- ❉ Nori (like all other seaweeds) is a rich source of calcium, zinc and iodine. It is also a good source of Lignans, which help fight cancer.
- ❉ Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory with anti-cancer effects that also provides rheumatoid arthritis relief. It has curcumin, which gives turmeric its color and aids cystic fibrosis sufferers.
- ❉ Red bell pepper, filled with anti-aging antioxidants, is an excellent source of Vitamin C.
- ❉ The silica in cucumber is an essential component of healthy connective tissue, which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone.
- ❉ Besides being a powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer food, shitake mushrooms contain a compound called lentinan, which has the ability to power up the immune system, strengthening its ability to fight infection and disease.
- ❉ Tahini (sesame seed paste) is loaded with iron and calcium.
- ❉ Cashews are an HFood, with amazing nutritional properties outlined in that section.
- ❉ Sprouts are easily digestible and also have a regenerating effect on the human body because of their high concentration of RNA, DNA, protein and essential nutrients, which can be found only in living cells. Pea sprouts contain a rich amount of Vitamin A from beta-carotene, which is important for the skin and helps keep the immune system healthy. It’s also packed with folic acid, which is needed to make healthy cells and blood and is also necessary for the development of the fetus/unborn baby. Onion sprouts are 20% protein and good sources of vitamins A, C and D.
- ❉ Full of fiber and protein, pistachio is the nut with the most potassium and the lowest fat. A groundbreaking study published in the September 2008 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that one to two handfuls of pistachios may be just what the cardiologist ordered. Pistachios contain more than 30 different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants associated with a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration.