Brown Rice Hippie Sushi (vegan, gluten free)

Vegan, Gluten Free, Low Fat

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When I eat this sushi I feel like a spiritual nature loving Buddha. It’s so green and crunchy and ‘healthy’ tasting. I know that can be a bad thing (wheat grass shots I’m looking at you) but here it’s a super yummy thing. It’s one of those meals where you feel like you just undid the entire week of bad eating that came before (I’m sorry tub of ice cream for destroying you).

It took me so long to get my sushi making skills up to scratch. The first time I tried my level of failure was actually ridiculous. There was probably an entire cup of rice I was trying to squeeze on the one roll. I ended up just throwing it in a bowl and eating it like a sad sushi salad. I think I’ve got it pretty much perfect now! And you can customise this recipe to make it as fancy or as simple as you want.
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I can’t believe how easy it is to make if you actually know what you’re doing. This morning I was on major struggle street (way waaay too much lolly water last night). I was so wobbly taking an overhead shot I literally almost dropped my camera on the avocado. That would have just been too much to handle. But I still managed! I brought a huge plate of sushi to my friend’s lunch and felt like a sushi superstar.

A few key points I have gathered on the way to perfect sushi status: The rice should be brown. It is so much more flavoursome and textured than white rice. Sorry generations of skilled Japanese chefs, I’m going to have to pull rank on you with this one. My tastebuds would like to officially make brown rice sushi the next big thing.
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When putting the rice on the seaweed, leave a generous gap on either edge so that you can properly seal it. Make sure you push your rice right to the other edges, otherwise you’ll lose filling from either end. It will be so sooo sad when you cut it and end up with a deconstructed seaweed bowl.

Use thinly sliced very fresh veggies like carrot, cucumber, lettuce, radish, shallot, whatever you like eating really. But don’t put too much filling! AND DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE OUT THE AVOCADO. It’s so wrong on so many levels. You don’t need to include the teriyaki tofu, but it adds some protein as well as a sweet flavour. You could always replace it with egg or fish if that is your thing.

And make sure to serve your sushi with lots of wasabi and pickled ginger! I know wasabi is a bit unnecessary with vegetarian sushi, but it makes it so much nicer so once again Lil the Queen of Sushi would like to publicly announce the importance of wasabi and override those that disagree.

One Year Ago: Banana Layer Cake with Maple Icing

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Healthy Brown Rice Sushi Rolls
Makes enough for 6-8 large rolls
1 packet dried nori sheets
3 cups brown rice
pinch of salt
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 carrot, julienned
1 large cucumber, seeded and julienned
1 large handful of lettuce, chopped in strips
1 large ripe avocado
250g (1/2 pound) of firm tofu
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey or agave syrup for vegan
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 TBSP chilli oil
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Cook the rice according to packet instructions or using the absorbing method, in a pot with 5 cups of water and the salt, covered, for about half an hour until dry. Take the lid off and stir through the vinegar, then spoon in to a bowl and mix it around to let the heat escape. Chop all the greens and set aside. Chop up the tofu in to matchsticks and pour over the marinade ingredients. Fry in the chilli oil until crispy and set aside.

To roll the sushi, make sure the rice is quite cool otherwise the seaweed will crinkle up around it and make it hard to roll. Place a sheet on the bamboo matt (you can roll it if you want by hand). Spoon about 4 tbsp of brown rice in to the centre of the seaweed and use the spoon to spread it evenly across the middle in a wide strip, leaving a gap on each horizontal edge. On the edge closest to you, lay a strip of each vegetable, a thin strip of avocado and the tofu. Grab the edge of matt closest to you and firmly, with no hesitation, roll the matt over to encompass all the fillings and then continue to roll and tighten with your hands as you go. Chop into 5-6 pieces and repeat. Serve with soy sauce and pickled ginger, as soon as possible.
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Chilli and Basil Mushrooms on Avocado Toast

Vegan and Gluten Free

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 I LOVE MUSHROOMS. 

I love them. I don’t know about any other vegetarians out there, but the only thing I kind of miss from eating meat is eating chewy food. Vegetables can be crunchy and tempeh and tofu can be crumbly, but there isn’t much chewy food in a vegetarian diet. (Unless you count chewy worms and jelly snakes, which I do…) So whenever I feel like all I’ve been eating is soft and mushy food and get scared my teeth are about to fall out,  I crave mushrooms. 

Last week the farmers market had the best mushrooms! We bought four boxes of them! I ate mushrooms in four different meals in a row. By the last one I will admit I was feeling a little over-mushroomed. We made mushroom stir fry, baked mushrooms, mushroom pasta sauce, and my favourite way; chilli basil mushrooms on toast. 

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 The number one crime when making mushrooms on toast is to only use one type of mushrooms. ESPECIALLY if you just use button mushrooms. Button mushrooms are great, but they aren’t very flavoursome by themselves. They need the help of their little mushroom friends enoki and oyster. I went to Bill’s Cafe with some friends recently and got the mushrooms on toast, and I think there must have been four different types used! It was incredible. This recipe is partially inspired by that breakfast because it was amazing!

The number two crime is overcrowding the pan. Don’t do that. Mushrooms release juices when they cook and your pan will fill with liquid and they will broil. You will be sad. They will be sad. Make sure there’s lots of room for them to get brown and crispy and soak up all the flavours you add. (Thank you Julia Child!)

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I’m so excited to keep posting savoury recipes on this blog. This recipe is so easy, even if I haven’t quite mastered the ‘how to take a photo of a hot pan without burning yourself’ skill yet.  But I’m hopeful for the future. I used sour dough bread as the base of choice but the recipe is really about the mushrooms, so you can use gluten free bread or serve it over pasta or rice if you want. 

For the chilli jam I used a homemade jar made by a friend, so you could either make your own or buy a good quality one from a deli or market. I wouldn’t recommend a commercial brand just because they’re so much sweeter and less spicy than homemade, but if that’s all you have I’m sure it will taste fine. If you don’t like spice, you can also leave it out. 

You can put a poached egg on top too if you eat eggs. That’s what my sister did this morning, after I finally let her have the plate when I was finished photographing it. And it did look pretty good! Enjoy!

One Year Ago: Wholemeal Brown Sugar Strawberry Cake

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 Chilli and Basil Mushrooms on Avocado Toast:

For 2 people – 

30 ml (1.5 tbsp) olive oil 

2 small cloves of garlic, chopped 

2 big handfuls chopped field mushrooms

1 handful oyster mushrooms

2 handfuls mixed other mushrooms like enoki, button, flat etc

2 tsp chilli jam

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 handful torn basil leaves, split in half

2-4 pieces of bread (gluten free fine)

1/2 an avocado

Optional: poached egg, grilled tomato, lemon juice to serve

salt and pepper, to serve

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 Fry the garlic in the oil in a large pan on a gentle heat until soft. Increase the heat to medium and add in the mushrooms, chilli, and vinegar and sauté. Fry the mushrooms so that they become crispy and brown. Taste to check the seasoning. Grill your toast and spread with avocado. Squeeze on some lemon juice if you want and spoon over the mushrooms. Top with salt and pepper and extras, if you want. Serve hot!

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