SPROUTED QUINOA VEGGIE SUSHI (raw-vegan)
One of my favorite vegan dishes to make is veggie sushi. I think that sushi gives us the opportunity to be creative with colors, flavors and textures. The only challenge I have had is that most sushi is created with cooked sushi rice, which is not on the menu of this raw foodie. Yes I have found many recipes for raw veggie sushi that uses no rice but I miss the flavor and chewy texture of brown sushi rice. I have tried using the “GO-TO” raw alternative of rice that uses cauliflower or other veggies- but I just can’t fully get into it; I think it is missing the starchiness and chewiness (I like brown sushi rice so it is chewy!). Since I have not found a fully satisfying substitute for sushi rice elsewhere, I decided to experiment. EUREKA!! I’ve got it…. sprouted quinoa. Quinoa is an ancient grain that most of us know about in its cooked form, few know that it is great sprouted! Quinoa only takes a couple of days to fully sprout and ferment for sushi, so it is pretty simple. The texture is soft yet slightly chewy, the mouth feel is a little starchy and the flavor is mildly acidic when fully sprouted (which mimics vinegared sushi rice); all of these elements are what I seek in a good sushi rice myself. Now that I have created the perfect raw alternative to sushi rice, I am going to apply it to my SPROUTED QUINOA VEGGIE SUSHI. As with most rolled veggie sushi, the ingredients I used are healthy, vibrant, bursting with flavor but this recipe is 100% RAW. I hope that you enjoy this recipe and make it for your next sushi party or when you are craving sushi. Speaking of craving, I think I am going to go back to eating this….
A CHEF’S TIP: be sure to sprout the quinoa according to the directions, quinoa will spoil and mold quickly if you do not (it has happened to me before). Note that the sprouted quinoa is NOT sticky so go slow and gentle when making this. Also, try to cut the veggies all about the same width, this will make sure the flavors are balanced.
SERVES 4 or MAKES 24 PIECES
2 cups dried organic white quinoa
4 cups water
2 TBSP raw organic granulated sugar
1 large ripe organic avocado
1/4 large organic cucumber (cut lengthwise)
1/2 organic red pepper
1 large organic green onion
1/4 cup organic ginger root fine matchsticks (1/8inch thick)
sushi rolling mat
4 raw organic nori sheets
small amount of water in separate bowl
raw organic coconut aminos
raw wasabi paste (3 parts sun dried organic wasabi powder to 1 part water– mix into a paste)
In a medium bowl, mix the quinoa and water together and set for 24 hours. Strain into a large fine mesh strainer and hang over a bowl to drain out of direct sunlight. [For best results keep in this strainer for the remaining sprouting time] thoroughly rinse with cold water every 6 to 8 hours and drain completely. After 72 hours of rinsing and draining cycles, the quinoa will now be ready to use or place in a covered container up to 1 day in the refrigerator. Fine grind the raw sugar to a powder and mix well into the sprouted quinoa, set aside. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and pit. Gently peel the avocado halves and place them pit hole down on a cutting surface. Take 1 whole half of the avocado and cut this piece in half lengthwise. Now cut the left side in half lengthwise and each of those halves in half again. Now repeat with the right side of this whole avocado half. Repeat this same process with the other whole avocado half, you will have a total of 16 slice of avocado, reserve. Now cut the cucumber into matchsticks (1/8th inch width), cut into 3 inch lengths if possible. Cut the red pepper into thin slices lengthwise. Now cut the green onion into thin strips lengthwise and set aside. Place the ginger matchsticks by the rest of the cut veggies. Now that all of your ingredients are cut and ready it is time to assemble the rolls. Place the sushi rolling mat on flat surface facing horizontal and is able to roll up and away from you. Lay down 1 nori sheet (shiny side down) with the score marks going vertical. Place 1/4 of the sprouted quinoa on the lower 2/3 of the nori sheet, evenly spread out in a thin layer all the way to the side edges. In the horizontal middle 1/3 of this quinoa bed, place 1/4 of the cut veggies in double rows horizontal side by side be sure to go all the way to the side edges and place matchsticks end to end. Start with the side closest to you(bottom) and gently but tightly roll up your sushi roll– up and away from you. Take your time and do not squeeze to hard. Use the mat to gently press and shape the roll, wet the seam and gently seal. Place the seam side down on a flat clean surface and gently moisten (with water and your finger) the rest of the roll, allow to set up 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make the remaining 3 rolls. Once all of the rolls are made, it is time to cut them. Lay your roll horizontal on a clean flat cutting surface. Use a VERY sharp clean knife and trim the jagged ends off the roll (yes as the chef you get to eat this part now). Now cut the roll into 6 even pieces. Repeat with the remaining rolls. Arrange on your serving platter and serve with coconut aminos and wasabi paste. ENJOY!!