Avocado Sushi Bowl

One of my very favorite foods is sushi. Unfortunately for me, I am not very good at rolling sushi!

If I have to I can, but it requires a tremendous amount of focus and patience for me to build a solid sushi roll. And plus I don’t really enjoy it as much if it does not look pretty…it changes the flavour somehow 😉 So one night before dinner I was craving sushi and wasn’t excited about having to call in an order, then wait for it to get here. There has to be an easier way, I thought!

I started to think about what sushi feels like and tastes like in your mouth, because lets face it, other than the presentation that is all that really matters when it comes to food! So that is how it started for this recipe, I just decided to throw all the ingredients of my favorite sushi roll into a bowl… a deconstructed sushi roll, if you will.

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Of course you can modify this dish to represent your favorite sushi very easily but for me it has to include avocados! The sweet, buttery, dense texture of avocado transports me into a mini vacation. There is not a sandwich, rice bowl or tortilla chip in the world that doesn’t benefit from having an avocado near by. It is one of those perfect whole foods that falls into its own category, a “special” fruit. The avocado shares this category with only the olive, the kiwi, the persimmons and the pomegranate. However in alot of ways the avocado is more like a nut than a fruit, with its high amount of oil and its dense concentration. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat which is easily burned for energy, this is considered a healthy fat! They are also a good quality carbohydrate and protein, contain a substantial amount of B vitamins and are a good source of Vitamin C and A. Everything your body needs. Awesome for your skin, your hair, and most importantly, your brain!

And because I cannot be “good” all the time, I like to indulge in a little vegetable tempura with my sushi. It is a simple and quick thing to make at home with only a couple of ingredients to use with which ever fresh vegetable you have available. I use a straight forward recipe given by Masato Nishihara, the executive chef of Kajitsu, an elegant vegan Japanese restaurant in New York City. He believes that the best tempura batter is in its most traditional form, without eggs. Here is his method for fantastic tempura;

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup sifted cake flour plus 2 tablespoons, plus 1/2 cup or as needed for dipping
  1. Pour oil into a large wok or pot so that the oil is two inches deep. Heat over medium-high heat until oil is 350 degrees. Set aside a baking sheet with a rack lined with paper towels, and a small long-handled fine-meshed strainer for removing excess fried batter.
  2. Pour 1 cup ice-cold water into a medium bowl. Add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour, and whisk to blend lightly. Place about 1/2 cup cake flour into another bowl. Dip each slice of vegetable into dry flour, shake off excess, and then dip each slice of vegetable into the batter.
  3. Fry the vegetables in batches to be sure they are not crowded. Place 4 to 5 vegetable pieces in the oil and fry, turning once or twice, until golden and crisp, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Using the long-handled strainer, remove excess bits of fried batter to keep the oil clean. Transfer to the baking sheet to drain. Continue until all the vegetables are fried.

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So I hope you also enjoy this simple summer recipe, and trust me, your mouth will never know the difference!

ボナペティ
Bonapeti
Avocado Sushi Bowl
Serves: 4-6 people
Prep Time: 30 mins
Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked jasmine or sushi rice, cook according to directions
2 ripe avocados, remove peel and pit, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 med cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp wasabi powder (or more depending on your preferences)
2 tbsp finely ground nori sheets
a handful of cilantro
2 tbsp soy sauce (or a great alternative is Coconut Aminos)
Garnish with pickled ginger, optional
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  • Toss all ingredients, except the rice, into a large bowl and combine. Set aside until you are ready.

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  • Once your rice is cooked (or sometimes I like to prep it earlier in the day and leave it at room temperature), I quickly fry the tempura vegetables and place it altogether in a bowl and top with some pickled ginger.

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Family-Style Grilled Veggies

Simple Summer Recipes- Part 2

I had a really great response to last weeks Quinoa salad so I will take that to mean 2 things: #1 you like quinoa and #2 you want super simple recipes for your summer cooking!

This week it will be my first non-recipe recipe that I have ever posted 🙂

It would be difficult to even call this a recipe…it’s more of an idea. An idea that is served in my house at least once (sometimes twice) every week when the weather is nice. Everyone loves it!!! We usually are sitting in the backyard and the sun is still shining while we dig into the very large plate of grilled veggies. This meal is beyond easy and requires very little thinking (which is kind of what we want sometimes, am I right?) without taking away any of the flavour and of course loaded with nutritional benefits. I usually never plan exactly what it is I am going to grill, I simply look in the fridge and see what I have. Therefore this meal is never the same twice.

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There is basically 2 parts to this meal prep- make the rice & cut/grill the veggies. First, start by getting your rice cooking and depending on which type you choice will determine how long the total prep time will take. I like to use brown rice when I can get away with it but the kids really love jasmine. But don’t be afraid to substitute the rice for quinoa or millet. And I know I say this each time, but it adds so much flavour to our grains when we cook them with stock instead of just water.

While the rice is cooking, preheat your barbecue or indoor grill before you start chopping. Next, grab every vegetable you have on hand and start chopping into large but thin pieces. Really any vegetable works and don’t forget fruit works too. You can grill pineapple, peaches, pears, etc.  I like to throw all the chopped veggies on a large baking sheet and then coat with extra virgin olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice and Herbamare (you can substitute salt, pepper, dried basil, dried oregano or dried thyme if not using Herbamare). Here is 2 examples of what I have headed to the grill with recently;

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Individually my kids have their favourite veggies that I try to include every time. One loves asparagus, one loves the sweet potatoes or regular potatoes and I love the mushrooms! However even with their favourites in front of them, they always venture out and try something else from the plate… which is all part of my secret plan 😉 And having favourites is why this meal works, there is no “wrong” way to load your plate and everyone gets to customize their dinner without you having to make separate meals.

Preparation Tip: With asparagus, it is much more enjoyable to eat if you shave off the bottom stem with your vegetable peeler. With portobello mushrooms, you must remove the inside gills as they tend to get slimy when cooked. I use a spoon (a grapefruit spoon actually) and scrap the inside of the mushroom before the grill.

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The presentation is what makes this dinner so appealing. Whether you are serving it to yourself, your family or you are having dinner guests, take the time to organize the plate before presenting it. I feel that it makes a difference as we usually tend to eat with our eyes first!

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Although I love all the veggies, my favourite part of this dish is usually the dip or sauce. I tend to make up a new one each time (without any real recipe) but as usual I am trying really hard to write down what I make so that I can share with all of you! Here is a couple of quick ideas for you to experiment with;

Asian Inspired Mayo

1/2 cup Veganaise or your mayo of choice

2 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1 tbsp tahini paste

Spicy Hummus

1 cup hummus *homemade preferably

1/2 tsp red curry paste

1 tsp harissa

juice of 1/2 lime

Lastly, I wanted to fill all of you in on some really exciting news…I have been brought on a Social Media Correspondent for this years Tofino Food & Wine Festival taking place next weekend. For those of you that have been following me from the beginning you know that this is exactly where I had hoped this new path would lead me. I plan to journal all things food and wine through my Instagram account (@figbasil), posting photos on Twitter and on their Facebook page. Please show your support by “Liking” their Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Tofino-Food-and-Wine-Festival/165195280193148?fref=ts and this will allow to you to experience the festival from afar!

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It should be an incredible weekend and I am looking forward to sharing the amazing food and wine with you!