One of the nicest things about not eating any animal-derived product is that, contrary to what most people think, preparing meals gets much simpler. You also end up getting more creative, experimenting with different combinations of ingredients, testing new flavours, textures and colours. It was in one of these “experiments” that I created the purple rice, a success here on the blog. I’m always maximizing the amount of vegetables and colours in my meals, as was the case when I tested adding purple cabbage to my rice.
Now, returning to the simplicity that veganism brings to the preparation of meals, a great example is sushi. Making the traditional sushi at home can be tricky, mainly because of the raw fish. But by taking the fish out of the “sushi equation”, making sushi is very simple and your creativity flourish. Stopping fish consumption is an important attitude to the health of the oceans and to the restoration of fish stocks, most of them already fully exploited or undergoing exhaustion. This BBC One report explains that about 85% of the world’s fish stocks are either over-exploited or depleted.
Another great thing about eating sushi is that you add seaweed in your diet. Seaweeds are considered a superfood and consuming them regularly brings major benefits to health. They contain a substantial amount of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and are a good source of protein. In addition, seaweed contains a considerable amount of iodine, an essential mineral in the synthesis of thyroid hormones. A sheet of nori (seaweed used to make sushi) has approximately 92 milligrams of iodine. The World Health Organization recommends consuming approximately 150 milligrams of iodine per day as part of a healthy diet. Most people simply supply their needs for iodine when consuming table salt (iodized salt). As I have decreased a lot my consumption of table salt, consuming seaweed regularly has become an important part of my diet.
So, how about adventuring into the kitchen today to prepare a vegan sushi?
- - 4 nori sheets
- - 8 cups of purple rice (about 16 tablespoons). The recipe link is available bellow
- Fillings (these are suggestions only)
- - half avocado cut into strips
- - 4 leaves of romaine lettuce
- - one small carrot cut into strips
- - ¼ of a cucumber cut into strips
- - 4 tablespoons of scrambled tofu (another alternative is grilled tofu, or chickpea tofu - the recipe link is available below).
- - half of a red bell pepper cut into strips
- Place a nori leaf on a sushi mat and spread 4 tablespoons of the purple rice evenly, leaving about 5 cm of one edge free. Place the fillings in a line and wrap. I used the following fillings: option 1 - a leaf of lettuce, strips of avocado, carrot and cucumber; option 2 - a leaf and lettuce, scrambled tofu, peppers and avocado. I made two sheets of nori with each option. Cut into slices of +/- 4 cm of height.
- If you have trouble wrapping sushi, check on youtube some videos with instructions.
- This recipe yields approximately 32 sushis.