Vegan Sushi (say what?)

Yes.  Vegan sushi!  I don’t know about you, but sushi is one of the tastes that I miss the most since going vegan.  I used to have a “fudge day” once and a while and have it, but we discovered that Nick’s digestion and energy were affected in a negative way fairly immediately post consumption, and this curtailed “fudge day!”  Apparently I lucked out have, quite literally, the digestion of a goat as I never suffered any negative after effects. 

Veggie sushi already exists, but Nick isn’t a big fan of it.  I had a veggie tempura roll one time and I thought it was pretty good, but he doesn’t like “fried stuff” so shunned that, too.  Man, I was just outta luck on the sushi front!  After feeling bummed for just a bit, I got inspired!  I rolled up my sleeves and put my “can-do” attitude to work!

May I present to you Vegan Sushi.  That doesn’t suck!  🙂

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It has sweet potato oven fried tempura, tofu, carrots, avocado, and cucumber.  You could add sprouts or lettuces, too.

Now, if this is something you are interested it, a word to the wise.  Making sushi takes time and effort.  I am by no means an expert at this–in fact, I’d say my sushi abilities are crude at best.  But, it is a fun meal to make, and a fun meal to eat, and I’ve improved over time.  First, let’s start with the sushi rice.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Sushi Rice (needs to be Sushi Rice!)

1/2 Cup Water

1/4 Rice Vinegar

1/2 Tbs Vegetable Oil

2 Tbs White Sugar

1/2 tsp Salt

Directions:

Rinse your rice!  Yes, you must rinse it in a strainer of some kind until the water runs clear.  I like to put the rice in a large bowl and rinse it this way.  I *think* this gets some of the extra sticky starch off.  Like I said, I’m no expert here.  I’m just going by what I’ve read and messed around with.  Once rice is clean(?), put in a pot with the water, cover and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat, leave covered, and let cook until water is all absorbed; about 20 minutes or so. 

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While rice is cooking, prepare the stuff that actually makes all sushi-rice-yummy.  In a small sauce pan, put vinegar, oil, sugar, and salt.  Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.  Once the sushi rice is done, pour this liquid over it and mix until totally incorporated.  Don’t worry, the rice will hold it’s shape as the liquid gets absorbed in.  The rice shouldn’t turn into a sloppy, glop on you.

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Okay.  So there you go.  Phew!  Step one of sushi done!  Let the rice just cool, uncovered, and move on to making your sweet potato oven fried tempura! 

Ingredients:

1 Medium Sized Sweet Potato, Peeled & Sliced into 1/4 inch thick strips

1/4 Cup Plain Almond Milk

4-5 TBS White Flour

1/4 – 1/3 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

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Directions:

Roll the sweet potato strips in the flour, then milk, then coat with the panko bread crumbs.  Place on a well oiled tin foil sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Set aside for use in the vegan sushi.

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My little panko potato minions of goodness before they went into the oven!

….Okay.  You all still with me here?  Alright.  Now we are really getting somewhere!  We got the rice, we got one of the main fillings, well, now what?  Time to assemble your sushi station!

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To make the sushi, you will need:

3-4 Sheets of Nori Seaweed Paper

Prepped Sushi Rice

Prepped Sweet Potato Tempura

1/2 Package Savory Kind Tofu (optional)

1 Avocado

1/2 Cucumber, Peeled & Seeded

1 Carrot, Peeled

Directions:

Cut the tofu, avocado, carrot, and cucumber into nice thin slices.  You can use a kitchen towel, a sushi roller, or even a place mat to help you roll up your sushi.  For the purposes of this recipe, I’m going to pretend that you all have a sushi roller/mat thingy, okay?  So, place a sheet of seran wrap covering the entire surface area of your sushi mat.  Lay a piece of nori seaweed paper on it, then cover it with your sushi rice, making sure to really press the rice down, smoothly and evenly. 

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Next, start layering on your goodies!

 

 

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Next, take the edge of your seaweed paper and start to roll the whole thing up, nice and tight!  You want to be firm, but not so much that you squish the guts out of your roll.  😉

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Then, slice and serve!  Trick for you guys–use a really, really sharp knife.  And don’t press down too hard as you cut the roll.  Also?  Try not to handle them too much.  This is the stage where mine usually sort of fall apart a bit.  I was amazed that I got any good photos!

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Serve with wasabi & soy sauce. 

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See what I mean?  It isn’t the most elegant looking sushi ever, but with time and practice I think I can get better at this!  Keep in mind that this recipe will yield enough rice and fillings for 3-4 large rolls, which is more than enough for two people.  If you are cooking for more, double the recipe.  Side note:  the sweet potato oven fried tempura were so dang good all on their own!  They’d make a great side for sandwiches or sloppy joes or the like.

I hope you all give it a try and let me know how you make out.  It is a bit of a labor of love for this recipe, but I think that it cures the sushi cravings pretty nicely.  🙂  Cheers and here’s to vegan sushi!

Vegan BBQ Chicken Salad

Hey y’all!

Here’s a recipe, as promised!  It’s vegan, it’s tasty, it’s easy, and very satisfying! 

All day today I’ve been tasting for salad.  There have only been a few bummers since going vegan–one of which is finding a great salad out.  Most everything has cheese, egg, and meat.  Yummy?  Yep.  Vegan friendly?  Nope.  Once you remove all the good stuff, you are left with lettuce.  And maybe tomato.  Total. Bummer.  Like my lunch today.  😦  A bummer with a perk of olives.

Ha, so, I made this in retaliation! 

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Ingredients:

1 Head Romain Lettuce

Frozen Corn, thawed – about 1/4 cup though if you like corn, you can add more!

Seasoned Black Beans (Red Onion, Garlic, Olive Oil, Cumin, Red Pepper Flake, 1/2 Lime, Splash of Veggie Stock and Salsa, Salt & Pepper to taste; directions to follow)

1 Bag Vegan Orange Chicken Tenders Trader Joes Brand

Vegan Ranch Dressing (Vegan Mayo, Apple Cider Vinegar, Onion & Garlic Powder, Dried Parsley, Lemon Juice, Salt & Pepper to taste)

Tomato

Avocado

BBQ Sauce

Directions:

1.  Put chicken tenders on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.  Bake as directed.  You won’t be using the orange sauce, so set aside for another time if you’d like.

2.  Chop about 1/2 a red onion, 2 small cloves garlic, and saute with a TBS of olive oil until translucent.  Add 1 can of rinsed and drained black beans.  Add cumin (to taste, about 1/2-1 tsp) red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, lime juice, and a splash of veggie stock and salsa of your choice (I used Trader Joes green salsa).  Let simmer about 8 minutes until the liquid is almost gone and beans are soft.  Set aside and let cool.  Beans should be almost room temperature before you assemble salad so as to avoid making a melty, limp, wilty salad.

3.  Put all the ranch ingredients in a bowl and whisk.  I used roughly 5 TBS vegan mayo, 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, and onion, garlic, and parsley to taste.  I found I added quite a bit of the onion and garlic powders.  Once you achieve the desired taste, pop that bad boy in the fridge.  I was surprised that this tasted just like ranch since I’ve never made this before and just looked online to see how it was made.  Ratios here can be finessed depending on your taste, which is awesome!

4.  Wash, dry, and chop romain.  Put in a large bowl.  Set aside.  Wash and chop your tomato.  Prep your avocado.

5.  Pour your BBQ sauce, about 1/4 cup, in a bowl and add a TBS or two of veggie stock, to thin it.  Once tenders are done, add, toss to coat, and set aside to let cool. 

6.  Prep your vegan Texas toast or garlic toast.

7.  Add your vegan ranch dressing to romain, toss to coat.  Careful that you get the ratio right here–too much and you will have a soggy salad!

8.  Start assembling salad!!  Yay!

ImageHere’s my assembly line, primed and ready to go!

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In my best rooster bowl, I layered the salad and corn…

ImageTopped it with my seasoned beans….

ImageLovingly arranged the BBQ chicken tenders….

ImageThen put some avocado and tomato all over it….

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And served with some garlic bread!  (Yeah, sorry for the same image here as used before, but I was hustling on account I didn’t want my salad to get nasty!  Yes, I don’t like wilted salad, in case you haven’t noticed…)

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Yeah….the perfect bite!

You can easily have extra dressing and BBQ on the side for those that like it saucy! This recipe made two large salads.

I find it is reminiscent of something I had at California Pizza Kitchen years ago.  Either way, it was yummy and good and I ate it as I typed this blog entry.  🙂

So, what do vegans eat when pressed for time?  Awesome stuff, that’s what!  Go make a good ol’ fashioned salad and have a great evening!

Talk-el-de-doo!

Hi again, Lovies!

As always, thanks for reading!

I’m going to keep it short and simple tonight. 

I’ve been pretty productive today!  Go me!  I walked the dog, did my usual biz dev, sent invoices, started to pull my favorite trees, ran errands, cleaned up the house, and made this for dinner!

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Yeah.  It was good, too.  Gotta love Angela from Oh She Glows.  This is her avocado pasta recipe.  The salad has my favorite quick and easy dressing–1/2 avocado, juice of 1 lemon, salt & pepper to taste.  Happy tummy!

Tomorrow I see my Papa for lunch, yay!  His fiancee is moving up this week–double yay!  And what’s more, her son will be renting their guest house/cottage.  I haven’t met him or his girlfriend, and I hoping I like them.  I’m thinking about making them some welcome cookies and getting an orchid or something.  That’d be nice, right?  I’m all for making a good first impression!  Nothing says “Welcome Son of Doo-Doo” (fiancee’s nickname, don’t ask! lol) like a passel of cookies!  🙂  If the recipe turns out, I’ll post tomorrow! 

Have a wonderful evening and see you tomorrow–FRIDAY!  Ha, which doesn’t really mean much when you own your own business, but it’s still a nice sentiment.  I could probably write a slew of those type, pithy, one sentence statements that start off with, “When you own your own business…” 

Example:  When you own your own business and have some modest success, Uncle Sam sticks his hands in your pockets four times a year and helps himself!

or

When you own your own business every day is a Monday.

or

When you own your own business you will “wear many hats”, and don’t be surprised if the one you enjoy most days is that of janitor. (lol)

Okay, I’m quasi bumming myself out!  Because these are sorta TRUE! Ah!  Well, I heard once that behind every joke there is a hint of the truth–and I actually find this to be true.  It’s filed under “sad but mostly true” in my brain.  What do you think?  Nick doesn’t agree, but he generally perpetrates the jokes that make me really wonder if there IS a hint of truth!  So naturally he’d dislike me pointing that out, right?  😉  Haha watch me turn into a crazy lady in 3, 2, 1!  Nick:  “joke! lol!”  Me:  “…..what do you mean by THAT?” Nick: “uh, that was funny! Didn’t you get it?  It was a joke! Lighten up!” Me: “Well, you know what I say about jokes at other peoples expense….” Nick: “….hmmm….way to kill the funny, Jess.  (sarcastic voice) real great. lol” Me:  “…..so did you mean anything by that?” Nick: O__o!

And he *supposedly* never does mean anything by it.  But I have my suspicions. 😉