Monday, June 11, 2012

Homemade California Rolls

I've recently discovered my love of sushi...well, to be honest. I still don't like raw sushi, but I love my California rolls! Publix actually had some delicious spicy California rolls, but at the rate I was eating through them, I figured there had to be a way to make them myself! Plus, I actually looked at the label and there was SO MUCH processed ingredients and chemicals in something that should be so simple! AHH.

I found a wonderful sushi recipe on one of my favorite blogs: 100 Days of Real Food. I made these a few weeks ago, but we're making it again tonight which reminded me that I needed to post this! The hardest part was finding the Nori Seaweed sheets. Most grocery stores had no idea what I was talking about. I ended up finding several choices at Whole Foods, so I stockpiled! It really doesn't take many of the sheets for a dinner. I also bought some organic Shoyu Soy Sauce which is supposed to be closer to the real soy sauce, and there's no weird ingredients! Let me tell you- that stuff is delicious! So much better than any other soy sauce I've eaten!

It's so much easier to make than I thought it would be! And it's really fun to assemble. We did it as a family and had fun making our own rolls! One trick I learned is to have a bowl of salted water to dip your fingers in when you're dealing with the sticky rice, or else it's ... sticky. You'll end up with more stuck to your fingers that to the Nori! I also kept the plastic wrap on the roll as I cut it. This kept the rice together and made it much neater and prettier! You can put whatever you want in these! Last time, we used salmon and crab (real, not imitation!), but the salmon was a little too strong for me. Tonight we're trying tuna and shrimp. All cooked of course ;)

UPDATE: The short grain brown rice wasn't nearly sticky enough to hold the roll together. I may try a different brand later, but if you want to make sure it sticks use the white sticky rice!

  • 3 cups short-grain brown rice (we used the white sushi rice the first time, but we're trying the brown rice tonight!)
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • seafood filling- last time we used 1 can of salmon and 1 can of crab and it made enough for 5 with some left over. 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut lengthwise
  •  Avocados, sliced lengthwise
  • Nori Seaweed Sheets
Other Necessary Supplies:
  • bamboo rolling mats- or use a cookie sheet and plastic wrap
  • Chopsticks (if preferred)
  • Wooden or plastic spoon to prevent rice from sticking
  • Bowl of salted water
  • Any spices, wasabi, etc you want to add
  1. Cook the rice according to package instructions. Once the rice is done stir in rice vinegar.
  2. Chop veggies- I put each type of seafood in a seperate bowl and put a plate with all the veggies on it to make assembly easier.
  3.  Cut Nori sheet in half long ways. You may need to experiment with how much you cut off depending on how fat you make your rolls ;)
  4. Lay Nori sheet on plastic wrap, and start patting rice in a thin uniform layer over the entire sheet. (The 100 Days blog has pictures of the process if you get stuck!)
  5. If you prefer the nori to be on the outside of your sushi roll then leave it the way it is with the rice on top.  If you like the rice to be on the outside (like me) then flip it over.
  6. Make a nice and neat row along the very bottom edge of the nori with whatever ingredients you’d like on the inside.
  7. Roll it over as tightly as you can and keep rolling until it is closed up completely. Then squeeze down on the roll with a little force to really secure it together. I had to add a little extra rice at the end the first time, because I didn't put enough to close it together!
  8. Using a sharp knife cut through the plastic and the roll until you have the desired number of pieces of sushi.
Enjoy and get some organic Shoyu to dip it in! Mmmmmm, so yummy!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes with Remoulade Sauce

Whoops! I didn't realize it had been so long since my last post. However, I've spent the past two months trying lots of new recipes, so now I have a lot to write about!

I did stumble across a new quinoa recipe on Pinterest this week, and it was delicious, healthy, filling, and there were lots of leftovers! It's a win-win situation! Plus, I think it would be easy to freeze, and I love when things are baked into individual servings. It was so easy to make and we had everything on hand!

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes
(Originally found at So Very Blessed )

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 stalks green onion, diced (We were out of onions, so I used 1 tsp of onion powder)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I substituted parsley instead)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used 2 cups of cheese...I like things very cheesy!)
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose flour(I used whole-wheat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
 1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix together quinoa, carrot, egg, green onion, garlic, cilantro, cheese, flour, salt and pepper.
3.  Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (1 heaping Tbs each).
4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

I wanted bigger servings, so I used a regular muffin tin and added 5 more minutes to the baking time. They turned out so lovely, with a slight crunch to the outside. My mom said they tasted like cheesy biscuits! Success!

This blog recommends using Honey Dijon, salsa, or sour cream to dip them in, but I wanted something with a Cajun flair! I ended up adapting a Remoulade sauce, and it was so yummy!

Stephanie's Remoulade Dipping Sauce

½ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice- I just squeezed a wedge of lemon
1 spoonful of minced garlic
chili powder to taste
Creole Seasoning to taste
1 tbsp Tabasco Sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

The actual recipe can be found at All Recipes