Plant-Based Brown Rice Sushi Sandwiches
Everyone loves sushi. I know many people who don't actually like the raw fish part (me, most of the time), but are still happy to go to a sushi restaurant, since there are so many other options suitable for vegans, as well as, the meat eaters among us. And if eating it in the traditional way that Japanese do, sushi is actually really healthy and nutritious, too!
Today, however, many sushi restaurants have strayed away from tradition and often add many unhealthy ingredients so to adapt to our western tastebuds, which are used to way more salt, fats, and sugars. Some of these additions include panko when unnecessary, teriyaki, and even cream cheese (still, one of the weirdest things, in my opinion).
While I do still go out for sushi quite often - always making sure its a more traditional restaurant - I've actually developed quite a love for homemade sushi as well. By making my sushi at home, not only can I control what i'm eating and make healthy adaptations, like the switch to brown rice or quinoa, for example, I also get to enjoy the meditative act of actually preparing the sushi rolls (or, in this case, sandwiches).
These sushi squares are BEAUTIFUL! If you don't know already, I believe that eating attractive food is really important because it makes us feel worthy and provides more satisfaction with our meals. PLUS they're pretty much a full meal in and of themselves. There is:
good carbs and fiber in the brown rice,
plant-based protein in the tofu marinated in gut-healthy fermented miso,
healthy fats in the form of avocado and tahini paste,
lots of vitamins from spinach and beets due to their deep and dark color, and
minerals and anti-oxidants in the seaweed
And now, without further ado, the full recipe:
Brown Rice Tofu Sushi Sandwiches
1 ⅓ cups cooked brown rice
3 TBS rice vinegar
1.5 TBS cane sugar
½ tsp salt
1 pack firm tofu
⅓ cup tamari
2 TBS miso paste
2 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS minced ginger
4 nori sheets
1 avocado, sliced
1 small cooked beet (wrap beetroot in aluminium foil and bake for 45-60minutes in the oven)
handful baby spinach
sesame seeds (best lightly toasted in a pan for 3 minutes) for garnish
⅓ cup tahini paste
¼ cup water
1 TBS lemon juice
½ - 1 tsp wasabi paste
pinch of salt
Slice tofu into 4 even squares and place into a glass casserole/baking dish
Prepare tofu marinade by mixing tamari, miso paste, lemon juice, and ginger in a bowl and then pour over tofu slices
Bake in the oven at 175°C for 30 minutes
Combine rice vinegar, cane sugar, and salt in a large bowl with a whisk then add the brown rice, mix thoroughly, and let sit
Remove the skin from cooked beets with your hand and slice thin
For the wasabi tahini, add all ingredients to the bowl until smooth creamy tahini is formed. Add more water if necessary.
Cut a square of cling film slightly larger than your nori sheet. Place it on the table & place the nori sheet on top with the shiny side down at 45° in relation to the cling film (SEE PHOTOS above).
Place quarter of the rice (⅓ cup) into the center of the nori and arrange it so that it is a perfect square
Next, add the wasabi-tahini sauce, followed by beets, tofu, avocado, and, finally, spinach.
To wrap, fold the right corner over your stack, wet the end of the nori sheet with a wet finger and fold the left corner over the stack and ‘glue’ it to the right corner. Repeat the same thing with bottom and top corners until you get a small packet.
Wrap the cling film around and tie on the top. Put something moderately heavy (like a breadboard) on the 'sandwich' and set it aside to let the seaweed soften a little.
Finally, cut in half with a sharp knife. (You can cut it in half to make rectangles or switch it up by making triangles.
Try it at home and make sure to tag me in your pictures!
(Recipe adapted from The Lazy Cat)