Whatever the day, whatever the meal, if you ask me where I want to eat, there’s a really good chance the answer involves sushi. I can’t really pinpoint when my love affair with sushi began, but at one point after college, I was eating it two to three times a week. Obviously, that can get quite costly and not all sushi is that good for you, so I’ve had to cut back quite a bit.
BUT THEN! A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a photo on Instagram where someone had used quinoa (my 2013 obsession) in place of white rice in their homemade sushi, and I had to try. Oh. My. Goodness. This has changed my life. It tastes great, doesn’t cost much and keeps much better as leftovers. Replacing white rice with quinoa makes the dish “cleaner,” adding protein, iron, magnesium and more. It’s also gluten free. The possibilities are endless in terms of filling, but I’m sharing my favorite so far — bacon, avocado and carrot quinoa sushi.
Makes two rolls
♦3/4 c. cooked quinoa
♦1/4 c. rice vinegar
♦2 tsp. sugar
♦1/2 tsp salt
♦2 slices cooked bacon (I used turkey)
♦1/8 c. carrot shavings
♦2 sheets of nori
For sriracha sauce
♦2 tbs. mayonnaise
♦1 tsp. sriracha
♦1/4 tsp. sesame oil
Heat vinegar, sugar and salt over medium heat until dissolved. Add to cooked quinoa a little at a time. (You don’t want this too wet or it will make for messy sushi.) Lay out bamboo roller and cover one side with plastic wrap. Lay down nori sheet. Add layer of quinoa to the lower third of the nori and flatten. Top with bacon, avocado and carrot. Hold the edge of the mat with your thumbs, then lift nori and roll sushi away from you. Roll tightly. (For more visual instructions, click here.) Let roll sit a minute before cutting. Use a sharp, moistened knife to slice. Mix sriracha ingredients together to taste. Top each roll with a dollop. You could also skip the sauce and use more traditional soy sauce and/or wasabi.
Calories? About 200 calories per roll (not including sauce)
Total time? About 15 minutes (less if all ingredients are pre-cooked)
Cost? $2.99 nori, $6.99 quinoa (per package), $1.25 avocado, $2.99 turkey bacon
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out of 10. I very rarely make the same thing more than once, but I’ve made this on multiple occasions, and then used the second roll for lunch at work because it keeps well as leftovers. If you make a big pot of quinoa at the beginning of the week, you can get a make a few of these rolls with just a small amount and still have plenty left for other assorted dishes. Quinoa AND sushi? I am in love.