Often, a sushi hand roll is food we go out for, rather than making it at home. In its traditional form, sushi is comprised of high-quality fish, seaweed, and rice. Since we recommend avoiding raw fish during the 21-Day Clean Program, we’ve made these hand rolls vegan. By using brown rice, we’ve also upped the nutrient density. By including marinated kale, it adds leafy greens to the mix and an unexpected burst of flavor. A sushi hand roll is the perfect snack or grab and go option for lunch.
Eat your (sea) veggies
Nori is a common sea vegetable used in Asian cuisine. It can be found in many grocery stores or online, and it is extremely versatile. You can use whole nori sheets to create hand roll wraps, crumble nori over soups or salads, or just snack on nori on its own. Be sure to store it in an airtight container or bag, as it will go stale when exposed to oxygen. When stored properly, you can keep seaweed for 2-3 months. One mineral seaweed is touted for is iodine. Iodine is specifically important for thyroid function, as it is used to make the hormones that help control the body’s metabolism.
Since seafood consumption has dropped in modern American diets, it is important to consciously add good iodine sources like seaweed into your diet. Women who are pregnant are especially subject to iodine deficiencies, as they require about 50% more iodine than non-pregnant women. Seaweed is one of the densest sources of plant protein known. Nori has been shown to stabilize cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, help with digestion, and improve bone density.
It’s all in the sauce
The sauce for this marinated kale is full of both flavor and vitamins. Tahini (which is made from sesame seeds) is full of good fats and includes a slew of nutrients like B vitamins, methionine, potassium, and vitamin E (just to name a few). Methionine is an amino acid found in tahini that helps ensure healthy metabolic function. It encourages the production of collagen, helping to improve skin and hair health. It also helps the body make S-Adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) which is used for many functions throughout the body like mental health, menstrual disorders, fertility, and liver detoxification.
Hand Roll Sushi Rice:
1 cup brown rice
1 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
pinch of salt
8 kale leafs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
Optional: red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 large carrots
1-2 nori sheets
Make sushi rice, and rinse rice thoroughly.
Add water, rice, and salt to a medium pot over high heat. Bring rice to a boil, then immediately to a low simmer. Cook over low heat, covered, for about 45 minutes. While rice is cooking, dissolve sugar into vinegar. When rice is done cooking, stir in the coconut sugar-vinegar mixture and set the rice aside.
While rice is cooking, make marinated kale. De-stem kale. Cut into strips 2-3 inches long. Whisk together remaining marinated kale ingredients to make the sauce.
Massage sauce into the kale using your hands. Let the kale marinate for at least 15 minutes, or overnight.
Cut carrots into thin strips and slice avocado. Store avocado with the pit to prevent browning until you are ready to roll your sushi. Cut each square nori sheet in half to create four rectangular sheets.
Place 1/4 cup of sushi rice on the right half of the nori sheet. Gently press the rice into a thin layer using your fingers (wetting your wingers will help prevent sticking).
At a diagonal, neatly stack carrots, marinated kale, and avocado over rice. Starting at the bottom right corner, roll nori sheet towards the upper left corner of rice.
Continue rolling until no nori sheet remains and you have a cone-shaped hand roll.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
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