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Seaweed Veggie Rolls

Seaweed veggie rolls are one of my favorite healthy snacks.  What’s not to love? Beauty, flavor and nutrition graces every bite and it is like a little taste of Mother Nature herself in every mouthful.

How healthy, you ask?  Well…that depends on how many fruits and veggies you add to them, but the seaweed alone is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is a natural, rich source of protein and iodine, which is essential for maintaining proper thyroid function.  It is rich in carotenes, vitamin C, vitamin B12, and also contains sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, fluoride, manganese, boron, nickel and cobalt. Throw in a variety of fruits and veggies in a rainbow of colors and these are some powerful, energy-inducing snacks!

I refuse to call it ‘sushi’ anymore, though.  Every instantly thinks ‘raw fish’.  Don’t misunderstand…I ADORE sushi, raw fish and all, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I guess they have a ‘technical’ name, but I don’t know what it is. Veggie rolls?  Rice rolls? Seaweed rolls? I’ll just pretend like I came up with the idea for these all by myself and call them ‘Tammi’s Vegiriceseaweed Rolls’.  Has a nice ring to it, no?

Aren't they absolutely gorgeous?

Aren’t they absolutely gorgeous?

How could these beauties not make your mouth water? Trust me…this is one recipe you won’t want to pass on.

Tammi’s Vegiriceseaweed Rolls recipe:

  1. 4-5 seaweed wrap sheets

  2. 1 cup sushi rice

  3. 2 cups water

  4. 1/3 cup rice vinegar

  5. 1 tsp sea salt

  6. 1 tsp sugar

  7. Fresh fruit/veggie slices (anything that sounds good will work here.  Carrots, peppers, celery, eggplant, mango, avocado, apples, pears…

  8. Cream cheese (Optional.  I like to use cream cheese with herbs like parsley, basil, mint, cilantro, dill, etc.)

  9. Fish (Optional. I don’t recommend raw fish unless you know what you are doing, but tuna, salmon, shrimp and even sardines are quite tasty additions!)

Start your rice first.  Mix the rice and water in a glass or stainless steel pan and let sit for 15-20 minutes.  While this sits, set out your cream cheese.  You want this to soften up so it is easier to spread on the rice. If you are mixing herbs into it, do so now.

In a small bowl or cup (I like to use my smallest glass measuring cup), mix your vinegar, salt and sugar.  Place in a pot with appx 1-2″ of water and heat gently until salt and sugar is completely dissolved, stirring frequently. Don’t use wood or plastic utensils with the vinegar mixture. Remove from heat and set aside.

Rice, salt and sugar mix

Rice, salt and sugar mix

By now, your rice should be ready to cook.  Place a lid on the pot and heat on high until the water comes to a boil.  Stir, reduce heat to the lowest setting and let cook until water is completely absorbed.

While your rice cooks, slice all of your fruits and veggies into thin strips, lay out a sheet of wax paper that is larger than your seaweed sheet and get everything set up within reach.  Once you put the rice on the seaweed sheet you will want to work quickly.

Fruit and veggie slices

Fruit and veggie slices

When your rice is done cooking, spread it onto a glass or stainless cookie sheet to cool.  You want to spread it as thin as possible.  When it is no longer steaming and about room temperature, pour the vinegar mixture over the rice and stir gently with a wooden spoon until the rice is completely coated and you don’t have any vinegar mixture puddling underneath the rice.  Let sit for a few minutes while you set out a sheet of seaweed, shiny side down, on your wax paper.

Pour vinegar over rice and mix gently

Pour vinegar over rice and mix gently

Okay, now you are going to want to work quick so your seaweed sheets don’t get too soft and rubbery.  Put enough rice on the seaweed to completely cover the seaweed from edge to edge on 3 sides.  Leave appx 1″ of the sheet uncovered at the bottom so you can seal it up after you roll it.   If you are using cream cheese, spread a thin layer appx 1″ wide at the top of the sheet, on top of the rice.  If you are using some type of fish, place it on top of the cream cheese.  Add fruit/veggie strips on top of  the cream cheese and fish.

sushi assmbly

Grab the top of the seaweed sheet, holding the veggies in place as best you can and roll it up tight enough to be solid, but not so tight that you rip the seaweed sheet.  Seal the roll by wetting down the bottom exposed strip with cold water.  Set aside and repeat until your rice is gone.  I can usually get 4 thick rolls or 5 thin rolls from this recipe.

sushi rolls

Using a very sharp knife, slice the rolls into 1″ rounds.

sushi sliced

Garnish it with some pickled ginger, a dash of Bragg Amino Acids, a little dab of wasabi and you are ready to go! That’s it.  It is really very simple, once you know what you are doing.  Expect a learning curve the first time you make these.

sushi done

Here are a few tips to make your experience easier.

~If you want to be really fancy, you can buy sushi-rolling mats and bamboo spoons at most kitchen stores, but I’m way too cheap for all that.  My cheap wooden spoons work just fine and rolling them up by hand is really not that difficult.

~Keep a small bowl or glass of cold water mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar nearby.  Sushi rice is very sticky and you can use this to dip your fingers, knife and spoon in to keep the rice from sticking.

~If you accidentally rip one of the sheets as you are rolling, you can fix it by cutting a piece of seaweed wrap slightly larger than the tear, wet it and place the patch over the tear, patting it down securely.

~It is very important to use an extremely sharp knife when slicing the sushi rolls into rounds.  A dull knife will tear the seaweed sheets and ruin all of your hard work.  When the knife gets sticky from cutting through the rice, rinse it with the cold water/vinegar mixture.

~Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Sometimes, I like to make the layer of rice very thin and add lots of extra veggies.  Sometimes I like thicker rice and less veggies.  The more rice and veggies, the thicker your roll will be, and the more difficult it will be to roll.

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