I’ve cooked and eaten food that I probably wouldn’t have touched with a ten foot pole before 3 1/2 years ago. But my horizons have definitely expanded.
For example, take sushi rolls. When we ate at Japanese restaurants pre-Celiac, I used to routinely order California Rolls. No more. First of all, the fake crab has wheat in it. Second, I’ve adopted an almost complete plant-based diet.
That’s where today’s post comes in. If there was such a thing, the picture above could pass for a tuna fish salad sushi roll, don’t you think?
Nope, it’s not tuna. Can you guess what it is? If you guessed sunflower seeds, you’re right.
The recipe sat in my “to try” file for months. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around a sushi roll with sunflower seeds in it. It sounded weird and didn’t appeal at all.
But then I remembered the Chickpea Tastes-Like-Tuna salad I made a few months ago. That has since become a staple in our house. Who would have ever thought you could get chickpeas to sub for tuna? Ok, it’s not a perfect match, but it’s damn close. So I thought, sunflower seeds? Why not? I’ll try it.
Yum. That’s all I can say. Yum. Yum.
If you have a moment, pop over to The Raw Food Divas website. It is a treasure trove of information. Lots of ideas. Lots of recipes. I found inspiration for today’s sushi recipe on their Health In High Heels blog. I made some adjustments to it, decreasing the onions, using little grape tomatoes instead of a whole tomato, adding pickle relish to the mixture, and suggesting some additional optional ingredients.
Note: I liked my Sunflower Seed Sushi with sauerkraut inside the roll. Peter opted to go without the sauerkraut. Both of us dipped our Sunflower Sushi Rolls into wheat-free tamari. Peter thought it would improve with the addition of cooked sushi rice, but then it wouldn’t be raw any longer.
One more thing – the nutritional benefits of eating seaweed (yup, nori sheets are made from seaweed) are amazing. Sea vegetables are of full of essential minerals like iodine, vitamin K, B-vitamins, magnesium, iron, and calcium. All good stuff.
Sunflower Seed Sushi
adapted by Ellen Allard
1 1/2 c. sunflower seeds (soaked for several hours)
1/2 c. chopped fresh dill
1/4 sweet onion
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes
Â¼ c. pickle relish
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 – 1 jalapeno, seeded (depends on how spicy you want it)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into matchsticks
1/2 peeled cucumber, chopped into matchsticks
alfalfa sprouts (optional)
6 sheets nori (use raw nori if you want this recipe to be completely raw)
wheat-free tamari (use Bragg’s Amino Acid if you want this recipe to be completely raw)
Combine the sunflower seeds, dill, onion, celery, tomato, pickle relish, lemon juice, jalapeno, salt, olive oil, and black pepper in a food processor, and pulse chop until evenly chopped, but still slightly chunky.
Carefully spread a 1 inch stripe of the sunflower seed mixture in a horizontal line about 1/4 of the way up from the bottom of the nori paper, making sure that the mixture covers the nori paper from one side across to the other. Place a couple of bell pepper and cucumber slices on top of the sunflower seed mixture. If desired, add one of the optional ingredients (avocado, sauerkraut, sprouts) being careful not to overload the nori paper. Using a sushi mat, roll the nori paper up and slice into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
Dip a piece into wheat-free tamari, pop into your mouth, smile. Bet you can’t eat just one! Isn’t it fun to try new recipes, especially when the results are delicious?!!