|Tropical Sushi Rolls from Alternative Vegan!|
I don't recall how I first connected with the darling Marie Reginato. I have followed her Instagram @mariereginato, previously @8thandlake, for YEARS, inspired by her stunning photography and thoughtful, positive spirit. Then, through the cosmic energy that is social media, she began following me in the last year. Definitely did a happy dance.
We immediately hit it off through our direct message convos, and I was absolutely honored when she offered to send me a copy of her cookbook, Alternative Vegan, to scope out.
Y'all, this is a freaking cool concept.
Like me, Marie doesn't subscribe to any one particular "diet". She is primarily plant based, but she doesn't limit herself, if her body is craving otherwise.
With Alternative Vegan, Marie wanted to provide options for others like her. The book includes a host of gorgeous vegan recipes (don't contain any animal-derived products), but she also offers seafood and egg dishes. She also makes suggestions for how to take the plant-based recipes and add a bit of animal protein to them.
I don't think this structure takes away from the integrity of her vegan recipes. Instead, it encourages people who might be intimated by a 100% vegan cookbook to try more plant-based food...and fall in love with it!
Pouring through Alternative Vegan, I was smitten by Marie’s creative and colorful use of produce in dishes that are still approachable and practical. I knew I wanted to share one of her lovely meals with y’all, particularly as we head into a new year. Countless of Marie’s nourishing meals can help you get and stay on track with your health goals, but I was especially called to her Tropical Sushi Rolls with Sesame Miso Vinaigrette.
If I were forced to choose a preferred food profile, I would have to go with Asian cuisine. I am absolutely addicted to the sweet, savory umami of ingredients like:
- Sesame Seeds
- Tahini (ground sesame seeds/sesame paste)
- Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
- Miso (a paste made from fermented soybeans that is high in beneficial bacteria. I prefer white or sweet miso, which has a mild flavor that pairs well with all sorts of foods.
Marie employs several of these in these Tropical Sushi Rolls, to re-create the divine experience of dining out at your favorite Asian restaurant. If you're not familiar with
Homemade sushi sounds incredibly intimidating, which is another reason I chose to share this recipe. It’s really not! You don’t need even need a sushi kit, just a flat surface and a bit of patience. Making sushi is like anything—practice makes…pretty dang good! I messed up my first few rolls, but I enjoyed eating them as much as the ones that held together well.
I loved the combination of flavors that Marie chose for these Tropical Sushi Rolls, especially the rich crunch of macadamia nuts with savory marinated tofu. Instead of purple cabbage (my grocery was out), I used red bell pepper, and it was fantastic. Her Sesame Miso Sauce is absolutely addicting, and I made it my own with a few additions listed below.
If sushi is one of your favorite foods (like me!), I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. It’s EMPOWERING to know that you can make sushi rolls for yourself, whenever you like and however you like. If you have nori sheets and some kind of rice, the world is your chopstick. Or something like that.
I must encourage you to make Marie, Alternative Vegan and these Topical Sushi Rolls a part of your 2018 and beyond! If you give them a try, please tag us both on Instagram so we can see your creations.
A FEW TIPS:
- I like to add 1/4 cup extra water to the rice cooking instructions. This leads to a stickier rice, so the rolls hold together better
- I baked the tofu instead of pan-fried it. I tossed it with tamari, added it to a parchment lined baking sheet and roasted at 400 for approximately 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Don’t use too much rice—be sure to leave approximately 1 inch of nori “naked” at the top, so that you have space to wet it to help the roll stay together
- Don’t overfill—use less of each filling ingredient than you think. They add up quickly!
- Roll TIGHTLY. Really squeeze the roll together as you go.
- My sauce changes: I doubled the recipe except the honey (I kept it to 1 tbsp total). I used avocado oil instead of olive oil. I added 2 tablespoons almond butter and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil.