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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quinoa Maki

The West Tisbury Public Library has an impressive collection of vegetarian and whole foods cookbooks. The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen (my newest and hardest crush) was our most recent find. I immediately ordered it. Tal Ronnen is the vegan chef who catered Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi's wedding... He also happens to be really cute! Call me, Tal.

His book is filled with beautiful photographs and incredible vegan recipes, including one for Quinoa Maki with Avocado and Cajun Portobello Fillets, which I used as the basis for this Avocado & Sweet Potato Quinoa Maki. Of course the great thing about sushi is that the variations are as endless as your imagination. Making sushi at home sounds like a daunting and frustrating task. I didn't even use a sushi rolling mat, so I fully expected to crash and burn. It ended up being incredibly simple and straightforward. Keep that secret to yourself and everyone will think you're a kitchen goddess.

(makes 4 rolls)
4 sheets of sushi nori (seaweed wrappers)
1 avocado
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (optional)
1 tablespoon sambal (or any spicy chili sauce)
1 cup dry quinoa
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 sweet potato
1 tablespoon wasabi powder (or prepared wasabi)
Soy sauce

1. Mix the wasabi powder with a few drops of hot water until it forms a thick paste. Set aside.

2. Mix the vegan mayonnaise with the sambal. Set aside. (Vegan mayo still creeps me out a little. I just used straight up sambal, but for those with delicate taste buds, just skip it.)

3. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. (You could make this with white or brown rice but quinoa is a fun twist on sushi, and just so darn good for you!) When the quinoa is cooked, stir in the rice vinegar and sugar. Set aside to cool slightly.

4. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the sweet potato. Slice into 1/2 inch sheets, toss in olive oil, and roast at 425 until cooked through, turning once.

5. When all your ingredients are ready, roll the sushi! Place a sheet of nori (seaweed) on your cutting board or counter. Spread a thin layer of quinoa across the nori, leaving a 1-inch strip at the far end to seal the sushi. (The quinoa was sticking to my fingers a bit so I used the back of a spoon, which worked perfectly!)

6. Spread a bit of the sambal mixture across the center of the sushi, parallel to the seal strip. Top with a layer of avocado and strips of sweet potato. It doesn't have to be perfect, but try to make it relatively even.

8. Wet the sealing strip generously with water. Starting at the end closest to you, roll the nori firmly over the filling towards the 'naked' sealing end. When the roll is fully closed, press firmly (but not too hard) and set it on your cutting board, seam side down.

9. Using a sharp knife, cut the maki into eight equal-ish pieces. Serve with wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oops, spelled brilliant wrong..Brilliant - I wish you would bring me one!
    love ya sis

  3. My jaw dropped when I read the title of this post. Pure. Genius. I can't wait to try it!!

  4. I made quinoa sushi a few weeks ago and it was amazing! I think sweet potatoes would make it a million times better though. Good call!

  5. You got me all curious about those cajun portobello fillets!I'm going to look for a recipe, right after I make this sushi ...

  6. what a great idea, of course quinoa works, never thought of this

  7. yum! quinoa sushi is brilliant. i like the texture much more than brown rice. thank you for the recipe!

  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Quinoa really is a gift that keeps on giving! Let me know if you try out any great flavor combinations! Thanks for visiting Two Blue Lemons! Anna

  9. This was soooo good! Thanks for the recipe.

  10. I'm glad you liked it! It was really fun to make! I'd love to hear any ingredient combinations you wrapped up and enjoyed!

    Thanks for visiting the site!

  11. I made mine with roasted squash, parsnips, and a sage and pine nut pesto instead of the vegan mayo.

  12. What a fantastic idea! That sounds delicious! Yum! Thanks for sharing!

  13. I have got to try and find out what quinoa tastes like.

  14. Girls, this has become a standard at my house. I have used many variations of it. You can add anything you cut into a strip, and it is wonderful. I made tons of it for an Asian inspired baby shower for my new adopted Chinese niece. I have loved Quinoa for a long time but had not thought about making sushi with it. Thanks a bunch.

  15. forgot to mentioned I added black sesame seeds to the quinoa after it was cooked

  16. Wow, this looks fantastic. I just starting filming my own cooking show, and in episode 2 I make tempeh sweet potato sushi. I'm going to try it with quinoa and avocado, and I love the use of sambal--though I'm not a fan of any mayo :(
    Check out my video and recipe at my blog!

  17. I've had this recipe bookmarked for ages and finally made it today. Absolutely delicious! Thank you!!

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