This fun vegan cookbook inspired me to make sushi for the first time. Delicious recipe, and a lovely book: Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet.
I was excited to receive Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan, The Blissful Chef, and have enjoyed reading through it. It would be a terrific book for someone who wants to eat more vegetarian and vegan meals, as the opening section on setting up your kitchen and the ingredient overview would be extremely helpful to this way of eating. It would also be great if you are allergic or sensitive to onions and garlic, as all of her recipes are made without them.
What I liked about the book: Nicely organized, focusing on eating seasonally. Lots of attractive color photos. Very creative recipes. Lots of gluten-free and raw options. She also points out low-oil and soy-free recipes as well. Excellent primer on setting up a vegan kitchen. I’m planning on trying her Mock Tuna, Macro Mac ‘n Cheez, and Basil-Cashew Cheeze Sauce. The almond sauce and Love Your Heart Beet Soup are awesome!I wasn’t so keen on: The color coding and multiple icons got a little confusing. While I understood what she was trying to do, it ended up being a bit less user-friendly than intended. The recipe I tried was missing a step in the instructions; I hope the rest of the recipes are complete.
I tried her Soba Noodle Sushi with Apricot-Ginger Dipping Sauce, while making a few changes because I was missing some ingredients. (I also really don’t like collard greens, so I subbed Swiss chard.) It made a fun and relatively quick lunch, and the sauce was just amazing. I liked the creativity of using the soba noodles, but probably would use rice next time, as the noodles were tricky to work with.
Soba Noodle Sushi with Plum Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan
Makes 18 pieces
2 oz (56 g) soba noodles (if you’re GF, make sure they are pure buckwheat and not a blend)
3 large Swiss chard leaves
3 nori seaweed sheets
1/4 red bell pepper
1 large carrot
1 large Savoy cabbage leaf
2 T. (30 g) plum butter
2 T. (30 ml) Bragg’s liquid aminos or tamari
1 T. (15 ml) maple syrup
1 T. (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 T. (5 g) fresh mint leaves
1/2 t. (2-3 g) chili-ginger paste
Cook the soba noodles in boiling salted water for 8 minutes. Fold the chard leaves in half and cut away the stem. Drop the chard leaves into the water until they go limp (about 15 seconds or so) just before draining the noodles. Drain the noodles and the chard leaves, running them under cold water. Roll up the leaves in a towel to dry, and leave the noodles in the sink to drain completely.
Slice the red pepper in lengthwise strips as thinly as possible. Scrub the carrot, then use a peeler to make long thin strips. Thinly slice the cabbage.
Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and slice lengthwise into thin strips, scooping them out of the peel.
Finely mince the mint. Whisk together the sauce ingredients, add the mint, and set aside.
Put a small bowl of water next to your work surface.
Put one nori sheet on a sushi mat or sturdy towel with the lines running vertically. Lay one chard leaf on the nori, leaving about two inches at the top. Put a thin layer of soba noodles in the center (one third of what you cooked). Add one-third of the other veggies, so they are evenly spread on top and running lengthwise.
Pick up the towel or mat, and start rolling the sushi away from you (using the mat or towel to help you get it started). Fold in the veggies as you go. When you reach the empty space at the top, hold onto the roll with one hand and dip your other hand in the water, then gently moisten the exposed edge with your fingertips. Finish rolling the sushi, making sure it seals. Set aside, seam side down. Once you’re finished rolling all three rolls, cut them into six even pieces. Cut them with a very sharp knife, seam-side down, after letting them sit at least five minutes (or they can come apart).
Serve with the dipping sauce.