Thursday, October 13, 2011

Veggie Sushi

This morning my life flashed before my eyes. Well not my entire life but the part of my life that is racing in Miami Man in exactly one month...

Geoff & I went for our bi (sometimes solo or tri) weekly 5 am run. We were set to run 4 miles in the dark. The darkness is one of the main reasons Geoff runs with me even though he claims to enjoy it. I can only run on a consistent basis during the week at 5am and our town is very dark in the morning. The stars, moon and occasional pair of head lights are the only source of light. The roosters are still asleep when we finish our run.

Its cool out, its peaceful and its nice to run with someone but on to the reason of of the "light flashing"...

We were about 2 miles into our estimated 4 mile run and I manage to step right in a pot hole and nearly fall flat on my face. The ankle rolled & Geoff caught my fall. Thank goodness. But then came the pain. It hurt but I think it was my fear that hurt the most. All I could think of in that 30 seconds was not being able to complete in the race that I have been training for.

I am sure we have all had close calls. I thank my strength and balance training for not spraining my ankle. Ever since the high school volleyball days, I have been a strong believer of balance training. This is basically doing basic exercises standing on a single leg. We were "forced" to wear ankle braces to play volleyball to prevent ankle sprains. I refused because these braces made every ones ankles so weak and dependant on the braces. I never sprained my ankle. A few rolls here and there but nothing that kept me off of it. I even finished the last two miles this morning. Its tender now but nothing to worry about.

This was the view on my way out of the house this morning.  

I wish I was able to run at this time.

Today I had a board meeting at the Maitland Art & History Museum and I thought I would share a few pictures of this fun location.

Guessing what is going to be for dinner has not been very high on my priority list lately. I am a big planner and when I plan a week of dinners, they all get cooked, we eat well, and life is good but when there is not plan I end up buying a bag of brown rice pasta, a jar of pasta sauce, and throw whatever aging veggies that are in the fridge in the pot and call it dinner. Still tasty and 100% ok upon occasion but not on a regular basis :)

I always like to try to cook or prepare a fun dinner on Sundays. It is a great time to make a special dinner that may have a few more steps then time allows during the week & left overs for lunches are a plus.

So what was our dinner? Well if you follow me on twitter (PStringandGBean) you may already have been informed, multiple times. Veggie Sushi!

I love the idea of veggie sushi but nowhere in my town serves it with the option of brown rice. Whole Foods does and I get it too often but it is pricey. So we made it at home. I looked forward to it all week.

It is so simple.

Veggie Sushi

1.5 Cups Short Grain Brown Rice
3 Cups water
2 Tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown rice syrup
Variety of Veg, sliced to matchsticks (I used bell pepper, avocado, cucumber, and carrots)
Toasted Nori Sheets
A sushi rolling mat will help.

Begin by cooking the rice according to package directions. You could use sushi rice, which is white short grain rice. It takes less time too cook but it has the nutrients stripped and I prefer the taste of the brown.

After the rice has cooked, remove it from the pot to allow to cool faster. You shouldn't make sushi with hot rice. While the rice is cooling, in the smallest sauce pot you own, combine the brown rice syrup and brown rice vinegar. Whisk until the syrup has dissolved. This will only take a few minutes over low heat. Pour this sauce over the rice and stir. Sushi restaurants will use brown rice vinegar and sugar. Bet you didn't know that your sushi contained added sugar!

Prep your veggies by cutting them into thin matchstick pieces.

If you have a bamboo rolling matt your life will be easier. I borrowed this one from Momma Pink String. I also chose to cover it in plastic wrap "just in case" since it wasn't mine to ruin. I knew my last few rolls would be tuna rolls for Geoff...

Grab a sheet of nori and place it shiny side down on the matt. As you can see I had the matt facing the wrong way at first. I figured that out real quick. You now have a few options as you see below. You can just put a layer of rice on the first inch or so or you can cover the whole sheet. I actually prefer less rice but I wasn't sure so I tried multiple ways. I also did one with rice on the outside.... I only made one of those. Not as basic.

Now line your veggies on top. I chose to use red bell pepper, carrots, cucumber, and avocado. I knew I wouldn't be using all of the individual veggies so I chose what I would use on salads throughout the week.  

You can see both options below.

Now roll. The key here is to start it tight and use both hands, squeezing as you roll. You will keep the bamboo on top. Below the bottom picture is a good YouTube video on how to roll sushi. After the sushi roll is rolled when your fingers and white the edges to soften. The nori sheets will soften on their own in a few minutes.

You can see the different methods I tried below. My favorite was the super skinny one because of the lack of rice but they were all very good.

Once the nori has softened slightly, I used a serrated knife to cut a roll into bite sized pieces.

Besides the length of time to cook the rice and cutting the veggies the dish came together very fast. I managed to make about 7 rolls for the price of about 2 at a sushi restaurant.

For Geoff we made tuna rolls from tuna his family caught and we steamed edamame.

So much fun for a Sunday night!

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