I have always loved sushi. I was that seven year old kid who everyone thought was weird because I loved more "exotic" flavors than the other kids. I was amazed by how sushi could be filled with anything and almost always taste great. However, lately most of the sushi I have been eating has consisted of cucumber, avocado, and/or carrots since the non-fish/egg options in sushi restaurants around here are pretty limited. Not that I'm complaining though- I think a meal of some vegetable rolls and a bowl of edamame is extremely satisfying and convenient for when we go out to eat as a family. But.....sometimes I would rather have some variety in my sushi, which is why I was so excited to see the recipe for Spicy Tempeh Rolls in Vcon! I added some scallion slices and cucumber (I would have loved to add some avocado, but I used my last one the previous day...) to my roll and it was perfect! I also made a simple roll filled with mashed sweet potato mixed with a little pit of wasabi powder and these two rolls together created a wonderful and super satisfying meal! I'm actually very surprised how well these rolls turned out because I didn't have a bamboo mat to roll them up. My mom mentioned that she read somewhere that a brown paper bag with the sides cut so it can be unfolded and flattened out works well to roll sushi, and she was right! I'm hoping to practice my sushi skills a lot more throughout this summer and, hopefully, I'll eventually be able to make an inside-out roll!
While not as impressive as sushi, this dish was delicious as well. My grandparents hosted a graduation party last weekend for my cousin who graduated high school this year, so my entire family went over for dinner. I knew that there would be absolutely no vegan options, so I offered to bring a dish that was vegan but that everyone would enjoy. My aunt requested that I bring a quinoa salad since she loves quinoa but doesn't know what to do with it. Any sort of grain salad is such a fun dish to make, in my opinion, because of how versatile a dish it is; you can just throw stuff in and taste as you go until you have something you're happy with, and that's exactly what I did. I don't have an actual recipe for this salad right now since I sort of scribbled some ideas as I went and didn't measure too much, but I'm sure I'll make this again and I'll remember to actually measure the ingredients that I use. Basically, I mixed together some quinoa, chopped scallions and red bell pepper, dried cranberries, and Tamari-Roasted Chickpeas from ED&BV (I have been obsessed with these lately!). I tossed it all together with a dressing of soy sauce, olive oil, dijon mustard, agave nectar, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and hot sauce. I let this sit overnight and a few hours before dinner, and then added some chopped basil and mint and toasted almonds. Everyone loved this dish and when I went back for seconds I was surprised to find that nothing was left!