Recipe Difficulty: Medium
You CAN make delicious Vegan Sushi at home. Trust!
While the easiest option for enjoying vegan sushi might just be to find a sushi restaurant near you, it isn't THAT difficult to do yourself. Perhaps if you have never rolled sushi before the idea could seem a bit daunting, but once you do it a couple times you might not be an expert, but you'll be able to easily enjoy sushi in your own home. I'm sharing two versions along with videos to watch how I do it. Sure there is something to be said for going to a sushi restaurant where people who have far more expertise than I prepare it, but I want to encourage you to give one or both of these variations I'm sharing a try. Take the time to read through my post and watch the videos before getting started.
Homemade Vegan Sushi - Getting Started
Good home made sushi starts with making proper sushi rice! You don't need to be an expert (I'm not) or have special tools to make something delicious. (A sushi mat for the Maki is necessary, but you can find them really affordably).
Below you will find my recipe for seasoned sushi rice. Then, I'm sharing a bit about each of the two different methods for rolling the sushi, (pictured above), and some tips for success. For a quick demo on rice making and forming sushi, check out my You Tube videos at the bottom of this post.
My Vegan Sushi Recipe Notes
I made two types of sushi with one batch of rice. 12 pom pom sushi, and 3 classic rolls. (See my You Tube videos for demonstration on how to roll the different types.) I dipped the sushi in a spicy soy sauce dressing (a recipe I made from the Korean Vegan Cookbook but go ahead and just use soy sauce), and served with pickled ginger and a bit of wasabi.
General Tips for making Sushi
1. Pom Pom Sushi
The first method "Pom Pom" Sushi.
Pom pom sushi is a type of sushi that is shaped to resemble a pom pom or tassel. It is made by wrapping a small ball of sushi rice in thinly sliced fish or other ingredients and then shaping it into a round, fluffy shape using a mold or by hand. The finished pom pom sushi is often garnished with a variety of colorful ingredients such as roe, seaweed, and edible flowers to give it a playful and decorative appearance. It is typically served as a small appetizer or as part of a larger sushi platter.
I really love Pom Pom Sushi after making them, I must say. Adorable perfectly round balls of rice with a dab of wasabi underneath small slices of avocado. The ingredients are simplistic, but these are beautiful to look at and incredibly delicious. I used the recipe from a wonderful Japanese cookbook I have called Kansha by Elizabeth Andoh. Naming these "Pom Pom" Sushi was something she fondly came up with, her mother in law called them "temari - zushi". Whatever you call them, they are delicious. I made 12 pom pom sushi balls using 1 - 2 tbsp of rice per ball & 1/2 an avocado, sliced. (see my video for instructions) The avocado rice balls get wrapped in plastic wrap to form the perfect round shape, twisting it at the top to form a bundle, and are then refrigerated until set. Then you simply unwrap them and serve (I couldn't resist a little sprinkle of sesame seeds.)
2. Maki Rolls
The second method "Maki Rolls"
Maki Rolls are undoubtedly the most common. Most grocery stores seem to carry them these days even.
Filling ideas for Maki Rolls
You can fill your sushi rolls with whatever you'd like. I opened my fridge and grabbed a carrot, spinach, and red cabbage. I think whatever combination you use, something with a bit of richness in combination with the mix of fresh veggies is the most delicious. Avocado, roasted sweet potato, or tempura anything (sweet potato, mushroom). If you are a fan of cream cheese in your sushi by all means go for it. My combination of avocado, julienned carrot, shaved cabbage and a few leaves of baby spinach was really tasty, so start there if you aren't sure.
Recipe: Sushi Rice
Seasoned Rice Vinegar
See my YouTube videos if you don't know how to roll sushi! If you do, great, this batch of rice will make approximately 4 rolls. OR as I did, 12 pom pom sushi, and 3 rolls. 1 avocado was enough for all of them, and then use whatever else you want. Feel free to make a double batch of rice! Once the sushi are rolled and sliced, keep them for a day in the fridge, but it's definitely the best when eaten straight away if you want to get serious about it.
A couple of affordable sushi mat options below.
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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My Hummus Recipe Notes
I have a confession, I don't love store bought hummus. The flavour profile never seems quite balanced (some are better than others obviously), and they are far too thick. Hummus should be super soft and creamy. Once I started making my own there was just no comparison. I will buy it when I'm feeling busy and overwhelmed, but this recipe is just so much better!
This is my basic hummus recipe. I use canned chickpeas and white beans interchangeably. The chickpeas (unlike the white beans) have skins that easily rub off. Taking a moment to remove them is totally worth it - your hummus will be incredibly smooth and creamy.
I also really like serving my hummus warm. You can pop it in the oven or microwave it. It really elevates it into something even more delicious. It doesn't need to be piping hot, just warmed through to remove the chill.
You can garnish hummus with so many different things.
You can use hummus so many ways.
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Recipe Keywords: Tofu Beef, Fajitas, Tacos, Salads, Wraps, Pasta, Soup, Pizza
Tofu Beef Recipe Notes
These Tofu Beef Crumbles are actually insanely good. I made them to use in my Fajita Bowl & Creamy Lasagna Soup and they really mimic the texture of cooked ground beef. They are also great in tacos, taco salads, in a layered dip, in pasta sauces, soups or anywhere else you can think of! A block of tofu doesn't really go too far once you make this. I easily ate half a batch (1/2 block tofu) on my salad. So go ahead and double or triple the batch so you have lots. I usually do. Serving size depends how you are going to use it!
The tofu is drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with nutritional yeast, soy sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder & onion powder. Then it gets baked in the oven until browned and chewy in texture.
How to use tofu beef?
Lasagna Soup!!!! I used leftovers from my incredible tomato soup recipe and turned it into THIS.
Whole Grain Lasagna Noodles, Lots of Cheese, Tofu "Beef" Crumbles, Spinach and Fresh Thyme to garnish. You can make this as cheesy as you want. I stir a bit of cheese into the soup when I'm heating it up. I don't want it to disappear completely but just be hot. I just used some generic vegan cheese I had on hand, but next time I would consider making my own ricotta or finding more artisan vegan cheese to add. A blend could be nice. The tofu beef crumbles are insane, I really love them and can't wait to use them in a variety of contexts. One batch of the tofu crumbles wouldn't be enough if you wanted ALL of the tomato soup to be lasagna soup, but I was just using some of my leftovers. Maybe you want tomato soup and grilled cheese one day and then the next lasagna soup! Otherwise, I would probably use 3 blocks of tofu if I wanted a big batch of lasagna soup, vs the 1 block I used for leftovers.
Serves 4 - 6
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Recipe Tags: Vegan, Chocolate Turtles, Pecan, Clusters, Sea Salt, Caramel, Dates
I set out to make these one year around Christmas time. My mum every single year gets a box of chocolate turtles. If my brother is home, there will be a second box, or three. Chocolate Turtles are then eaten morning, noon and night for the first couple of days ha. My thought process is always, "how can I make something delicious but with better for you ingredients?" This recipe is the result. They don't necessarily taste like chocolate turtles exactly, but they are certainly inspired by them.
These chocolate pecan caramel clusters happen to be delicious AND simple to make. Whole pitted dates blended together with a bit of plant milk make incredible "caramel". They get soaked in water just to soften, and then blitzed with a bit of vanilla, a splash of plant milk and a pinch of salt.
Then you just mix the date mixture with toasted pecans, portion it into irregular shaped clusters, chill, then dip into melted chocolate. Finally a sprinkle of sea salt before the chocolate hardens, and honestly a little bit of salt right before eating one is good, too.
I can't decide if I like these better straight from the freezer or room temp. Both ways are good. The date caramel stays soft even in the freezer, a tasty contrast from the hard chocolate. Either way, salty caramel bites with pecans and chocolate is an addictive situation.
I'll definitely be switching up the nuts in these sometime. How about adding some dried fruit?
Tips for Recipe Success
Recipe Difficulty: Easy! Once you make your cashew cream (they require an overnight soak, so a bit of planning is needed), the rest comes together quickly.
My Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup Recipe Notes
This classic tomato soup is, with no exaggeration, perfection. Bright tomato flavour that is softened and made super creamy thanks to the addition of cashew cream. (it's only raw cashews and water blended together but let me tell you...life changing stuff that happily replaces dairy cream in most cooking projects) This soup is perfectly balanced and addictive. I like to make vegan grilled cheese sandwiches for dunking and the whole situation is divine. You will never need to search for another recipe, you will never need to buy the canned stuff, because this recipe is too good and simple to justify that. Certain recipes just belong in one's repertoire, one's that are easy, nourishing, and that will impress anyone lucky enough to grace your dinner table.
Cashew Cream Notes
For the cashew cream, I always make 2 cups worth of cashews which fills one of my x large mason jars. It's more than you need for this recipe, but I like to have it on hand. You can heat it with maple and cocoa powder for hot chocolate, reduce it and add garlic and cheese for a creamy pasta sauce, I drizzled it on my overnight oats instead of yogurt, use it in baked goods like scones etc. If you don't want a lot of leftovers you can just make 1 cup worth of cashews and there won't be a lot left.
Can I freeze this soup?
YES! You can definitely pop this soup in the freezer for enjoying at a later date. I can't count the number of times I was ecstatic to pull this out for an easy delicious week night meal. I just thaw it in the microwave enough to loosen it from the container. Then I add it to a pot with just a bit of water. I let it thaw slowly over medium low heat. If you find you have added a bit too much water, you can just let it simmer longer to reduce.
Other ways to enjoy this soup
I often like to mix things up in the kitchen, turning one recipe into something else. It keeps things interesting and is a great skill to have when it comes to preventing any food waste. I ate my tomato soup as is for a couple days, then decided I wanted something different! I made a Lasagna Soup and it was delicious and fun. I used my recipe for Tofu Beef, which I also use in my fajita bowls, which is one of my favourite recipes on my blog.
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Ginger Molasses Cookies are one of my favourite winter time cookie. A chewy cookie with molasses and warm spices with a cup of tea when it's cold and snow covered outside is a lovely thing. These cookies are spiced with dried Ginger, cinnamon & cloves. You might be tempted to bake them longer than the suggested 10 - 12 minutes, but they should seem slightly under baked when you take them out. I left one batch a bit longer, and while they were still good the lesser time was best, resulting in a perfectly moist, chewy ginger molasses cookie! As they should be. Enjoy.
Ginger Molasses Cookies
Yield 25 cookies (mine were smallish, giant ginger cookies would be fun too!)
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Soy Milk Recipe Notes
Making soy milk is simple! For me, it happens to be a process I really enjoy. I find it relaxing and therapeutic in a way. Maybe kind of like bread making can be. Simmering the beans, blending them with water, straining them and squeezing the liquid from the fine mesh bag, it's all quite grounding. The pulp then gets reserved for another use, and the soy milk is simmered and seasoned to taste. For seasoning I just add a pinch of salt, but it is common to add in a splash of vanilla and maple syrup if that's your thing. I LOVE soy milk in my coffee. Don't get me wrong, black coffee is great, but in my afternoon cup I crave this combination. My favourite part of the entire process (other than squeezing the liquid from the bean pulp), is ladling fresh hot soy milk into a small mug to sip and enjoy. It's really delicious.
Soy Milk Pulp (Okara) Uses
After making soy milk, you are left with the bean pulp from blitzing up the soy beans. This byproduct is called "Okara". It can be used to make a variety of things such as vegan fish cakes, nuggets, dog treats, and apparently it is even a tasty snack for chickens. Sometimes when I make my vegan fried chicken recipe, instead of using chickpeas in my dough, I use okara. I've also used it mixed with peanut butter and spelt flour to make a dough that I roll out, cut into shapes, bake & then dehydrate for dog treats. My dog loves them. I know it all might seem a bit strange if you aren't familiar, but I'm really impressed with how versatile this ingredient is. It adds bulk, texture and using it is a great way to avoid any food waste. (it's easier than it might sound if this is all new to you!)
Below I'm sharing a resource concerning the environmental impact of soy that I found useful, It's a You Tube Video by Ed Winters, if you are concerned or interested to know more about it.
Environmental Impact of Soy (YouTube)
Why you shouldn't soak your soybeans overnight for soy milk.
The process for cooking the soy beans in this book is slightly different than many of the recipes you see online. What I learned while reading the intro to this recipe in The Homemade Vegan Pantry cookbook, is that it is better to use a quick soak method using heat (hot water) compared to soaking your beans overnight in cold water before cooking. There is an enzyme in soybeans that gets triggered by cold water, and will yield milk with a strong beany taste. Instead, this recipe results in a milk that is creamy, light tasting, and delicious. (if you aren't convinced, you'll just have to trust me and try it!)
The Homemade Vegan Pantry, by Miyoko Schinner
I followed & slightly adapted the soy milk recipe from a wonderful cookbook that I have. I definitely recommend it. That's where I learned what I know about okara and it's uses. You can check it out by clicking the link below.
The Homemade Vegan Pantry, by Miyoko Schinner
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Hey! I'm Trisha