Homemade Cauli-Sushi with a Peanut, Sesame & Lime Sauce a.k.a. I-Swear-It’s-Not-Take-Out
Hi loves! Happy Friday night 🙂 (Who agrees with me that nothing beats a Friday night at home curled up on the couch with a good book, a Netflix binge + my Homemade Kale Chips or for me, blogging away until the wee-hours of the night?). I LOVE FRIDAYS! Ok, RANT OVER.
Tonight for dins, I whipped up some really yummy cauli-sushi & a very peanut-y sesame sauce with a touch of lime, a dish I like to call Homemade Cauli-Sushi with a Peanut, Sesame & Lime Sauce a.k.a. I-Swear-It’s-Not-Take-Out & it was HEAVEN. The question is, my loves, do you believe me when I tell you I made these babies entirely from scratch? I SWEAR. I didn’t go to Maiko for take-out & plate them as my own. I WOULD NEVER EVER DO THAT. I’m like such an honest citizen & stuff. Okay, fine, maybe I would, on like a REALLY LAZY day. BUT, today wasn’t one of those a.k.a. YES, I really did make these beautiful rolls of perfect cauli-sushi & yes, it’s okay for you to be in awe (a.k.a. It’s okay for you to be staring at the pictures below with your mouth wide open… It may be okay, but it’s certainly not attractive!).
ANYWHO BABES, these rolls are filled with tons of yummy, crunchy & good-for-you deliciousness. What’s in them, you ask? Crispy spinach, fresh mint, cilantro & basil, mock shrimp, cucumber, red & orange bell peppers, juicy mango, alfalfa sprouts & my ONE & ONLY NEWFOUND LOVE, AVOCADO!!! (Guys, YES, ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: Before my eating disorder, avocado was LEGIT MY FAVE FOOD. No joke, I LIVED for avo-toast. THEN, ED took control & I missed avocado oh-so-dearly. Well avocado, I’m back baby & I love you now more than ever!).
Oh & don’t get me started about the sauce (You might not make it to the end of this post because you will just try to improvise it, BUT IT WON’T WORK. So keep reading!!!). Think sesame oil,, lime juice, garlic & raw organic peanut butter… THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING YOU, I KNOW. So, let’s get to it babes (OH WAIT, one last thing. “Ugh, she always says that…”. No, but honestly, for those of you who were wondering, no, my cauliflower obsession did not die down. It never will. Learn that & accept it, okay? THANKS!
NOW, THE MOMENT YOU BABES HAVE BEEN SO PATIENTLY WAITING FOR. THE INGREDIENTS:
- 1/2 head of cauliflower (I mean… what’s cauli-sushi without the cauli, right?). P.S. CAULIFLOWER = LOVE.
- 1 tbsp. of rice vinegar (I use the organic & all-natural one by Nakano, but feel free to use the seasoned one – your “rice” will probably taste even better, so it’s totally up to you or based on what you have stocked at the back of your pantries!);
- 1/2 tsp. of ground ginger (I use Simply Organic);
- 1/2 tsp. of coconut sugar (I use Organic Coconut Sugar by Grace);
- 1/4 tsp. of organic Himalayan pink sea salt;
- 1 tsp. of coconut oil (As always, I never cheat on my ONE & ONLY <3 Nutiva organic coconut oil);
- Sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper;
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly, lengthwise;
- 1 cucumber, sliced thinly, lengthwise;
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced thinly, lengthwise;
- 1/2 – 1 full mango (Depends the size & depends how much you love your mango. I find it adds the perfect touch of sweetness to the sushi, so I would totz. go for the full mango), sliced thinly, lengthwise;
- KAY, BUT WHY DID I JUST REPEAT THAT FOUR TIMES? No but seriously my loves, it’s super important that you have your knife skills on point for this part because you want to be able to fit as much GOODNESS as possible in your nori sheet & well… if your veggies are cut like cr*p, it’s’ going to be hard to fit them all & then you’ll go cry in a corner because your dinner recipe is just not working out… and then, YOU’LL HAVE NO DINNER. So, how about you listen to me, STOP BEING LAZY & GET THOSE KNIFE SKILLS ON POINT. YOU’LL THANK ME SOMEDAY.
- 1 package of mock shrimp (GUYS, THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOUR MINDS CAN RUN WILD. Think of all the menus in all your fave sushi restaurants & fantasize about what fish or seafood you want to add to these babies – it’s totally up to you, but they would be ABSOLUTELY DELISH with some fresh salmon or red tuna. LET ME KNOW if you guys try one of the two! Next time, I intend to try these babes with tuna, so I’ll keep you updated my loves!)
- 1 tbsp. of fresh basil;
- 1 tbsp. of fresh mint;
- 1 tbsp. of dill;
- UM, have you guys noticed that I love my herbs? You actually have no idea how quickly I go through them at home… like I legit need to run to the grocery store every like … 2 days … to restock on my herb stash (K wait, that sounds wrong. NOT THAT KIND OF HERB!!!!). IT’S AN ADDICTION, PEOPLE. But, honestly, what better way to add flavour to your dishes than with FRESH ingredients? (Yes, that is my justification for my addiction. Hey, at least I’m not in denial, right?)
- Handful of spinach leaves;
- Handful of alfalfa sprouts;
- NORI SHEETS, DUH!!! How else do you want to roll these babes, or rather, should I say, IN WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT TO ROLL THESE BABES?
For the BEAUTIFUL, RICH & SAVOURY, YET PERFECTLY SAUCE (A.K.A. your dream-come-true-peanut-sesame-lime-sauce,), you will need:
- 1-2 tbsp. of SESAME OIL. Guys, sesame is everything. You cannot skimp on the sesame oil. IT CONTAINS GOOD FATS, I PROMISE. PLEASE, DON’T BE SCARED OF THE SESAME OIL. Plus, after all, it really is the base of this sauce (I thought the name was self-explanatory & that I did not need to explain, BUT WHATEVZ), so like… DON’T EVEN THINK TWICE, KAY?
- 1 tbsp. of soy sauce, Tamari or soy sauce substitute (I used the soy sauce substitute by Naked Coconuts. K but, ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: How cute is that name for a brand? OMG & if you see how cute their packaging is, I’M. IN. LOVE.
- 1 tbsp. of mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine). If you don’t have this ingredient, you can mix some white wine or some rice vinegar with sugar et voilà! (See how nice I am? I always find you an alternative. *Taps shoulder*);
- 1 tbsp. all-natural or seasoned rice vinegar (same as above, my loves! Nakano FTW);
- 1 tbsp. of raw organic peanut butter (I used MaraNatha brand for this recipe but there are SO MANY good brands on the market. And really, you could stick to the Kraft one too if that’s all you have! PLUS, it’s uber creamy so it really makes for the PERF texture for this sauce);
- 1-2 tbsp. of lime juice (I used two because I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the combination of the tangy citrusy lime with the sweetness of sesame oil & peanut butter, but if you’re not usually a fan of lime, start with 1 tbsp., taste it & then decide! YOU DON’T WANT TO RUIN THIS SAUCE, TRUST ME);
- 1 tbsp. of pure organic maple syrup (I use Decacer brand). If you’re not a fan of maple syrup (Because something is seriously & utterly wrong with your tastebuds), you can sub it for the same amount of honey… but honestly, like I’ve said before, I really don’t know who in their right mind would choose honey over maple syrup… IF YOU DO, IT’S NOT OKAY.
- 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar (I use my all-time fave Bragg’s);
- 1 clove of garlic;
- 1/4 tsp. of garlic powder (Simply Organic);
- 1/4 tsp. of smoked paprika (Simply Organic);
- 1/4 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper (Simply Organic);
- 1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper (Simply Organic);
- Organic Himalayan pink sea salt to taste;
- OPTIONAL: Guys, these are just some more suggestions if you want to change up some of the ingredients OR, BETTER YET, ADD SOME MO’: sesame seeds, shredded carrot, radishes, asparagus, marinated ginger, kimchi. GAH, GUYS, I can legit go on forever, NO JOKE. I have such an imagination when it comes to food. Still can’t believe I ever gave up all these foods… LIKE HOW THE EFF DID I DO IT? Oh right, if you read this morning’s post, you know I didn’t CHOOSE IT. Kay, I won’t get all philosophical on your butts right now, I’m sure the drooling is getting out of hand & you just want to know how to make these cuties. I’m right, eh? OH, AS ALWAYS!
OK. 1) You guys probably think this recipe is uber-complicated because there are so many ingredients, but I promise you it’s SUPER SIMPLE. Simpler than I ever thought it would be, seriously. Once again, YOU NEED TO TRUST ME, OR THIS ISN’T GOING TO WORK OUT & 2) YOU ARE DYING/DROOLING/SALIVATING AT THE THOUGHT OF PUTTING THESE CUTIES TOGETHER & YOU NEED ME TO TELL YOU HOW, SO HERE GOES:
- Break the cauliflower into florets (A.K.A. Try to remove as much of the stems as possible. Like I’ve said in a previous post, you need to be kind to your food processor & blender. Look at all the wonderfulness these kitchen tools accomplish for you. IT’S THE LEAST YOU CAN DO. GO EASY ON THEM, OKAY?);
- IN A FOOD PROCESSOR (= LOVE & LIFE), process the cauli until it looks like rice (Guys, when you see our cauli turn into this beautiful rice-like texture, you will MELT, literally. Like, it really is such a beautiful & miraculous thing);
- Transfer the “rice” to a metal bowl. Season with the rice vinegar, ginger, coconut sugar & sea salt & fluff & separate the “rice” with a spoon (MY GOODNESS, WHY YOU SO PRETTY?);
- OK OK, IT’S TIME TO ROLL BABIES. On a bamboo sushi roller, lay a sheet of nori, SHINY SIDE DOWN PEOPLE. Please, follow my lead, oops, I mean instructions;
- Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of “rice’ to the MIDDLE of the nori sheet, spread it out with your hands & leave approximately 1 inch on the top & bottom of the sheet with no rice. PRESS DAT RICE DOWN VERY FIRMLY, PEOPLE. This requires focus & attention, but you will be thankful because you will have the most-perfect-omg-can-I-eat-you-right-now rolls of sushi in MINUTES!!
- NOW, add all your yummy crunchy veggies. I find, the best way to start is by laying the spinach leaves & all the fresh herbs on the rice, then adding all your THINLY SLICED VEGGIES (I hope you guys listened to me & sliced them the way I told you to. If not, I’m really. really, really, completely & utterly disappointed in you & I am not sure if we can be friends. I’ll get back to you).
- Slightly wet the 1 inch edge of the nori sheet that is farthest from you with damp fingers. Pick up the edge closest to you & tightly, BUT VERY GENTLY, roll away from you. (GUYS, THIS PART REQUIRES EVEN MORE FOCUS & ATTENTION, UNLESS YOU WANT TO RIP YOUR NORI SHEET. ZOMFG, MY WORST NIGHTMARE), letting the wet nori edge stick to the roll. Let it sit for a minute or so to stick, then wrap your sushi roll in saran wrap (You can totally skip this step if you want, but I find it REALLY solidifies the roll & makes it A LOT easier to cut through (& less scary to break!!!).
- NOW. NOW. NOW. YOU WANT TO CUT YOUR ROLL INTO THESE CUTE LITTLE BABIES, BUT YOU’RE SCARED TO RIP IT. OMG, WHAT TO DO? Use a wet, VERY SHARP, knife & CAREFULLY slice your rolls (Guys, there is not much more that I can tell you than to do so carefully. If they rip, well, you weren’t gentle enough… and you can make like a cauli-sushi-mash? EW. Not down. ALL THIS TO SAY, SLICE THESE BABES CAREFULLY & YOU WILL SUCCEED. YOU CAN DO THIS).
- DIP THESE BABIES IN THE SAUCE & DEVOUR THEM ONE BY ONE (Took me a very short ten minutes, no joke…). When you are done, cry because you have none left for tomorrow & you have to go through this ENTIRE PROCESS all over again. Next time, be smart. DOUBLE, TRIPL,E, QUADRUPLE YOUR RECIPE. LEARN TO BE EFFICIENT.
I know, you’ve essentially been waiting to see my shots from all angles since the very beginning of this post. But I’m a tease & I love keeping you waiting. BUT, I acknowledge that at one point, IT’S JUST ENOUGH. So here they are my loves:
KAY, BUT HOW BEAUTIFUL? GET CHOPPING MY LOVES. THESE CAN BE YOURS IN NO TIME. Je vous time, xx! <3