Deconstructed sushi bowl with wasabi cashew sauce

There are crazy things stirring in the Larson house.

We've confirmed that Mike has high cholesterol. Genetics are undoubtedly a major factor, but his love for butter and bacon probably don't help. In a last-ditch effort to avoid medication - and I can't believe what I'm typing - my husband is trying veganism.

Folks, keep an eye outside because there must be pigs flying around everywhere.

When Mike and I first met, I had been eating a mostly vegetarian diet for about 4 years. He laughed and joked about how the words "vegetarian" or "vegan" were like curse words in his world and swore to change my ways (and succeeded). He grew up eating beef on the regular and loves hamburgers and a good steak more than anyone I've ever met, so for him to consider giving up meat for the sake of heart health is an act of God.

We're about a week in to these new dietary changes, and we've actually enjoyed it. We've been branching out of our usual dinner comfort zone, trying new recipes, and keeping the fridge stocked with colorful produce. We've found cashews to be a huge asset. Batch cooking brown rice has been a time-saver. Soaking beans is becoming a nightly ritual.

In three months, he'll have another blood test and we'll weigh if his efforts have been effective. Until then, we'll be over here eating plants.
If you love sushi, you'll adore this deconstructed sushi bowl. Pile together seasoned rice, shredded nori paper, avocado, and whatever vegetables you fancy, then top with the creamy, spicy sauce for all the glorious sushi flavors and half the work. Seasoning the brown rice in the way you'd season sushi rice - with rice vinegar, salt, and sugar - is the secret to making this bowl delicious and irresistible.
Sesame seeds are always a good idea.
Deconstructed sushi bowl with wasabi cashew sauce
Serves 2
Inspired by The Simple Veganista
Note: This recipe calls for a combination of long-grain brown rice and sweet brown rice. The sweet brown rice is softer and helps create a stickier final product, but you could certainly use 3/4 cup of regular long-grain brown rice if you don't have sweet brown rice on hand. 

1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
1/4 cup sweet brown rice
1 1/4 cups water
4-inch piece of kombu (optional)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium carrot, sliced into sticks
1/2 of a medium cucumber, sliced into sticks
1 radish, sliced thin
1/2 of a large avocado, sliced
1/2 sheet of nori, sliced into sticks
Wasabi cashew sauce (recipe below)
Sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Rinse the rice under cold water. Combine the rinsed rice, water, and kombu in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 35-40 minutes until the rice has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and allow the rice to steam with the lid on for 10 minutes. Discard the kombu.
  2. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and heat until the salt and sugar are dissolved. You could also do this in the microwave. 
  3. Transfer the cooked rice to a clean bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over it. Use a wooden spoon to work the vinegar into the cooked rice. Cover the rice with a damp towel until ready to use.
  4. Divide the rice between two bowls and pile on the sliced carrot, cucumber, radish, and nori (or whatever vegetables you decide to use). Top with the wasabi cashew sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

Wasabi cashew sauce:
1/3 cup cashews, soaked 2 hours
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon prepared wasabi
2-3 tablespoons water (to thin)

Combine all ingredients except the water in a high-speed blender. Turn the blender on high and slowly drizzle in the water until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. The sauce could be kept refrigerated for 2-3 days.

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