Recipe: Wasabi-Vegetable Quinoa Rolls

This recipe comes from a vegetarian cookbook called “A Taste of Vitality”. It is available for free download by clicking here. I love this cookbook – it offers wonderful whole foods, largely gluten-free vegan recipes that sustain and increase health. Enjoy this recipe, and feel free to download the cookbook to try others!

As a big fan of wasabi (reader Nimmi C. will recall the great wasabi-eating contest of 1999), I was nothing short of excited to try this dish out.  The recipe can be made as instructed, or poured into a sesame-oiled baking dish and baked as a pilaf.  It has a nice bite to it but is not overwhelming. Leftovers are great in a wrap, rolled around seaweed or consumed with sashimi (raw fish).

Quinoa:

  • 1.5 cups quinoa, washed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • (optional – use 4 cups leftover quinoa and skip quinoa cooking instructions)

Vegetables:

  • 1 tbsp. dark sesame oil
  • 3 medium leeks, diced small
  • 1 small rutabaga, diced small
  • 3/4 pound asparagus, diced small
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Tofu: (easily omitted if soy-sensitive)

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 16 oz. firm tofu (pressed as long as possible to remove excess water)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Finishing:

  • 2 tbsp. powdered wasabi (if using a paste, adjust to your taste)
  • 3 tbsp. tamari (use 3 tbsp. water and1 tsp. salt mixed with wasabi if soy-sensitive)

Once quinoa is washed, place ina  saucepan with oil and salt, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Saute leeks and rutabaga until crisp-tender. Add asparagus and sea salt and cook 2 more minutes. Set aside.

Cut the tofu into small diced pieces (similar to vegetable in size). Heat a  large skillet and when it is hot, add oil and tofu. Saute, flipping diced tofu occasionally, so each side is crispy and browned. Once they become firm and crispy, lower heat, add salt, and stir gently for a minute. Turn off heat.

In a small bowl, mix wasabi and tamari until there are no lumps. Add the tofu to a large bowl, and pour the wasabi mix onto the tofu. Mix well. Add the quinoa and vegetables and continue to mix well. IF MAKING ROLLS, Briefly blend half the mixture in a food proessor and mix it back into the unblended half. This allows the mix to be pressed into rolls that actually stick together.  At this point, you can refrigerate the mix to use later, or form it into rolls immediately.

To make the rolls:

Place parchment paper on a baking sheet (allows easy removal).  If you do not have parchment paper, you can oil a baking sheet. Parchment paper is best, and very reliable for roll removal without damage.

Form rolls into sturdy, upright cylinders with your hands and place them on the baking sheet. If the mixture does not adhere well, it may be too dry; try adding some water until it stays together. If the mix is very mushy, it may be too wet. Add some brown rice flour or other whole grain flour to dry it out a little. The mix should form about 16 rolls.

If you do not want rolls, place the quinoa mix into an oiled baking dish, smoothing out the top so it is in a layer of even depth.

Place quinoa rolls or pilaf into a 400 degree oven (preheating is unnecessary). Bake for 35 minutes or until a crispy edge is formed around rolls and they are golden brown. Alternatively, bake the pilaf for 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend or serve freshly mixed if time is short.

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