No-TV Night, Brought to you by Sushi

Confession time: many nights, after my son goes to bed and dinner is made (or, often these days, ordered/taken out/delivered), Wife and I head downstairs to watch whatever's on the DVR.  We watch Downton or Nashville or The Mindy Project while we eat.  Our exhaustion from chasing a 2-year-old catches up with us within an hour and we crash for the night.  Exciting times, no? Well, on Sunday we discovered the antidote to our usual sleepy TV nights: sushi!  Not only did making our own sushi cause us to spend that TV hour sitting at the dining table laughing through the chaos that is making sushi for the first time, it resulted in a DELICIOUS dinner (and lunch of leftovers).  I imagine this would work with other assembly-style dinners (tacos, bowls, etc.), but making sushi was such a novelty to us that it felt like an event.  Ours was vegan and ridiculously healthy, but you could experiment with other add-ins.  Here's how you do it!

Homemade Healthy Sushi

Equipment: Sushi kit (I bought this one for Wife for Christmas)

Special ingredients:

- Sushi rice seasoning (or follow kit instructions) - we found this and other ingredients near the sushi bar at the grocery store

- wasabi

- nori sheets

Regular ingredients:

Pretty ingredient plate.
Pretty ingredient plate.

- 1 cup dry Sushi rice for 3-4 sushi rolls (short-grain, should say "sushi rice" on the bag/bin)

- asparagus

- panko bread crumbs

- avocado

- green onions

- cucumber

- carrots

- roasted red pepper

- Soy sauce (for dipping)

Note that I don't tell you how much of each ingredient to use, other than the sushi rice guideline.  You can eyeball it based on how much sushi you plan to make.  For 6 rolls, we used 1/2 a big cucumber, 1 big carrot, 1 big avocado, 1/4 cup roasted red peppers (pieces from a jar), 3-4 green onions, 6-8 asparagus spears.

Step 1: Cook your sushi rice.  We used the instructions in the sushi kit, which worked great.  Add in the sushi rice seasoning according to the kit instructions, or use a bit less--we found it to call for too much.

Step 2: While your rice cooks and cools, slice everything thinly.  For a little excitement, I coated the asparagus in panko (dip in a bit of almond milk, roll in panko), then roasted it on 400 for 10 minutes or so.  You can totally eat it raw (or skip it), but I thought it was a fun addition.

Step 3: Assemble your sushi according to your sushi kit instructions.  We used a bit of everything in each roll, but you can pick and choose.  Don't skimp on the avocado, though.

Step 4: Eat as you go or make a beautiful plate of sushi and dig in.  Dip into soy sauce/wasabi.  Save leftovers in a plastic bag, pressing/sucking all the air out, and bring to work the next day so your coworkers can ooh and ahh over your beautiful sushi.

A brief moment of self-control, when we stopped eating long enough to take a picture.
A brief moment of self-control, when we stopped eating long enough to take a picture.