It’s crazy how much can happen in a year. How fast time can move. How change can progress. At the beginning of 2013, I quit a full-time job that, while paying my bills, was doing little else but bringing me down. I then cycled through a jillion part-time jobs, took a jillion and one photos, fell in love, fell out of love, traveled on impulse, flew out to Paris, photographed my first wedding, launched a few new ideas, schemed up a few more, had a ton of “is this real life?” moments, met a lot of clients, made new friends, shedded old friends, have become really comfortable with myself and learned a ton about what it means to live life if you really want to live it. At my age, it means taking chances. Trying new things. Learning what, and maybe who, it is you love. And practicing all of that, one way or another. Maybe that goes for every age. Probably so.
This year has also been a year of more and more experimenting in the kitchen, seeking out new inspiration, and growing my food photo skills. The food blog world is continuously proliferating. I saw it this past year more than ever, and find myself endlessly inspired. I’ve also come across some new friends with similar visions to spread healthy eating, and who share in the joy of eating and cooking with others. This, as well as stumbling upon some new start-ups in my city with similar viewpoints, excites me more than ever. I can’t wait to keep filling my life up with these connections and companions, and venturing into new directions. And of course sharing some of the successes here on my blog.
A few of my favorite ingredient discoveries this year include coconut flakes, ground cherries, raw honey and the turmeric root I’ve used to spruce up this wintertime sushi. Turmeric root is a gorgeous, and incredibly healthy kitchen ingredient in which lately I simply cannot get enough. You can find it at Whole Foods, masked in a form that resembles the root-like structure of ginger. In fact, the two look nearly identical until you peel the outer layer, and find the vibrant orange of the turmeric masked beneath. A common spice in Indian cooking, likely you’ve used, or at least tasted, its powdered form before. In its fresh status, it takes on a slightly less pungent flavor that crosses its inherent characteristics with that of both ginger and carrot. At least, that’s what it tastes like to me.
For these sushi rolls, feel free to use whatever staple ingredients of the season you have on hand. This time of year, steamed sweet potato could be nice, or maybe some kohlrabi, sliced thinly into matchsticks. I chose to go with this colorful array I had in my fridge, running out only to obtain an avocado. Don’t miss that component if you can help it! Once cubed, slightly sprinkle it with salt. This really draws out the flavor of avocado.
A fresh start to the New Year, we could all fair well to commit ourselves to a path of healthy eats. As I’ve said before, a healthy body = a happy mind. That’s worth repeating and remembering. Cheers to all of you and another year ahead. With all that happened in 2013, I’m brimming with energy for what this next year will bring. Thank you for being a part of my life.
- -1/4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
- -1 avocado, sliced and sprinkled with salt
- -1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- -1 large carrot, grated
- -1 small beet, grated
- -1/4 scant cup minced turmeric root
- -1/2 cup brown rice + 1 1/3 cups water
- -1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- -4-5 nori seaweed sheets, each cut in half
- -1/3 cup crispy lentils (see recipe here)
- -Wasabi powder, to taste
- -Sesame seeds, optional
- -Soy sauce
- Place rice and water in a small sauce pat, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook 40-50 minutes, until rice is extra tender and sticky. Stir in rice vinegar. (I like to stir the wasabi right into the right. You can do this too, or add it later on to the soy sauce for dipping.)
- Place a nori half shiny side down. Spread a thin layer of rice in the center 1/3 of the nori sheet. On top, place a little cabbage, avocado, cilantro, carrot, beet, turmeric root, and crispy lentils.
- Fold the top right corner down over the rice and fillings, and then grab the bottom left corner and bring it over the folded corner covering the fillings and pass it underneath until it wraps all the way around and forms a cone. Pat a little warm water on the end to form a seal. Let sit. As cone absorbs some of the moisture from the ingredients, the seal will become more sturdy.
- Repeat with remaining nori sheets. Serve with a side of soy sauce.