Rainbow Nori Rolls

Rainbow Nori Rolls

I was recently asked to review two of Urban Outfitter’s cookbooks, both centered around clean and wholesome eating. First up,?Power Snacks, chock full of 50 pages of healthy snacks abundant in energy-boosting nutrients.

Broken down into several categories, the cookbook offers up classic “On the Go” snacks like Squash & Pumpkin Seed Muffins, “High Energy” bites like rainbow chard roll-ups, “Sweet Indulgences” including Chocolate Avocado Pudding, and more. Yummmmm-y!

Rainbow Nori Rolls

Full of color, I was instantly drawn to the Rainbow Nori Roll recipe, featured in the “Take to Work” section of the book. Laying out all of its ingredient on the table, it was hard not to be excited about all of the beauty going into this particular power snack. I mean, just look at that vibrant photo above. Pure awesomeness.

Rainbow Nori Rolls

I love snacks that are able to pack in a bunch of vegetables. So often, when we need a mid-afternoon refueling, we reach for something sweet, and often that means something that’s not too entirely healthy. With options like this – that feel entirely like a treat, but a savory one at that – it’s easy to keep snack-time the healthy pick-me-up that it’s meant to be. In other words, this recipe is far from the nap-inducing snack that too often steals away our second half of the day.

Rainbow Nori Rolls

Another pro, these nori rolls really pack in the flavor, especially for an all-vegan sushi option. The sauteed asparagus and ginger give them an extra boost, and the beets really add something here, too.

That being said, if you have avocado on-hand, definitely add it. You can rarely go wrong with avocado in vegetarian sushi.

Rainbow Nori Rolls

Likewise, there’s tons of room to play around with other ingredients in this recipe. You could add baked tofu for a little extra protein, or cucumbers, or other veggies of your choice. You could play with the grain, for instance, like I did, and try swapping the risotto rice for brown rice. I used a short grain brown rice, cooked it with a little extra water (1 cup rice to 2 1/2 cups water) and for a little extra time until it achieved the sushi-ready stickiness that it needed.

You could add wasabi to the roll or to the dipping sauce. You could add herbs. Or mango. Or whatever your heart may desire.

Rainbow Nori Rolls

Keep in mind, this isn’t a whip-up-in-5-minutes kind of snack. While the veggie prep is simple, there are a lot of ingredients to chop here, and the assemblage is a process, particularly if you’re new to sushi-making. That being said, sushi is easier to roll than you might think, so don’t let intimidation get in your way.

To save time, buy beets (unseasoned) that are already cooked. You can usually find them in cans in the veggie/bean section of the grocery store. You could also make the rice the night before, or prep some of the ingredients ahead of time.

Rainbow Nori Rolls

While these are best eaten the day-of, they’ll definitely last if you make them a day-in-advance. In fact, I’ll be enjoying some leftovers for lunch today.

Prep them on a Sunday and when the Monday stomach rumbles roll around, you’ll have a beautifully fresh snack waiting for you full of that extra zest you need to get the week going.

Rainbow Nori Rolls


You can check out the cookbook for other fun snack ideas. And stay tuned for a preview of Urban Outfitter’s other book,?The Clean Eating Kitchen, in the days to follow!

Rainbow Nori Rolls

Yield: Serves 4

via Power Snacks cookbook from Urban Outfitters


  • 1 cup risotto or other sticky rice
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin (Japanese rice wine) or sherry
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 24 asparagus
  • 4 sheets nori (up to 7, depending on how heavy you stuff it)
  • 1 cup drained, sliced sushi ginger
  • 1/3 cup kale, cut into thin strips
  • 1 sm. red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 sm. yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchstick strips
  • 2 cooked beets in natural juices, drained and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 Tbsp. tamari
  • 2 Tbsp. Chinese rice wine
  • Sea salt


  1. Put the rice and water into a saucepan with a little salt and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and gently simmer 18-20 minutes, or according to package directions, until rice is soft and has absorbed al the water. Stir occasionally toward the end of cooking so that rice doesn't stick to the pan. Remove from heat and stir in the mirin/sherry. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet, add the asparagus and saute over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until asparagus is just soft. Set aside.
  3. Separate the nori sheets and place one on a piece of plastic wrap set on top of a bamboo sushi mat. Thinly spread 1/4 of the warm rice over the top to cover the nori sheet completely. (Or make a 1-inch line, as pictured above, if you prefer slightly less and want to make more than 4 rolls).
  4. Arrange some of the ginger in an overlapping line a little up from one edge of the nori. Arrange a line of asparagus, followed by the kale, red and yellow peppers, carrots and beets, leaving a border of rice about 3/4-inch wide.
  5. Using the plastic wrap and sushi mat, tightly roll the nori around the vegetables. Give the roll a squeeze at each turn of the mat. Seal the roll by dampening the edge of the nori with a little warm water.
  6. Run a sharp knife under warm water and then cut each roll in half. Then cut each of those halves into two. Cut once more to form 8 pieces. Repeat to make remaining rolls.
  7. To serve, mix the tamari and rice wine together, and place in a dipping bowl.

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  • Reply
    Yael @ Nosherium
    July 15, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I do something similar with avocado, it’s just creamy enough to hold everything together.

  • Reply
    April 25, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Love these nori rolls! They’re so beautiful and colorful.

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