Do you feel like you should eat more vegetables? Do you get a niggle that perhaps you should eat more sustainable oily fish like sardines, despite the fact that you’re often overwhelmed by their smell? Do you sometimes have an overwhelming craving for pickled ginger? Are you stuck in a lunch time rut which either involves a toasted sandwich (very good for morale, less so for my middle) or a sushi roll (same – each sushi roll contains on average a sneaky teaspoon of sugar).
If any of those apply to you, then these cauliflower rice hand rolls may be what you’re looking for. If so, skip straight to the recipe at the bottom.
This recipe celebrates the avocado. It celebrates it because they’re gosh darn delicious, versatile for flavour, as a binding agent and because this week our stowaway has graduated to the proportions of one.
Avocado is most often smashed on spelt sourdough in this house and topped with scrambled eggs and green herbs. It’s often mashed into guacamole to gild corn tortilla quesadillas or emergency nachos. It’s sometimes blitzed with cococa and maple syrup for a paleo/vegan/ allergy friendly chocolate mousse or frosting when we’ve got those friends popping around. I’ll sometimes sneak it into a smoothie for Will (it adds a delightful creaminess), or cube it with cucumber, green herbs and quick pickled red onion as a salsa to have with salmon.
But this may be one of my new favourite ways to eat it. Here it acts as both flavour and function in a swift series of pregnancy-friendly hand rolls. You could of course use sushi rice for the stuffing, or quinoa. But I really need to work on upping the amount of vegetables I’m consuming in a day at the moment, so I’ve turned to cauliflower ‘rice’. Far from being just a recent ‘paleo darling’ of a food concept, cauliflower rice/ cous cous was debuted by Govind Armstrong and Ben Ford (Harrison Ford’s son) at their LA restaurant in 1998. It’s as simple as taking a head of cauliflower and whizzing it in a food processor, thermomix or grating it on a box grater until it resembles little grains.
These can then be steamed or stir fried. It’s a great base for ‘fried rice’ with slivers of chicken, beef and broccoli. It’s a nifty way to bulk out a tagine or curry. And here, when bound with mashed avocado it provides a sturdy mattress for laying other elements of a sushi hand roll on.
Now of course, if you could eat sashimi right now (another perk of not being pregnant, along with sleeping all through the night, drinking pink wine in the sun like a fish, being able to wear non-empire-waisted shirts) then you should stuff this silly with some lovely tranches of raw salmon. But if you’re being cautious and sustainable, all at the same time, then try gilding it with some sardines.
The flavour of the avocado and cauliflower combined is strong enough to stand up to the bullying tactics of such an oily fish. And a little pickled ginger adds the right note of piquancy.
This has become my favourite easy dinner/ lunch time go-to – particularly when The Hungry One is away (the smell of tinned fish has always and will always make him gag).
I keep a tupperware of the blitzed cauliflower in the fridge as well as nori sheets, ready to go when the cravings strike. The only trick is make them one at a time, just before you eat them. That way there’s a cheerful contrast between the crackle of the nori and the plushness of the avocado rice.
This is good mood food, in every sense.
Avocado Cauliflower Rice Sushi Rice
Makes 3 sushi hand rolls – enough for one hungry person’s lunch/ dinner.
Here’s how we roll
1) Quickly sautee or steam the cauliflower rice to remove the raw flavour. Place in the fridge to chill.
Previously in Poppyseed to Pumpkin
Each week mad websites and baby books will tell you how big your baby now is in comparison to a seed, fruit or vegetable. It starts as a poppy seed and goes from there. To make this process a little more palatable, join me as I bake my way through. Here’s the journey so far. (Nb, you can also see the poppy seed to pumpkin process in the app, or ebook from my first pregnancy with Will, or read about it on the blog here.