When my life became gluten free a lot of foods were eliminated from my diet. One of my favorites were burritos. I literally lived on Taco Bell bean burritos the first trimester of my pregnancy with Jack. Flour tortillas are vehicles of food delivery that bring other yummy foods together. For example the tortilla is a vehicle for rice, beans, salsa and of course cheese. Just like chips become a vehicle for salsa. Crackers for cheese.
So as my life changed from gluten filled to not, I had to find other vehicles for my food. One in particular is Nori. Yes that stuff that sushi rolls are made with. Also known as seaweed and also January’s veggie of the month. I know a weird choice for a vegetable to highlight but one that I think we must take a look at.
The main reason to add nori to your diet is iodine. Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones and it is nutrient that we cannot make. With Americanized diets of processed foods and salt restrictions that has come with the worry of high blood pressure, iodine deficiency can happen.
One simple way to avoid damage to the thyroid is by simply adding nori to your diet. Not daily but a couple of times a week. Just 5 grams of nori meets about 57% of our daily intake requirement. To put this into context one sheet of dried toasted nori is 3 grams.
Besides eating sushi several times a week there are a couple of options of adding this highly nutritious food in. For this blog we are going to be using it as a vehicle for other food much like the tortilla. Nori wraps are super easy to make plus they are a vehicle to adding in even more veggies!
All you really need is some protein, veggies, maybe a grain and of course a sauce. Plus some imagination.
These wraps I highlight below are purely suggestions. Add what veggie or grain or protein you prefer. There are no hard and fast rules here.
Suggested ingredients to make Nori wraps
Protein: Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp, Chicken, Beans, Hummus
Vegetables: Cucumber, Sprouts, Avocado, Carrots, Mint, Basil, Cabbage, Kale, scallions, lettuce
Grains: Rice, Quinoa, Rice noodles
Sauces/Flavor: Mayo, Wasabi, Peanut Sauce, Soy Sauce, Kimchi, Siriacha
First Roll: Salmon, Avocado, Cucumber, Sprouts, with Sriracha mayo.
This is obviously a take on my favorite sushi roll. In this instance I was using leftover salmon from last night’s dinner but I also used canned salmon often. To make the SIriacha mayo stir 1 tablespoon of mayo with 1 tsp of sriracha.
Second Roll: Rice Noodles, Shrimp, carrots, scallions, mint with a Peanut sauce
This one is super simple but makes me feel like I’m eating something fancy. Rice noodles cook up super quick, like in 2 minutes. I used mint this time as well, but if I have fresh basil I’ll throw that in or cilantro.
The hardest part is making the peanut sauce. (But well worth it!) If you need a good recipe head over to Feasting at Home. It literally is the best one I’ve tried. www.feastingathome.com/best-ever-thai-peanut-sauce/
Third Roll: Lettuce, Turkey, Hummus, carrots, cucumber and sprouts.
This one makes a great quick lunch. Most of these things I usually have on hand and throw together if I don’t have any left overs to eat. It can easily be made vegetarian by leaving off the turkey. You can add in some rice if you want.
A couple of tips:
- Make sure everything is ready before you assemble.
- Have a small bowl of water close by when rolling. Wetting the edge of the nori right at the end helps to seal the roll.
- You don’t need a sushi mat. I just used my cutting board and rolled with both hands.
- Place the nori shiny side down to start.
- These rolls do not keep long. Either eat immediately or wrap in plastic wrap for 4 hours.
In our next installment of Nori we will talk more about the health benefits. Picking out your sheets and other ways to subtly add it into your diet.
If you make your own signature nori roll please share below your combinations! Would love to hear what you create!