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Quinoa Vegetable Maki Sushi Roll (+Video)

If you like sushi, this video and recipe is for you. I reveal some very important sushi secrets on this live cooking segment on Charlotte Today…Did you know that most California rolls are made with imitation crab meat (i.e. minced fish protein by-product, egg whites, MSG, artificial food coloring and other chemical additives and preservatives)?

Food Babe's Quinoa Vegetable Maki Sushi Roll
Serves: 4
  1. In a bowl, stir together quinoa, vinegar and sugar
  2. On a cutting board, slice avocado, red pepper, carrot and cucumber into small thin strips.
  3. Trim hard ends of asparagus
  4. Spread a thin layer of quinoa on one nori sheet, covering the whole sheet, except 1 inch space along far edge
  5. Place strips of avocado, red pepper, carrot, cucumer and asparagus on nori sheets on the near end on top of quinoa
  6. Moisten the clean edge of nori with a bit of water
  7. Beginning at the filling end, roll up the nori very tightly with a bamboo sushi mat and press firmly when you get to the moistened side to seal.
  8. Repeat these steps for the remaining nori sheets
  9. Cut each roll into 6 pieces
  10. Serve with namu shoyu sauce for dipping, sriracha, wasabi, and/or pickled ginger
**Please pick all organic ingredients if possible**


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Here are some of the special organic ingredients I used, along with an affiliate link to get them online if you can’t find them in your local grocery store:

  • Bamboo sushi mat (This mat is crucial in making sushi that won’t fall apart and is tightly rolled)
  • Organic quinoa
  • Organic rice wine vinegar
  • Organic coconut palm sugar (The best and most clean sugar on the market)
  • Organic  black sesame seeds (In Chinese medicine, black sesame seeds are used to promote a healthy kidney and liver, and they are also high in several vitamins and minerals)
  • Organic nori sheets (A must to avoid pollutants and toxins often in water where seaweed is grown)
  • Organic namu shoyu sauce  (Raw, non-GMO, unadulterated, fermented and teeming with live enzymes – a step above the regular organic tamari)
  • Organic pickled ginger (I love having a jar of this around when I make sushi. Without it – sushi is just not the same)
  • Organic sriracha sauce  (This sauce is the bomb – it’s sooooo spicy! A tad goes a long way and there’s no nasty preservatives)
  • Organic wasabi powder (It’s so easy to make – just mix with water)

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A very big thank you goes to Healthy Home Market for providing the ingredients for today’s cooking segment and to the hosts Colleen Odegaard and Ramona Holloway, Associate Producer Bob Carroll, Production Assistant Kellie Brown and of course Yasu, my dear sushi chef extraordinaire and friend.

Food Babe

P.S. Want more secrets? Check out these two posts that go into detail about how to order sushi and which ingredients to avoid.

And if you like posts like this – share them with your friends – I bet they didn’t know most wasabi in the U.S. was full of food coloring. Please spread the word – we don’t want our loved ones eating petro-chemicals!



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44 responses to “Quinoa Vegetable Maki Sushi Roll (+Video)

      1. Hi.became fun of you;) And I just recently was reading your post about yeast. I’m confused cause in your post you says that yeast is bad for us, but also u recomened Ezequiel brand which in one of their bred contains organic yeast. So is good or bad? hoped you can respond as soon as posible. Thanks!:)

      2. yep im also surprised she sometimes recommends bread made with yeast which is artificial stuff. just make ur own, u can make pita whole wheat so easily.. i make pita bread a lot, with just water and whole grain wheat flour.. i make a very thin circle with the dough then place it on a pan on high or medium heat .. or in the even.. when bubbles appear its ready.. dont eat anything with yeast in it if u want to buy buy yeast-free instead they will use sourdough which is the natural yeast that tastes sour. if u dont want the sour taste replace yeast with baking soda and vinegar (and flax seeds possibly..) or even better make it from sprouted wheat.. u just put sprouted wheat in blender and make a lump of it and put it in oven. so easy and fast u just gotta wait for the wheat (or whatever other grain) to germinate.

  1. Awesome segment! I am going to make this recipe this week!!

    Question – me and my kids eat several bags of edamame from Trader Joe’s a week. It is not Organic, but Trader Joes makes a statement that they do not use products with GMO’s. Do you think I am safe buying that brand of edamame?

    1. That’s definitely a gamble in my opinion. If it where me – I’d only buy certified organic soy products.

    2. Actually they say that the Trader Joe’s labeled products are GMO free, which I also don’t believe.

    3. Not sure how Food Babe feels about soy, but I read often that only fermented soy products are healthy to consume. Unfermented soy may lead to hormone imbalances and other issues. Try googling fermented soy for more info. I found this link that provides a good summary:
      I hope this is helpful and wish you & your family all the best! Oh, & miso & tempeh are fermented soy products you can find in healthy food stores. Miso paste in soup is quite tasty.

  2. Vani, this is great! I can’t wait to make this. I love the quinoa substitute for rice! I made your biscotti last week and they were DELICIOUS! I used almond pulp instead of pistachio bc I make my own almond milk and you’re right, they do not last long. lol

  3. Seriously, Quinoa for a rice substitute in sushi is genius! I have tried making it with brown rice but I just can’t ever get it sticky enough! Thank you so much for this idea- I cannot wait to try it! Keep doing what you do- you rock!

    And just to give you a little more hope- you have turned my household into a GMO free haven, which I thought was impossible! My husband got his degree in plant science and spent his whole graduate career genetically modifying crops from India (pigeon peas) so they could be grown in the U.S. ( I hate to say it, but I think his dream job was to work for Monsanto! UGH~) But thanks to you and all of your foodbabe knowledge and amazing recipes… he is finally on board and is always seeking out organic ingredients! (and instead wants to work for the USDA promoting the farm to table movement) So thank you, thank you! Never get discouraged because you ARE making a HUGE difference! Love Love love!

    1. WOW – this is an incredible transformation. I’m so impressed! Keep up the good work Brittney.

  4. Thank you so much! Can’t wait to try this!! I live in central Texas and it’s hard to come across sushi grade fish (that I trust) so this will be a great substitute!! Thanks for always keeping us informed!!

  5. I find coconut palm sugar really unpleasant – unless I just got a bad brand?? The taste is so bad to me. Do you have any other replacement suggestions? Like organic cane sugar or something else?

    1. This is interesting – I think you may have gotten a bad bag or something – because it should taste like brown sugar and quite AMAZING. I’d definitely try again! Good Luck.

  6. Love ordering sushi out but now I know what to consider.
    I learn something new with each of your posts and I thought I was equipped to make my own at home one day. Will have to add your suggestions.

    Thank you, so much!

    The subtitles on the video were hilarious as they tried to phonetically relay words spoken. (GMO, Sriracha, etc didn’t come out so well : )


  7. Amazing! Looks soo good and easy to make. Cant wait to make it this weekend. Thanks for everything!

  8. I think I will take the plate of veggies, some rice and the avocado separately please! haha. I’ve never been a fan of sushi.. even the veggie versions. I think it must be the seaweed? I’m not sure, but it doesn’t do anything for me taste-wise. It sure looks pretty though!

  9. I am excited to try making sushi with quinoa! There is no way I can ask my husband to eat sushi without soy sauce though and I love it too. Is organic soy sauce safe and non-gmo? Is there a reason to avoid organic soy sauce? Also, I had trouble finding an organic Sriracha

  10. That sushi looks amazing! Also teh sriracha sauce you mentioned isn’t organic. I buy it and although it is called sky valley by organicville the first ingredient is conventional (cayenne peppers). I use it so not saying its terrible but it is not an organic product only some of the secondary ingredients are organic. Wish they would put out an organic sriracha sauce.

  11. I’ve given up my vegetarian sushi since the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor meltdown. All Asian nori must be laden with radioactivity now. I haven’t found a western hemisphere source of Nori, have you?

  12. When do I add the black sesame seeds? I didn’t see it in the recipe. Also, how do you suggest I toast them?

    1. oops! Thanks for pointing that out. Sprinkle them on the quinoa after it is spread onto Nori. To toast nuts or seeds just put in a dry skillet over medium low heat and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Stir often and watch closely because they will burn quickly.

  13. I am hearing that all forms of seaweed are now laden with radiation since the plant meltdown in Japan. Is that true? I use to eat a lot of seaweed, but now not sure if I can continue.

  14. Love all your reports and recipes.. I was wondering if you will be doing a report on what to eat and whats safe to eat. Kind of eat this not that report!
    Thanks for all you do!!!

  15. I love sushi. But I have a question for you… the Nori Sheets used to make sushi with… how can we be sure it isn’t contaminated and/or from the ocean area of the Fukushima radiation exposure. I have had a hard time eating food sources from the sea because of this… and really miss it! Would love to feel ok about a brand that can guarantee it’s source is not in the path or area of contamination??

  16. Also we need to keep an eye on the pickled ginger we use…if it’s pink it has dyes and most probably sugar. The white pickled ginger in the picture is just pickled.
    I can’t wait to try this recipe, thank you for posting, and if there are any answers to the Nori contamination, I would love to hear that also.

  17. Since I wasn’t familiar with the ingredient Coconut Palm Sugar in your Sushi or Brownie recipes, I did some research… Please review since I agree that this is not a sustainable item and does more global damage to meet America’s new trend. Raw Honey or Grade B Maple Syrup seems to be a more sustainable and lower glycemic alternative.

  18. Anything that purports to be crab meat, I stay well away from. 99 times out of 100, it would be that odious fake crab.

  19. Speaking of Sushi, since I am completely obsessed, I tend to use a lot of soy sauce. I was hoping you could do a post about Soy in general.
    Thanks in advance!
    Also, I must say you have definitely been a key part in helping me change up my eating habits as well as my lifestyle. I have to thank you for that! I really appreciate the work you do on the site and look forward to each an every one of your posts!


  20. My husband and I made this last night and it was delicious. Way better than the vegetable rolls at restaurants! Thanks for the recipe!

  21. Hi Foodbabe! Love your blog! I often use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce. What are your thoughts on this product? It’s still soy I think.. but it says it a soy sauce alternative. As others have mentioned too… I’m also very concerned about food products from asia or the pacific being contaminated with radiation. Any insight on this? I recently tried TJ’s “black garlic” which tastes great, but I tossed it once I realized it was from Japan. I have no idea where else to seek out information on concerns like this! Thank you for all you do! xoxox

  22. I’m so excited about this! Just found out I’m pregnant, which means no sushi for a while (I could cry!). My husband and I have a GREAT, high-quality place we go to—he brews his own soy sauce, pickles his own ginger, uses real wasabi, and finds only the highest-quality fish, so I could probably eat there if I really wanted to…but this is an easy, worry-free alternative!

  23. Hello, I love making homemade sushi I had a question you wrote coconut sugar best and healthiest but its really processed as well. I use honey from my bees is there a reason that you didn’t go that route

  24. Brilliant! I have not thought to use quinoa in sushi! The maki’s look absolutely delicious. I’ve thought about making my own sushi recently with brown rice, maybe adding mango too, but I’m now thinking that quinoa maybe the better way to go–with the extra protein and fiber.

  25. I love Quinoa and have used it to replace rice in Gumbo and Etouffe. I use the tri-color and it looks so beautiful and compliments the dishes with it’s slightly nutty flavor. I thought about sushi but believed it wouldn’t stick together since you normally use the sticky rice. Glad you actually tried it and it worked! I will do the same now too. Just found your site, wonderful! Thanks!

  26. I’d like to try this but, like some others, I’m concerned about the nori. Looking at Amazon, there are many brands. Would you please recommend 1-2 brands? Thanks!

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