Dogs really are creatures of habit, aren’t they? I mean, every morning at precisely 7:02 AM (about 1-1/2 minutes after the HH slams off his alarm), Chaser bounds into our bedroom and lays a wet sloppy one on the HH’s ear (translation: “Dad, it’s time to get up! Get up, Dad, we need to go for our walk! C’mon, Dad! Let’s go! Just hop outa bed and take us! C’mon, what are you waiting for? C’mon—“ etc.).
Then, at precisesly 1:15 PM every afternoon, Elsie saunters over to my desk and plants herself at my side, glaring (and if you’ve ever seen a Border Collie stare, you know the power of “the eye.”). If I continue to focus on the computer screen and tap away at the keyboard, she will tentatively and ever-so-gently poke me on the thigh with her moist, cold nose (more startling in summer when I’m wearing shorts, to be sure). Translation: “Mum, I feel I must inform you that the hour has arrived for our afternoon walk. Seriously, Mum, it appals me that you could forget this important hour of the day. After all, do we not go for a stroll each and every day of the week at this time? And are we not reliant upon you to take us? Now, please, offer us the courtesy of rising up from your chair and coming downstairs so that we may embark–right now.”
Yep, like I said, creatures of habit. Later, at precisely 4:53 PM every day, both Girls heave themselves off their respective pillows to pad into the office and station themselves on either side of me as I work, staring intently in a silent summons like bookmarked lawn gnomes. Translation: “Mum, it’s almost dinner time. Where the &%$!@ is our food?” (Okay, perhaps they weren’t as profane as that. But it’s always fun to imagine dogs cursing, isn’t it?).
Given that I was born in the Year of the Dog myself, it makes sense that I, too, am a creature of habit. Or, at least, I used to be. Before I met the HH.
Like South Park’s stance with Canada, I tend to blame the HH for my current shortcomings. Long before we met, in my twenties (also known as the Decade of Firsts, in which I first went to university, first lived on my own, and first met not one, but two true loves), I was incredibly organized and even followed an hour-by-hour schedule every day, permitting me to live through an entire university career without ever missing a deadline. Subsequently, during the Decade of the Dinner Party, I still managed a schedule jam-packed with socializing, full-time work, sewing my own clothes (!), and regular trips to and from Montreal.
Enter my 40s and the HH: not only did I meet my true love, but my lasting love. It was around that time–when the HH and I first moved in together–that chaos erupted. Okay, not chaos, exactly, but certainly the reorganizing of closets. And–even while continuing to throw dinner parties–going to bed without washing all the dishes first (gasp!). And being open to unplanned activities. And (and here’s where I blame the HH) the eschewing rigid schedules.
Well, despite his disdain for pre-planning or scheduling, the HH is his own uniquely habitual creature. Unlike me, he eats the same breakfast every day* (I prefer to rotate through 25 or so different options). The HH takes the dogs to the same park every morning (I switch it up between the park, the baseball field, the Mill Pond, and trail). The HH can listen to the same symphony over and over, sometimes for hours (I rarely listen to the same CD twice in a row–unless it’s a new, incredibly talented singer that I adore, of course).
Which brings me to today’s recipe (finally!). As you may recall, the HH and I used to keep a weekly date every Tuesday, wherein I’d meet him for a sushi lunch. But since the anti-candida regime I follow doesn’t permit sushi (no white rice, no vinegar, no sugar, blah blah blah), I’ve had to forgo our midday shared meal. Do I miss that sushi? You bet! (Well, and yes, I do also miss meeting the HH for lunch every week. . . but really, we do see each other every evening for dinner, and when we walk the dogs, and when we watch 30 Rock, and when we have brunch on Sundays, and when we tidy the house together before friends come over, and when we run errands on Saturdays, and when we. . . geez, maybe we’re overdoing this togetherness thing a bit, anyway).
I decided I’d whip up my favorite at-home sushi for lunch on my own. Since the original version wasn’t exactly ACD-friendly, I adapted; instead of the orignal sundried tomatoes (which are taboo on the ACD), I made my own semi-dried oven baked tomatoes. (Who says I can’t be flexible? No rigid recipes for this doglike gal!). Well, it worked beautifully. The rolls are (mostly) raw, grain-free, and reminiscent of salmon (in my memory, anyway). All I can say is, “domo arigato!” And it sure did feel great to get back to that old sushi habit, even if I shared it with The Girls instead of the HH.
“We enjoyed it, too, Mum. Thanks for sharing. But, um, didn’t I hear you say something about salmon?”
* A bowl of Raisin Bran with milk, if you’d like to know.
Raw Nori Rolls with “Salmon” Filling and Spicy Ginger-Miso Paste
adapted from a recipe from Enlightened Eating (spiralbound edition)
A great recipe for those avoiding grains or anyone seeking a delicious variation on sushi. If you’re not following an anti-candida regime, go ahead and make the original. The Miso paste can be enjoyed by anyone.
3/4 cup (135 g) raw almonds with skin
1 pint (about 500 ml) ripe grape tomatoes
2 tsp (10 ml) light miso
1 Tbsp (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp (10 ml) Bragg’s liquid aminos, tamari or soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
cut vegetables for filling: zucchini, cucumber, carrots, avocado, daikon, green onion, etc.
2 sheets nori (sushi wrappers)
Spicy Ginger-Miso Paste:
1 Tbsp (15 ml) white miso
1/8-1/4 tsp (.5-1 ml) cayenne pepper, depending on desired heat
1 tsp (5 ml) toasted sesame oil
2 tsp (10 ml) finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp (5 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the nori rolls:
Prepare the “Salmon” filling: Soak almonds in room temperature water for 8-12 hours. If you soak them longer, refresh the water after 12 hours and store in refrigerator for up to one more day. Drain and rinse before using.
Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes: preheat oven to 300F/150C (or, for a completely raw dish, heat to 115F/45C or use a dehydrator). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or grease with extra virgin olive oil. Cut each tomato in half and place cut side up on the baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 1-2 hours, checking every 20 minutes after the one-hour mark, until tomatoes exude most of their juice and begin to shrivel and brown slightly. (If using a dehydrator, dehydrate until shrivelled).
Place drained almonds, tomatoes, 2 tsp (10 ml) miso, 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice, Bragg’s and black pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until almost smooth. Set aside.
Prepare the Paste: in a small bowl, mix together all ingredients with a spoon until well combined and smooth.
Assemble the rolls: Spread about half of the miso-ginger paste over the nori sheet, spreading to the edge on 3 sides, leaving about 1/2 inch (2.5 cm) empty on one edge. Top with about half the salmon spread. Place 3-4 rows of desired vegetables along the edge opposite the empty edge, like so:
Next, use a sushi mat or just your hands, roll tightly starting at the edge with the cut vegetables. When you reach the empty stripe at the end of the nori sheet, moisten it with a bit of water and then roll up, leaving the seam down (against the table). Cut into 5-8 pieces. Repeat with second nori sheet. Makes 2 servings.
Totally unrelated note: One of today’s Google searches leading to my blog read, “Die Dessert Dogs.” Is that a typo, or just a really ticked off blog reader?
Last Year at this Time: The Biscuit and the Scramble (to Woo Your Rake)
Two Years Ago: Sweet Potato and Chocolate Chip Mini (or not) Muffins
© 2010 Diet, Dessert and Dogs