1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1 tbsp raw honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
5 sheets nori seaweed, divided
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
4 spears asparagus, trimmed
2 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
1 sushi rolling mat
Cook rice according to package directions.
Meanwhile, prepare pickled ginger: In a small pot, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Turn off heat and add ginger. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, honey and salt. Add ginger and 1/4 cup ginger soaking water, stirring until honey dissolves. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain.
Cut 1 nori sheet into small ribbons. Add to rice and stir to combine. Stir in sesame seeds and yeast; set rice aside until cool.
Assemble sushi: On sushi mat, arrange 1 nori sheet. Spread 1/4-inch-thick layer of rice over sheet, leaving a 2-inch border at edge farthest from you. Horizontally arrange 1 spear asparagus, 2 slices mushroom and 2 slices avocado 1 inch from edge closest to you. Grab edge of mat closest to you and roll towards top; moisten top border with water and press to seal. Let rest for 2 minutes before removing mat. With a sharp knife, slice roll into rounds. Repeat with remaining nori and fillings. Serve with ginger.
Modern-day Italians serve cornmeal-based polenta as a simple side or hearty entrée, enriched with cheeses and herbs. Offering yet another take on the classic, our polenta is used to create a soft crust for a winter vegetable pie.
Grain salads are fast and fantastic grab-and-go options for lunch or dinner. Toss your leftover cooked grains in your favorite homemade vinegar-based dressing. Pair with a protein of your choice, add grated veggies and fresh herbs, and top with avocado and toasted nuts and seeds. To get a jump start on the week’s meals, premake three portions of your favorite grain salad recipe using three 1-liter Mason jars. Preassemble this CBLT (coconut bacon, romaine lettuce and cherry tomato) grain salad for lunches or a quick dinner.
Health benefit: Fermented foods are full of probiotics, but in order to keep gut bacteria balanced, you also need prebiotics, or nondigestible carbohydrates that feed probiotics, like the inulin found in asparagus. This makes fermented asparagus a superfood for digestive and immune system health to help keep your body strong and disease-free all winter long.
Soda that’s good for you? Yes, please! The key to making this gut-healthy drink is to start with a ginger bug. Similar in concept to a sourdough starter, a ginger bug is a fermented mixture of fresh ginger, evaporated cane juice and water, and it’s what gives homemade sodas a refreshing natural fizziness. The time it takes for the soda to fully ferment depends on the temperature in your home – if it’s warmer, 2 days should do it, but you might need up to 10 days if your home is on the cooler side.