Sushi salad dressed up with quinoa. Credit: Katie Smith | Bangor Metro

My kids and I love sushi and could eat it a few times a week. It’s healthy and satisfies the craving we all get for something salty. While there are a few amazing places near us, sushi can be an expensive dinner option when you are feeding your entire family.

There are nights when we make it at home, but by the time we are done with all the prep — cutting the veggies, making the rice, rolling and slicing the rolls — we are exhausted.

Credit: Katie Smith | Bangor Metro

One evening I was making rolls for a dinner party, and I only wanted to take the pieces of sushi that looked really appetizing. I threw the crumbly ones in a Tupperware container, splashed some soy sauce over the top and had myself a snack.

As I was digging in with my fork, it made me realize the broken sushi pieces tasted just as good as when the seaweed, rice and fish were intact.

Not only that, a sushi salad would be much easier to throw together. And if it didn’t compromise the flavor, why not make it this way instead?

I took it a step further and made a healthier version using quinoa for my first try — after discovering I’d left the grocery store without the sushi rice. My kids didn’t even notice the difference and ate it very quickly.

If you are a sushi lover but don’t want to roll it yourself, you’ll love this easy version.

Quinoa Sushi Salad

Serves 8

1 box quinoa, cooked (I use chicken broth instead of water; it adds so much flavor)
1 bag of shredded carrots
1 bag frozen, shelled edamame
3 English cucumbers, chopped (I don’t bother to peel them)
2 bell peppers, sliced
½ cup sesame seeds, toasted
4 sheets of nori torn into pieces
½ pound crab meat, imitation crab, tuna or other fish of choice
1 avocado (I usually save this and add it right before serving)

Throw all ingredients together in a bowl and toss, saving half of the sesame seeds for the dressing.

½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
2 teaspoon wasabi powder
1/2 lime
Remaining toasted sesame seeds

Whisk all ingredients together and pour half over salad. I like to save the rest and serve on the side so people can add more to their salad if they want.

This usually feeds my family of four for at least two meals. We love to have it alone, but it’s great when served with chicken wings, pot stickers, egg rolls or all three.

The salad keeps for about two days in an airtight container in the fridge.

This story was originally published in Bangor Metro’s May 2019 issue.