No rules, power-packed sushi

Sushi nori rolls with a difference

This delicious idea came to me one day as I dug into the fridge and pulled out whatever inspired to make some sushi with a really creative difference. I was hungry and wanted something that was going to fill me up.

I love this type of sushi as it is using a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods that are by their nature filling. It has fermented veges so is great for gut health and has sprouts that are packed with health-building goodies. The gluten-free quinoa with a little millet is healthier than white rice.

I had a wee epiphany on typing up this blog post and looking at my ‘no rules’ sushi photos. It dawned on me that the contents of this sushi are perhaps symbolic in that they represent a shift in what we need to be putting on our plates. For a long time there has been the recommendation to ‘eat mostly’ carbohydrates. You know, the bottom of the old food pyramid? Now there is a growing realisation that what we need to be eating most of is salad and vegetables, and less in the way of carbohydrates (especially the refined, white ones).

Keeping the above in mind, the sky is the limit with this ‘recipe’.
You can add whatever healthy goodies inspire you! Pile as much salad and veges as you can fit inside each nori sheet.

It can work very well for friends and family members if you put the ingredients on the table and let them make their own creations. Kids love doing this.

Mine was messy to eat, I definitely needed a fork!


  • A sushi nori sheet or more if you are feeding a few people.
  • Any colour (red, black or white) cooked quinoa and cooked hulled millet. I used a combination of  red quinoa and millet. Approximately 1 part millet to 4 parts quinoa. I had bulk cooked them together and stored them in the fridge/or freezer for quick and easy access. When cooked, they were a bit sticky which helped the sushi to (mostly) hold together.
  • A drizzle of raw apple cider vinegar, or gluten-free tamari (soy sauce) – approx 1 teaspoon of either per nori roll.
  • Some fermented veges – I used spicy Kimchee. You could use Sauerkraut and if you like a bit of heat, add a little sprinkle of dried chilli flakes…or cayenne pepper…or finely chopped jalapenos…
  • Mung bean sprouts, or any sprouts.
  • Grated carrot.
  • Fancy lettuce. You could add baby spinach leaves, rocket…whatever inspires.
  • Sesame seeds, or add a little tahini (sesame seed paste) – about 1 teaspoon per nori roll. Some people are allergic to sesame seeds – check with any guests first!
  • A little sprinkle of Himalayan rock salt to taste. Sauerkraut, Kimchee and tamari contain salt so you may not need it.

The ‘How To':

Sushi making - size 9 spacing

  • Put the nori sheet on a plate.
  • Get your cooked and cooled quinoa/millet combination (see cooking instructions below under ‘Time and money saving tips’). Spread a thin layer of these lovely gluten-free wholegrains/seeds on top of your nori sheet. Leave a little gap around the edges so it will stick together when rolled up.
  • Drizzle over the quinoa/millet your raw apple cider vinegar, or tamari.
  • Add your salad ingredients and fermented veges, chilli etc in whatever order you like. Go with the flow. Be creative. N.B Kids may not like too much heat/spice!
  • Sprinkle on some sesame seeds or drizzle some tahini over your salad and fermented veges if desired.
  • Add a little Himalayan rock salt to taste.
  • Roll into a roll. Cut into halves, or quarters. The pieces are large which adds to the fun.
  • Serve.

Provide a fork …and perhaps some serviettes!

Time and money saving tips:

  • Bulk cook your grains and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. We cook ours in a rice cooker that has a stainless steel cooking bowl. I switch my rice cooker onto the ‘warm’ setting after about 15 mins of boiling so that the grains at the bottom don’t burn. Otherwise you can just cook your quinoa and millet together in a pot on the stove. 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa. Cook until the grains are soft (again, approx 15 mins). Soaking wholegrains first makes their nutrients even more absorbable and can also shorten their cooking time. If you are eating in a low carb way, having just a wee bit of these whole grains/seeds in your sushi can satisfy without spiking your blood sugar levels (and appetite) upwards.  
  • Get your family and friends to build their own sushi rolls around the table together – it is social, creative and incredibly time efficient!
  • Buy your nori sheets in bulk. We buy a lot of our ingredients in bulk through a community collective. This is much cheaper. Good to buy nori and other seaweeds from clean seas.
  • Grow your own organic sprouts. These are easy to do and SO cheap…and very nutrient-dense. This means amazing ‘bang for your buck’ nutritionally. If you don’t have time to grow them, you can buy them.
  • Make your own fermented vegetables like Kimchee or Sauerkraut. This is a lot cheaper than buying them. If making these is not an option for you, you could purchase them at health food shops.
  • You could get your fresh salad ingredients at a good price from a local Farmer’s market. That way you can ask if they are spray-free/organic…OR we could start a revolution and start asking at our local supermarkets and fruit and vege shops for more spray-free/organic produce?! Let’s do it.


Sushi with a difference 03

If you like this recipe, feel free to share this post with your family and friends. Many thanks!



Margaret Mason-Battley

Hi - I'm a certified Health Coach, also registered as a comprehensive nurse and midwife. I am trained as a lactation consultant. I have 15 years of experience in adult education. I'm passionate about helping people achieve optimal health through eating delicious wholefoods and living a life that includes the things that energise and inspire. I'm wife to Chris, a fabulous musician, and mother to 3 teens.

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