Vegetarian Sushi & Indonesian Tofu Salad

I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting as a week-long vegetarian. Cutting out meat has made me try to cook more international cuisines than I’d ever really tried before.

Let’s start off with Monday’s dinner. I’m still learning as I go on the sushi-making. As in, I’ve only ever made California rolls before. But without imitation crab at my disposal, I had to get a little creative and think up new sushi fillings.

So I went with the sweet potato, avocado and asparagus roll with sprouts:

I’ve ordered tempura sweet potato rolls before, so that was a part of the inspiration behind my vegetarian roll. And it was delicious! To the very last bite…

Maybe I just really wanted to show off my new sushi plate and dipping bowls :)

Now on to yesterday’s vegetarian fare. Post-workout lunch I was in the mood for a panini!

Into this little guy went (shockingly) sweet potatoes, tomato, mozzerella, fresh basil, spinach, sprouts, onion and a drizzling of fig balsamic vinegar & oil.

It was essentially a Caprese salad wedged between two pieces of wheat bread! I think the next time I make one of these sandwiches, I’m going to drizzle the oil and vinegar inside the veggies and not on the bread side of the sandwich! It got everywhere, but trust me, it was worth it. I feel as if this has become a new staple in my life, vegetarian or not, I’m going to be eating more of these sandwiches!

Which brings us back to last night’s dinner. I went to Japan on Monday, so I decided to continue my culinary tour through Asia, specifically Indonesia for dinner. Enter the modified tofu gado gado salad (with spicy peanut dressing).

Salad ingredients:

  • 1/2 package of tofu
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • handful of bean sprouts
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 c spinach

This was super simple to make! All I did was press the tofu, cube it, then dry fried it on both sides. While that was going on, I set my oven to 375° and peeled/cubed the sweet potato before roasting it for about 20 minutes. No seasoning necessary, since then dressing was plenty salty for the entire dish. Finally, I hard boiled an egg while chopping up all the other ingredients. Everything all came together at once, including the dressing.

Dressing ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 c roasted peanuts
  • 5 t soy sauce
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 4 t brown sugar
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper or pepper flakes
  • 2 T water

All of the ingredients went into the blender until all the chunks were gone.

This made an overflowing ramekin of dressing, so if you’re feeding one or two, definitely cut that amount in half. It is fairly salty and spicy, so I actually added more water and less soy sauce to cut down on the salt. Now you understand why I said not to season any of the salad ingredients!


About that workout I alluded to earlier… As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, my knee is absolutely wrecked. I was training for a half marathon from May to July of 2010 but added mileage way too fast for my body. It felt good at the time of my running, but one day I woke up and literally couldn’t walk without pain. This was after I quit my job and right before I moved to Arizona. AKA no health insurance. Since then, I’ve been trying to take it easy, and probably haven’t run more than 10 miles total. I have shoe inserts for my arches, a knee brace and rock tape for my knee, but none of it helps. Every time I run, even if it’s half a mile, I have shooting pain inside and underneath my left kneecap. That means, until I find a full-time job with health insurance, my running is going to have to end.

If you can imagine, I was depressed for weeks, if not months. I tried willing my knee back. It hurt me to learn other people I knew were training for marathons for the first time and successfully completing them. I followed a proven guide and wound up hurt. And may have possibly ruined my knee for life. I was eating and eating, and not working out.

Until this week. I’m walking more and watching/doing Yoga on Demand from Exercise TV. It is my new goal then, to get strong with yoga, and to be able to hold poses for more than a few seconds! I’ve always liked yoga, but it was generally a leisure activity. From today forward, I’m making it my main source of exercise.

Even Woodstock wants to try it :)

This pose is called Get Off My Mat, You Lazy Dog

I hope I can continue strong with both yoga and my week without meat! Since both are new, I’m eager to try and progress through the week. I suppose I’ll have a better idea of what I am capable of at the conclusion of this week.

Have a great day, friends! xx




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19 responses to “Vegetarian Sushi & Indonesian Tofu Salad

  1. Wow, your sushi looks all restaurant quality–nice job! Nice job on thinking of creative meatless fillings btw, I like the combination.

    Um, I’m right with you on the knee-same exact spot actually, plus behind the knee. If I walk too much though, it hurts. I have health insurance but I’m quitting. Stupid move on my part but I am going to suck it up until I find something else.

    • thanks! I think that, like you, I am a connoisseur of restaurant sushi :) So, by eating that much of it, it’s pretty easy to try and recreate how it looks at home! It’s super simple, you should totally try it since you share my same love of sushi!!

  2. LOVE the sushi! I agree with Tiffany, it looks like something I would order! I love sweet potato rolls!

    I want that salad – the dressing sounds crazy good!

    oh, Woodstock. so SO dang cute!

  3. Oooh that sushi looks SO yummy!

  4. Ashley@TheHungryScholar

    Your blog looks cool. I like the redesign.

    This stuff looks good. Good enough to go vegetarian.

  5. I cannot believe you made that sushi – that’s quite amazing actually. If I knew how to make my own sushi – I could avoid my constant craving and my need to spend mayjah moola on good sushi!

  6. Those sushi rolls look AWESOME! It makes me want to venture in to something new and try to make them myself. I definitely think becoming a vegetarian caused me to branch out when it comes to my food choices!

  7. I’ve been a vegetarian since August and just for the record haven’t made anything as beautiful as these three meals! Can you come cook for me=)?

  8. I am SO in the mood for a panini right now, and how neat – a sweet potato in the panini, never tried that before. Then again – I haven’t tried much… like sprouts either lol.

  9. haha your dog! That’s awesome. Super cute. ;)

    Ok, that salad with the tofu and sweet potatoes and peanut sauce- outstanding! Looks delicious. Did you season the tofu? Mmm.
    And those sushi plates are adorable. I have a thing for cute plates. ;)

  10. owww- those sushi rolls look fabulous! I can’t do raw fish, but still have yet to try veg rolls. The salad dressing also sounds tasty. Any dressing involving peanuts or peanut butter seems to be a winner in my book. Best of luck with the yoga- I can imagine how tough this injury has been on you!

  11. How delightful!! Love that ooey-gooey mozarella yummo!

  12. Lee

    That salad looks great. I love peanut dressing so much. Yum.

  13. I’ve been on the hunt for a perfect peanut sauce recipe and I’m going to have to try yours. I really, really love the look of it!

  14. It all looks SO delicious! Especially the sushi, mine never turns out so pretty!

  15. i think i’m in love with that dressing!

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