Let the festive season begin

Perhaps I’m allergic to my new house, because it seems that I’m waking up on most Sunday mornings with a headache. You see my new house is quite FESTIVE with a nice deck and views and I find myself entertaining a lot of FESTIVE FOLK. And we drink wine. And being a bit of a drinking lightweight who can only safely imbibe 2-3 glasses of chardonnay before I’m in the hangover zone, I’m finding myself spending most Sunday mornings with a slight haze of discomfort and a new appreciation of the clever R&D teams who masterminded Nurofen zavance.

Perhaps there is something in the water of this big dry land that does predispose the population to a love of getting drunk. There is something GREAT about the sense of fun that comes with a warm afternoon, good friends and a cold glass of something that makes you giggle.

Yet again on the weekend, I served up something yum for the adults, but left the kids to run amok with a sausage and sauce in a slice of bread. Not even any onions. I know it’s a top Aussie BBQ tradition but with a full two months of festivities ahead, I think I need to do better and lift my nutrition game. No more mumblings about ‘fridge space’, ‘easiest options’ blah blah blah.

So I’m rummaging through recipes and thinking about ways to keep the upcoming summer parties slightly more healthy for the kids. Or at least providing good options for them that are enticing for the adults too. Probably a chip or two fewer wouldn’t hurt any of us.

The first thing that sprang to mind was this sushi slice. Most kids will eat some kind of sushi – it’s easy to adapt the filling to suit your family’s tastebuds. This recipe is a classic avocado and tuna combination which seems like a good place to start. Do you think your kids will eat this? What fillings will you try out? I always like to hear your opinions on my recipes.

And why sushi slice? Well, it’s perfect for folks like me who adore Japanese food but never quite got the hang of the whole rolling a sushi roll thing. Just two lamington trays the same size and you’re done. And it’s great party food, as you can make it a few hours ahead and refridgerate it. The less I have to handle sharp knives after a wine the better.

Anyway, let’s clink glasses and ‘kampai’ to the upcoming (healthy) party season. And of course, if you do find that you’re waking up with a headache EVERY morning, you might want to look over at AA and have a think about whether it might be time to pass the mineral water instead.

No sausage? No bread? Heresy!


Flat-pack sushi squares

1½ cups sushi rice (short-grain rice, available at most supermarkets)
2¼ cups water
100ml sushi seasoning
(or make your own: 90ml rice vinegar, 3 tbsp caster sugar, 1 tsp salt)
4 sheets nori seaweed
½ cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds removed, grated
1 small carrot, peeled, grated
95g can tuna in brine, drained
125g can corn kernels, drained
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 avocado, very thinly sliced, covered with a drizzle of lemon juice

Pickled ginger (optional), to serve

Give the rice a really good wash under running water until the water is no longer milky. Drain. Pop the rice into a saucepan and add the water.

Place the (well-fitting) lid on the pan and bring the water to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 10–12 minutes or until the water is nearly all absorbed. Turn off the heat, leave the pan covered and let it sit and steam for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the vinegar, sugar and salt (if needed). Pour over the rice and use a wooden spoon to mix through.

Prepare a lamington tin by lining it with plastic wrap. Place a layer of the nori seaweed paper over the bottom (use scissors to cut them to fit).

Mix together the cucumber, carrot, tuna, corn, soy and mayonnaise. Pour off any excess liquid and discard.
Use wet hands to place half the rice over the seaweed. Evenly top with the vegie mix and the avocado, then carefully top with the rest of the rice and another layer of seaweed.

Put a second layer of plastic wrap over the top. If you have another pan of the same size, place it on top, weighted down with a couple of cans. Place in the fridge for 1–2 hours to firm.

When ready to serve, use a really sharp knife to cut the sushi into bite-sized squares. Serve with pickled ginger (if using).

SERVES 2 ADULTS & 2 KIDS

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    toadfool said,

    i made this recipe after seeing it in a mag. just make sure your fillings are “sticky” otherwise the two layers of rice will part ways!

  2. 2

    Claire Bailey said,

    Made this for dinner tonight because I had been wanting sushi for the last few weeks, the kids loved it and it was surprisingly easy. Will do this again for sure :)


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