Tips for going gluten free & make sushi

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) August 15, 2013 – Why is everyone going gluten free these days and how can you do it? Leslie Cerier, the Organic Gourmet, came onto Mass Appeal (TV ) to tell us how easy it can be to go gluten free and make gluten-free sushi

Vegetarian Sushi aka Nori Rice rolls


  • 4 cups cooked rice: such as Jade Pearl rice, Volcano Rice, or a combination of Forbidden Rice, Bhutanese Red Rice, and Sweet Brown Rice
  • 2 cups grated beets
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 8 sheets toasted nori
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons umeboshi paste
  • 2 tablespoons wasabi powder, or more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Tamari

Variations: Swap other seasonal vegetables for the beets and carrots such as cucumber strips, lettuce, salad greens, sprouts, stir fried vegetables, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, ginger tempeh or tofu, avocado, etc


Mix beets and carrots in a bowl.

  1. Lay a sushi mat on a clean work surface with bamboo strips running horizontally. Place a nori piece on the mat, shiny side down.
  2. Spread about 1/2 cup rice on the nori, leaving the top 1 1/2 inches bare. Add grated vegetables or strips of cucumber or other seasonal vegetables strips.
  3. Gently press filling into rice. Spread some umeboshi paste over the top inch of the nori.
  4. Starting at the end closest to you and using even pressure, use the sushi mat to roll the nori tightly and evenly around the rice and fillings. Be sure to pull the leading edge of the mat back so it doesn’t get incorporated into the roll.
  5. Once complete, give the mat a gentle squeeze along its entire length, then let the nori roll sit inside the mat for a minute to ensure a tight roll.
  6. Gently unroll the mat and use a very sharp serrated knife to slice the roll into 8 rounds. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  7. Put wasabi powder and water in a small bowl and stir to form a paste. For a thinner, less pungent dip, add a little more water.
  8. To serve, place wasabi bowl in the center of a platter and surround it with the sushi rounds.
  9. Provide small bowls for tamari.

Adapted and Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook by Leslie Cerier (2010, New Harbinger Publications).

5 Tips for Gluten-Free Cooking

1. Expand Your Repertoire
Add these 10 gluten-free grains to your shopping list: millet, whole grain rice, sorghum (a.k.a. milo), teff, wild rice, corn, quinoa  amaranth, buckwheat, and oats. The last four grains in this list are complete proteins, Cerier says, so include them liberally in your diet, especially if you have a physically demanding job or an active yoga practice, or if you’re a dancer or an athlete.

2. Go Beyond Toast
Instead of eating gluten-free toast for breakfast (which often contains GMO ingredients such as xantham gum, a corn derivative), “start your day with a nutritional powerhouse” of porridge made with gluten-free grains such as amaranth, millet, oats, or teff, says Cerier. Experiment with different flavors by cooking them in water, cow’s milk, or coconut milk, adding spices such as ginger and cinnamon, dried fruits, and coconut. Or make waffles or pancakes with gluten-free flours such as maca, teff, sorghum, or corn.

3. Make Sushi with Exotic Grains
Roll some vegetarian sushi with heirloom varieties of rice, such as Bhutanese red rice, forbidden rice, sweet brown rice, or jade pearl rice. Go beyond the classic avocado and cucumber roll, says Cerier, and get creative with your fillings, mixing and matching seasonal vegetables that are sautéed or raw and grated.

4. Cook Like an Artist
“Start thinking of your gluten-free grains as your neutral backdrop and add colorful veggies, herbs, and flowers to create a mosaic of colors on your plate,” says Cerier. Cook a pot of your favorite gluten-free grain and spoon a few mounds onto your plate. Then add chopped veggies, toasted nuts, and seeds, then garnish with fresh flowers or herbs. Or cook your grains and vegetables together. For example, Cerier suggests boiling corn grits, millet, or teff with carrots, squash, or greens. When the dish is done, pour it into a loaf pan, let it cool for 30 minutes, and then cut it into slices. “Viva la choices!” says Cerier.

5. Experiment with Textures and Flavors
“You can cook the same grain every day but never cook it the same way twice,” says Cerier, by varying your cooking techniques to produce different textures and flavors. “Besides the standard boil and simmer, you can toast, marinate, bake, sprout, sauté, and even presoak grains to produce different textures and flavors,” she says. Another option is to dry roast your grains in the oven to create a nuttier flavor, and then boil them in water with a pinch of salt, or in stock. Or give your grains a moist texture and richer flavor by sautéing them. This style of gluten-free cooking “opens up a world of healthy eating pleasure,” says Cerier. “Because if it doesn’t taste good, why bother?”

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