Protective colour therapy

These rolls are therapeutic in many ways, and actually making them is one – as long as you take your time and savour the process. They are a perfect excuse for some mindful food preparation, using beautiful ingredients, which come together into an exciting blend of flavours, textures and colours.

The benefits of a high plant diet in preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease are well accepted and their colourful pigments play a big part in this. Each one revealing a different antioxidant property. Asparagus in particular is a seasonal wonder, said to be packed with cancer fighting compounds.

Nori is one of the most nutrient rich varieties of edible seaweed. It’s a great addition to any diet, and especially a vegetarian or vegan one, for two reasons. It’s amazingly high in protein (30-50%) and also notable for its iodine content, supporting healthy thyroid function. Wild garlic is especially effective in reducing high blood pressure – perfect for ‘Make May Purple for stroke’!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

6 Nori sheets

6 fine asparagus spears

3 small spring onions

6 medium Cos lettuce leaves

1 avocado

2 eggs

2 tsp olive oil

Medium handful of hazelnuts, roasted and chopped

1/2 cup black rice, soaked for 30 mins

Handful of garlic leaves (or use chopped garlic)

1 small beetroot, grated

Juice of 1 lime

2 tsp black sesame seeds

Tamari sauce for dipping

Preparation:

  • In a saucepan, cover the black rice with twice the volume of water, bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for around 30 minutes, until soft and chewy
  • Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat 1 tsp of olive oil
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl, add a handful of chopped wild garlic and pour into the pan to make a thin omelette.
  • Squeeze the lime juice into a bowl and mix in a couple of finely chopped wild garlic leaves. Add the grated beetroot and mix in well (this could be prepared a day or two in advance and left in the fridge in a closed container to pickle).
  • Once the omelette is cooked on both sides, leave aside to cool, and cut into strips
  • Brush the asparagus with a tsp of olive oil and place under the grill for 5 minutes, turning a couple of times until slightly crisp.
  • Slice the spring onions in two lengthways.
  • Halve the avocado and cut into slices lengthways.
  • Lay out the nori sheets and about 3 cm in lengthways, align the ingredients: asparagus spear, omelette strip, spring onion, avocado and lettuce leaf, 1 large tbsp. black rice, scatter with hazelnuts and a couple of pinches of beetroot pickle.
  • Roll gently and as tightly as possible. Seal by dipping your finger in water and running along the edge to make it stick.
  • Using a sharp knife, slice each roll into 6 parts.
  • Pack the individual rolls together on two plates and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
  • Serve with chopsticks and a small bowl of tamari sauce.
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