Sunday, April 29, 2012

When you can't find Sushi...make your own!

homemade sushi, healthy veggie wrap, eat to live recipeIt has been over a year since I have had the pleasure of enjoying  sushi!  Isn't that a crime in some states?  I am currently residing in a small Midwestern town where the closest Sushi is almost two hours away. When I lived in Southern California I always loved to pick up the veggie sushi tray at Trader Joe's as a light meal or lunch.  There is no Trader Joe's around here either. So, I decided it was time to make my own Brown Rice Veggie Sushi.  Brown rice veggie sushi is a great option for the Eat to Live "Diet" (Lifestyle change).  Making it yourself is ideal because you can add exactly what you like.  I actually don't care for the vinegar or mirin that is usually put in the sticky rice so I left that out and made mine with a little onion powder and cayenne instead.  I chose cucumbers, carrots and avocado for this roll with the Nori on the outside so you get more of it!  Well, not only are there no Sushi Places here, but there aren't any stores that carry some of the main ingredients.  For this dilemma I turned to online shopping and found  Nori toasted Sea Vegetable and pickled ginger.  If you are concerned about radioactive sea vegetables (did I really just type that?) , I purchased organic Sushi Nori from Eden Organics whose company has a through detailed description of testing for safety.  So, I am going to take my chances and enjoy it.
Note: All of my longer recipes have a Chronic Pain/Fatigue/Illness Modification at the end for those of us who love to cook but are limited physically!  Now let's get started...

First get all of your ingredients together and take your sushi mat...oops I completely forgot to buy a sushi mat!!!  Never fear I found a new use for my lightweight cardboard postal envelopes although I highly recommend buying a mat.


My Sticky Brown rice cooled (I found an organic faster cooking brown rice, with a 15-20 min cook time. Cook as the package suggests.  Then add more water (about 2/3 cup for 1 cup rice) at the end and bring to a boil again. Add one teaspoon onion powder and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.  Leave the lid off and stir until the water reduces down again and you have a moister sticky rice!  Spread on a plate or cookie sheet and let cool in the refrigerator)
Sushi Nori/Sea Vegetable wraps (toasted tastes best and you can buy them pre toasted)
Pickled Ginger
Tamari or low sodium Soy Sauce


Sushi mat
thick plastic wrap or  zip bag
cup of warm water
good cutting knife

1.  Position your Nori square on  your plastic on top of the sushi mat (or postal envelope if you are a blonde who now dyes her hair red and forgot to purchase one online!) Note: If you use a postal envelope better make sure to reuse it for its original purpose so as not to violate Federal Law!

2.  Dip you fingers in warm water and press a layer of sticky brown rice about an inch and a half from the border.  A thinner layer of rice means less carbs and more room for vegetables.

3.  Layer your thinly sliced Julian vegetables (cucumber, carrot,avocado) lengthwise on top of the pressed rice

4.  First take the plastic and use that to wrap the Nori over the vegetables.  Make sure you use that one and one half inches to go over the mound of vegetables and overlap with the other side of the Nori (see below) 

5. Press the sushi into a roll or log shape.

6.  Now go back over the same  roll/log with the sushi mat over the plastic to form a tight roll and release.  

7. Now you are ready for the "Dab and Roll" technique.  Wet your fingers with warm water and dab the water on the rolled Nori with the vegetables and then some on the empty side  and the roll (just and inch at a time) .  Dab more water on the roll and what is left of the empty side of sushi and roll again and seal the edge with a little more water.  This gives you all the nutrients of and entire square Nori Seaweed.

8.  Now we are ready to slice the roll. Start in the center, dip your sharp knife in warm water and on a cutting board slice the roll in half, then slice the half into thirds.

9. Serve with picked ginger and wasabi mixed with tamari or low sodium soy sauce.  This will keep your tummy felling full and nourished!

Chronic Pain/Fatigue/Illness Modification:  

Get out all non perishable cooking and food items and leave on counter
*REST 5/10 min
Cook Sticky Rice 
*REST 5/10 min while it cools 
Clean and Chop Vegetables sitting at the table, put back in Refrigerator
*REST 5/10min
Finish Preparing Sushi Roll 

For more information on Eden Food Safety visit: 

~xoxo Shawneen Nicole     

 Recipe Links:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Almond Mocha Victorian Butterfly Necklace

My latest creation...

Available at:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Free Altered Image Mother's Day Card

I created these Vintage Style Photo Images using a Cameo from one of my jewelry collections.  Feel free to use it in your arts and crafts to create a lovely Victorian Mother's Day Card.
Don't forget about Grandmothers, Godmothers, and other wonderful Mother's you may know!

This item is for personal use only and is not intended for sale or redistribution without written consent.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sustenance Smoothie

My  "Sustenance Smoothie" is loaded with antioxidants, it is  energizing, nutrient dense and can enhance your mood.  I sip on this during my morning routine of chores and writing.  I still have varying symptoms but
 it is my opinion that the damage done to our bodies in regards to nutritional deficiency most likely started in the womb. It is going to take more than a few months of "healthy" eating to heal chronic pain, fatigue, and/or auto immune disease, but it is a great place to start! These are some powerful supplements, please check with your doctor if your are taking medication, pregnant, nursing, etc.  I always double check my medications with vitamin and supplement interactions on www. as well.  I like to double check what I am told by the doctor and/or pharmacist.  I am my own best advocate and I like to be informed.  I am only using this as a temporary booster since my Immune System has been severely weakened over the past few months.  I am currently reading "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman and I am on the fence as to whether or not we can get most of our vitamins and minerals from diet alone. I have done may restrictive diets before mostly for health reasons.  I will talk more on this later, now let's get to my delicious smoothie... 

Ingredients...I use powder supplements in capsules, just open, pour and blend into smoothie. Less pills to take!  I chose ingredients and listed some beneficial properties for my particular ailments.  Of course I could write an entire blog on each of these and have not included an exhaustive list of benefits.

  • STRAWBERRIES antioxidants, anti inflammatory, anti cancer 1/2 cup
  • BLUEBERRIES antioxidants 1/2 cup
  • ACAI BERRY JUICE a nice change in flavor and have powerful antioxidants 4 oz
  • COCONUT WATER (not milk) a good source of potassium which many people don't realize they are deficient in, this can also cause muscle pain and cramping and of course electrolyte imbalance which can be especially dangerous if you are taking certain medications.  It also has an interesting flavor. 4oz
  • GREEN TEA  adored for its anti cancer properties, I have a jasmine green tea which adds a nice floral element. It is also good for energy and boosts the immune system 6oz (brewed)
  • MORINGA this is an amazing plant that has more potassium than bananas, more calcium than milk, more vitamin A than carrots and more Vitamin C than oranges! capsule varies
  • YERBA MATE  this is a site for the tea but it has some good information.  If you are addicted to coffee or Redbull switching to Yerba Mate tea and energy drinks is great.  I use the powder supplements for this smoothie.  It gives you even focused energy, you don't get the jitters and then crash. capsule varies
  • ASHWAGANDHA has the amazing ability to calm frayed nerves while energizing at the same time, boosts immune system capsule varies
  • ELEUTHERO an adaptogen repairs adrenal glands, it is sometimes called Siberian Ginseng but it is NOT ginseng.  This site has a good description although I don't agree with the evidence section.  This stuff is strong if you take it too late in the day it will keep you up all night.  capsule varies
  • NIACIN or Vitamin B3 (get the Flush free kind!) energy, nervous system, adrenal glands/hormones, circulation, possibly helps osteoarthritis and depression  *careful excess can cause liver damage  capsule varies
  • MAGNESIUM MALATE (There are several types of magnesium and they all serve different purposes, this is the best for muscle pain.  Whatever you do don't get Magnesium Oxide it basically passes through your system with minimal absorption and it is what most stores sell!)  capsule varies

I blend all of this together in a  personal size take and go blender.  You just take the blender off and it becomes your cup.

I do take other supplements in addition to those listed in the smoothie such as liquid B12, D3, DHEA and biotin.  At night I also take a Borage/Flax/Fish Oil Supplement with more Magnesium and Valerian to relax my muscles.  Oh and don't forget the Elderberry and Melatonin!  Some of this is a new routine so I will need to give it a few months to see if there is an improvement in my Immune system, my Endocrine system, and my newly increased bone and joint pain. Who knew all of this could come from a Smoothie and I have not even started to talk about probiotics yet.  I will eventually add them into the smoothie...more on that later. 

I hope you might try my Sustenance Smoothie and benefit from it.  Add your own flair, personalize it so it works for your body's needs!
~ xoxo Shawneen Nicole

Conspiracy at Forest Bay High Book 1 Update:  I had to put my novel on the shelf for almost 2 weeks but I have written more than 38,000 words and 140 pages!!  I am getting so antsy and excited to finish it but I want it to be polished and perfect before I release it.

Pea Soup Procrastination  I have prepared Pea soup three time since I posted, I just can't get the liquid measurements right.  They are different every time, I just add more when it boils down!  Will I post this Autumn Remberance Pumpkin Pea Soup Recipe before Autumn?