cucumber salad & nut (un)sushi wraps

photo by karen messer

Summer is a wonderful time to experiment with eating raw foods. A raw or semi-raw diet during warmer weather can lift our spirits, heighten our senses and help us celebrate the lightness of the season. These recipes include ingredients that are cooling and detoxifying to the system: cucumber, parsley, seaweed and lemon.

Nori wraps are fun to prepare and make wonderful appetizers or picnic food. The filling will keep in the fridge for up to a week, and the flavours will only get better! You can utilize whichever fresh veggies appeal to you, and I encourage also having fun experimenting with the filling ingredients. I recently made a “South of the Border” version by substituting cilantro for parsley, lime for lemon, and adding cumin and chili powder to the mix. Delicioso!

For me, it has been an excellent practice to consciously invite in the element of space as I prepare my summer cuisine. By becoming aware of my breath as I handle the food and taking my time with each step, I appreciate the interconnectedness of life. Yoga is always happening – allow your cooking to become your practice. Notice the sounds of the blender, the slicing of the vegetables, the nori as it rustles out of the package. It is a joy to be present for these moments, and to eat delicious food with gratitude in the heart!

cucumber salad & nut (un)sushi wraps

nut (un)sushi wraps ingredients
(un)sushi filling
1 c. soaked almonds
1 c. soaked sunflower seeds
1/2 c. soaked walnuts
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. chopped parsley
3 tbsp. dulse flakes
2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 c. chopped sundried tomatoes
1 c. water
1/4 c. diced red onion

1 red bell pepper (long slices)
1 carrot (matchsticks)
avocado (long slices)
green or red lettuce leaves
6–8 nori sheets


  1. Soak nuts in water for at least 30 minutes to allow softening and easier digestion. Drain water.
  2. In a blender or food processor combine all ingredients for filling, adding water slowly. Mixture should have the consistency of a thick, spreadable paste.
  3. Prepare veggies as above.

to assemble wraps:

  1. Lay out a sheet of nori on a clean, dry surface (rough side up).
  2. Scoop approx. 1 cup of the (un)sushi filling onto the nori and cover about 2/3 of the sheet, using your hands to press the mixture evenly.
  3. Lay the red pepper slices, matchstick carrots, avocado slices, lettuce (ruffle edges out) across the middle of the (un)sushi filling.
  4. Time to roll! You can use a bamboo sushi roller or roll by hand. Experiment and find the best way for you. It is sometimes helpful to apply a tiny amount of water to the inside edge of the roll to act as a “glue” to seal the wrap. A sharp knife is also essential to slice the nori rolls. Use a wet towel to clean knife between cuts. Enjoy!

pressed cucumber salad
2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced in ˝ rounds
1/4 c. brown rice vinegar
1/4 c. umeboshi plum vinegar
2 tbsp. mirin (rice wine)

  1. Peel cucumbers lengthwise, leaving some peel in stripes all around the cucumber.
  2. Prepare onion. Mix ingredients in a shallow bowl, place a plate on top of the salad, and then set a heavy object atop the plate. Let sit for at least 45 minutes.
  3. Drain half the liquid (you can use the liquid for the (un)sushi filling in place of water and lemon juice). The cucumber will be crunchy, and taste slightly pickled. Very refreshing.

Brenna Hunziker is a whole foods chef, yoga instructor and bodyworker based out of Northern California. Contact:

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