SERVES 1 to 2

Confession: My favorite kind of sushi is the California roll. I know it doesn’t have the elegance of sashimi, but here’s the thing: it’s got the flavor and texture mélange (mélange!) of cool, sweet seafood with creamy avocado, salty coconut aminos, and the bite-you-back of wasabi. There’s also plenty to love in the nutrition department. Seafood and fish are excellent protein sources, and avocado is a first-rate source of monounsaturated fat (a.k.a., the good kind). Plus, sushi is fun to eat. You like fun, right?

I’ve included two versions to get you started: Mango-Shrimp Roll and Avocado-Salmon Roll.


• 1 medium avocado
• 1/2 medium mango
• 1 medium red bell pepper
• 2-3 scallions, green tops only
• 1 medium cucumber
• 1/4 jicama (about 1/4 pound)
• 4 ounces shrimp, steamed and chilled
• (I used wild, cold-water salad shrimp.)
• 4 ounces smoked salmon
• 4 sheets nori
• wasabi powder, coconut aminos (optional)



1. Avocado: Cut in half and remove the pit. Use a spoon to remove the fruit from the skin and slice the avocado lengthwise into thin slivers.

2. Mango: Peel the mango, remove the pit, and cut half of it into strips lengthwise. Reserve the other half for dessert!

3. Red pepper: Cut in half, remove stem and ribs, then slice into very thin strips lengthwise.

4. Scallions: Cut in half to separate the dark green tops from the white, then cut the dark green tops into strips lengthwise.

5. Cucumber: Peel, cut in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds with a spoon, then cut into matchsticks.

6. Jicama: Cut in half, peel, then cut a slice into matchsticks.

7. Wasabi: If using, mix wasabi with water, following the package instructions, and set aside.


1. Lay a piece of nori on a rolling mat, shiny side down. With about 1/4 of the avocado, form a single layer of slices on the nori. Leave a naked 1-inch strip on the side closest to you. Use the back of a spoon to spread the avocado across the surface of the nori. It doesn’t need to cover it completely—just enough to help seal the roll and soften the nori. Repeat with all 4 nori sheets.

2. We’ll start with mango-shrimp. Place half the shrimp on the bare strip of nori closest to you, and top them with a few of the scallion greens. Place a parallel stripe of mango on the far side of the shrimp, and add a few strips of red pepper on top of the mango.

3. Time to roll. Starting at the end closest to you, take a deep breath and roll the sushi, using the mat to help you tuck the ingredients into the roll. When you get to the end, give it a gentle squeeze to help the avocado do its job. Repeat with the remaining shrimp and another sheet of nori.

4. Now the avocado-salmon. Place half the salmon on the bare strip of nori closest to you, and top it with a few of the scallion greens. Place a parallel strip of jicama in front of the salmon, and add a few matchsticks of cucumber on top of the jicama. Roll, starting with the end closest to you, then repeat with the remaining salmon and the remaining sheet of nori.

5. Slice and serve. Run a sharp knife under water and shake to remove the excess. Slice the roll crosswise into rounds about 1 inch thick and arrange on a plate, along with the remaining vegetables to eat on the side. If you’re dipping, add some coconut aminos to your wasabi and dig in.

6. Don’t you have a sushi mat? Don’t fret! Just follow the instructions and use a piece of construction paper in place of the bamboo rolling mat.