Got the Monday Blues?

Even though it’s a beautiful sunny day in Toronto (so far) I’m sure most of us are bummed out about the end of the weekend. But the beginning of a new week doesn’t have to mean so fun or relaxation, especially if you will have managed to be extra efficient. I was inspired to do this post remembering an ad for Oliveri about Mondays….

I think the main message here is that although Monday seems very boring and plain, and provides no hope of that weekend joy, you can change the way you think so that you are focusing on what you DO want, as opposed to how you think the day is just filled with what you don’t want. Sometimes when you spark your creative side it is an opportunity to be more motivated for the rest of the week so take this Monday try something new.

Here’s an idea…

My friends and I love to make different kinds of crazy meals. Recently my boyfriend and I went to a sushi making class, because when he cooks, he cooks up a storm and takes like 4 hours to make something really out of the ordinary. I mean sushi isn’t extremely exotic these days considering the plethora of Japanese restaurants on every block but to gather up all the ingredients yourself and try out a new method of cooking…it’s not like chopping up some vegetables and frying them in some sort of sauce. Sushi making is a skill. And I’m going to teach you a little about it.

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On your way home from work or class grab some nori (the seaweed you wrap everything in), sticky rice, rice vinegar, wasabi and soy sauce, a bamboo sushi mat, saran wrap and then whatever fillings you want. I like the traditional California roll with the crabmeat, avocado and cucumber but some fun things to try are smoked salmon, sweet potato, tofu and chicken. Sesame seeds are also a nice touch.

You may want to have some other cool sides like spicy mayo and pickled ginger. You can buy the ginger where you buy the nori in the grocery store (if you don’t believe me Loblaws has them!) and here’s the recipe for the mayo:

Mix together some store bought mayo (I use Hellman’s), Sriracha sauce and a tiny bit of lemon juice and salt. The TINIEST bit of lemon juice. Like one drop. I promise this is legitimately what they use in Japanese restaurants.

The first–and possibly most challenging–step is to make the rice. You want to rinse and wash it to get all the starch off and you need to be thorough with this, otherwise the rice won’t taste the same. After washing the rice, cook it according to the package directions, adding the recommended amounts of water and rice. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat equal parts rice vinegar and sugar, with a pinch of salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Once the rice is finished you want to fold this mixture in–fold, not stir so the rice particles do not break–and this will create the signature sushi taste. Let the rice cool down for a bit before using.

Cut all your ingredients–avocado, cucumber and crabmeat for instance–in long strips. Then lay the nori shiny side down on a cutting board, spreading the sticky rice in a thin layer all over. Flip the rice-covered-nori over so the rice is laying face down on the cutting board. Add your ingredients, and then begin to roll the nori into one long roll.

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This is where the bamboo mat comes in. Once covered in saran wrap, you will use the mat to shape your roll, and then use a sharp knife to cut it into bite size pieces. Pretty straightforward. Your sushi may not look pretty right away but once you get the hang of it, it is not only a cool meal but a fun social activity that allows you to bond with your loved ones. Try it out this Monday night!

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About The Girl on Bloor

I'm a busy 20-something about town living in downtown Toronto and creating fun, easy recipes for those on the go!
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