“California-Style” Vegan Sushi Rolls & Day at Sea

Hi there and good morning to you. This weekend went by way too fast, don’t you think? I was busy, busy, busy on Saturday so I could take the whole day off yesterday for a whale-watching trip (see below).

“California-Style” Vegan Sushi Rolls:

"California-Style" Vegan Sushi Rolls.

But first, I want to share with you these easy, vegan sushi rolls I made for lunch on Saturday for something different than my normal giant salad. I use toasted nori sheets that I buy in a package of 50 from my health food store. They don’t need to be warmed up or anything, you just lay them on a cutting board to fill them up (note: you can also buy untoasted nori, but I think they taste a little too much like seaweed when they’re raw).

Vegan Sushi Rolls in the making.

By the way, each nori sheet has only 10 calories so I make two of them per person with a lot of filling. But, what do you fill them with, you might ask?

Since I strive to be an uber-healthy vegan, I decided to make mine “California-style” with tons of shredded veggies, hummus, bell pepper, onion, and avocado. One of my latest healthy habits is shredding various vegetables in my food processor each week and then putting them into everything. Here is the giant container of cabbage and carrots I shredded that will be consumed this week:

Shredded carrots and cabbage.

It’s nice to start with some kind of creamy filling like my Roasted Garlic Hummus, for example. Then, you can just layer in your other veggies, being careful not to overfill. Just think of it like a burrito. :)

More prep shots of making vegan sushi rolls.

Some sliced red bell pepper, red onion, and avocado makes it even tastier. Then, when you are satisfied with your filling, you just roll up the nori and use a sharp knife to slice the roll in half:

Vegan Sushi Rolls made with shredded veggies, hummus, bell pepper, onion, and avocado.

The printable recipe:

My new favorite lunch!

Whale-Watching Trip in Santa Barbara:

So, as mentioned, I traveled to Santa Barbara on Sunday to go whale-watching with some friends:

Santa Barbara Harbor.

We have been talking about doing this for ages, so we finally settled on a date and just did it. The weather was fantastic, a cool 55 degrees when we got started:

Beautiful day along the shoreline in Santa Barbara.

There was a naturalist on board who talked to us about the grey whale and how tens of thousands of them migrate from Mexico back to Alaska at this time of year.

It felt so good to soak up some sun while on board:

Here's me on board for our whale-watching adventure.

We spent several hours going up the coastline and enjoying the natural beauty of the scenery. Finally, after we turned around and started heading back, we saw whales! They were off in the distance and some people missed seeing them entirely, but I felt lucky to see several spouts and the full body of one of these magnificent animals as it drew air for a dive. I hope you didn’t expect to see pictures of the whales, though, because it was one of those “you had to be there” situations. Sorry!

The beauty of the scenery and just being outside in the fresh air was more than enough reason to enjoy this adventure:

Santa Barbara's coastline.

Spending time with Alan, my friends, being outside, and just enjoying life was a great way to spend the day, and a reminder to take advantage of special opportunities like this.


I hope you had a great weekend and are ready to tackle this week with enthusiasm. I’ll be back here on Wednesday with another new post, recipe, and giveaway.

In the meantime, please considering downloading my recipe app, Vegan Delish, for your iPhone or iPad. The app has over 75 of my favorite, healthy recipes, all with mouth-watering photos and cool features like a digital shopping list and sharing options. Here is a screenshot of the iPad version:

iPad screenshot for Vegan Delish.


And, a screenshot of the iPhone version:

Vegan Delish iPhone screenshot

Thank you for your support, every download helps keep this blog going!


  1. says

    That wrap looks delish- and thanks for the food processor tip- so smart! I love seaweed!

    The photos are stunning-thank you for sharing some sunshine. xo

  2. says

    Mmmm I love nori rolls! It’s funny, I always keep them raw, but I like the idea of putting hummus in as a spread. I eat the raw ones – I think they taste great =)
    And whale watching! Very cool – I want to try this out too. I think they have it near where I am as well.

  3. Jeanne says

    Hi Carrie!
    I would love to do a whale watching trip, what a fabulous experience you had.

    I just came back from Fuhrman’s Italy getaway and we had Nori rolls one day at lunch, but instead of hummus they used grated raw cauliflower. It looked like rice but tasted very good.

    Take care,

    • says

      Hi Jeanne! I just e-mailed you to ask you more about your trip. It sounds fantastic. Plus, I love the idea of using grated cauliflower in a nori roll.

  4. says

    LOVE the Day out at Sea photos! That California Wrap looks amazing, too!
    I’m totally LOVING your App! SOON I will be posting your Herb Dressing on my blog! I will let you know when it’s up!

  5. Patty says

    Hi Carrie, Yes, I agree, this weekend did go by so fast. I was so busy this weekend, but it feels good to have accomplished so much, and now I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. :) That’s so cool that you got to see some whales! I’m happy you had a wonderful day. Thank you for the new vegan sushi rolls recipe, and the idea on pre-shredding veggies for the week. I’ll plan to do this too, because I think it’s a great idea for getting even more veggies in to the week conveniently. And, I’ll definitely make the vegan sushi rolls soon. They look so delicious and refreshing. Hip surgery for me tomorrow….and I’m all ready now. Just making a few more recipes to freeze today. Your blog will keep me company while on sick leave. I’m loving your app, and I’m telling folks about it. I’ll remember to go on iTunes this week and rate it.

  6. says

    Wow, yours look so pretty. I usually scoop the pulp from my juicer into mine and mix with my carrot mayo or raw caramelised onions. Generally, mine end up a bit of at (tasty) mess.
    The whale watching sounds awesome and Santa B looks so tranquillo! Don’t you just love Cali?!


    • says

      Thanks, India-Leigh! Ohhhh, great idea to use juicer pulp in a nori roll. And, yes, I LOVE living in California, especially at the beach. :)

  7. Diane says

    Looks great! What an interesting use of nori sheets. These will be on my soon to-do list. By the by, I made the almond butter banana muffins … another keeper! … sooooo quick and delicious. Next time I think I’ll include chopped walnuts too.

  8. Anja says

    Would love to get your app but it is available for iPhones only, isn’t it?
    Love to read your blog and get inspired. :)

  9. says

    I am going to look for Nori sheets when I go to WF next time. I like your idea of shredding veggies at the beginning of the week to use up during the week. Makes sense to me! I would be more adapt to use them when they are prepped and ready for me to throw in something! :) The rolls look delicious! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    The party will be GREAT this week! We are giving away a tote full of goodies from Namaste Foods! The items are gluten free and allergy friendly! Can’t wait to see what you bring to the party!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  10. says

    Carrie ~
    I just made your California-style nori rolls for lunch. Tried just one to see if I’d like it & had to make numero dos! Yummy! It’s weird how filling they are. I’m thinking black bean noodles as a filler too!

    You always have such good ideas… things I’d never think of! You rock!

  11. Sadie says

    Your sushi looks amazing! I already love using nori as a sandwich wrap and can’t wait to try this variation. BTW, has your nori ever become soggy when you make wraps with “wet” spreads like hummus? I made a wrap once with a nut pate and the nori became very chewy (not good eats).

    • says

      Hi Sadie! I have not had that problem with the nori getting soggy, probably because I eat the rolls pretty soon after I make them. I also like to toast the nori first (or you can buy it pre-toasted) and I think that helps keep it crisp.


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