My mother brought me a book to look at recently. It's called Heston Blumenthal at home. Amongst the recipes was a technique which I think would be of interest to the Just Bento community. I wish I could say that I could have come up with it myself but there is a step which makes quinoa suitable for spreading and rolling in nori I would never have ever considered trying. I won't go into too much detail as I have no wish to infringe his creative copyright but the basic principle is easy to share.
To begin with, his tips for preparing quinoa:
Start with 200grams of quinoa and soak it in water for 15 minutes then drain it (a sensible way to rinse quinoa)
Add the drained quinoa to 350grams of water to which you add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring it on medium high heat to a simmering boil, cover, bring the temperature down and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off and leave the quinoa to rest for a further 5 minutes.
Next, that clever bit; divide the quinoa in half (I do this mentally) and pulp half of the quinoa with a hand blender. Combine the unblended and blended ingredients and, presto - Sticky quinoa!
Now you need to dress it and this is where I'll respect the copyright. He suggests combining ponzu (he gives a recipe for a home made version), miso, sesame seeds, onion seeds, horseradish, chives and a few other ingredients but you can be as creative as you like (I personally like to dress quinoa in a mix of fish sauce, lime juice, honey/sweetener, garlic and water which gives it a Thai taste). Consider adding about 70grams of your chosen dressing but add less or more to your own personal taste.
Once the quinoa is dressed smear it on the nori and add your favourite fillings before rolling up. It is a teensy bit trickier to make makizushi with quinoa than regular white rice but not that much more so. I enjoyed these last night with my daughter and had a mayonnaise mixed with wasabi to accompany them.
These can easily be made to accommodate any diet; vegan, gluten free, wholegrain, carnivore (Heston suggests rare beef, shitake and scallion as one of the fillings - or cucumber, avocado and mango for a meatless version)