With all of the recipe contest action around here, I haven’t had the opportunity to post recipes from my own kitchen. It’s time to remedy that with these amazing whole grain yam rolls that I created for Bob’s Red Mill.
I’ve been a whole grain addict my entire life. Even from a young age I reached for the nuttiest bread I could find. But it wasn’t until recent years that I discovered the joys of eating grains in their whole form.
And, in all honesty, I’m still discovering how much wholesome goodness is out there. The new trend toward ancient grains has introduced some new fiber-rich foods to my diet, and I’m especially loving the grain blends, like Bob’s Grande Whole Grains.
I love it when farmers help pair grains that cook in an equal amount of time, so I don’t have to guestimate. The Grande Whole Grains blend includes hard red wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, triticale, barley, kamut (my new love!), buckwheat and sesame seeds. It was that final ingredient that made me think Asian.
This recipe for whole grain yam rolls also includes a couple of my little secrets for preparing and enjoying whole grains.
First, the solution to those grains stuck to the bottom of the pan or coming out crunchy in spots. Since moving to higher altitude, perfect fluffy grains seemed like a thing of the past – that is until I started using this foolproof boiling method. You are going to love it!
Second, whole grains, and even brown rice, aren’t starchy enough to become very sticky on their own, like white rice. To make these whole grain yam rolls, I use tasty and healthy add-ins that help the grains adhere with ease (while adding protein and healthy fats!). Yes, with a little cheating sticky whole grains are possible.
A few infusions of sesame and ginger round out the flavor of this tasty little meatless entrée or appetizer without overpowering in the least bit. If desired, a little sriracha or wasabi will kick things up a notch. Plus, baby spinach or sliced avocado can be used in place of the cucumber for variation. No matter how you make them, I can almost guarantee they will be devoured in minutes. I had “reject” pieces in the wings that I was eating as I took these pictures – I simply couldn’t wait as they are that delicious!
Special Diet Notes & Options: Whole Grain Yam Rolls
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
For tree nut-free and dairy-free whole grain yam rolls, you can use sunflower seed butter, or your favorite nut butter alternative, in place of the almond butter.
To learn more about some awesome ancient grains, check out the Grains of Discovery from Bob’s Red Mill. I am a product ambassador for them because I LOVE these products and adore making recipes with them!
- 1 cup uncooked whole grains (I used Bob's Red Mill Grande Whole Grains, but single grains, such as Kamut, are also great; use Quinoa, Sorghum or Brown Rice for gluten-free), rinsed
- 6 cups water
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into ½-inch fry shapes
- 2 tablespoons olive or melted coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons + ½ teaspoon sesame oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ cup creamy unsalted almond butter
- 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
- 4 sheets nori (see note below for lettuce wraps)
- ½ cucumber, julienned (optionally peeled)
- Low-sodium soy sauce, wheat-free tamari, or coconut aminos, to serve
- Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
- Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan. Add the whole grains and ginger, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, or until the grains are tender. Thoroughly drain, remove and discard the ginger, return the grains to the pot, and cover until ready to use.
- While the grains are cooking, place the sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet and toss with the olive or coconut oil. Roast for 25 minutes.
- Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and toss with 2 teaspoons sesame oil, the sesame seeds and ¼ teaspoon salt. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
- To make your grains sticky and delicious, stir in the almond butter, sweetener, rice vinegar, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, ginger powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Taste test and stir in more salt, to taste, if desired (I usually add about ⅛ teaspoon more).
- Prepare the yam rolls with the now sticky whole grains, topped with the roasted yam slices and cucumber on the nori sheets. If you aren't familiar with sushi rolling, see this easy tutorial. Be sure to keep your hands slightly damp when pressing the grains on the nori sheets.
- Cut and serve with low-sodium soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos.
Wrap It: If rolling sushi isn't your thing, you can make sushi hand rolls (easier) or simply plop all of the ingredient in a lettuce wrap! The whole grain mixture tastes excellent with greens.
Is there a substitute for the sesame oil that would still enable the stickiness factor?
Thanks, looks scrumptious!
Your favorite oil should work just fine! The sesame version is just for flavor.
Love whole grains. These look delicious and very pretty too.
These look so good! What a great way to “healthify” sushi!
Wow! Not only do they sound delicious, but they’re gorgeous! I love Bob’s grains, and in fact will be visiting the big store they have in Portland, OR in a couple weeks. I guess they serve food there (a lunch counter, I think). I’m going to pick up some of the Grande while I’m there and try making these when I’m home from my trip! Thanks for the inspiration!
I’m so jealous! I’ve been wanting to visit that store for ages. Have fun!
This vegetarian roll looks awesome! I always order yam rolls when I go out. I have never made my own rolls and have wanted to try, but always think I will mess it up badly.
You really can’t mess them up – if they fall apart they’re just “deconstructed” yam rolls 🙂
These look so good! I love to make sushi as a treat – will have to try these!
Alisa, I’m a total sushi whore. And I can only imagine how good these are with that almond butter stickiness going on!
Can I just skip the roll ups and make the grain mixture? Holy yum 🙂 Kid-friendly too!
Of course – I ate it straight from the bowl! As noted, it is also great in lettuce wraps.
This is the most creative roll recipe I’ve seen in months! Looks amazing.
these look phenomenal, Alisa – I love the flavors you worked with.
Thanks Kristina – these are definitely some of my favorite ingredients!