The Dude Diet: Sushi Edition
Before we launch into the subject of today’s post, I would like to sincerely apologize for the lack of Dude Diet activity over the past three months. In my defense, I’m hard at work on an e-book of Dude Diet recipes and teachings, and as a result, I’ve been negligent about blogging on the subject. I only hope that you can find it in your hearts (which I’m praying are still in decent shape) to forgive me, and that you haven’t completely destroyed your wonderland bodies in my absence.
That said, I have some good news, friends! I’m very pleased to report that the Dude has been doing a pretty stand-up job as brand ambassador recently, and by some miracle, he’s kept himself under a deuce since January. It’s unclear whether he’s keeping it tight as a result of finally internalizing my teachings or because I threatened to replace him with an NFL star as the face of The Dude Diet, but either way, I’m psyched. Snaps for Logan.
At this point, I feel like I’ve tackled the majority of foods that pose the most obvious threats to The Dude Diet’s success (i.e. burgers, pizza, cheesesteaks, burritos, etc.), but every once in a while, I’ll realize a food item or group that I’ve yet to cover. Enter: Sushi.
Logan loves sushi. You’d think I’d be pumped about this, since plenty of sushi is remarkably nutritious. Fish is an excellent source of lean protein and omega-3s, and many rolls contain green vegetables and heart-healthy avocado. Plus, you can almost always order your rolls with fiber-rich brown rice nowadays, and many restaurants serve only low-sodium soy sauce. Hallelujah.
Unfortunately, the sushi that Logan consumes doesn’t exactly fit the slimming description above. When left to his own devices, the Dude will order all things labeled “spicy” or “crunchy” on the menu, along with several rolls in the shrimp tempura/soft-shell crab family. White rice is a given, and you could bathe several small children in the amount of full sodium soy sauce that he shamelessly dunks his “sush” in. Logan rarely survives ten minutes post feast before screaming for Zantac, and he inevitably wakes up the next morning confused as to why he resembles a Japanese puffer fish. It’s infuriating, yet oddly endearing.
The worst part about all of this is that Logan actually thinks that the sushi he consumes is “health food.” Much to my horror, he will often come home from work claiming that he deserves something “extra dirty” for dinner because he “only had sushi for lunch,” and he’s “probably lost at least five pounds!!” When I try to expose the flaws in this absurd reasoning, he gets very upset, insisting, “It’s just fish and rice! It’s like eating nothing!”
Sadly, most other dudes also seem to be operating under the ridiculous delusion that all sushi is good for them. I’ve watched many a clueless bro take down multiple deep-fried rolls slathered in spicy mayonnaise and then pat himself on the back for making such a virtuous meal choice. For the record, a shrimp tempura roll clocks in at a whopping 550 calories and 21 grams of fat. That’s on par with a McDonald’s quarter pounder with cheese, dummies. Get it together.
To help clarify some sushi-related confusion, I’ve compiled 4 simple rules for Dude Diet-friendly sushi consumption. Learn them, live them, love them.
Dude Diet Sushi Rules:
1. The words “spicy,” “crunchy,” and “tempura” roughly translate to “fat,” “fatter,” and “fattest.” Spicy mayonnaise and fried food are what give you moobs. Please stick with straight up fish and veggie rolls.
2. White rice is a refined carbohydrate with almost zero nutritional value. Aways go with brown rice if it’s an option. It will add some much needed fiber and minerals to your meal.
3. Say it with me: Low-Sodium Soy Sauce. 2 tablespoons of regular soy sauce can pack up to 2000 milligrams of sodium, which is almost a day’s worth of salt. If you wish to avoid turning into an Oompa-Loompa, please request a low-sodium alternative.
4. You do not need more than two sushi rolls of any kind at a single meal, dudes. If you’re still hungry, ask for a few pieces of sashimi or chug some miso soup. Seriously.
In the hope of reinforcing smart sushi choices, I wanted to do a Dude Diet sushi roll tutorial, but I ultimately decided against it. Let’s be real, rolling sushi is a bitch, and as much as I love to imagine a bunch of dudes excitedly whipping out their sushi mats and sprinting to the kitchen, I’m pretty sure most of you have neither the patience nor the aforementioned mats for such meticulous work. So, in the spirit of Dude Diet simplicity (and avoiding hate mail), I’ve simplified the sushi making process for you. Let’s hear it for Dude Diet Ahi Poke Bowls with Brown Rice…
Behold the ultimate glory bowl, dudes. Nutty brown rice, thinly sliced cucumber, crunchy carrots, and creamy avocado form the perfect base for the bright, fresh flavors of ahi tuna poke. (Tuna poke is actually Hawaiian, not Japanese, but let’s not split hairs here.) In this lightened-up version of poke, tender sushi-grade ahi is cubed and quickly marinated in a tangy, soy-based dressing with lime juice, ginger, scallions, and just enough Sriracha to give it a subtle kick. When you combine the poke with the other elements of the bowl, each bite does a sassy little sushi samba in your mouth. It’s pretty magical.
In addition to being serious flavor bombs, these Ahi Poke Bowls are packed to the gills with health benefits. I’m thrilled to inform you that tuna poke is low in calories and fat (there’s only 1 teaspoon of oil per serving!), and 6 ounces contain a mind-blowing 48 grams of protein. Ahi also provides an impressive amount of omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent heart disease, reduce inflammation, and boost your immune system, as well as B vitamins, which improve your skin, metabolism, digestion, and neurological function. A solid portion of brown rice adds a healthy dose of whole grain fiber into the mix, and each bowl boasts more than a serving of nutrient-rich vegetables. SHAZAM.
In other words, if you work these sushi bowls into your Dude Diet-friendly meal rotation, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a chiseled genius with glowing skin in no time. Honestly, you should probably prepare to fight the ladies off with a stick this summer. (Domesticate ME! Giveaway: If you leave a Dude Diet testimonial in the comments, I will send you a free stick!)
While this Tuna Poke Bowl is ridiculously bomb as is, don’t hesitate to make it your own, dudes. If tuna isn’t your thing, I highly recommend substituting some fresh salmon in its place. Don’t eat raw fish? No biggie. You can always sear the tuna first, or try tossing some steamed shrimp or firm tofu with the poke dressing. (I’m sure most of you would rather wax your chests than eat tofu, but I’m all about options.) For those currently on a no-carb/paleo kick (you make me so proud!), feel free to replace the brown rice with mixed greens for a sushi salad, or crush the poke and vegetables in lettuce wraps à la sushi “tacos.”
I know these Tuna Poke Bowls look fancy as shit, but as always, I promise they’re 100% idiot-proof. First and foremost, apart from the rice, there’s no actual cooking involved. All you have to do is slice your tuna, toss it with some poke dressing, and pile it on top of rice and sliced vegetables. The whole thing requires about 20 minutes of hands-on prep work, and that’s if you take your sweet-ass time and/or consume several alcoholic beverages beforehand. I’ve seen Logan spend longer building a fantasy pizza on the Domino’s website. You can do this, dudes.
Based on the incredibly uncomfortable “sushi dance” that the Dude performed when presented with this badass bowl, I’m 100% confident that you’re going to love it. After the first bite, Logan’s level of enthusiasm escalated to a point where I was mildly concerned that he was going to choke to death. Expressing extreme joy while simultaneously inhaling tuna is dangerous, to say the least. His reaction was similar to this, except weirder.
According to the Dude, I “really outdid myself this time,” and everyone is going to “want my dirty sush.” (That sentence is precisely why Logan should never write a food blog. Terms like “dirty sush” tend to be misinterpreted and/or upset people.)
Blogger’s Note: I’m sure there are a few of you out there that are feeling panicky because you’ve been warned about ahi tuna’s high mercury content. Chillax. While you shouldn’t eat ahi on the daily, dudes, experts say that it’s perfectly fine in moderation. Plus, new studies show that tuna contains a form of the mineral selenium (called selenoneine) that may provide antioxidant protection against mercury-related problems, so things are looking up!
Dude Diet Ahi Tuna Poke Bowls with Brown Rice: (Makes 2 Dude-Size Sushi Bowls)
¾ cup short-grain brown rice, uncooked
12 ounces sushi-grade ahi tuna, cut into ½-inch cubes
For the poke dressing:
2 teaspoons sesame oil
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions (white and light green parts only)
1 teaspoon Sriracha (Feel free to add an extra ½-1 teaspoon if you’re into spicy.)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
For the bowls:
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 cup julienned carrots
¾ cup thinly sliced English cucumber
½ ripe avocado, sliced or cubed
Preparing your Dude Diet Tuna Poke Bowls with Brown Rice:
-Start by cooking your brown rice according to the package directions. Once cooked, let it cool to room temperature.
-While your poke is chillaxing in the fridge, toast your sesame seeds. Heat a small pan over medium heat. (Don’t put any oil in the pan, dudes!). When hot, add the sesame seeds and toast for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until they’re golden. Remove them from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
-Remove your tuna poke from the fridge and stir it gently. Top each bowl with half of the tuna poke mixture. (Make sure to pour any extra dressing over the rice.) Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over everything and serve immediately.
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