Monday, April 13, 2009

For the love of Seaweed

Tonight I unearthed my stash of dried Nori which I gathered by hand on the shores of Lopez Island last summer. Last July, I ventured out to Lopez with some of my schoolmates on a trip that was coordinated by Jennifer Adler, a Nutritionist and Natural Foods Chef in Seattle. While on Lopez, we kayaked out to an ancient kelp bed and hand harvested bull-whip kelp. We also gathered Nori, Bladderwrack, Turkish Towel, sea lettuces and other rare varieties on the shores of some local beaches. The mineral content of seaweed is comparable to that of blood. It is one of the most minerally dense foods on the planet, which is why people from Asian cultures consume it daily. If you don’t have access to the shores of Lopez Island, I would recommend picking up some dried nori sheets at an Asian grocery like Uwajimaya, or at a natural food store. Instead of using them to roll sushi, they can be crushed and torn and thrown into rice and other grains, stir-fries, scrambled eggs, soups and stews. Like all sea vegetables, Nori is naturally salty and imparts a lovely rich flavor to most foods. Enjoy the following recipe:

Quinoa Saute with Leeks, Nori and Raw Cashews

1 cup quinoa, dry
2 cups water
1 tablespoon unrefined extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium leek
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon ginger, chopped
¾ cup celery and leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
½ cup dried nori or 2 dried nori sheets, crushed or torn
¼ cup raw cashews, crushed
Sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
Optional: ½ cup beans (soy, aduki, black)

Combine water and quinoa in covered pot. After water comes to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and cool.
Heat saucepan to medium-high heat, then add olive oil. Saute garlic, ginger and leek until leek is soft and glistening. Remove from heat. Combine quinoa with leek sauté. Add celery, sesame oil and tamari and mix until quinoa is coated. Sprinkle crushed Nori over mixture. Top with cashews and mix again.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Makes 2-3 servings

Copyright 2009, Genevieve Sherrow, Original Recipe. Inspiration from my dear friend Sonja Max.

Breakfast Rice
1 cup basmati brown rice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin unrefined olive oil
1 medium leek
3-4 shittake mushrooms, sliced thinly
3 Nori sheets, crushed or torn
1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon black or white sesame seeds
1/2 cup raw cashews
Optional: add 1 cup of coarsely chopped kale

Combine rice and water in pot, cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until all of the water has absorbed. Do not stir or agitate rice during cooking. Tilt pot gently to a 45-degree angle to see whether water has been absorbed. Let rice cool for 10 minutes.

Heat sauté pan to medium-high, add olive oil. Sauté leek until soft and glistening then add mushrooms. Add rice to vegetable saute and stir. Add nori and stir. Coat mixture with sesame oil and soy sauce. Top with sesame seeds and cashews. Serve warm with a cup of ginger tea.
Prep time: Approximately 35 minutes
Serves: 3 adults, kids or other hungry humans
Copyright 2009, Genevieve Sherrow, Original Recipe. Inspiration from Sharon Gray, L.Ac. and Katherine Oldfield, ND of West Seattle Natural Medicine.

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