It’s only mid-May, but I’m already tasting summer. Surely it’s evident in Central Florida’s recent days of sweltering heat. However, I’m talking about the seasonal treats making their debuts in the marketplaces around here. Like crisp, cool watermelon; juicy heirloom tomatoes in all their glorious shapes and vibrant color spectrum (whomever coined them “ugly” was a fool); and last but certainly not least – sweet, succulent CHERRIES.
They have a pretty short growing season, so they need to be celebrated while they’re with us. And cherries have MUCH to be celebrated! Gobble ’em down while you can, from now until about late August (in North America).
Cherries are chocked full of a very important pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin gives them their rich, red color, indicating that they’re oozing with antioxidants. Interestingly enough, it’s this antioxidant benefit produced by the anthocyanin that not only counters those icky free-radicals, it’s like eating your sunscreen and protects against ultraviolet radiation. Just like it gaurds the flesh of these little gems, eating them will help protect yours, too.
If the whole antioxidant thing weren’t neat enough, anthocyanins also contain melatonin, a horomone typically produced from our brain’s pineal gland that helps regulate our sleep cycle. They are also natural pain relievers, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and load a big gun for aiding with weight loss. Because of anthocyanins’ anti-inflammatory properties, loading up on some cherries can help shrink fat cells and lower cholesterol levels (provided you aren’t washing them down with a quarter-pounder with cheese).
As an added bonus, cherries are high in vitamin C, fiber, beta-carotene (nearly 20 times more than blueberries or strawberries, in fact), potassium, magnesium, iron, and folate. Bottom line…cherries ROCK.
And by the way, in no remote stretch does anything I just said pertain to those syrupy, overly-processed maraschino cherries in the jar that you use to make your Shirley Temple. Those should be totally avoided like the plague, unless you want to replace all the aforementioned nutritional fabulosities with sulphur dioxide brine (a bleaching agent), calcium or lime by-products, artificial dyes, flavorings, and high-fructose corn syrup. Eeu.
Oh and as you may know Japanese culture is very much revolving arround cherries and cherry blossoms. No matter if you are into Japanese cuisines or not you probably love cherries too, so take a look at the easy cherry shake recipe I share below.
Simple Cherry Chocolate Shake
- 1 1/2 cups fresh-frozen pitted cherries
- 1 1/4 cups almond milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tbs agave
- pinch of sea salt
Blend all ingredients into Vita-Mix or blender until smooth. Add less almond milk for a thicker shake. Spoon over desired amount of chocolate sauce.
- 1/2 cup cacao nibs
- 1/2 cup agave
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until very smooth.
About Safe Seafood
Seafood is still a superfood, although we have to be more selective about the kinds we eat due to over fishing and problems with polluted waterways. Wild Alaskan salmon is one of the cleanest fish you can eat, far more nutritious than Atlantic or farmed salmon.
Still crazy about salmon after all these years
Wild Alaskan Salmon is one of my favorite foods. Here’s a recipe I’ve made twice so far, once in January and again today. I pan fried the salmon in Ahuacatlan Avocado Oil that I got from a vendor at the Town & Country Farmers’ Market. I’ll tell you more about the virtues of avocado oil in the next couple of weeks. You’ll have a chance to enter to win a bottle of this oil as well. It’s a great all purpose oil rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and far safer for cooking and salad use than vegetable oils.
Now forward to the recipe :).
Spice Crusted Salmon
Prep: 15 minutes Cooking: 8 to 12 minutes Yield: 4 servings
I found this recipe in Healing Foods: Cooking for Celiacs, Colitis, Crohn’s and IBS by Sandra Ramacher. Even if you don’t have digestive disorders, I highly recommend this cookbook. It has some amazing recipes. I’ve tried at least three of them so far and they’ve all been winners.
My notes: I doubled the amount of spices and sesame seeds to make enough to coat both sides of the salmon fillets. I cooked enough fish to allow for leftovers the next day and two pieces to freeze for future meals.
1½ tablespoons whole dried coriander seeds*
1 tablespoon dried cumin seeds*
1 tablespoon sesame seeds* (I used black sesame seeds today; brown ones last time)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 salmon fillets with skin on one side (I used FishHugger salmon)
1 egg white
Olive oil (I used 2 tablespoons avocado oil, which has a higher smoke point than olive oil; Spectrum Palm shortening, Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening, and ghee also work well)
*seeds are only for advanced stage of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and need to be crushed finely.
Heat a dry skillet; toast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds, stirring constantly until they become fragrant. Remove seeds. Repeat the process with the sesame seeds. Remove from heat, add to the spices, and crush with a mortar and pestle (or pulse on and off in a spice-dedicated coffee grinder).
Add the thyme, salt and black pepper.
Dip the skin side of the salmon fillets into the egg white. Then press into the spice mixture. (I dipped both sides of the fish into the egg and spice mixture, so I needed more coating.)
Brush the skillet with olive oil and bring to a high heat. (I oiled the pan more liberally)
Place the fillets with the seeded side onto the oil (start with the flesh side, then flip to the skin side for the pretties presentation).
Fry on high for two minutes.(I used medium high heat for about 3 minutes per side.) Turn the heat to low. Flip the fillets and cook on low for up to 8 minutes, depending on how well done you would like them.
Serve with our asparagus with hazelnut butter and sautéed Asian greens. (I served my favorite: blanched vegetables).
Welcome to the home of the shirataki noodles, a traditional Japanese fare that is quickly taking the West by storm. If you’ve never tried these delicious noodles then you’re missing out on a gastronomical voyage that may change your pallet forever. Perfect for those who can’t consumer gluten, don’t want to ingest carbohydrates, or simply would love to lose weight, these noodles afford an incredible array of cooking options for extremely reasonable prices. If you’ve been looking all over your town and simply can’t find them, check out one of the leading online repositories of shirataki noodles at Miracle Noodles. They have worldwide shipping so you can receive their product no matter where you’re located!
Still confused over what shirataki noodles even are? That’s totally okay! Though they’ve been consumed in Japan for generations, much of the western world has had limited to absolutely no contact with this incredible noodle. You won’t find them in most grocery stores and may have to hunt far and wide to find them in a physical store. The best way for you to find them these days is through an online dealer who will be able to ship the product directly to your home. In this method you’ll be able to get your shirataki noodles for a highly competitive price and won’t even have to leave your apartment to satisfy your shirataki noodle fix.
Are shirataki noodles for everyone?
It’s hard to say for this one. Shirataki noodles are definitely an excellent product for most people, especially since they don’t contain any gluten or soy, but they may be a bit strange for some. The Japanese have been eating shirataki noodles for generations without any problem, but sometimes these cultural differences just don’t translate.
You may want to sample a small bit of shirataki noodles before really diving in. If the shirataki noodles have a real impact on your digestive system then they simply may not be for you. Remember, don’t be put off by the odor of the shirataki noodle liquid. This is absolutely normal and has nothing to do with the quality of your shirataki noodles.
So sample some shirataki noodles and see how your body processes them. More likely than not you’ll notice some small changes, but this is probably only because shirataki noodles contain so much fiber and will really change your digestive system. Chances are you haven’t been ingesting enough fiber and the shirataki noodles are actually just doing wonders for your system.
Buy your shirataki noodles today!
Go sample some shirataki noodles and experience this real gastronomical marvel. You’ll be able to experience pasta on a level you never imagined with shirataki noodles. Try them with all of your favorites and you’re sure to become a shirataki noodle convert!
The Magical Miracle Shirataki Noodles
Miracle Noodles is another name for the popular Shirataki noodles. This is not a new product and this has been prevalent in the Asian countries for years.
The Japanese women have relied on this magical noodle variety for over two thousand years to stay slim, healthy and lose weight. If you ever ask the Japanese women for the secret of their healthy and slim body, they will surely tell you about the Miracle Noodles and how they have used it to stay slim. Miracle noodles and weight loss go together when you are on a weight loss diet plan.
Shirataki and Dietary Fiber
We, the people of the western countries know the benefits of dietary fibers and their role in maintaining good health and also for staying slim. But we fail to include enough of it in our diet. The Shirataki Miracle noodle is mainly composed of this essential dietary soluble fiber. They have zero calories, which mean no calories. When you consume Shirataki noodles, there are no calories that find way into your body system and the simple fibers carry out the function of absorption and break down of cholesterol in the body.
Shirataki Low Carb Diet
Miracle Shirataki noodles is produced from a polysaccharide known as Glucomannan. Glucomannan is widely accepted in use as nutritional supplement as it is a dietary fiber. The main reason why people consume dietary fiber on a daily basis is to relieve from constipation. Dieters who are on a low carbohydrate high protein diet have to find some alternative dietary fiber source and Glucomannan supplements serve the purpose. It also performs other useful changes for the human body.
Shirataki is Fat, Starch and Gluten Free
There are several kinds of diets being used by people to lose weight and all of them have the basic focus on reduced calorie intake. Shirataki noodles have zero calories and low carbohydrate content. They are high in dietary fiber and therefore form the best food while on a diet. They will not add to the calorie intake and yet give a stomach full feeling. You can now fight your hunger cravings easily without exceeding the daily calorie limit. They do not contain fat, gluten or starch. Dieters on gluten free diet plan keep searching for gluten free foods and these noodles can be made a part of the daily meal plan.
Truly a Miracle Noodle
It is in recent times that this Shirataki Miracle Noodles is gaining its popularity in the western countries even though it has been used in the Japanese world for over centuries. This popularity is mainly based on the recent findings and proofs for the high efficiency of Miracle Noodles in weight loss and other health benefits.
The manufacturers of Shirataki ’Miracle’ Noodles have customized their noodles to suit those dieters who look for low calorie high dietary fiber containing foods to serve the role while on a strict diet regimen. The advantages of including this fiber substitute in your diet plan are numerous and you can realize it by yourself once you add it into your daily diet plan. Doctors and experts recommend that the body be supplied with the all the essential components while on a diet plan as depriving any component will affect the body adversely.
What’s a serving?
Each package contained 1-1/3 cups of pasta. The company considers this 3 servings. For a couple of my tastings I figured 2 servings per package. A couple times I ate the entire package in one sitting with my meat and vegetable side dishes. I felt satisfied but not stuffed.
FYI: The Miracle Noodles require special handling detailed on the Miracle Noodle web site—including tips for dry roasting in a skillet for a minute so that the noodles will be completely dry and will better absorb the flavor of whatever you add to them.
How you prepare the noodles?
1. Open the package over a colander (they’re packed in water). Don’t freak out if you detect a slightly fishy odor. That’s normal. It’s from the natural calcium additive they add to the water in the bag to keep the noodles’ shape intact.
2. Rinse with warm water for approximately 2 to 4 minutes. This eliminates the smell.
3. Pat dry with a paper towel or small hand towel or dry roast, which only takes a minute or two, to ensure that the noodles will absorb the flavor of what you add to them.
How to dry roast the noodles
The company recommends this procedure to thoroughly dry the noodles before adding a warm or chilled sauce or other flavored ingredients.
1. Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet with a little olive oil or cooking spray over high heat.
2. Add the shirataki noodles and dry roast for about 1 minutes
3. When the noodles are dry you may hear a speaking noise as you move them.
4. Drizzle with a little oil or not, or add the stock or sauce you plan to use with a recipe.
If you want to cook the Miracle Noodles
Add them to your sauce, stir fry or other dish at the end of your preparation process. Heat the noodles for no more than 3 to 5 minutes. The thicker shape shirataki noodles such as fettucini, rigatoni, lasagna, can withstand more heat than the angel hair, but you still want to watch them. Extended cooking can adversely effect the texture.
Let me know what you think if you try their products when you try them. If you try the Miracle Noodles, let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.
Please do note that you should consult your doctor or dietician before you go for any dietary weight loss program. The manufacture optimally advise the inclusion of Miracle noodles as a daily meal program as a replacement for one of the three main meals. Try the Shirataki Miracle Noodles today by clicking the link below.
Looking back through my blog’s recipe entries, I think it’s becoming pretty obvious I have a thing for Asian food. It all started when I first started cooking at about age 10. I’d come home from school and head straight for the packaged 10 cent ramen noodles, adding my own fresh vegetables to them, and thinking I was the gourmet shit!
This black rice and tofu dish was a rather whimsical experiment. I’ve had the rice in my pantry for a while, just waiting for the right time and inspiration to fool with it. Chinese black rice, also known as Chinese Forbidden black rice, is a gorgeous short-grain glutenous rice with a sweet flavor and chewy texture. It turns indigo or deep purple in its cooking liquid and smells slightly grape-like. It can be used for both sweet and savory dishes.
This week at the Fresh Market, I zealously grabbed about 5 pounds of some lovely organic roma tomatoes since I’m pretty sure that these opportunities will be few and far between as we near summer’s end. I know I’ve said this before, but those babies are the absolute perfect cooking tomato, uplifting anything they touch with an incredibly sweet and rich tomatoey dimension. There is nothing else quite like it. Although many people don’t think of using tomatoes in Asian cooking, it is actually quite common in Szechuan cuisine and throughout Southern China, and Malaysia. Tomatoes and five-spice? Hmmmmm….
When it comes to five-spice powder (typically a blend of fennel, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and white pepper), it’s not on my top 10 list of turn-to Asian spices or condiments. As a matter of fact, any that I’ve bought in the past would just go to waste since I’d use it only once and the whole bottle would end up being shoved to the back of my spice drawer left to go stale. Well, I got a five-spice itch and imagined searing some tofu that had been coated with it, and somehow incorporating those amazing tomatoes.
So as it came together: I took a few romas, quarted them, and marinated them in equal parts of hoisin and Chinese chili sauce, minced garlic, and grated ginger. I let them sit and smolder in all those wonderful flavors for about 30 minutes.
Some dehydrated shitake mushroom caps were reconstituted in hot water and then cut into quarters.
I cut extra-firm organic tofu into 1 1/2 inch filets, placed them between kitchen towels, and squeezed for about 30 minutes with the weight of a cast iron skillet placed on top to remove all excess water. I then sprinkled them with shoyu, followed by a liberal coating of five-spice powder, seared them in a wok with grapeseed oil, and removed them to cool before being cut into triangles.
To prepare the rice, I sauteed a cup with olive oil, a dash of shoyu, and minced garlic in the bottom of a Le Creuset pot (I had to mention Le Creuset, I am so proud of my collection!) then simmered it with vegetable broth for about 35 minutes. Once finished, I added some diced green onions.
Finally, in a hot wok with the same grapeseed oil used to sear the tofu, I added the tomatoes and their marinade, plus the quartered shitake caps, and stir fried just until the tomatoes began to soften and release their juices. I added the tofu back in and gave it a quick stir to bring all flavors together.
After plating the rice and tomatoes, I garnished with some chopped cilantro.
The verdict? This is one of my most successful experiments. Five-spice powder will no longer go to waste! It went perfectly with the richness of the tomatoes, the meatiness of the tofu’s texture, and chewy shitakes. The hoisin-chili marinade was both sweet and spicy, but not too stingy-spicy, just a nice warmth throughout my mouth. Hoisin sauce and romas really love each other! The black rice was just an added interesting and exotic dimension. YUM!
A simple, semi-raw vegan dish perfect for raw food transitioning or satisfying carbo-cooked cravings.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re new to a raw food lifestyle is that it’s not about perfection. It’s very easy to become overwhelmed or even overzealous, and inadvertently create a recipe for failure and disappointment.
We’re only human. I don’t know of a single person who began life with a perfectly pure diet. Most of us grew up to a realization or health crisis, and then to an awareness providing the desire to take control of our health and make real changes for life. Once the decision is made to clean things up, the transformation simply doesn’t happen overnight. There’s generally a lot of years’ worth of programming (and junk in the trunk) that we have to revisit, release, revise, and re-educate. It’s a process built upon only by continual learning, patience, commitment, and small steps.
Acknowledging, not denying, inevitable cravings for our favorite cooked foods is a healthy practice that isn’t going to compromise all the beneficial changes you’ve been making. There are ways of working with cravings rather than treating them like the enemy, which will only ultimately allow them to bite you harder. An “all or nothing” approach to your raw food diet, believing you’ve ruined everything by giving in to a craving, just doesn’t need be the case. The key is recognizing cravings as they occur, and process them consciously and with creativity instead of reacting impulsively. Don’t fear the cravings.
Personally, I crave pasta and noodles of all kinds. Linguini, ravioli, lo mein, soba – from the Italian classics to exotic asian varieties, I love them all! My cravings for a noodle dish tend to emerge in the evenings, after a bout with tummy troubles, or after a hard work-out when my body’s demand for carbs skyrockets.
Udon noodles with spinach, shitakes, and sweet sake broth is one of my favorite and easiest semi-raw meals. This method can really be applied to any type of noodle or pasta and combining it with any of your preferred veggies. The general idea is that the pasta is the only cooked component while the rest of the ingredients stay raw. Visual appeal and layering flavors is also very important (the warm noodles activate flavors of aromatics like ginger and garlic, and the small bit of warm water completes the sweet sake broth). The end result? It’s a win-win in satisfying the craving with a modest portion of the culprit, yet keeping with living foods as main ingredients.
Noodles and veggies:
2 to 3 oz organic udon noodles (such as Hakubuku)
shitake mushroom caps, very thinly sliced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
small bunch sunflower sprouts
knob of ginger root
1 garlic clove
a piece of dulse, cut into strips
black and white sesame seeds
Sweet sake mixture:
1 tbs. hemp seed oil
1 tbs. nama shoyu
1 tbs. dry sake
1 tsp. agave
Cook udon noodles according to package instructions. They’re typically more delicate than other pastas and take only 4 minutes to cook. Remember to liberally salt the water!
Meanwhile as udon are boiling, place desired amount of baby spinach in a large bowl. Add shitakes, then with a microplane, grate in desired amount of garlic and ginger. When udon is ready, ladle the noodles directly into the bowl. Allow some water to accompany noodles as they come out of the pot, do not thoroughly drain. Evenly cover spinach and other ingredients. Allow to sit 2 to 3 minutes.
Sprinkle over spring onions, dulse, and sunflower sprouts. Whisk together sweet sake mixture and pour over top. Toss, and garnish with sesame seeds.
Shiitake bacon, black rice and garlic
From fresh Shiitake mushrooms you can prepare delicious vegan “bacon” – did you know? I didn’t know, I got the tip from Torwen. :- ) Shiitake mushrooms are full of Umami, the” fleshy ” taste, ultimately it is not very surprising that they taste so good. One can prepare the mushrooms in two ways as “meat”: once really crispy, very bacon-like (for this they should be grilled on a grate) or more like small, spicy pieces of meat, here they should be baked together with the Marinade. For the bacon taste is liquid smoke responsible-who does not have this, I’m sure, that it will be without not bad, just not so much remember Bacon.
I served the” bacon ” with sweet, toasted peppers(not spicy) and spicy, black rice. Black rice was formerly called “forbidden Rice”(forbidden rice), because of its rarity and health benefits, it was reserved only to the Chinese emperor and banned for ordinary people, hence the Name. Black rice contains 18 different Amniosäuren, carotenes, iron, zinc, vitamins, and is similar to natural rice rich in ballast substances, the Chinese believe that it is good for the stomach, the liver, and the kidneys.
Today, black rice is no longer” forbidden”; -), but still relatively rare and thus a little more expensive, especially delicious is the black round grain rice from Japan. Unfortunately, this is no longer available at all, but a good replacement is the also black Piedmont rice. Since it is a whole grain rice, it must be soaked for several hours, then it can be prepared in the rice cooker, for example with some dried mushrooms and Kombu, after cooking I still use fresh, mixed herbs, garlic, a little Butter(Alsan) and salt. Normally, it is not very usual just pure to cook black rice, because it is not very favorable, mixed it more with other rice varieties(such as white or brown), white rice gets an interesting violet colour.
In the photos, both rice varieties are to be seen, once the Japanese Kurogome(red plate) and the Piedmont rice(white plate), I have prepared this dish twice, because I wanted to find out whether the mushroom “bacon” is made from mushrooms is feasible. Unfortunately, it did not work so well, although the mushrooms were very tasty, but they did not have this intense bacon taste like the Shiitake. Fresh Shiitake, by the way, is almost always in the reform House or Bioladen, I refer them to the eco-Box (Organic Vegetables Abo).
Shiitake Bacon with Sancho pepper
200g fresh Shiitake mushrooms
3 tbsp cold-pressed olive or rapeseed oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 El Shoyu
Pinch Of Sucanat Sugar
1 clove of garlic, finely grated
1 tbsp liquid smoke)
Japanese Sanshō pepper, optional
Make a Marinade from the ingredients and put the mushrooms in it, it should be at least an hour, the mushrooms suck properly with the Marinade full. A whole tablespoon of liquid smoke may appear at first glance as quite a lot – but it is really not, the Aroma is spread well and is not too intense at all.
After marinating, preheat the oven to 200°C and bake the mushrooms on a lightly oiled grate for 10 minutes crispy (place a bowl under it to catch the dripping liquid, this is delicious and you can mix it with the rice for example). For the “meat pieces” variant, cook the mushrooms on a baking sheet, here they are cooked in their own juice(also tastes very good). Sprinkle with a little Sancho pepper and serve immediately (the Aroma of Japanese pepper is excellent here: -)).
If you want to try the dish with mushrooms, they should be cooked on the grate, as these mushrooms contain much more moisture than Shiitake. Another possibility would also be to try other mushrooms, for example, rock or oyster mushrooms.
Black rice with fresh herbs
1 cup black Piedmont rice or Japanese Kokumai
1.5 Cups Of Water
1 Piece Combo
1 handful of dried forest mushrooms, small cut
2 El Shoyu
2 Tbsp Alsan Butter
1 small clove of garlic, rubbed
2-3 spring onion or chives
Fresh Herbs(Parsley, Basil, Lemon Balm, Coriander…)
Which herbs you want to use depends on your own taste, I took what the garden so gave: -). If you use good, dried forest or mixed mushrooms, Kombu is not absolutely necessary.
Wash the rice briefly in cold water and soak in 1.5 cups of water for several hours(at least 3 hours or overnight). Add to the rice cooker and cook softly (more on the topic of preparing rice in the rice cooker), black rice is always crisp from the consistency (with bite). After the rice is cooked, add finely grated garlic, Alsan, Shoyu and salt, mix well, then add the finely chopped herbs and spring onions, serve immediately.
Roasted red peppers
This way prepared peppers are incredibly good, very tasteful, sweet and aromatic, one of my absolute favorites. The preparation is not difficult, but it is best made from peppers (picture), the other varieties contain too much water.
The peppers (depending on the size so 2-3 pieces per Person) are roasted at 200°C in the oven(on the grate) until they are almost black. Take it out, put it in a bowl, cover it (e.g. with a plate) and let it cool, so the skin can be easily removed, then remove the core housing and cut into strips / pieces and enjoy. Either with the rice mix, or as in the photo, along with the cooked mushrooms on a skewer stuck, or just so pure, they fit very many dishes, as a vegetable side dish. If necessary, sprinkle with a little salt, but this is not necessary.
Nigiri sushi (also known as nigirizushi) is a type of Japanese sushi known in the West. A piece of seaweed (nori) is sometimes used to keep the fish in place on the rice. The type of fish (or seafood) used is very varied : salmon, tuna, shrimp, eel (unagi), octopus, squid, sea urchins or crab. To succeed with this recipe, it is essential to control the quality and freshness of the fish you use. For this recipe, choose shrimp and fresh salmon of very good quality or, if not that, then at least you can use smoked salmon.
It is also interesting to note that there are several vegetarian variants of nigiri sushi which is then made from seasoned or pickled vegetables (carrot, mushrooms, asparagus, avocados or tofu).
To make 16 nigiri pieces
- 500gr sushi rice made with or without a rice cooker
- 150gm salmon extra fee
- 4 whole shrimps
- A little wasabi
Preparing Nigiri Sushi with shrimp and salmon
Start by preparing your rice as indicated in the sushi rice recipe. This is the indispensable step in the realization of the nigiri sushi.
Prepare a mixture of water and vinegar in a bowl. Then moisten your hands with this dressing water mixture and make sure you keep your hands moistened throughout the preparation to prevent the rice from sticking.
Humming your hands
To make the nigiri salmon, cut the salmon into thin slices about 1 cm thick and 3 cm long. Boil the shrimp, let them cool and peel them before cutting them in half. Then leave your shrimp and salmon slices at hand.
Take the equivalent of a tablespoon of rice in your hand and shape it to a nice oval shape. To do this, partially close your hand by holding the rice ball in your palm and then apply enough pressure for the rice to adhere properly. Be careful not to make them too big because the nigiri sushi must be able to be tasted with a single bite.
Shape the rice ball
In your left hand (if you are right-handed), take a slice of fish. With the index finger of your right hand, spread a small wasabi hazelnut in the middle of the fish slice.
Spread some wasabi
Take your rice ball and cover the fish slice. Then press gently so that they adhere to each other.
Cover the salmon with the rice
Invert the sushi so that the filling is above the rice. Press the fish slice carefully on the rice with the index finger and middle finger of the right hand. With the help of your thumb and index finger applied slight pressure on the sides of the sushi, to give it an elongated and regular shape. Finish shaping your sushi until you get a nice shape and so that the rice does not outgrow it.
Spill your sushi
Press on the sides
Once finished, place the resulting nigiri in a dish and repeat until the desired number of sushi is obtained. Alternate between salmon nigiri and shrimp nigiri.
You know it as a superfood, you’ve read about it, seen it in its various forms for sale online at Sunfood Nutrition or One Lucky Duck. Many of us are most familiar with seaweed as nori, the paper thin version that wraps up our yummy maki rolls at the neighborhood sushi bar. Or maybe it’s the neon-green, artificially colored and preserved “seaweed salad” that’s mass packaged in ready-to-serve form, dolloped onto a little plate as a prelude to our maki rolls.
Unfortunately, those glowing green processed threads that look like they came from the planet Krypton is what first pops into many of our heads when someone mentions “seaweed salad”. Thank goodness there is a pure and Earthly world of sea vegetables available right under our noses that are not only magnitudes better for our bodies, they are absolutely, worlds-away more delicious!
I receive many questions asking, “What the heck do you do with that stuff? I’m kind of afraid to try it!” After all, when we think “seaweed”, we think of those yucky clusters of mossy mess or slimy strands that wash up on the shore or brush by our skin when we’re swimming in the ocean. Well, sea vegetables needn’t be scary or intimidating. And they are actually not weeds or even plants, as they are really classified as algae.
I am very enthusiastic about spreading the word on the benefits of sea vegetables and cannot emphasize the value of these superfoods enough. As a Florida native who was raised loving and living near the ocean, I have long known of its powers of vitality and renewal long before I even thought of eating seaweed. As I’ve spent countless time snorkeling, diving, surfing, swimming, and boating, it is enthralling to experience how the salt water has an almost mystical effect on hair, nails, and skin. Hair becomes shiny, glowing, and full of body; nails become strong and even undergo a rapid growth process; the skin is softer, smoother, firmer and more toned. And this is only aesthetically speaking, of course. The reasons for this are not just as simple as salt water.
The amounts of minerals in their high concentrations found in the sea far surpass that which is found on land in any one plant, and these minerals also represent as a whole, the most vital and complete combination for human beings. Now imagine concentrating all of this life-giving magic and compact it into an edible form!
Incorporating sea vegetables into your diet:
Provides the most complete range of minerals of any food, particularly iodine, magnesium, vitamin K, calcium, iron, and B-vitamins riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and folate.
Contains virtually all of the minerals of the ocean that, in very similar concentrations, are also found in human blood.
Is an excellent source of lignan, a plant compound with anti-carcinogenic properties.
Has been shown to remove radioactive strontium as well as other heavy metal toxins from the body.
Promotes overall optimum health, including healthy thyroid function, prevention of cardiovascular disease, protection against birth defects, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Balances acidity in the body, as seaweeds are highly alkaline.
Are very filling and satisfying, which aid in natural appetite suppression, balances daily dietary intake, and assists the body with weight loss efforts.
With daily intake will naturally result in all of the fantastic fringe benefits of beautiful hair, skin, and nails.
So what are the most common types of sea vegetables, and what do you do with them? Keep in mind that like many creative raw dishes, your imagination is the limit. Don’t be afraid to experiment. While some sea vegetables are cultivated, most are collected in the wild. Not all are available in raw form, such as arame or hijiki, that must be steamed to be tenderized before finally drying. But this should be not an obstacle to the dense, nutritional benefits. Here is a list that should help get you started, along with the most common uses.
Arame: A cold water, brown algae that is cultivated off the coast of environmentally protected Ise, Japan. It is the most mild tasting of all the sea vegetables and makes it a great beginner product. It takes only minutes to reconstitute and is excellent in salads. Arame is rich in fiber, vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium.
Wakame/Alaria: These dark, greenish-brown plants are similar in character, but wakame is a Japanese variety that is often cooked before being dehydrated. Alaria is grown wild in the Atlantic and is sun-dried in its natural state, making it a better choice for raw. It is extremely high in both dietary and soluble fiber, chlorophyll, enzymes, beta carotene, B-vitamins, calcium, iodine, iron, protein, and many other vitamins and minerals.
Dulse: Another naturally dried, enzyme active plant that is incredibly high in nutrients. This reddish plant has a very chewy texture, and rich, salty taste. It can be soaked to soften, or snipped into salads as-is. Some like to eat it as a snack right out of the bag.
Hijiki/Hiziki: Dark-brown to black in color, similar to arame in appearance and cooking/dehydrating processes, it grows wild in the pristine, coastal arctic currents off the coast of Japan. Many sushi bars serve a very processed version of hijiki as an alternative to the bright green mystery “seaweed salad”. It has a sweeter, more distinctive flavor than any other sea vegetable and is also the highest in calcium.
Nori/Laver: We know nori as the Japanese-originated thin sheets used to make maki rolls, which can also be of cultivated origin. Laver are the unsheeted whole, wild plants with a distinctive nutty flavor. Look for raw nori sheets (if the package doesn’t say raw, consider them not to be) that are nearly black in color, and laver that has been dried at low temperatures and enzyme active. Noth nori and laver are the highest in B-vitamins 1 (thiamin), 2 (riboflavin), 6, and 12, as well as vitamins C and E.
Kombu: Wild-harvested both in Japan and the north Atlantic, kombu has been commonly used in the macrobiotic diet to tenderize beans and brown rice during the cooking process, and render them more digestible. It is the most tough and chewy of the sea vegetables, therefore would have to be soaked for a long period to tenderize. One of the most interesting uses for this seaweed is simmering it in a large pot of water for about 30-40 minutes, and then adding this water to your bath for a truly enriching seaweed treatment.
Irish Moss: A form of dulse that grows in the Atlantic off the west coast of Ireland. It is very diverse, as it can be used as a thickener, emulsifier, on the skin as a healing gel (when soaked and refrigerated), or eaten as a snack straight from the bag. It’s an excellent aid for preparing raw dishes that call for creaminess or thickening.
For thousands of years, sea vegetables have been a prominent part of some northern European and most commonly, eastern Asian diets, particularly the Japanese. Perhaps this has had a role in contributing to their longevity, beautiful skin, and shiny, thick hair, particularly before being affected by the influence of the Western diet. But if you are one that just can’t quite yet stomach the thought of consuming a sea plant, supplement algaes such as spirulina, E3Live, and crystal manna are an excellent alternative, as they can provide similar benefits. Personally, because I was raised so heavily on seafood, it was very easy for me to love sea vegetables. They even helped me to give up my love of fish and shellfish, because they mimic certain flavors of the sea but most importantly, they are much, much healthier!
I so strongly believe in the power of sea vegetables that I have committed myself to eating at least 2 to 3 servings a day for at least two months, until the time we leave for Europe in June. This is sort of my alternative to the ongoing juice feast that I am not quite ready to undertake. However, I urge everyone to somehow incorporate these superfoods into their daily diets!
Try these easy sea vegetable recipes!
(This recipe is raw vegan and gluten free)
So we had a nice little Labor Day shindig today in the typical all-American spirit of grilling out. There were portobella burgers, veggie burgers, veggie chorizo dogs, Zellwood chili-garlic corn, and of course all of the accoutrements one would expect with all that casual finger-licking fare. However, coleslaw in its old-fashioned traditional preparation is enough to induce my gag reflexes at the near sight of it. I decided if we were gonna do this festive cook-out thing, I’d have to throw my spin into it – not to mention, sneak in some sea veggie love!
The end result was a tremendously healthy, bright, and crunchy slaw that was even more fitting as a meal than just a mere sideline to some veggie burgers. It was just too darn good. The miso dressing is rich, creamy, garlicky, and gingery and would make a fantastic dipping sauce. I could have eaten it by the spoonful.
Shiso leaves can be tricky to find but well worth seeking out. I’m actually awaiting the delivery of some seeds I ordered so I can just grow them myself. They’re sometimes referred to as “Japanese basil” and have a unique flavor that is incomparable to any other herb. It’s sharp, somewhat lemony, very fragrant, and very distinguishable. If you can’t find shiso leaves, Thai basil would also work well, followed by conventional basil and cilantro.
1/2 large head Napa (Chinese) cabbage
1/2 head red cabbage
Handful dried arame*, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes & patted dry
Handful dulse, cut into strips
1 6″ long English cucumber segment, spiralized & patted dry
Handful sprouts, such as broccoli, alfalfa, or daikon, separated well
1 small bunch shiso leaves, rolled and cut into chiffonade
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
*Arame is not packaged raw. It must be steamed to be tenderized prior to dehydrating, but still retains nutrient-rich benefits.
Combine all slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Lightly toss.
1 1/2 tbs organic white miso
1 tbs umeboshi plum vinegar
3 tbs flax seed oil
1 tsp nama shoyu*
1 tsp agave nectar
2 fat garlic cloves
Large knob of ginger (approx. 3″ x 1″)
2-3 tbs cold water as needed to thin
* For gluten-free preparation, substitute 1/2 tsp sea salt for nama shoyu.
In a food processor, blend all ingredients except for water until you have a smooth, thick mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Process again while simulaneously adding cold water tablespoon by tablespoon to thin into a salad dressing consistency.
Pour miso dressing over the slaw in batches (add and toss, add and toss) so that it gets evenly distributed.
Here we go, with more green in the plate!
By the way, I would like to address everyone who does not like spinach. I mean … who think they don’t like spinach! Have you ever cooked fresh spinach?
Like a lot of vegetables, fresh spinach has a different flavour than canned or frozen spinach. Think about it the next time you come across it at the side of a stall, try it !
So yes, preparing fresh spinach is not as fast as taking it out of the bag… it takes some preparation, which can take a little time. But, what a delight!
Prepare and cook the fresh spinach
It’s very simple.
Start by removing the central rib from each leaf (the stem), either by pulling it (from the base to the top of the leaf) or folding the Leaf in half (rib to the outside) to cut the rib with a knife.
Prepare and cook fresh spinach / Jujube in the kitchen
Prepare fresh spinach
NB: Last step is not necessary if you have spinach sprouts, which you can also taste raw in salad.
Then put the leaves under water (like salad leaves).
Cooking spinach in water
Boil a large volume of water in a large pot (or even a pot or pot).
Think of preparing a large volume of very cold water next to it (I simply filled my sink with fresh water to which I added ice cubes — think, of course, of carefully cleaning your sink first).
Once the water in your pot boils, dip the spinach leaves in it. Wait until the water boils again, then remove the leaves, using a skimmer for example, and dip them in the fresh water tank. This helps to fix the chlorophyll so that the spinach leaves keep their bright green color (technique valid for all green vegetables)
Finally, drain the spinach leaves.
If you have the time I advise you to let them drain all night in the cool (covered with a stretch film or a damp cloth) to remove the maximum of water, but know that unless you press them (you will make a ball, it is not top) you will not be able to drain them completely.
You can cook them as you like (in lasagna, salad, slippers, etc… or in pasta as here).
Cooking spinach with butter or olive oil
Place your spinach leaves in a frying pan, in which you put oil or butter over high heat.
Turn your spinach regularly for a homogeneous cooking, they will gradually “fall” (understand reduce), until becoming tender.
Add a little garlic, spices, salt, pepper … a little cream if you like.
For this recipe, we are interested in cooking with water.
It is necessary to know that at the base I had made spinach tagliatelles, that I had simply accompanied with a hazelnut of butter and parmesan (the basic accompaniment of each of my plates of pasta)
Then I came across the recipe for Raf (the food refinery), from tagliatelle to spinach with a Gorgonzola sauce ! But that’s an excellent idea !
So I made pasta again just to test it with Raf sauce ! To which I added spinach…
Because there’s never enough spinach ! 😉
Number of units: 4
Prep: 40 min
Cook: 15 min
For fresh pasta :
350 g durum wheat semolina
1 pinch of salt
50 g cooked spinach
For the sauce :
150 g Gorgonzola
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic
20 cl of cream
50 g pine nuts
Salt and pepper
100 g cooked spinach
Production of fresh pasta with spinach
I’m not going to rewrite the pasta recipe here, it would be way too long. I invite you to follow the process directly on the original recipe.
You just have to “chop small” the cooked spinach, and incorporate it into the batter along with the egg, you knead it until you get a green batter. 🙂
(note that my pasta is not very green, I didn’t have enough spinach for the sauce and pasta, I chose to sacrifice the pasta.)
Let’s go to the sauce :
Finely slice the shallot and gently sauté in a hot pan with the olive oil.
Leave on low heat and add the cream, then the gorgonzola. Move until it melts.
Then add the cooked spinach and the chopped garlic clove.
Salt and pepper according to your taste, stop the fire, cover, book.
Roast your pine nuts
Roast your pine nuts in a dry frying pan (or oven), this step aims to develop the aromas of your pine nuts.
Once they’re colored cut the fire.
Cook fresh pasta with spinach for 5 minutes in a large amount of boiling salted water (ideally 1 litre per 100g of pasta).
Spread the pasta in the plates, pour the sauce on top, sprinkle with a few pine nuts, serve immediately.