Reader’s Request: Sea Veggie Love

Hi guys! Hope you’re having a great day :D

flowers

(Does anyone else buy themselves flowers? I do every week.. unless the pilot beats me to it. It makes the casa feel extra lovely)

I got the following reader’s request a couple of days ago and thought it would be a fun one for today :)

Hey Gina,

I have no idea what to do with seaweed and sea vegetables even though I know they’re very healthy. They just seem intimidating! I would love to be able to make a seaweed salad and maybe learn more about what to do with sea vegetables.

Thank you!

About a year and a half ago, I would have no clue what to do with any of this:

sea veggies

Thank goodness I went to culinary school- it helped me get over a lot of my food preparation fears, particularly fermenting foods and sea vegetables.

In the above photo are some of my current faves:

  • Arame, a kelp species. This is probably my favorite because it doesn’t require chopping and has an awesome texture
  • Nori, a type of red algae and is commonly used for sushi wrappers
  • Dulse, red seaweed- AMAZING in salads and has an delicious super salty flavor
  • Alaria, a type of brown algae- this one is super chewy and takes much longer to soak
  • Spirulina (more info *here* – it’s one of my fave supplements for complete protein and nutrients) and
  • Irish Moss, a dark purple seaweed, also called “carrageen moss”. It gives a great gelatin-like texture to raw foods and is great for custards, puddings and raw cashew tofu.

raw tofu

There are a lot of benefits from sea vegetables, including:

      • They’re highly bioavailable, which means that their nutrients are almost immediately absorbed into the bloodstream
      • They’re great sources of iodine, magnesium, vitamin K, calcium, folate, and tryptophan (which can help us to sleep better)
      • The nutrients in sea vegetables can prevent birth defects and cardiovascular disease
      • The magnesium can help prevent headaches and reduce asthma symptoms
      • Reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack
      • Reduce the body’s inflammatory response
      • Provide relief from menopausal symptoms

sea veggies

Here are some of the things you can use sea vegetables for:

Spirulina in smoothies, green juices and even breakfast cookies:

green juice

Soaked seaweed as a garnish:

macro plate

Dulse as a salty salad mix-in:

beastly

Nori to wrap sushi:

mysushi

and all of your faves in a seaweed salad.

Super Easy Seaweed Salad

seaweed

Ingredients:

-1 C sea vegetables of choice, soaked (check soaking times as they vary.. I usually let them soak for an hour or so and don’t soak nori—it gets slimy), rinsed and strained

-1/2 T rice wine vinegar

-1 t sesame oil

-1 t Nama Shoyu

-1/2 T extra virgin olive oil

-pinch each of garlic, cayenne, Stevia

-juice of 1/2 lime (totally optional- I like some lime in there)

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk the liquid everything except the sea veggies.

Add the sea veggies to the bowl, toss to coat and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Feel free to add in: sliced scallions, julienned carrots or bell pepper

Garnish with sesame seeds and feast :D

© 2010 The Fitnessista

I hope ya’ll enjoyed this post and that maybe it encouraged some of you to give sea veggies a try :D
Have you had sea vegetables before? What’s your fave way to use them??

Please send Reader’s Requests my way: fitnessista at gmail dot com

Have a wonderful GLEE day! <3

xoxo

Gina

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Comments

  1. The only sea vegetable I’ve had is the nori from sushi wrappers. I’ve bought them and made my own too, but the rest made me nervous! Thanks for doing this post because they are super intimidating! I can’t wait for GLEE!

  2. this is a great post…although I’m not sure how i feel about sea veggies just yet i think i might see if i can try more of them! you always make these things seem so friendly :)

  3. Enjoy Glee:)

  4. I LOVE sea veg! My mom makes this really yummy dessert soup type thing with mung beans, small tapioca pearls and julienne seaweed. I don’t cook that well so I only get to eat that when my mom makes it. I like to mix seaweed w/ thinly sliced cucumbers and ponzu sauce. I also love seaweed seasoning on brown rice as is or made into rice balls.

  5. I’ve never tried any of them! I’d love to try the dulse.

  6. I feel as if you wrote this for me!!! ;) Thank you thank you thank you for posting this!! You ROCK girl! <3

  7. I have a bag of hijiki I need to eat. My friend makes a salad with it and shredded carrots, but I need to find the recipe.

    • Actually, I just looked on wikipedia and apparently several countries say you shouldn’t eat hijiki b/c of a risk of arsenic contamination, so maybe I won’t eat it. Haha.

  8. Ahhhh, I LOVE seaweed salad, but have always been super intimidated at the thought of trying it myself. This post is SUPER helpful!!! Thank you!

  9. I love seaweed salad when I get it at restaurants, but haven’e experimented at home. You’ve inspired me to try it out on my own!

  10. I’ve only had sea vegetables in sushi, but I love that ocean-y taste and texture!

  11. I’m not sure this qualifies as a readers request, but I would absolutley love another super set workout!

  12. ahh this is why I looove your blog Gina! You offer a breath of fresh air and ideas into the blog world, opening our eyes to foods and ingredients that are not found in mainstream stores. I’m always excited to see what new foods you incorporate into your diet! Thank you for being such an inspiration and just plain FUN to read about!!

  13. I’ve never been big on sea veggies but this has definitely inspired me to try some. Thanks for the great reader’s request :)

  14. Thanks for the post on sea veggies! Seaweed is the last category of “new” health food for me to tackle, and I haven’t quite gotten there yet ;) Your recipe for seaweed salad sounds yummy – I think I’ll rack up the courage and try that soon! Next stop – kombucha!

    :)

    • I just wish pronouncing the names was so easy! Sometimes I feel like I just have to point to the menu when ordering Japanese!
      Katherine
      whataboutsummer

  15. i love nori!!

    I have a question for you! So I just found out i have mono! Im a highschool track and field runner and that means horrible news– no running. Any ideas on exercises/foods i can eat to make sure i stay in shape?

    Thanks :)

    • Fitnessista says:

      gah! i’m sorry! hang in there :(
      definitely stick with lots of fruits and veggies (fresh juices would be great) and soups. as far as exercise goes, i’d take it easy until you get better
      get well soon <3

  16. I have some Nori strips..I think I’ll put them in some soup!

  17. Oh my gosh, I totally forgot that GLEE was starting tonight! Thanks for reminding me!!

    I’ve tried dulse before, but I only like it in small quantities. If I taste it too much, it kinda freaks me out. My go-to supplement is spirulina, because I can just sneak it into my smoothies. ;)

  18. I like to add dried Wakame to soup — super easy and satisfying…

  19. I’ve never tried any of them before, but I’m interested. I heard dulse kind of has a smokey flavor so I’d probably start with that first and maybe work from there?

    PS: I love your flowers! I buy myself flowers every week too :)

  20. I’m a HUGE fan of seaweed salad. My go-to starter when I go out for sushi! I feel like I could eat giant bowlfuls of it and never get full…

  21. Excellent post Gina; thanks for sharing your tips. My seaweeeeeeeeds will now be put to good use instead of hanging out in my pantry.

    I am getting leeks this week in my organic produce delivery and as bad as this sounds…I have never eaten a leek before. Do you or any other readers have tips?

  22. fran hlavacek says:

    Just another idea for nori. I use them in place of tortillas in one of my favorite sandwiches. Pan fried a little tempeh, spread on some hummus, top with shredded carrots or broccoli slaw and wrap it all up in a nori sheet. Adjust as you like!

    Also, I add pretty much any sea veg to a pot of beans or vegetable soup. Just to give it a boost.

    Hope that helps!
    fran

  23. I’m studying nutrition and learning SO much about the benefits of sea veggies. I’ve been trying to get more of ‘em in! Question… I’m OBSESSED with the seaweed salad from sushi restaurants, and I’ve always wanted to try to re-create it at home. Does yours taste like that? Also, do you know what kind of seaweed they use for the bright green salads? I’ve heard that they usually come pre-packaged and are pretty hard to replicate exactly because they use a lot of iffy ingredients…

  24. I’m so excited about Glee, its been gone from my life for far too long!!

  25. I love seaweed salad! One of my fav foods. Also obsessed with nori…yum!

  26. Awesome post! I also was wondering what the heck to do with sea veggies. I’ve seen them at the Earth Fare but never buy any because I don’t know how to use them. I’m most interested in the dulse as a salad topper after reading this post. I like vegetarian sushi, so I guess I like nori, too. Thanks for helping us figure this out.

  27. I love this post! Thank you!!
    I absolutely LOVE dulse. My dad used to put it all over salads when I was growing up in Illinois. I have asked in at least 10 different health food stores and grocery stores in Texas if they carry dulse, and all I get are looks like I must be crazy!
    I was beginning to think the dulse was a figment of my imagination! Glad I saw it here…going to order some online ASAP.

  28. Yes! I read a wonderful book called Japanese Women don’t get Old or Fat and she explains it all!

  29. Thanks for this Gina, I too have been a bit intimidated by sea vegetables! Question – can I prepare a big batch of seaweed salad on sunday evening and enjoy for lunch for a few days – will it stay good on the fridge? Thanks!

  30. love this post – you read my mind! been wondering about these veggies….as ever, great reading! thanks

  31. My favorite is hijiki mixed with arame in a nice big ol’ salad!

  32. Flowers are always on the grocery list. I buy new ones every week, too, and love how happy the house is with fresh flowers.

    I’ve only had sea veggies in sushi, but now I’m interested in other uses.

  33. I love sea veggies! Seaweed salad is one of my all time favorites!

    I need to start buying flowers :-) they do make a home brighter

  34. great post! I was wondering about some of those…
    Also I buy flowers every week. This week roses were on sale so I got some magenta and oranges ones :^) loverly!!!

  35. Oh gosh I trust you and everything (I really do!) But I just don’t think I could eat that seaweed salad. Maybe if someone blinded me…
    Didn’t you love Glee? I *love* Idina Menzel so I was pretty happy to see her.

  36. Great post!! I should really eat more of these sea veggies as they are so good for us. I definitely have to get over the taste that I don’t really care for :|

    Of course flowers are always in our home! I stare at them all day long ;) It is sweet when you can have them delivered to your door ever monday, it makes Mondays even more special!

    XXOO

  37. Yum! I am a huge sea veggie fan. LOVE seaweed salad. Thanks for all the tips for prepping it and serving it! I am a bit freaked out to make it on my own.

    I love having flowers at home. I don`t think they`re ever a waste of money, they`re so pretty to look at and give the place such a nice feel. Which reminds me, we`re due for some new ones!

  38. *waving* I buy flowers for myself :-D
    And I love seaweed salad too! So yummy :-)

  39. living in Maine, I am a HUGE fan of the Maine Coast Sea Vegetables. Right now I am OBSESSED with the Dulse with Garlic granules. I put it on popcorn, on salads and sprinkle on my kids broccoli. We all love it! I also use the Nori granules as a sub for salt most of the time. I guess I’ll have to venture out into the seaweed salad world next :)

  40. i have tried dulse before and was not a fan……great informative post ;)

  41. Really interesting post. Sea vegetables kind of freak me out, maybe because I always hate seafood, but I may pick up one of these items and give it a try.
    Thanks!

  42. 90% of the time I have flowers in the kitchen. When overnight guests come, I usually put some in the spare room as well, and then they migrate to the kitchen when they leave.

    I know nothing (except what you just told us!) about sea veggies.

  43. Thank you for the post! I’ve only ever used nori for sushi, I’ve never used anything else so now I have more options! Yay! for options!!!

  44. I am ADDICTED to dulse! I always make each bag last forever because it’s a little $$$, but I love it so!

  45. I realize this is a day late but on the Huffington Post today they had this piece titled 9 incredible Uses for Seaweed!!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/14/9-incredible-uses-for-sea_n_526746.html#s77925

  46. I like to eat seaweed just dry and by itself! I love salty foods and seaweed gives me flavor I want without the guilt!

  47. I always buy myself fresh flowers! THey bring the room alive!!! Love them! I just bought a couple of different tyoes of seaweed snacks last weekend and am thoroughly enjoying them! I had recently heard a lot about the health benefits and knew I had to try it. A new fave snack!

  48. Thank you so much for this post! I made the arame tonight – so easy! I need to make it more often.

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