Consultations

 

SENSATONAL SUMMERTIME SEA VEGETABLES

By Jane Quincannon Stanchich, Printed in Christina Cooks! Magazine Summer 2001/Emmy Winning PBS Cooking Series

What food is rich in flavor to please our taste buds, equally rich in minerals for our strong bodies and loaded with exotic visual appeal, yet costs pennies to prepare? Just look beneath the obvious sea of nutritional sources and come up with….. Final answer: Sea veggies! Nourishing, beautiful, and economical – what could be better? Glistening "black gold," sea vegetables shine next to bright orange and green vegetables or wrapped around organic rice, served alongside a rainbow of colorful foods on a warm midsummer’s eve.

Sea "weeds" or as we now term them more melodically, sea vegetables, are one of the real coup foods of the macrobiotic diet, catapulting our mineral scores, including invaluable calcium for our healthy bones, teeth, nerves, and sleep. In this hectic, busy era, we must get our minerals, especially calcium, nature’s natural tranquilizer…."Stress anyone?" So eat your sea vegetables… daily, in soups, beans, or in vegetables dishes, even desserts, and especially now in these fabulous sea vegetable salads and tropical nori rolls for the summer season, or anytime you want a rich, refreshing dish.

I created these delicious sea vegetable recipes to bring you, your friends, and families beautiful accompaniments to any meal. I recommend eating sea vegetables especially if you eat fish, to provide complete minerals for balance. These summery, sensuous and sensational sea veggie recipes are sure to become seasonal and even year-round favorites.

* Important nutritional note: We all want to absorb the rich nutrients of sea vegetables. Always think of two vital key ingredients: Vitamin C and oil. The vitamin C, abundant in lightly cooked vegetables, raw vegetable garnishes or citrus is necessary to absorb iron from our foods. The addition of oil in a light saute or as a dressing, enhances the transport of the minerals throughout the body. I call these two essential ingredients, "Eating the yin with the yang." (Those on a temporary oil restricted diet may simply omit the oil.)

KEY LIME SEA SALAD

Don’t you love the sea veggie salad served at Japanese restaurants? I searched and experimented for years trying to duplicate and improve upon those rich, tangy, satisfying salads. Finally, along comes, "Pacific Sea Salad," a lovely, tender mixture of wakame, aka funori, kiriboshi, ito kanten, and special kombu. I create this salad in honor of our second home, South Florida, exotic, vibrant, sun drenched.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Pacific Sea Salad
  • Boiled water to cover
  • 11/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • Juice of one small lime or key lime
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 Tbls shoyu
  • 1.2 Tbsp umeboshi vinegar
  • 2 carrots, cut into thin julienne (matchsticks)
  • 5 scallions, sliced very thinly on diagonals
  • Dash of hot pepper flakes (optional)


Cooking Instructions:
Quickly rinse the sea vegetables in a strainer. Place in bowl and cover with warm, boiled spring water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Strain water (you may save water, cool, and give to your hungry plants!) In bowl, combine all ingredients, toss, and let marinate for one hour. You may cool as you desire. This keeps well in the fridge to enjoy for several
days. Serves 8.

TROPICAL TOFU NORI ROLLS

Nori is rich in protein along with essential minerals. Make these beautiful nori rolls for your family or have a nori roll "sushi" party! Your guests will enjoy creating their own unique and delicious sushi-style rice rolls filled with savory tofu. Read the entire recipe
through once or twice if you are a beginner. Have fun! "Don’t worry, be happy!" You will soon be a pro. I use organic white sushi rice but you may choose brown rice. The gingered tofu adds a healthy, spicy delight. Each recipe makes four nori rolls, each one serving one person generously.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups pressure cooked white organic sushi rice, cooled
  • 1 lb. firm water-packaged tofu
  • Water to cover
  • 2 tsp shoyu
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger juice, grated from root, no pulp
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 4 sheets toasted nori (I buy pre-toasted)
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 5 scallions, trimmed and sliced thinly lengthwise, blanch if desired
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch strips lengthwise, blanched
  • 1 package ginger pickles
  • 2 Tbsp wasabe paste (very hot green mustard)

*Important Extra Equipment Needed:  A small bowl of water with a few
drops of umeboshi vinegar added, for hand dipping; bamboo sushi mat;
large serving platter.

Cooking Instructions:
Slice tofu into half lengthwise and place in a pot with water, shoyu, and ginger juice. Bring tofu to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes uncovered. Remove tofu from cooking liquid, let cool and slice into approximately 1/4 inch wide strips. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Place a sushi mat on the table, then place a sheet of nori on top with the shiny side facing downward. Dip clean hands in water, shake off excess and place approximately 3/4 cup rice evenly and firmly over the sheet of nori, leaving 1 1/2 inches of nori exposed at the top. Then, about two inches from the bottom of the rice, make an indention in the
rice widthwise and set strips of tofu into the indention. Press gently.

Sprinkle parsley on the rice roll. Place a strip of scallion and carrot on top of the tofu. Spread your favorite seasoning such a mustard, wasabe, or umeboshi paste thinly on the rice.

Begin to make the roll by raising the bottom of the sushi mat with the nori/rice roll upward, keeping the filling in place. Firmly roll the nori around the rice and tofu filling. Use the sushi mat as a guide until you have the nori rolled around the entire rice roll. Slightly moisten the top end of the nori on the roll. The moistened end of the nori will seal the roll as you close it. Squeeze the rice roll gently but firmly in the sushi mat. Unroll the bamboo sushi mat and set the roll aside while you make the other three rolls.

Just before eating, place the nori rolls on a wooden cutting board. Moisten a sharp knife and cut the nori rice rolls evenly down the center. Then cut each section in equal halves and continue in the same manner until you have eight pieces. Arrange slices attractively on a serving platter and garnish atop bright decorative vegetables such as dark green lettuce or tropical leaves (Dry well.) Garnish with ginger pickles and dot platter with small mounds of wasabe.

Storage Tip: If you are making these ahead of mealtime or want to carry
them with you for a take-out, let cool and slightly dry in the air before wrapping loosely in plastic wrap or brown paper. I recommend making them within two hours of a meal and loosely covering rolls with plastic wrap. The nori will soften and spoil if it remains too damp. Slice and garnish near to the meal time.

SUMMERY SPICY ARAME SALAD

Arame sea vegetable is tender, easy to prepare, and delicious! As with all sea vegetables, it is filled with minerals for optimum health. Arame is especially good for the blood sugar levels and spleen/pancreas. Enjoy this beautiful salad any time of the year!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry arame
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp shoyu
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. umeboshi vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp lemon rind zest
  • Dash fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup red radish, julienne sliced (thin matchsticks)
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Slices of orange or lemon
  • 2 cups fresh colorful baby salad mix or arugula, rinsed

Cooking Instructions:
Rinse the arame well and drain in colander. Place rinsed sea vegetables in a pot with water and shoyu. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until water is absorbed. Sauté the onion in sesame oil, then place in a bowl with the arame. Combine juices and zests well. Mix all  remaining ingredients (except seeds.) Cover and chill slightly in the refrigerator for two hours. Serve atop baby salad mix or arugula. Garnish with sesame seeds and thin slices of orange or lemon.

Be creative! Add your favorite colorful salad ingredients. The possibilities for sea veggie nirvana are endless.

BRIAR’S CREEK ARAME STUFFED MUSHROOMS

c. Jane Stanchich, Created for our dear friends Julie and Steve Koenig at Briar's Creek at John's Island, South Carolina.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry arame sea vegetable
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 12 very large, fresh button mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons mirin rice wine or other cooking wine
  • 1 teaspoon Herb de Province or mixed thyme and basil
  • 1/2 cup soy mozzarella, finely grated


Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Crumble arame into a bowl. Cover with water and rinse thoroughly. Drain rinse water twice, lifting arame to pour off bottom water where sand may collect. Place arame, water and juice into a saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat, uncovered. Stir in tamari. Let simmer for 15 minutes until arame is tender and the liquid is evaporated. Stir well. Drain.

Quickly rinse the button mushrooms, using your fingers to dislodge any soil. Destem. Mince stems for use in stuffing. Rub the mushrooms with olive oil and place crown side down on a baking sheet with a lip to hold in juices. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms from oven and let cool slightly.

In a skillet, sauté in olive oil the onion, garlic, parsley, and minced mushroom stems. Season with the wine and herbs. Stir in the cooked arame. Cook for 10 minutes. Mix well.

Turn the mushrooms over on the baking sheet and fill each with arame mixture, mounding slightly. Top with grated soy mozzarella. Bake 10-15  minutes or until mushrooms are slightly soft, yet still firm to hold their shape. Serve warm.

CITRUS SEA VEGETABLE SAUTE

c. Jane Quincannon Stanchich

I created this dish in honor of our second home, South Florida: Exotic, vibrant, sun drenched. It reminds me of the sea veggie salad served at Japanese restaurants that I adore. A lovely, tender mixture of wakame, aka funori, kiriboshi, ito kanten, and special kombu called “Pacific Sea Salad,” is available. The citrus in the oranges or lemon, as well as the oil, helps us absorb the abundant minerals in the sea vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Pacific Sea Salad
  • Boiled water to cover
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 carrots, cut into thin julienne (matchsticks)
  • 5 scallions, sliced in julienne
  • 1 Tbsp. Tamari or shoyu

Cooking Instructions:
Quickly rinse the sea vegetables in a strainer. Place in bowl and cover with warm, boiled spring water. Let soak for 3 minutes. Strain water (you may save water, cool, and give to your hungry plants!)

Gently heat a skillet and add the sesame oil. Add the carrots and sauté for 4 minutes. Turn off heat and add the scallions and tamari; stir well. In a bowl, combine all ingredients, except he lettuce. Toss and let marinate for one hour. Let cool (if you desire.).  This salad keeps well in the fridge to enjoy for several days. Serve on a bed of baby lettuce mixture.

Note: You may substitute wakame, arame or hiziki. Rinse, soak, slice and boil until tender. Follow above directions.



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