I am so excited for this month’s Recipe Redux theme- Sea what you’ve been missing! Besides Sushi, seaweed tends to be a foreign food for many so hopefully this months theme will inspire you to try it. Most types of seaweed are high in beneficial minerals- iron, calcuim, magnesium, potassium, iodine, and zinc. They also contain a good amount of lignans, compounds that have been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol levels.
Two things to note: Seaweed is NOT a good source of B12. Seaweed contains B12 analogues which are compounds that mimic b12, not B12 itself. If you are vegan/vegetarian or have had low B12 levels in the past, don’t rely on seaweed as a B12 source. The analogues found in seaweed can actually prevent B12 from being properly absorbed.
Seaweed is also very high in Iodine, so if you have any thyroid issues you should first consult a Registered Dietitian before adding a lot of seaweed into your diet.
Sea vegetables that you will likely find in the grocery store are hijiki, arame, wakame, and kombu. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry seaweed, check with an Asian grocery store. I usually prefer the Asian store over the regular grocery store as they have a wider selection and usually better prices.
This dish features one of my favorite sea vegetables, and a good one to start out with, Hijiki. High in calcium, iron, and fiber, hijiki is a porous, black seaweed with a lot of texture. I love it in this quinoa salad but if you are timid with trying it, try a small amount in your favorite stir-fry or brown rice and work from there.
Hijiki and Quinoa Salad
1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 bell pepper, finely diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup hijiki
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
Soak the Hijiki in cold water for 1 hour, drain.
Cook the hijiki: in a saucepan cover the hijiki with water to cover. Simmer over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes until hijiki is tender. Drain and rinse hijiki with cold water.
While the hijiki cooks, make the quinoa. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, add Quinoa, cover pot and reduce heat to low. Cook untouched for 12 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand for 10 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Whisk together the ginger, sugar, vinegar, oil, salt and tamari. Add the toasted sesame seeds to the dressing mixture.
Combine the quinoa, hijiki, bell pepper and dressing. I prefer this salad cold, so you can eat now or stick in the refrigerator for 30 minutes-1 hour before serving. Sometimes I add lightly fried tofu cubes to the salad for a heartier dinner.
Check out more Under The Sea dishes from my fellow Recipe Reduxers. What seaweed have you tried before? For you newbies- what prevents you from trying seaweed?