Saturday, May 2, 2009

Arame, quinoa, gomasio...where are we? (amazing sea vegetable/grain salad)

Yummy almost cleanse friendly salad.

So today is the first official day of the cleanse, HOWEVER I won't be starting till Sunday. I felt real pangs of guilt as I ate my eggs this morning. The reason being, I had more people sign up than I expected and sold out of Cranberry juice (a major component of the cleanse) so we are going off the island today to get more. For everyone out there starting today, what a perfect day for it! Well, I guess it's how you look at it, rain can either mean relaxing, movies, crafts, yoga, as you sip your cranwater and eliminate a lot, OR it can mean stir crazy give me a beer and a burger. Doesn't the first option sound so much nicer?

In preparation for the cleanse, I made a salad yesterday that was (almost) cleanse friendly. The salad fell off the cleanse wagon when I added kidney beans, not that there is anything wrong with kidney beans, but on this particular cleanse they are a very dense carbohydrate and the entire cleanse is made up of carbohydrates in the form of veggies, fruits, and grains so they are just one component (of many) that we shall go without. But it was not a cleanse day and so kidney beans it was.

This was a beautiful salad using kale, carrots, quinoa, wild salmon, kidney beans, ginger vinegarette (dressing was made with flax oil and apple cider vinegar to make it cleanse friendly), and Arame. Arame is a sea vegetable which is super high in iron, calcium and iodine (great for thyroid function). It adds a nice salt flavor to foods, and is pretty mild in flavor compared with other seaweeds. I like to use it in salads because it mixes in well without being overpowering. Next time you are in a health food store pick yourself up some. It is a great introduction to seaweeds in cooking and can boost the mineral content of any dish (you can even add it to rice or soups while they cook to give a boost there as well). You just soak it for about 10-15 minutes in cool or warm water and it'll be ready to mix in.

The quinoa (pronounced keen-nwa) is an amazing grain, high in magnesium and protein. It carries all 8 essential amino acids and it considered a "superfood".
Before making quinoa always rinse it. The water above is not boiling. Quinoa has a natural occuring toxin called saponin on its surface which easily rinses off, it also causes these bubbles. Rinsing 1-3 times should do the trick, and you'll know when the water no longer looks sudsy. (don't worry, if you've eaten quinoa in the past and didn't rinse it, you'll be fine. It's just good to know)
When done quinoa is light and fluffy with a nice snap to it as you bite.

Here's the arame, soaking dutifully.

Tearing the kale into bite size pieces make it good for a salad. I dressed the kale right away and let it sit. This way the kale also softens as it marinates.

Dressed kale, quinoa and carrots (say that 5 times fast)

Then came the canned wild salmon (wild is always best, not only for nutritional value but also farming methods wreak havoc on the environment, polluting water and damaging reefs). Canned is really tasty and you get extra calcium from some softened bones that are mixed in (you don't even notice them)

The arame sits nicely on top and was sprinkled with a little Gomasio (toasted sesame seeds and sea salt, great for flavoring without a lot of salt)

1 comment:

Madeline said...

I tagged you. See my blog. I realize that it may be inappropriate for here and if so just send me a picture of your beautiful healthy pregnant self!