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Superfood Seagreens: A Guide to Cooking with…

Superfood Seagreens: A Guide to Cooking with Power-packed Seaweed…

by Barton Seaver

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As a 13 year vegetarian and dabbler in macrobiotics, I'm pretty familiar with sea greens. I've re-constituted shreds of hijiki to make the faux "tuna" salad (made out of mashed chick peas) from Vegan with a Vengeance and, since reading Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Life, have been adding sheets of Kombu to my soups and stews for that extra punch of umami flavor. I frequently order the seaweed salad at my local sushi place and can't get enough of Annie Chun's wasabi-flavored nori sheets.

Since I know how nutritious sea greens are, I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate them into my cooking so Barton Seaver's book is the perfect addition to my vast cookbook collection. At the very least, I figured it might prompt me to finally open those bags of dried wakame and arame that I bought at the Asian grocer last summer but never found a use for.

There are a bunch of great recipes (not all of them strictly vegetarian) ranging from smoothies and sauces to burgers and, believe it or not, desserts. While I'm not yet brave enough to attempt a sea weed fortified chocolate cake, I've already delved into quite a few of his savory recipes. I prepared Seaver's excellent version of Goddess dressing, always a favorite, made extra savory with the edition of rehydrated kombu. If you're a vegetarian, like me, it's easy to leave out the anchovies since the kombu gives the dressing enough of a briny kick to render them pretty much unnecessary. And the Kelp, Walnut and Ginger Pesto recipe is the bomb! So flavorful and unique; the addition of ginger adds a bit of an Asian flare to an Italian classic. The Seagreens Sushi-Joint Style is a great way to make a restaurant staple at home (quick tip: the longer you can marinate this - the yummier it is). I've also tried his Lentil Soup recipe, which isn't much different than my own lentil soup, except for the welcome additions of both dulse flakes and smoked paprika. Very hearty and warming on a cold February day in New England.

I have yet to try any of the recipes from his chapter on larger dishes (many of which include meat) but look forward to giving the Veggie Burgers a go, since they include beets (the hot new ingredient in non-meat patties), as well as the more unusual addition of chopped prunes. I'm always looking for new ways to make moist, beefy non-meat patties, so maybe beets, prunes and sea greens is the magic combo.

But for all the great recipes, I think the most valuable part of the book for me was the opening chapters, which talk about the nutritional value of sea greens, provide an overview of the different kinds, explain how to re-hydrate dried sea greens, where to get the best product (and what to avoid) and how to properly equip a healthy, nutritious pantry. So much good information here.

I'm a person who tends to be very leery of the latest superfood trends. I've viewed every craze from oat bran to acai berries with a fairly jaundiced eye. However, I really do believe that sea greens are a nutritional power house that people should add to their diet. Barton Seaver's book provides easy and delicious ways to do just that. ( )
  blakefraina | Feb 14, 2016 |
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"In this cookbook, chef, restaurateur, and sustainability expert Barton Seaver introduces the use of seagreans into exciting and flavourful recipes for every meal of the day, including snacks and cocktails. Delicious recipes such as breakfast burrito; roasted squash hummus with crunchy wakame; polenta with seafreens and parmesan; seagreens braised collard style with apple cider; zucchini and seagreens 'spagetti' with garlic; morning glory muffins; and many more will jumpstart your appetite and inspire you to add seagreens to your culinary repertoire". -- from back cover.… (more)

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