Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Creations of the Sea

The last couple of days of class have focused mainly on seaweed and the macrobiotic diet.

Some of the main nutritional points of seaweed include:
  • Japanese having used seaweed for centuries to treat obesity, diabetes, alzheimers, and degenerative diseases
  • Seaweed contains "lignan" which inhibits angiogenesis (i.e. blood cell growth) - this is what cancer feeds on
  • It is high in B vitamins, folic acid, and magnesium
  • Seaweed is beneficial for regulation of the thyroid due to it's richness in iodine
  • Seaweed also helps regulate metabolism, adrenal glands, and prevents heart disease
  • Finally, it contains "sodium alginate" which is a compound that binds toxic metals in the body and flushes them from the system
So, needless to say, I think we could all use a bit more seaweed in our diets!

In class we made two different types of seaweed salad. One with wakame and cucumbers and the other with kelp noodles. (Kelp noodles are an awesome way to get great nutrition in with a minimal amount of calories. ) Kelp noodles can be ordered online from a company called Sea Tangle... I haven't been able to find them any where else.

Here is a preview of the Sesame Kelp Noodles. It is a favorite at 105 Degrees! The sauce is made with almond butter, cashews, thai chiles, nama shoyu (raw soy sauce), lime juice, ginger, agave, and tahini. It is a very rich and creamy dish with just a hint of spice... This is definitely something to make for someone who is just being introduced to raw food!

The second dish we made was a Wakame Cucumber Salad. It is made with cucumbers, wakame, cilantro, and blood oranges. The sweetness of the oranges contrasts nicely with the saltiness of the seaweed. This was definitely my favorite dish of the day! I thought I did a pretty nice job plating it as well...

Today we focused more on creating a raw sushi. It was ...

First we made our "rice". The "rice" was a combination of jicama, pine nuts, brown rice vinegar, and a little agave. The saltiness of the vinegar contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the jicama and agave... It was really yummy!

Here is my rice before being popped into the dehydrator:

The rice is then dehydrated for a few hours to give it a better (more crumbly) consistency, and then it is ready for the rolls.

We started by getting our mis en place (literally meaning "everything in place"). Here is mine:

Then we got to rolling! Mine contained the jicama rice, red and yellow pepper, cucumber, scallions, sprouts, black sesame seeds, and avocado. They were unbelievable! We pretty much just put our food together and then sat down and inhaled it all.

Here is a picture of my traditional roll...

And my Caterpillar Roll... This was my favorite!

We also made our own pickled ginger! It was a "quick pickle". I basically sliced the ginger very thin on a mandoline and then put it into a mixture of apple cider vinegar and agave (2 parts to 1) for a few hours. I dyed it with a little bit of beet juice to give it the familiar pink tint that people are used to seeing on their sushi plates. I think the ginger was far superior (and obviously fresher) than what they serve in the sushi restaurants!

There was so much more that happened today, but I'm going to have to regurgitate it slowly otherwise I'll be typing all night... I'm off to get a little workout in and then to dinner with a friend!


Amanda said...

This is terrific! It looks like you're having a wonderful time, and who knew you were quite the cooking prodigy...those plates to fantastic. Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures!

Kelly said...

wow-this is awesome! you are quite the chef! cant wait to read about your experience roomie :)

Tracy said...

This is amazing!! Those dishes look delicious. It sounds like your learning lots and loving it. That is so great. Can't wait to see more updates.