Recently, I’ve fallen in love with seaweed and have tried incorporating it more into my regular diet. Sea vegetables contains a higher amount of vitamins and minerals than land vegetables, and can contain a protein amount of up to 48 percent. It has been reported that certain types of seaweed contain the vitamin B12–making seaweed the only plant source to provide this vitamin and an essential part to the vegan diet. While sushi seems like the typical way to prepare this vegetable, there are also a handful of other more non-traditional ways to utilize seaweed when preparing meals; my personal favorite is mixing seaweed into salads for a really refreshing lunchtime delight. I am super big into quinoa, so I have combined them into a cool quinoa seaweed salad, perfect for spring. Tossing in rice vinegar and agave nectar as dressing with the chewy seaweed and fluffy quinoa makes for a light and mildly salty and sweet taste that is perfect for these warm days.
In this recipe, I used red quinoa but any type of quinoa will do. I also used kombu seaweed but feel free to experiment with any type of seaweed. Seaweeds like kombu have been known to remove heavy metals and radioactive isotopes from the digestive tract. Kombu is actually used as a salt alternative because it contains glutamic acid which is a natural flavor enhancer. When making a veggie stir-fry, toss in kombu instead of salt for a lower sodium, more nutritious meal.
Quinoa Seaweed Salad
Boil one cup quinoa with two cups of water. Once boiling turn down and heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
Once quinoa is done, set aside to allow to cool. Or optionally stick it in the fridge if you want it cool faster.
Chop up red onion, bell pepper, tomato and cucumber. Optionally add in avocado. Set aside.
Place seaweed into a bowl of cold water to have it rehydrate. Once hydrated, take out of the bowl and squeeze out the excess water. Chop up.
When quinoa has cooled, combine all ingredients into a bowl. Drizzle rice vinegar and agave nectar and mix again. Add more or less dressing depending on how sweet you want the salad to be.
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Photo: Jessica Renae