A LAKESIDE DINNER OF SEA VEGETABLES
I have told you in a previous post that once a month I get together with a group of my girlfriends for what we call our “Healthy Cooking Group”. The hostess picks a theme for a healthy meal and everyone contributes both to the dinner and to the learning process. We each bring a dish that conforms with the theme, and we also come prepared to educate the group on the features and healthy benefits of our particular dish. Well, Monday night our group got together on my girlfriend Cindy’s dock for our monthly dinner. Cindy’s theme for the evening was “A Lakeside Dinner of Sea Vegetables”.
To be honest, I had never heard the term Sea Vegetable before, but as Cindy explained, the use of sea vegetables in cooking is becoming a new food trend that is being discussed in many recent magazine articles including the summer issue of Coastal Living.
So, what are Sea Vegetables? Well, they are the following:
Nori is probably the most recognizable sea vegetable as it is used in the preparation of sushi rolls. It is dried seaweed sold in the form of paper thin sheets and comes toasted or untoasted. It is rich in Vitamin C and iodine.
We started off our lakeside dinner on Cindy’s dock with delicious “Hand Rolls” that were vegetables wrapped in Nori with a delicious wasabi ginger dipping sauce.
The cocktail you see in the photos was a Basil, Lavender Lemonade spiked with Vodka.
It was Cindy’s knockoff recipe from a drink she loves at The Hotel Del on Coronado Island.
Cindy has a liveaboard sailboat in Coronado and spends a lot of time at The Del. One of these days I’ll do a blog post on Coronado with Cindy, but that’s for another day.
So, meanwhile back on Cindy’s dock, our next appetizer was a Sea Scallop served over a nori dusted Parsnip Puree prepared by Maureen. Mo got the recipe here from a website called EatWell101.
It was delicious and I will be making the recipe myself soon.
We had yet another appetizer of scallops, this time it was scallops sauteed in garlic olive oil, fresh dill, lemon juice and crushed nori. It was also delicious!
It was accompanied by caviar with all the accoutrements.
The next type of Sea Vegetable we had is called
Dulse is red seaweed that grows attached to rocks. It is packed with valuable minerals, including iron and potassium and it is rich in protein. When cooked, dulse becomes feather-light and crispy and reminded me of kale chips. It had a somewhat briney, fishy flavor and was salty. I loved it but others in our group did not.
For the main course our hostess Cindy prepared a recipe called Thai Style Snapper with Seaweed and Noodles. You can find her recipe here.
The seaweed used in this recipe is another sea vegetable called
Pronounced wah-ka-may, this deep grayish-green sea vegetable is the tenderest of all sea vegetables, in fact, it is a bit slimey. Wakame is a good source for dietary fiber and potassium.
My contribution to the meal was admittedly a bit of a copout. That is because I only used Nori seaweed as a garnish. I made a Imitation Crab Salad. Yes, imitation crab!!!
I happen to love imitation crab. And, I wanted to introduce my healthy eating girlfriends to the fact that imitation crab not only tastes good, it is inexpensive and I believe it is actually healthier for you than real crab. That is because it is made with a fish called Alaskan Pollack. The pollock is finely pulverized into a gelatinous paste that is then shaped into a product called “Surimi”. Surimi’s taste and texture resembles that of snow crab but is naturally lower in calories and higher in protein than real crab, making it a lean, low-calorie type of seafood option. The one drawback, like most processed foods, it is high in sodium. My recipe for Imitation Crab Salad is quick and easy to make. You simply shred 7 cups of imitation crab into a bowl.
Add 1 cup of diced celery.
Then stir in:
- 1 T + 1 t. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 t. Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1/4 t. Kosher Salt
- 1-1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
Mix it all up and you have a delicious Imitation Crab Salad.
Everyone I serve this salad to loves it and some folks are fooled and think it’s real crab.
Getting back to our dinner on the dock, for dessert we enjoyed a cherry gelatin that was prepared using another type of seaweed called
- Agar Agar
Also called Japanese gelatin, Agar Agar is a clear, tasteless alternative to animal or chemical-based gelatin. It comes in opaque flakes and is made with a combination of various sea vegetables. It can be used to firm up jellies or puddings. It is simply dissolved in hot liquid and it then thickens at room temperature. I am sorry but I forgot to take a photo of our Cherry Gelatin dessert.
Our hostess sent us each home with a package of Roasted Seaweed Snack. She bought her seaweed snack packs at a local healthfood store.
I buy a similar product sold at Trader Joes that comes in various flavors and is delicious. They also sell seaweed snacks at Costco.
In general, sea vegetables are an incredibly rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A and E and iodine. I am glad I learned all about them and will try to include Sea Vegetables in my diet more frequently.
So, there you have it, A Lakeside Dinner of Sea Vegetables.
- 7 Cups Imitation Crab
- 1 Cup Diced Celery
- 1 T + 1 t. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 t. Freshly Ground Pepper
- ¼ t. Kosher Salt
- 1-1/2 Cups Mayonnaise
- Shred the imitation crab into bite sized pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix to combine.
- Serve cold over a lettuce leaf.
If you enjoyed this post, please help me spread the word by sharing it on your Facebook Page. You can “Like” my Facebook Page here.
If you enjoyed the photos, please “Pin Them” on your Pinterest page. You can follow my Pinterest Page here.
If you’d like to read After Orange County every time a new article is posted, please “Subscribe” to the blog using the Subscription Box above.
Do you Tweet? Please Tweet the word and follow my Twitter Page here.
Follow my blog on BlogLovin.com
All opinions expressed in this post are my own. All photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.
Thank you for visiting!