Seaweed is a MAJOR superfood packed with phytochemicals. I make it whenever I feel:
1) that I haven’t eaten enough vegetables lately. And yes, even as a vegan, I sometimes don’t get my daily recommendations for produce—like last Monday, dinnertime rolled around, and I was rather horrified when I realized I’d only consumed 3 servings of veggies that day, when I usually aim for 7-9!
2) that my body needs a detox. For example, a couple of days ago, I ate a few too many dried dates, which I absolutely adore, but whose sugars my body sometimes cannot handle, especially when I eat 2 servings in one sitting. I literally crashed on my bed for an hour afterward and sort of napped until the sugar high wore off. Lesson learned, detox the next day.
3) that I am “internally imbalanced” and require the salty Yang of sea vegetables to recenter myself. I’m a huge proponent of Macrobiotics, a diet philosophy based on Zen that explores the balance of Yin and Yang in food. It’s really quite intriguing, and I will inevitably discuss it more in-depth in future posts, but for now, if you’re interested, you can learn more about it here .
4) whenever I make homemade vegan nori rolls! Oh, I miss my kitchen!
Despite not really wanting warm foods, I did make a delicious stir-fry last week, and while not necessarily Japanese, it can perhaps qualify as “Asian fusion,” blending elements of Chinese and Thai cuisine. Multiple sources inspired this particular—an old, old, old Jane Fonda recipe, this recipe , and this recipe . Essentially, you can add any vegetables you want; had I the resources, I would also have included snow peas, shiitake or straw mushrooms, and, most importantly, baby corn!
Asian Apricot-Almond Stir-Fry
1 16-oz block extra-firm tofu, pressed & drained*
2 medium eggplants, coarsely chopped
½ lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed
½ cup chopped scallions, green & white segments
8 dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1-2 Tbs. freshly minced garlic
1 Tbs. olive oil
½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
2-3 Tbs. soy sauce, tamari, or shoyu
2 Tbs. brown rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Cracked black pepper & red pepper flakes to taste
Roasted almonds & toasted sesame seeds, to serve
*First off, if you’ve never cooked with tofu, here’s a little crash course for you, Tofu 101. There are 3 main types of tofu textures—extra-firm, firm, and silken. Silken is best used for smoothies, desserts, and vegan omelets. Firm works very well for tofu scrambles. And extra-firm, well, is perfect for essentially everything else since it doesn’t crumble as easily. In order to ensure the firmest texture possible, you must first “drain” the tofu. How? Easy. Place the block of tofu between two plates and put something heavy (for example, some ridiculously large college textbooks, which, from personal experience, work very well!) on the top plate. Wait 30 minutes to 1 hour before removing the weight and dumping the pool of water that has congregated on the bottom plate into the sink.
Now, you’re all ready to wok and roll!
Seriously, if I could get away with it, I'd eat with chopsticks ALL THE TIME.