Food for Thought
The last day of summer may be just around the corner, but this savory and spicy salad’s complex flavor layers and satisfying crunch will help you hold onto the last rays of sunshine well into autumn. Try this as a stand-alone lunch salad or as a crunchy side to a lean grilled protein.
Sea kelp “noodles” are made from raw sea kelp, sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed) and water. Fat-free, gluten-free and super low in carbohydrates and calories, this versatile and neutrally flavored food will give you a broad spectrum of creative possibilities in the kitchen: think salads, stir-fries, hot broths and casseroles to start. The noodles contain a rich source of trace minerals, including iodine, which kelp is well known for. Look for them near the vegetarian and tofu products in your health food store’s cold case. Serves two as a main dish; six as a side salad.
3 x 4-ounce packages of sea kelp “noodles”
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, julienned
in ¼-inch thick strips
1 cup carrots, shredded, or broccoli salad,
1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
½ cup peanuts, rough-chopped, for garnish
¼ cup peanut butter (preferably 100% fresh,
2 tablespoons (tbsp) agave nectar or honey
1½ tbsp lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed
½ lime rind, zested
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons (tsp) tamari, soy sauce or Bragg®
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
Drain kelp noodles in colander and squeeze out excess water (or pat dry with paper towel). Chop noodles into segments for easier handling and eating. Combine first five salad ingredients in large bowl and toss lightly. In blender, combine all dressing ingredients and process until well mixed. If too thick, add water in small increments until desired consistency is achieved. Pour dressing over salad and toss until it is well coated. Serve with lime wedges and sprinkle peanuts on top.
Source: Original recipe by Sandy Todd Webster, IDEA Fitness Journal's editor in chief.