Blog

Macro Mondays: Dulse - My favourite weed from the sea

Happy Macro Mondays, friends! This week let's talk about my favourite seaweed.

Delicious Dulse

IMG_4282.JPG

Health Benefits:

Dulse is an Atlantic seaweed, and like most seaweeds, it contains vital minerals & vitamins our bodies need! Dulse is high in the B vitamins, along with zinc & magnesium: all of which are crucial for managing stress. I know, I know---eating seaweed might sound stressful in and of itself. But give it a shot, & you might be surprised. Dulse also has insanely high amounts of potassium (up to 34 times more than in a banana).  {Side note: I try to include some seaweed in my day for some iodine, as I do not use iodized table salt, and do not want a goiter thank you very much}.

I can only speak from my experience, and here it is: once I started eating seaweed, I actual couldn't stop. My body starts craving it if I ignore it on the cupboard for a few days. I think my body didn't know it was missing some minerals & vitamins, so once it got a taste of them from seaweed, it started sending out messages to my tastebuds saying "eat the seaweed, eat the seaweed". If you're new to eating weeds from the sea, I think dulse is a good one to try first. The taste isn't as strong as some others, and it's high mineral content makes your body enjoy it tons!

IMG_4289.JPG
IMG_4285.JPG

How to eat it / use it:

  • It comes in 3 forms: pieces, flakes, & powder
  • My #1 favourite way to consume dulse it to stir the pieces into hot grain porridges. It gets soft & melty and tastes wonderfully salty. Try it in hot oats with some flax oil in there too.
  • My #2 favourite way to eat it is to sprinkle the flakes on top of cooked grains, especially brown rice.
  • #3 = apple & dulse (like apple & cheese). Yum, not yuck, I promise.
  • I also throw it in sandwiches, wraps, and on rice cakes.
  • I have put both the pieces and flakes in stir frys.
dulse.jpg
dulse 4.jpg
dulse 3.jpg
dulse2.jpg

Photos: Clockwise from Top left - brown rice porridge with dulse & flax oil, brown rice & vegs topped with mushroom leek gravy and dulse flakes on top, brown rice with dulse flakes, steamed veggies with whole dulse.

**A tip for buying it: squish the package to see if it is crunchy or soft. I always go for the packages of whole dulse that feel nice & soft. Maybe it's just personal preference, but these ones always taste better to me.

Have you eaten dulse? If so, what's your favourite way to consume it?

Look what came in the mail!

Oh, how I love getting packages in the mail.

Yes, even when I order them myself, and am expecting them, hahaha.

Wanna see what I got from iHerb?
They are my no.1 place to order grains (oats) and health stuff like probiotics,
that I can't find in-store here in Japan.
Use my code ROP008 for 5% off and free shipping on your first order.

I got my staples, like:


Probiotics


and Dulse Powder.

And because I love breakfast so much, and now that it's winter I am totally into hot porridge, I wanted some ways to mix up my grains:

Steel Cut Oats 

Buckwheat Porridge, Brown Rice Cereal, and Scottish Oats.

And non-essentials but very enjoyable:

Mayan Cocoa Spice and Chai Roobois are great in the afternoon, and in the evening before bed I have been having some Dandelion Tea. Makes my liver happy :)


My no.1 favourite tea these days. So yummy with some almond milk.

What do you order from iHerb?
What are your current favourite teas?

I'll take some oats with a side of oats, please.

Yesterday, while making my brown rice I thought i'd double check that my old rice cooker really was as crappy wonderful as I remembered it being.

My test? Let's use up some whole oat groats that wouldn't fit into my glass storage jar, and try em' in the rice cooker to save time! This is also my first step in Maggie's clean the pantry challenge for June!

Rice cooker still shitty lovely? yep...leaking water all over the counter!
Oats still delicious? you know they were.

Usually I make my oats with an overnight quick cook and then soaking method that is in most macrobiotic books. Whole oats made this way gives you the absolute most creamy oatmeal EVER. But it does definitely require a lot more prepping and cooking time. I'll post this recipe soon though, so keep an eye out.

This time I thought i'd make em' much less creamy, and more like rice! Result:

This morning, I had a nice bowl of plain and simple chia oatbran, and topped it with some whole oat groats! (pic is obviously pre-topping!). With it, I had dulse flakes, flax oil, and sprouted pumpkin seeds.


So delicious!

Last week I got a beautiful wooden bamboo spoon, fork, and knife set. I figured if anyone out there appreciates this as much as I do, it will be you lovely foodie readers!

Naturally, I tried it out first with a bowl of green oats. So wonderful, in every possible way.

For the natural doctor I'm seeing, I am supposed to write a list of all the foods I eat in a day...I wonder what his reaction will be when I try and describe my messy green slop that I call breakfast? hehehe.

My bamboo spoon was the perfect addition to my breakfast ritual. So far it has made every meal even more delightful! In macrobiotics and lots of other healthy eating sites I've read, it is recommended that you should try to make your meal entirely enjoyable: from the care you put in preparation, to the presentation and serving dish, and finally in slowly savoring each bite (I need to work on slowing down, haha). Thank you bamboo spoon for adding to my eating enjoyment! Do you have a favourite spoon/utensil that makes your meal that much better?

In 11 weeks I'm leaving for...

Can you guess where?

If you like sushi as much as I do, then you probably guessed it: I am going to Japan in only 3ish months! I realized yesterday, that I have been failing to mention this big life change that is coming up right away!

Why am I going to Japan, you ask? Why haven't I mentioned it? Well here's the skinny:

I graduated this past December with a philosophy degree. I know, I know: what do you do with a philosophy degree, right? Well...you get RYA certified and teach yoga! This is what I have been doing since last summer, and I am absolutely loving it! I did my 200 hour yoga teacher training over the summer, and just kind of fell into teaching at my favourite studio (dream job! yipee!!). I have been teaching since september, but not so much in the fall as I was finishing off school. Since December I have been teaching more and more, and have found my groove.

That being said, I applied in November for a teaching english in Japan program. It is a year long contract with the government, and they pay for your flight and a nice hefty salary, which will help with my GIANT STUDENT LOANS. I just found out about a month ago, that I was accepted (it's a REALLY long application process). I am pretty excited to be going to Japan, as I love Japanese culture. I have read almost every Haruki Murakami book out there, love the cuisine, and the country just looks beautiful.

Financially wise, going to Japan is a sound decision, as it will let me pay off a large chunk of my debt. Excitement wise, going to Japan is also a great decision! I love traveling, and I'm only 23, so I can pick up with whatever when i'm back. So why have I been avoiding posting about this? Well, I feel as though I'm finally settling into teaching. I'm done school, which is nice, and I'm supporting myself with teaching classes. This leaves me with plenty of time to do other things I like, and basically lead a simple, happy, and stress-free life. Which is nice after a long and mentally draining degree! I keep thinking that it would be so much easier to stay here in my comfortable routine! And I'm hesitant to give up my teaching here. I feel as though i'm still learning so much, I adore my studio, and I love my teachers and students.

My mind was in battle mode for a long time: teach yoga here vs. crazy adventure over there. After much deliberation, and discussion with my guy (I promised him we would go somewhere when I was done my degree), and discussion with my teacher (he said not to worry, that i'll be able to teach yoga in Japan for sure, and they will always be here when/if I come back), I decided to just go for it, and take the position. But somedays I still feel as though I'm being negligent to my "career" by giving up my teaching jobs here, and that I will desperately miss my studio. Any thoughts you guys? Any reassurances or similar situations you've been in?

Whew. After that crazy venting session, I'll leave you with slightly less words, and lots of foodie photos. I've stopped taking photos of my rice because well, it's rice. You've seen it before. On to my veggie-ful eats:

I have been continuing on my ravenous veggie eating path, and am loving it!
I opened one of the salted seaweed bags I bought the other day, and it was super yummy. Basically, you rinse off all the salt, let the seaweed soak for 10 minutes. Rinse and soak again, and then drain. You can then cut it up and do whatever you like with it! I think my favourite way to eat is is to just dice it up small, and toss with a bit of toasted sesame oil, lemon, and a bit of shoyu! Very macrobiotic, and so delicious.

You can't beat seaweed salad:

Because soy bugs me, and this month i'm trying to be nice to my body, no shoyu in this one. Along with my seaweed salad, I made a really quick stir-fry made up of sui choy, broccoli, carrots, kale, bok choy, brussel sprouts...I think that's it. I stir fried it in water, and added some dulse flakes at the end. Once it had cooled a bit, I added flax oil:

I liked it so much I made another one the next day, and added in some seaweed:

And I have been eating copious amounts of these guys (sugar snap peas)right out of the bag:

So I decided to post today about all of this because I just had my first Japanese lesson last night, and got kinda excited... Have any of you ever had to make a hard choice between leaving a "good career and life opportunity" and "going on an adventure"?

Today's Dinner

As a nice summary of my huge (sorry, I cannot be concise) entry below, here is my yummy macrobiotic dinner for tonight:

Soaked brown rice, cooked with ginger and wakame, topped with flax oil, dulse flakes, kelp powder, shitake mushrooms and a few sunflower seeds.
Lightly boiled: daikon, carrot, collard greens, and black kale, all topped with a bit of Udo's oil and celtic sea salt.
A half of a baked Kabocha squash (the most delicious squash ever!!)
A bowl of the remaining veggie broth.

Mmmmmm!!!! Soooo satisfied. Definitely don't need anything else today (even though my my mind is trying to trick me into going back to that cocoa bliss jar....damn cocoa).

Oat Bran Loveliness - Macrobiotic Style

Okay...so I used to think I was a weirdo. After finishing my dinner, my sweet tooth would call me back to the kitchen, leaving me wandering aimlessly for something delicious and healthy to satisfy my craving.

One evening, I discovered mixing a small bit of oats with hot water, cinnamon, a bit of rice syrup, and maybe some amasake or almond milk: and it was delicious. A nice little whole-grain, not too sweet, healthy-ish dessert.

BUT, I was all out of oats one evening, and all I could find in my cupboard was oat bran. My cravings won out, so I just tossed a few tablespoons of oat bran in a cup, added some boiling water, stirred, let is sit, added some more water, and then flavoured with amasake, rice syrup, and cinnamon: DELICIOUS.

Since then, I have been frequently enjoying oatbran as a lovely little mid-day or post-dinner snack. I thought I was the only one who fully realized oatbran's greatness, until I stumbled upon these blogs the last few days:

http://www.thesaladgirl.com/
http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/

What a delight!! I am not alone in the land of oat bran. So many delicious creations!! These are my two new favourite blogs/websites.

Last night after practicing/teaching 3 yoga classes and working at the studio all afternoon, I was soooo tired and exhausted. I normally don't like to eat in the evenings, but I couldn't help myself this time. So in honour of the new blogging world oat bran craze, I made some oat bran, macrobiotic style:

Oatbran with Toasted Sesame Oil, Sunflower Seeds, and Dulse

boil ~1.5 cups of water on the stove (I used leftover collard/daikon/carrot broth plus some extra water)
add in ~1/3 cup of oatbran
simmer for a few moments

Once cooked until your desired consistency, remove from heat and add to serving bowl.
Let cool for a few minutes.
Stir in Toasted Sesame oil (I used about 1tsp).
Garnish with as much sunflower seeds and dulse as you like! I used dulse flakes, and I like to add it while the oats are still hot, so that they melt in.

MMMMMM so satisfying and delicious!

*** The absolute BEST sunflower seeds I have bought are: Go Raw - sprouted sunflower seeds. They are a bit pricey, but so worth it! They are sprouted, so they are easier to digest, and are seasoned with just a little bit of celtic sea salt! Their sprouted pumpkin seeds are even better, but even more expensive....but if you're going to splurge on something, it may as well be delicious ingredients!