This is gorgeous to look at, super healthy and absolutely delicious. Sea vegetables come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but I love the 'pasta' variety, as they can be added to many dishes. It adds a taste of the sea without fish or shellfish, especially valuable on an anti-CanSur protocol where shellfish is forbidden.
Seaweed is an important source of iodine, deficiencies of which are linked to breast CanSur and thyroid problems. Iodine is essential for the thyroid to produce thyroid hormones. But it is easy to overdose on iodine supplements, which in turn causes a whole host of other symptoms, so iodine-rich vegetables are one way of getting essential iodine into our diet, especially for vegans.
This salad is spicy so reduce the chilli if your palate prefers something less fiery. Personally, I love these flavours and the salad can take it, even though the dressing tasted on its own seems hot.
This is perfect for a summer barbecue where you might be serving fish, or simple barbecued chicken, and perfect for that buffet table as it is chock full of colour. In this dish I have used 'heritage' carrots. They are purple, and unlike beetroot, will not 'bleed' into the dish, but have the same phytonutrients as beetroot. If you can't find them, stick to 'orange' carrots or substitute with some julienned courgette. I used pointed Ramiro red peppers as they slice into really thin julienne - Dutch peppers are much thicker and less sweet.
I have dressed this salad with spicy toasted cashews and caramelised shallots. Asian salads often used chopped peanuts, but peanuts are forbidden because of aflatoxin - a toxin produced by moulds that affects peanuts in storage - which is a known carcinogen. Peanuts are not true nuts anyway, they are actually a legume. Cashews are so much nicer! I always substitute cashews in recipes that call for peanuts. Make sure your cashews are organic as the cashew tree is subject to quite a few pests and the pesticide endosulfan is used on non-organic cashew trees. It is highly toxic to humans and animals and harmful to aquatic life.
Asian food shops often sell bags of crispy caramalised shallots but they are often cooked in palm oil, and can often be rancid. These shallots are cooked in the left over oil from the cashews and caramelised with a half teaspoon of date syrup cooked over a low light until crisp.
Play with the dressing, and taste as you go along. Different brands have different flavours so taste and adjust to your own taste.
If you want this to be vegan use date syrup instead of honey and a 'vegetarian' fish sauce.
This filling can also be used to fill rice paper rolls.
Serves 4 - 6
30 g sea vegetable 'pasta'
100g thin rice vermicelli/noodles
1 large organic 'heritage' carrot, julienned
1 large organic orange carrot, julienned
1 red organic pointed Romano pepper, julienned
3/4 bag of beansprouts
2 tbs chopped chives (or spring onions)
** 1 cup Healing Intent
For the spiced cashews
60 g organic cashews
1/2 tsp crushed chilli
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 tsp coconut oil
For the caramelised shallots
leftover oil from cashews
4 - 5 Asian shallots, finely sliced
1/2 tsp date syrup
sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt
For the dressing
3 tbs quality fish sauce
3 tbs tamari
3 tbs rice wine vinegar
3 tbs lime juice
1 tbs raw honey or date syrup
4 tiny Birdseye chilli
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
1. Cook the seaweed according to instructions in boiling water for around 15 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of filtered water and leave for around 30 minutes. This helps reduce the overwhelming 'fishy' flavour.
2. Soak the rice vermicelli in a bowl of filtered water for at least an hour. The vermicelli should have some bite but not be raw inside. If you use boiling water to soak the noodles, they will be overly soft.
3. Combine the noodles, seaweed, carrot, red pepper and chives in a large bowl.
4. For the spicy cashews, melt the coconut oil in a pan and add the cashews, tossing them in the crushed chilli for about 2 minutes. When lightly toasted, remove and sprinkle with salt.
5. In the leftover oil, add the shallots and cook over a low heat until soft. Add the date syrup and continue to cook until caramelised and crisp. Keep the heat low, otherwise they will burn. This takes around 20 minutes. When cooked, lightly salt.
6. For the dressing, place all the ingredients into a blender beaker and with a hand-blender blitz it all up. Put the vegetables and vermicelli in a bowl and add the dressing and toss well. To finish chop the cashews and scatter over the salad and finish with the caramelised shallots.
** Healing Intent: when cooking foods to heal the body it is important to set your intent. The best way to do this is imagine that you are cooking this dish for yourself or for someone you love who is very ill and that this dish is the only thing that will help in their healing. You will find that the way you handle the food will change, and will not only result in a better dish, but you will feel the food actually nourishing your body and spirit.