Finding gifts for some people may be a difficult task. Offering food can be a nice solution especially if you prepare it yourself and the presentation shows an investment of time and creativity. ‘My Favourite Things’ features Home-made gift ideas and nibbles with a difference for entertaining during the Holiday Season. Making your own gifts really transforms the gesture of giving into something much more personal…isn’t it the meaning of the Season ?
I am asked many questions when I give Seaweed Preparation Workshops, but one that seems to be on many people’s mind is whether seaweed can be used in desserts. Some of you may think that ‘Seaweed’, ‘chocolate’ and ‘ginger’ are words that don’t really belong in the same sentence, let alone a recipe. Yet the pudding below is scrumptious, without so much as a whiff of seaweed about it. So Karengo (NZ nori) with chocolate & ginger, one of the best taste combination I know for dessert, rich, intense and flavourful. Try it !
For me, making smoothies dates back to the 1980’s in Canada, when I suffered fom exhaustion and decided it was time to clean up my act. My Natural Health Practitioner had recommended a daily diet high in sprouts (especially sunflower and buckwheat) and other superfoods, made into smoothies. Now that I live in New Zealand, I do not have my chosen sprouts year-round… but I have discovered more about seaweed. Working with it everyday for the last ten years has opened my eyes to its variety & versatility. I haven’t stopped making smoothies, using various powdered seaweed as a key ingredient. But I hear you say… I don’t think I can handle it in a smoothie ! Well, that is because it is often assumed that seaweed has a strong taste or limited ability to combine with land food…nothing is further from the truth!….read on 🙂
Most people’s first experience of seaweed is sushi. These little bite size morsels are considered ‘fast food’ in Japan. Although they are a delicious way to start appreciating the taste of nori, seaweed wraps are often over processed and glazed with flavoured salty mixtures to make them shiny and resistent to the ambient moisture. The recipe below won’t result in a sheet that is as crunchy as the traditional sushi wrap but it is much more resilient and contains far less sodium and other additives. Another advantage is that any seaweed leaf can be used to produce wraps of various colours and flavours. The flavour can also be enriched by soaking the seaweed in a liquid of your choice (a juice, herbal tea or stock) and adding herbs, seeds or spices to the mixture. Read on to find out how easy it is !
This adaptation of ‘PUTTANESCA’ from the traditional Neapolitan recipe is an affordable, spicy dish intended for quick preparation. The anchovies are replaced by Karengo, a seaweed from New Zealand’s South Island. When Karengo is exposed to moisture in cooking, its flavour becomes very similar to mild anchovy.