Sunday, October 7, 2012

Vegan MoFo 7: Seaweed, Mostly

It's Sunday, and I'm out of pre-written posts, so you'll forgive me for stretching it a bit.

I was in Philadelphia this weekend, and ate a bit better than I have been. Since I was staying with people, I made sure to pack a few things to eat. It was not a purely social visit, so I knew I couldn't expect restaurants or large spreads for dinner.

I didn't have to depend on my stash alone, though. While my hosts ordered pizza for their many guests, they set out some brown rice, edamame, hijiki, and a variety of oils and sauces for me. I went with tamari and chili sesame sauce, and really, I couldn't have been happier. I was full all night.

When the drinking started, and people tiredly ate more pizza and cheese, my host brought out these seaweed chips that I had seen, but had never tried. They were thin, and reconstituted from crispy paper to gooey plant in your mouth. They were awesome until they weren't. At some point (mercifully before I had finished the box myself), I suddenly didn't want anymore. I think they'd be a great solution for people like me who get salty/savory cravings when they're not very hungry.

I can't find a picture of the brand I had, I didn't take any pictures there, and I don't want to steal someone's photo, but I discovered that Seaweed Pringles are a real thing in Thailand. I know it's cultural, but there's something weird about it being Pringles brand seaweed.

Incidentally, I don't eat Pringles because they're made by those anti-animal crusaders, Proctor and Gamble.

Turning back to actual seaweed, I want to say it's worth keeping around. Vegan bakers tend to know about the importance of Kuzu or Agar, but hijiki and dulse are pure fried gold as toppers for anything - I really like putting them in my soups and salads. When I'm moody and depressed, my sister urges me to eat wakame. When I'm making beans in the slow cooker, I always toss in a strip of kombu because it's supposed to make the beans easier to digest, but I also like the bit of flavor it imparts.

I could go take a picture of all the seaweeds I keep around here, but I'm in the middle of this episode of Downton Abbey, so how about I just share something interesting I learned this weekend? Composer John Cage suffered from arthritis as her aged, but found great relief after he adopted the macrobiotic diet. I'm not macro myself, but I'm familiar with it. If you don't use a lot of seaweed, macro recipes provide a possible introduction.

I actually like The Self-Healing Cookbook a lot. I don't agree with all of the claims of the macro diet, but I appreciate the simplicity and the diversity that it adds to my regular diet. This book emphasizes balance and the use of grains and vegetables to ward off illness, and physical and emotional ailments. I do loathe talking about "whole foods," but I do prefer that approach to cooking and eating. Whether you buy it or not, I can tell you that I do love when my macro-leaning sister visits and makes me amazing macro food.

Seriously, this was amazing.


  1. Seaweed Pringles make sense in Thailand. I bought seaweed from the Asian market. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't something I crave.

  2. Cool post. I love a variety of seaweeds but I know what you mean about those seaweed paper snacks. They just get stuck to the roof of my mouth and in my teeth and it's not attractive, ha.
    Kind of bizarre and creepy that P&G make Pringles. I did not know that.

    1. Thanks! I should have mentioned that those seaweed crisps are not meant to be eaten in the company of others.

      I remember being so annoyed when I found out about Pringles. They're so addictive and good, but now I don't feel OK buying them when I put so much effort into avoiding beauty products from the same place.

  3. I love seaweed but I don't know much about it. The crisps sound great.

    1. It's surprisingly easy to utilize and once you start, you see opportunities everywhere. I put it rice, soup, salad, guacamole - almost any sauce or spread.