I think nori is the ultimate convenience food. And most of the time, I don't do anything even close to traditional with it - I just use it like a wrap, in place of those devilishly pasty flour tortillas that always made me feel sick. Meat, vegetables, beans, grains, whatever - roll it in nori, and you have a meal! One of my favorite on-the-fly fillings is leftover spaghetti squash and a tin olive oil-packed sardines with a sprinkle of azuki tamari and black pepper. Have some leftover squash or mashed sweet potato, some greens, and some beans? Spread it in a sheet or two of nori, and you are good to go. Want a mexican style burrito, don't want to deal with making your own gluten-free tortillas,and don't want to pay $6 for a package of them at the co-op? Wrap it in nori, baby. Have some cooked up rice or quinoa, some leftover fish, and some old green onion and cucumber sitting in the fridge? Wrap it in nori, and you suddenly have a half-assed version of sushi. It becomes even MORE like sushi if you have some good-quality wasabi powder stashed in your spice pantry to whip up for such an occasion. Seriously, I think nori is like god's gift to food. I keep a package of it at work just in case I have something to wrap up. And I like to travel with it too - you never know when that can of tuna in your purse might need something to get stuffed into for an emergency meal on-the-go.
Plus, nori is so fantastically good for you. Like all sea vegetables, nori is high in iron, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, healthy sodium, and hard-to-find iodine, an important mineral that helps to regulate healthy thyroid function. Sea vegetables can help remove heavy metals from the body, and the unique concentration of fiber can help to remove toxins from the intestinal tract. Plus, seaweeds have naturally antimicrobial properties, and help to regulate healthy bacteria levels in the gut. In Chinese dietary therapy, seaweeds are considered a yin food, and can help tonify the kidneys, especially important during times of stress, detoxification, or poor adrenal function. Seaweeds benefit everyone's diet, so try them out! Toasted sheets of nori is a good way to start adding sea vegetables to your diet - it has a mild flavor, requires no additional preparation, and is easy and versatile. Plus it is inexpensive - shop at Asian markets to find the best deals!!!
TURKEY AND SPROUT NORI WRAP (gluten free)
- Lay out nori on bamboo roller or on a piece of paper, or if you're lucky and not at work, a bamboo mat
- Layer ingredients on nori, starting with sliced turkey and the flatest ingredients, ending with the fluffiest, hardest to control, or moistest (like sprouts or avocado slices, for example).
- Roll up the nori, dabbing the surface a few times with a bit of water to make the seaweed stick together. Finish rolling, and squeeze together a few times to make it all stay sealed. Slice in half, in smaller rounds, or eat as is like a big burrito! If for some reason your nori is gets too soggy and starts to tear, just roll another sheet of nori around it.