I'll admit, I'm a sucker for underdogs. And I can't think of a food item more in need of a public relations overhaul than my friend seaweed.
Sea vegetables do not necessarily inspire in the kitchen, but these nutrient-rich foods are much needed in modern diets. I especially recommend to my vegetarian clients and those who eat a diet heavy in convenience foods. Seaweed is a rich source of iodine, which promotes proper thyroid function, as well as magnesium, calcium, and b-vitamins.
Thanks to a heavy influx of Japanese restaurants in the last ten years, many individuals have had a relationship with seaweed - from nori, the sea vegetable that holds together our dear sushi rolls, to hijiki or wakame, which is used in seaweed salads. However, in the home, most of us are still clueless.
One simple solution I've discovered in the last year is to add a two-inch strip of kombu in the cooking water of my brown rice or any whole grain or bean dish. By cooking slowly over time, the minerals in the sea vegetables naturally form a nutrient-rich broth that is absorbed by the rice. And if the sight of seaweed makes you gag, no worries, just throw it out and enjoy rice! You'll still get the benefit of the added minerals.