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Kelp Forest Noodles

It’s all about simple.  This is tres simple and tres delish.  If you haven’t discovered kelp noodles or Austrian pumpkinseed oil, well, now’s your chance.  I’m enamored of both.  Kelp noodles are virtually calorie-free, entirely gluten-free, have a pleasant, neutral taste and are said to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.  The alginates in kelp lower the mercury load in the body too.  They can be used raw, right out of the bag, or served hot with your favorite pasta sauce.  Ain’t that grand?!?

Austrian pumpkinseed oil is made from a variety of pumpkin whose seeds have no hulls.  The seeds are dried, crushed, mixed with water and real, unrefined salt (said to make the seeds more digestible), then slow-roasted to evaporate the water.  Once dried, seeds are pressed to extract the oil.  It takes 5 pounds roasted seeds, or about 35 pumpkins, to produce one liter of oil which is a lovely, dark forest green.  By the by, this pumpkinseed oil is heat-sensitive, so don’t cook with it.

Do I use organic ingredients?  Yes. I want the most bang for my buck and I want a healthy planet too.

Serves 6-8                                

1 12-oz package of Sea Tangle kelp noodles ¼ C lemon or lime juice (more to taste)
3 ripe Hass avocados ½ C Austrian pumpkinseed oil
6-8 cloves garlic, pressed 1 C minced red onion
3-4 chard* leaves with the ribs 1 tsp Grains of Paradise or black pepper
3-4 leaves bok choy* 1-2 tsp good salt (like Celtic or Himalayan)
2 shredded zucchini (about 6 C) 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Open package of kelp noodles.  Rinse.  Put on chopping board and cut into bite-sized strands.  Put into a large mixing or salad bowl.  Peel and cube avocados.  Roll chard and bok choy leaves like cigars and cut lengthwise into ribbons.  Using the coarse grating blade of your food processor, or a box grater, grate zucchini.  Add all ingredients to the bowl with the kelp noodles.

Using your hands, mix everything together well.  You’ll be massaging the noodles, which stay chewy but soften some as they marinate in the dressing.  This salad keeps a couple of days, if you have leftovers.

*Can you use other greens in lieu of chard or bok choy?  Sure you can.  Kale if you like.  All chard or all bok choy.  You can use spinach, but that is more perishable and you’ll need to eat this salad the day it’s made. Adam said I should tell people what to do with the rest of that bunch of chard or other greens.  Store in frig like you would any green, which means it’s best to use them up in a couple of days….

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