Avocado Sea-sar
May 22, 2011

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Hey all!

So happy you liked my restaurant tip: I probably described what a lot of you already do, but I hope I also gave some bashful new vegans a little confidence boost when it comes to dining out.

I’ve had a weekend of packing, cooking, cleaning, and spending some lazy time with M. My apartment is in a state of bareness and disarray, but I absolutely refuse to pack up my kitchen appliances and pantry until the last minute, so you’ll see at least one or two recipes on the blog this week, as well as various recaps of the many restaurant meals I’ve enjoyed in these days before the big move. You’ll also be hearing about a lot of salad, because most of my cookware is in boxes.

Case in point: a new recipe for Caesar dressing (you may already have tried my nut-based version!). Since I stuffed this particular dressing full of both nori and spirulina (genius!) I’m calling this sea-sar. Yes. Sea-sar. It’s cheesy, but I’m like that sometimes. And since it’s a tough slog to get my readers interested in sea vegetables, I like to celebrate the moments when I can with really bad puns.

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Avocado Sea-sar Dressing (vegan, almost raw, gluten free, soy free)

Yields over 1 cup

1 large Hass avocado
1 tsp vegan Worsterchire sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Juice of two large lemons
3 tbsp mellow white miso
1 small clove garlic
1 tsp spirulina
1 tbsp nori, kelp, or dulse flakes (or a mix of all three, which is what I used)
3/4 cup water (or more if needed)
*2 tbsp olive oil (optional)*

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till smooth. The olive oil is totall optional, but it lends a little added creaminess and richness to the dressing. I used it, but readers who are avoiding oils for any reason are welcome to omit.

Serve over crisp romaine. I topped my salad with some marinated portobello and cherry tomatoes!

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When salad dressing is this rich, creamy, salty, and delicious, there’s no excuse not to gobble up the hidden nori, dulse, and spirulina inside. I know a lot of you are sea veggie haters, and that’s OK—they are an acquired taste. But there’s no denying their health benefits, so why not sneak them into easy, quick, and delicious recipes like these?

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Your body and your taste buds will thank you.

How do you guys like to enjoy sea veggies? Any tips for CR readers who can’t get down with the fishy taste? I’d love to know!


Categories: Gluten Free, Salads

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  1. I have never minded sea veggies, but maybe that’s because I eat sushi a lot, which is, obviously, wrapped in nori? Well, maybe I should say I used to eat sushi a lot. Suburban Michigan cuisine does not compare to New York food in any way. Even avocados from the grocery store don’t taste right. 🙁

    I love seaweed salad that you get at macrobiotic or sushi places too. Although, again, I probably won’t be getting much of that while I’m here.

    I think that seaweed can be disguised in soups pretty well — it never seems to taste fishy to me in a well-flavored broth and veggie and noodle soup.

  2. I’ve had a hard time getting sea veggies down, but have been able to slip a few of them into my morning smoothies. Any other suggestions? For those who were looking for the end grain cutting boards, I found a great one at http://www.givebackproducts.com

  3. I have a small addiction going with some roasted seaweed laver that I found in a grocery store that has a fantastic Asian section. It comes in a small package with 12 sheets and is made by Choripdong. The whole package is pretty much in Korean. I have tried other roasted seaweed snacks (and tried to make my own), but this particular brand is the best (in my opinion).

    I like dulse and kombu sprinkled on steamed rice. This dressing though looks great and would probably be good on steamed veggies too!

  4. I will definitely have to try your version, too! I love that you added sea veggies and spirulina.

    Best of luck with all the packing and the move! Looking forward to the reports from afar. 🙂

  5. I loooove seaweed and sea veggies. At the moment, I’m eating lots of raw veg tossed simply with dulse. Clearly, I need to start adding avocado!

  6. Good luck with the move!

    I love the sea veggies for the most part. I’ve noticed that for some people, they’re more enjoyable gently stir-fried than they are just soaked and put in salad.
    Glad you had _some_ relaxing time this w/e. Moving–such a liminal and triggering time in so many ways. I hope the insights that come are valuable as you settle in to the next phase.

  7. This dressing looks so delicious and healthy and I am totally obsessed with avocados so its perfect! 🙂 And I love seaweed! Love love love it!

  8. Puns never go out of style! I love dulse on salads and DLTs, kelp noodles, nori for wraps, and wakame with avocado and watercress (one of the simpler recipes in Living Raw Food). My husband, wild man that he is, likes to eat dulse and nori straight out of the bag as a snack!

  9. I am more scared of the Worcester than the seaweeds. My dad used to put it on everything he made when I was a kid. YUCK! Now that I’m grown up and there’s a vegan version, I should try again.

    I find dulse to not be very fishy. I am a dulse-aholic and put loads of it into my salads, not just the flakes, the whole huge pieces. Other sea veggies, like sea lettuce and some other kinds I have felt are too strong for me. Nori is in the middle. Kombu is good too and put a piece into beans to help with gas. 🙂

  10. I only have nori sheets, arame, and dulse in the house – wondering what might be another one to add to the mix? I toss dulse in smoothies where I don’t even notice it, but LOVE it idea to use it to replace the anchovy notes in true Caesar dressing! And other than in soups, I could certainly use more inspiration for my arame if you have any! Thanks!

    • Really any seaweed — wakame would be great, because it’s very strong on its own. Experiment! The only one that probably won’t work well is arame, which is pretty bland tasting. Good for salads, but not for sea flavoring.

  11. That looks delicious! I noticed in your old Caesar recipe you served it with a salad w/ fennel on top. How did you get the fennel to be that consistency? Did you use a peeler? I have some fennel from my CSA box that’s just sitting there because it’s frankly not one of my favorite veggies. I’d love to use it up soon. Thanks!

  12. marinated portobello and cherry tomatoes are totally upstaging the dressing..oh, they look awesome!

    This is SUCH a Gena recipe: avocado, miso, nooch, nori/dulse/kelp…it has your name all over it. And it looks so good!

    But small problem, I am one of those people who doesn’t love sea veggies. The taste is fine, it’s not that. It’s the sodium issue. For various reasons, I just don’t tolerate salt/sodium well at all and so I don’t partake it anything with much of it which is why I avoid them…and for anyone who says they taste too fishy, just ummmm, add more of your dressing 🙂

    Or counterbalance the salty/fishy with something more sweet, like a sweet and sour sauce or some sort of orange/citrus/honey/agave/ginger type vinaigrette or sauce. My antidote for everything is always just sweeten it 🙂

    Good luck packing!!

    • As you know, I tend toward sweet/savory stuff, too — but once in a while, I do love a salty, miso-infused dressing. I’ll have something more Averie-ish up soon, no doubt!

  13. Hi Gena,

    Just wanted to say I’m an avid reader of your blog and use many of your recipes as inspiration in my own kitchen. I’m just finishing up culinary school at Natural Gourmet Institute, and we use copious amounts of sea vegetables in the program – frequently hidden in salad dressings like this! My absolute favorite recipe, however, is also the simplest. Take 5-7 sheets of nori (cut or torn into pieces), 1 tbsp nama shoyu, 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup, and 1 cup of water. Put it in a saucepan and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated. Amazing as a condiment for anything and everything.

    Thanks again for being a fount of inspiration!


  14. This looks so good! Good luck with your big move! Nothing but the best for you, Gena! You deserve it!

    I like adding dulse flakes to everything, including my smoothies!