Good morning!

How are you doing today? I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already! The long weekend, plus a very busy week at work is definitely making time fly by. My agenda for today is pretty packed, so let’s cut straight to the chase with a recap of the new things tried yesterday, shall we? Starting with the usual….

1. Recipe of the Week: I’ve already given you two recipes this week, so let’s keep this one simple, shall we? Keeping with the theme of going back to school, one of my favourite, but far too rarely enjoyed sandwiches as a kid was tuna. I think everyone feels at least a little bit of insecurity as they pull a strong-smelling food out of their lunchbags in a social setting, and as a kid, tuna was pretty high on the smelly list. Now that (usually) I eat lunch in my office and really couldn’t care less what other people think, this twist on the classic, a Lemon Tarragon Tuna Sandwich, has become one of my lunchbox staples.

2. Arame. In case you’ve never come across the word before, arame is a type of seaweed. Like other sea veggies, it contains calcium, iodine, potassium, vitamin A and fiber.

According to this source:

Arame is firm, made up from dark brown filaments and has a semi-sweet taste. It can be cooked in numerous ways, so you have to decide whether you will serve it sautéed or steamed. Arame is also a popular ingredient in Japanese soups, salads, marinated dishes and stews. Stuffed mushrooms can also be made with arame. 

What would motivate me to even seek out arame? Well, myself and two of my besties at work have become quite the sushi goers, and I think we’ve visited one of our favourite local all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants 3 times over the past month. It wasn’t until our most recent visit that I tried the seaweed salad, an appetizer that one of my friends raved about. I didn’t take a photo at the time, but it looked a lot like this:

(Source)

The seaweed was served on top of lettuce, with some sort of dressing on top. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but I knew I had to re-create it. After a bit of Googling, I learned that seaweed salads usually contain a number of different seaweeds, including arame and wakame (which I made into soup a while ago). I found some dried arame in my local health food store, and mixed it with some leftover wakame in a bowl of water for about 5 minutes.

The long straight pieces are wakame, and the shorter bits that look like hair fried in a blow dryer are arame.

Having a soak: The wakame flattened out into pieces that look like thin plastic seaweed cut-outs, and the arame went all worm-like.

Next, I set it all (about 1 cup worth of soaked seaweed) in a strainer in order to let as much water drain out as possible. Just to make things a little more interesting, I chopped up some spring onion and cilantro, and peeled a few cucumber ribbons to add to the mix. My dressing was made of the following (all of which are very rough measurements):

  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • a few pinches of stevia and garlic powder
  • about 1/4 tsp sesame seeds
The result looked like this:
Don’t knock it till you try it!! I realize that it looks incredibly unappetizing because my roommates informed me of this while I happily twirled it around my fork. Did it taste like the version I fell in love with at the sushi restaurant? Well, no, not quite. It didn’t look like it either – I think my wakame must be different to what the restaurant uses because it wasn’t as noodle-y, but it was still really tasty! The seaweed took on the flavours of the dressing, but still had its usual ‘green’ notes too. Still, it didn’t taste quite the same as the sushi restaurant version, so next time I think I’ll ask what else they put in it so I can make a closer re-creation.
Interested in learning more about sea veggies? Check out this Guide to Sea Vegetables from Whole Foods.

3. A new group fitness class: “Boot Camp 2″. You guys know that I’m always looking for new ways to mix up my workouts, and I’m sure you’re probably the same. Recently I decided to take advantage of one of my company’s corporate rates at a local (and incredibly gorgeous) gym. Despite being very active in the mornings, I’m pretty inactive when it comes to the rest of my day. Unless I’m subbing a cycling class, my weekday evenings usually consist of going home, cooking dinner, reading blogs, and chilling out with the roomies. In effort to add some physical activity into the other parts of my day, I’m on a quest to do as many group exercise classes as I can at this club, and yesterday I kicked off my first day with this:

Bootcamp 2: The best fat blasting workout with more challenges! Intervals of cardio and weight training shock your system, keep your heart rate up and your muscles stimulated for maximum calorie burn.

(Source)

Sounds fun, doesn’t it!? I did some cardio and a lower bodyworkout with Mr Trainer 2 earlier yesterday morning, so my legs and butt muscles were already starting to feel a bit of a zing by the time 5pm rolled around. I’d heard some very good things about this class and the instructor, so despite my screaming glutes I was excited to give it a whirl. And the verdict? It was great!! We did about a squillion squats and burpees, and a bunch of other compound moves to work a bunch of muscles at once. The class finished with a few minutes of skipping (and I’m getting quite good at it!!) and a nice stretch. I’ll definitely be a regular attendee at this one!!

Sweaty post-boot camp me

Ok, work time!! Before you leave to have an absolutely fantastic day, tell me…

  • Sushi eaters: What’s your favourite thing to order in a sushi restaurant? I’m all about the spicy tuna and spicy salmon maki, but I could probably eat seaweed salad and edamame every day and never get bored!
  • What foods do you love but don’t eat enough of because of their smell? Egg salad was another one I didn’t like to take in my school lunches – partly because of the smell, and partly because it made the bread all soggy. Clearly I wasn’t wise enough back then to think of the lettuce leaf barrier!!
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