Sea “Spaghetti” with Creamy Cashew Dill Sauce

by Gena on July 10, 2010

Thank you to everyone who commented on Thursday night’s emotional eating post. It was one of my all time favorite conversations here on the blog, and I hope we’ll find ways to deepen and expand it soon.

Ages ago–like, months and months and months–the very gracious Joanna Steven over at Sirova foods offered to send me some of their sea spaghetti to review on the blog. Joanna, I am SO sorry that it’s taken me so long to deliver my review! Thanks for your patience.

As you can see from the information page, sea spaghetti is ridiculously nutrient rich. It may be the most nutrient dense sea veggie I’ve come into contact with (and this is saying a lot, given that most sea vegetables are exceptionally high in vitamins and minerals). A five gram serving contains 500% of your daily recommended vitamin C, half of your recommended potassium, almost 40% of your daily magnesium, and 30% of your daily calcium. It also gives you 70% of your daily recommended iodine–which, as I’ve noted before, isn’t a micronutrient that most people pay attention to in their diets.

The sea spaghetti, like all sea vegetables, is packaged in a dry form, and one rinses and soaks it for at least fifteen minutes before simmering it. If you wish to eat it raw (which I did), I recommend at least an hour of soak time. After soaking and draining, a double serving (twice the recommended serving size) had plumped up to this:

I was very excited to try the “noodles.” I’d considered numerous sauces and dressings (the Sirova website even offers some suggestions), but finally I settled on the idea of a creamy dill sauce. Dill is one of my favorite herbs–I love how it evokes spring, and it also reminds me of many of the Greek dishes I grew up with–and I’ve hoped to make a creamy pasta sauce with it for a while. My recipe was thus:

Cashew Dill Sauce (yields between 1 and 1 1/2 cups)

1 cup cashews, soaked one hour or more and drained
2 tbsp lemon
1/4 cup dill
1/3-1/2 cup cold water
1/2 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients in a blender till very smooth. NB: I recommend starting with 1/4 cup water, and adding more until you reach a consistency you like. 1/2 cup worked for me, but cashews absorb soaking water with some variability, and sometimes when I use soaked nuts and water both the result is a sauce that’s too thin.

I dressed the sea spaghetti with about 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce, and served it with a big salad of fresh romaine, veggies, EVOO and lemon. It looked and tasted fantastic:

The problem? I was done in two bites. Literally.

Herein lies the rub. The sea spaghetti, in spite of its name, is truly intended as a garnish. I’d already doubled the portion size, and it was still rather tiny. I could certainly have quadrupled the recommended serving, but if I’d done that the sodium count would have started to climb. Sea veggies lose sodium when you soak them, of course, but they’re naturally on the salty side. I’m far from a salt-phobe, but it is summer in NYC, and salty foods don’t sound fun when I’m already parched half the time from the heat. Additionally, I didn’t feel like dumping half or even the whole bag of a specialty ingredient–one I can’t just stock up on at the corner deli–into a single dinner. That didn’t feel very economical to me.

So I finished my little bowl of the very tasty sea spaghetti, returned to my kitchen, and made a bowl of spiralized zucchini and chickpeas. And I deployed some more of my cream sauce on top of that. The result was a dinner far more likely to satisfy this hungry eater:

Served along with my dinner salad and some crackers from Two Moms in the Raw:

It was perfect, and it provided the kind of volume and satiety I need in a meal.

If you’re exploring sea vegetables, then I do recommend the sea spaghetti. It’s terribly healthy, and it’s also tasty. I simply think that the name is misleading: what’s really a garnish is marketed indirectly as a pasta substitute. And while one could certainly use it as such, that would mean using an entire package (or nearly that) at each meal. If I’m going to order a specialty food online and pay for shipping, I tend to prefer it be something voluminous enough to last me quite a few meals. Otherwise, I’ll shop locally. There are a few raw granola brands I like, for instance, that don’t yield more than a few servings. But I buy them once in a while as a special treat, and I’m not dealing with the hassle or cost of shipping.

Bottom line? Look into sea spaghetti pronto if you’re seeking out a sea vegetable that’s mild-tasting, extremely nutrient-dense, and packaged with integrity. But you’d best not think of it as a pasta substitute so much as an add-on to salads, soups, stir fries, or the like.

Oh — and make my cashew dill sauce. It’s really good :-)

Hope you’re staying cool this weekend!

xo

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle (Runs on Green) July 10, 2010 at 12:19 pm

The cashew dill sauce *does* look really good :D I can’t believe I’ve never ‘cooked’ with fresh dill (only dried)…I need to get on that!

500% of your daily vitamin C…danggg lol. It should be called super immunity sea spaghetti

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Ameena July 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I’ve never heard of sea spaghetti before…it looks really interesting and delicious with the sauce over it!

I totally agree on the salty thing…I don’t crave salty foods in the heat but in the winter I am a bit too liberal with the salt shaker!

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Brittany July 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I can see where there could be some confusion considering the sea veggie is labeled as sea spaghetti. I like your idea of using it sparingly.

I’ve been trying to incorporate more sea vegetables in my diet as I’m lacking iron.

Hope you’re having a great weekend Gena!

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Jenna @ Healthy. Happy. Well. July 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

What a gorgeous recipe. I can’t wait to try this, but I need to find a place that sells the ingredients. Thank you for sharing. I recently decided to evolve from vegan to all raw and love your site for inspiration!

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Hannah July 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Hmmm…I wonder if, as someone who doesn’t care for dulse, would I be able to like this sea veggie? Is it not as salty as other varieties?

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Gena July 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Hannah,

It’s way less salty, but it’s definitely a bit fishier. So I’m not sure!

G

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Evan Thomas July 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm

That sauce sounds so good. I used to love dill and salmon, so I guess it would go good with some “sea spaghetti”

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Annie@stronghealthyfit July 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I think your bowls of zucchini and chickpeas looks SO good! I’d be willing to try out the sea spaghetti too, I like trying new things :-) Gotta try one of your sauces sometime soon.

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Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey July 10, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Ahh that cashew dill sauce sounds wonderful! Dill is one of my favorite flavors.

Whoa, zucchini + chickpease + dill sauce? That sounds incredible. I’ll have to try that sometime.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) July 10, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Hi Gena, hope your weekend is off to a good start. Thanks for the review on this; have never heard of these. I am not big into kelp noodles (too crunchy, it’s a texture thing for me) but these could work since they seem softer. But as you noted (and thank you) it’s not a voluminous thing and may be more of a “treat” food b/c of price per oz. In order to feed 3 people, I would need 3 packages it sounds like…probably not super cost efficient :) Good thing for zucchini pasta and zukes comin’ out of my ears at the San Diego farmers market right about now :)

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Christine (The Raw Project) July 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Hmmm, this looks very interesting, like something I’d like to try soon. And the sauce? Yum! I am a huge dill and chickpea fan, so I will definitely be trying that soon. Thanks!

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Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine July 10, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I love sea veggies, thanks for reminding me of them! Maybe I will try something with them soon :)

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bitt July 10, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I really need to try these noodles! I am hearing more things about kelp noodles really not being that great nutritionally. I am sure these are much better. Thanks for reminding me.

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Laura July 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I love your combo of zucchini noodles and chickpeas! I had never thought of that. I like kelp noodles as well, and they pack a lot into those packages. Swapping garlic for dill as always, the sauce looks great too!

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sophia July 10, 2010 at 9:14 pm

The sea spaghetti looks rather freaky…but I’ve eaten it numerous times before. I think I ate it once on top of bibimbap…Korean mixed rice. Maybe you can try it on top of cooked rice, and mix it with some gochujang. Haha, that’s the way I’ll eat it, anyway.

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Sarah-Mae @ Eat, Run, Knit July 10, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Spinach noodles remain my favorite!

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Julie Lynn July 10, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Gena, So glad you posted this review. I’m always on the lookout for foods that are nutrient dense and this one certainly fits the bill.

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Sarah July 10, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I really want to like sea veggies but generally don’t. I’d like to try these. Maybe these mixed with zuke noodles would be a good combo… get all the nutrients plus bulk it up with the fresh veggies.

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Katie July 10, 2010 at 10:54 pm

I don’t know about the sea spaghetti, but that sauce is calling to me. I grew my own dill for the first time last year, and I had no idea how much I loved it until then. Dried dill is a whole different beast.

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Pure2raw twins July 11, 2010 at 12:39 pm

We love sea spaghetti! But yes does not fill us up.

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Joanna Steven July 11, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I’m so glad you liked it, Gena! If anyone wishes to try sea spaghetti or any other product, we are offering a 10% discount on all orders for the month of July. The coupon code is RAWFREEDOM. Enjoy the summer :)

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Kenzie (Healthy Purpose) July 11, 2010 at 8:37 pm

im just getting into sea vegetable and use nori and dulse– but I will DEFINITELY look into sea noodles for more nutritional density–thanks for the recommendation!

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Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine July 12, 2010 at 8:30 am

Thanks for your honesty about the sea spaghetti! It does sound interesting, but I love spiralized vegggies, so for the cost difference there’s no competition! The sauce looks yummy too!

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Sarah S. July 12, 2010 at 11:18 am

Good timing, looking for more uses for the dill that is growing out of control on my front porch right now. :)

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bitt March 14, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Interesting that the company that sold you this is now promoting it in the first sense, just with the sauce, and using your name to boot. I wish people really took time to read it. I had to come back and look because I’ve heard these noodles are truly awful.

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