Seaweed Grain Bars!

My daughter is obsessed with seaweed these days. We've always had toasted nori sheets in the house and go through phases where they're a snack of choice but we're in a whole new realm of seaweed love chez moi. There's a company called SeaSnax, whose tagline is "strangely addictive" and the thing is, it's true. Maybe it's the salt. Maybe it's the papery-thin yet melty-on-my-tongue texture. Whatever it is, these things are delish. The thing I cannot stand about seaweed as a dry snack is the mess. It drives me up the wall to see little bits of seaweed paper all over the place. So I wondered – how could I get the same awesome flavor without the mess? Introducing the Seaweed Grain Bar! 

 Seaweed Quinoa Bars and Seaweed Oat Bars

Seaweed Quinoa Bars and Seaweed Oat Bars

I decided to experiment with grains and eggs and see where that got me. The formula is easy: 2 cups of cooked grains + 4 eggs + 1/2 cup vegetable stock + 4 sheets of toasted nori. I began with quinoa. I was a little afraid that the nutty flavor of the quinoa would overpower the seaweed but it didn't. Next time I might add another sheet of nori though, for a flavor boost. Then I wondered about steel cut oats. For this batch, I added the shavings of one carrot. I wasn't sure whether this could be for breakfast or for snack so I ate a piece for both. I love the heartiness of steel cut oats and I love that they are so adaptable to both sweet and savory flavors. 

When I asked my daughter to try these, she initially put her nose up to the idea. Admittedly, she's not a quinoa fan so she took a mouse-sized nibble of that one and proclaimed it "not for me, Mom." She bit into the oat version and wasn't sure what to make of it... she giggled a little and said oats were for breakfast but seaweed was a snack! She preferred the Seaweed Oat bar but prefers the paper thin snack version for now. My husband and I, on the other hand, cannot get enough of these. When I think about what's in them, I'm delighted. Fiber-rich whole grains, mineral-rich seaweed, protein-packed eggs. This thing is a winner. 

Here's the recipe:

Seaweed Grain Bars
2 cups cooked grains (quinoa, steel cut oats, farro, etc)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable stock
4-5 sheets of toasted nori, cut into small pieces
Shavings of one carrot (optional) 

Preheat the oven to 375. In a bowl, add the beaten eggs and vegetable stock to the cooked grains. Combine thoroughly. Add the nori pieces and make sure they're evenly distributed. Add the carrot shavings (optional) and evenly distribute. Pour into an 8x8 dish lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 28-35 minutes (note: there was a longer cooking time with the oats than with the quinoa)