Sunday, March 15, 2015

Seaweed, Ginger, and Carrot Salad

After a recent knee injury, I have started taking swimming lessons. Until last October, I was a keen long-distance runner. Then I had quite a bad injury that put me on crutches for eight weeks. (I wrote about my first social outing with crutches here.) I'm still not able to run, though I have managed to cycle three times in the last few months.

On my physiotherapist's advice, I needed to take up a sport that has a lower impact on my knees. I never learned to swim as a child, so I have just started a series of lessons.

I had my first half-hour session last week. My teacher was really calming, starting from the most basic ideas. I was really nervous. The first thing was just to put my face in the water and my hands in front of me, one on top of each other, push off the bottom of the pool with my feet, and glide forward. That was easy. Then he showed me how to kick slowly to help me keep afloat. And just at the end of the lesson we started talking about the freestyle arm movements. We haven't discussed breathing yet, so I just have to do four arm movements, then stand up.

Learning something new was quite scary at first, but thanks to the simple progression and my calm teacher, I am really excited about it. Trying new foods is a little like this. Eating seaweed is new for me, but in this recipe, the progression is very easy. The dried seaweed is soaked in cool water for 30 minutes, which means that the sea-salty taste will be mostly gone when it is drained. And it turns out that the seaweed tasted a lot like any other mild green vegetable.

This delicious salad is from a recipe by Yottam Ottolenghi here. I loved the gingery crunchy bits and the peanuts. And lots of tasty carrots and cucumber with coriander, mint, and mango slices.

So, is it time to try something new? For me, swimming lessons and seaweed were my most recent new items. What about you?

Have you tried anything new lately?

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