Hi guys - here I am! It's been a long week in my world, and I've found that buying vegetables and cooking them is pretty therapeutic.
I had some kelp noodles in my "pantry" (I don't think pantries actually exist in NYC apartments - so yeah, it's a cabinet), so I thought I'd do some "Asian-inspired" noodles, since I had an abundance of veggies to start using up.
Kelp noodles are made from kelp, which is a brown seaweed (this image is gross to me) and high in iodine. They also contain sodium alginate (a form of seaweed-derived salt), and water. They have zero grams of fat or protein, and have 1 gram of carbohydrate. They are relatively low in sodium, and contain 15% of your daily needs of calcium. They are super low calorie and gluten free. They are touted as a raw food, but must be processed for brown seaweed to become clear noodle, so there is some controversy over that.
That said, kelp noodles are somehow pretty filling and can be eaten in pretty large quantities without adding tons of calories to your meal. You also don't need to cook them. So, I buy them sometimes and eat them when I remember that I have them. If you are watching your carbohydrate intake and seeking a replacement in Asian-inspired dishes, you could consider trying them out. There are some more nutritionally-dense noodle alternatives out there, such as zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash, but in a pinch, kelp noodles are quick and have a nice texture.
This week I made an almond butter sauce to go with them, and lightly sautéed a bunch of veggies to throw on top.
Here are the things I did.
- Pour contents of kelp noodle package into a large bowl. Rinse and drain a few times, and then add water to until kelp noodles are submerged. Allow to soak for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile...
Asian-ish Almond Butter Sauce
(Inspired by A Food Centric Life)
- 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (the original recipe calls for rice vinegar but I didn't have any)
- 2 tsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger (or fresh if you have it!)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp honey
- Combine ingredients in a bowl, and stir until smooth and creamy.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced (smaller is better so they cook a little more quickly)
- 2 large green onions/scallions, diced (you can save the green ends for garnish)
- 1 small bell pepper, diced
- 1 small head broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
- 1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup cilantro, for garnish
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add coconut oil and continue to heat.
- Add sweet potatoes, and stir until all pieces are coated in oil. Throw in a pinch of salt and cover for 2-3 minutes.
- Continue to stir sweet potatoes, and cook until they are tender (this will depend on how small you chopped your sweet potatoes!).
- Add remaining veggies and edamame and spice powder and continue to sauté until all veggies are evenly coated and desired texture is reached and edamame is cooked through. You may need to add a little water if the veggies start to stick.
In serving bowls, layer some kelp noodles, 1-2 tbsp of sauce, then a few spoonfuls of veggies. You could also mix everything together in the pan. Garnish with cilantro and scallions.
Notes: you could use whatever veggies you like or have. Also to increase the protein of this meal you could add an egg, fish or chicken.
This makes about 2-3 servings total - so share with a significant other (these are husband approved) or friend or save for leftovers!