Enter veggie noodles, a fun and vibrant way to eat vegetables in place of conventional or gluten-free pastas. Veggie noodles can be made out of certain vegetables, most usually zuchini, carrots, sweet potato, and even cucumber.
To transform these veggies into noodle shapes, you can either use a spiralizer, or my favourite culinary tool (apart from my Vitamix), a handheld veggie slicer. I find the latter also works best for smaller kitchens or when travelling (case in point: I brought my handheld rather than my larger spiralizer when I moved out West).
Here are two recipes to share that use veggie noodles in different ways. The first uses zucchini as the noodle base, which are both affordable and fresh. I topped the noodles with some simple curried lentils for one of my last meals in lovely ol' Victoria. This dish was a perfect compliment to a contemplative moment, looking back at the times past and the times yet to come.
1 large zucchini, sliced
2 large carrots,
hemp seeds, to taste
1/2 cup red lentils
1 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp curry paste (I use Pateks Madras Curry Paste)
Cook the lentils for approximately 30 minutes in a shallow frying pan with the water and curry paste. Serve over a bed of the zucchini and carrot noodles, and top with hemp seeds and cilantro. Eat with chopsticks for extra contemplation.
If you want to take veggie noodles to the next level, you may come into contact with kelp noodles. This recipe for Creamy Kelp Noodles is a variation on my all-time favourite recipe for raw vegan pad thai. Instead of using an assortment of veggies, I opted for some sliced chard and cucumber.
The sauce also features tamarind as a subtle sweetener. Tamarind is a pod-like fruit known as the "Indian date." The pulp is edible and has hints of a somewhat sweet and sour tone. It is used mostly in savoury dishes in many cuisine traditions from different cultures.
Creamy Kelp Noodles
1/2 cup almonds, soaked for at least a few hours
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp freshly minced ginger
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tamarind pod, peeled and de-seeded
salt to taste
Soak 1 packages of kelp noodles for at least an hour in warm water. Drain. Blend the first nine ingredients in a blender, and add to noodles, making sure to mix the dressing with the noodles until well-integrated. Add chopped vegetables and serve immediately or let the dish 'set' overnight in the fridge.
Veggie noodles are perfect as a meal that combines raw and vegan options. I like to sneak in some cooked legumes every now and then for extra protein. I find kelp noodles have a greater satiety rating, meaning that their density acts more as a meal and makes for a happy tummy. For more on veggie noodles, check out this post for raw pad thai and vibrant lime kelp noodles.
What are your favourite ways to prepare veggie noodles?