This spicy noodle dish has been on heavy rotation in my diet recently. I find myself making it for lunch at least a few times a week. Ready in just over the amount of time it takes to cook your noodles, it’s exactly the kind of recipe I want to show someone who says it’s too expensive, difficult, or time-consuming to make healthy meals from scratch. Paired with a creamy raw kale salad, it makes the perfect meal. And in a pinch, it will serve you much better than most of the foods people grab in the name of convenience.
It’s the perfect dish to introduce the new name of my recipe series. I’ve been thinking of changing it for a while. The fact is, I’m not strictly vegan. I make mostly plant-based meals but I understand food ethics to be more complicated than veganism sometimes allows for and the label doesn’t quite suit my beliefs. I eat some honey, occasionally eggs, and a little bit of cheese. When the lovely Mark Reinfield contacted me a couple of weeks ago and politely told me that his cookbooks are titled “30-Minute Vegan,” I knew I needed to get on it. I wouldn’t want to cause confusion with Mark’s readers and I needed a name that better represents the recipes I want to share.
So, the Plant Rich Recipes were born. They’ll be clean, whole food, mostly plant-based meals that are delicious and easy to make. I’ll make sure that, with simple modifications, they’re suitable for any dietary restrictions. I just want to show how fast, easy, delicious, and fun making healthy meals can be and share some of the yummy things that are coming out of my kitchen. Starting with these simple spicy noodles…
Simple Spicy Noodles
1 serving of noodles
2 tbsp olive oil (or 1 tbsp each sesame oil and virgin coconut oil)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of ginger, grated (optional)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, shelled
1 heaping cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tbsp+ sambal oelek, to taste (I like closer to 2-3 tbsp. You can substitute freshly ground chilis or hot sauce of choice.)
1/4 avocado diced for garnish (optional)
1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
2. While your noodles are cooking, heat oils in a frying pan and add garlic. Fry until it starts to get brown and crispy.
3. Add ginger and sunflower seeds and saute for a few more minutes.
4. Stir in chopped spinach.
5. Add noodles, tamari, and sambal oelek. Stir thoroughly until fully heated.
6. Top with avocado and serve hot.
*This recipe is for one serving. Multiply by however many people you’re cooking for.
I realize the photos make these look quite dry, but they’re actually nice and saucy. The sunflower seeds add a tasty crunch that contrasts with the noodles.
I wanted to briefly comment on the use of sambal oelek in this recipe. It’s an incredibly flavourful chili sauce with a firey heat that builds without becoming overpowering. I love, love, love it. And I love experimenting with new ingredients in my cooking. But I realize geography or budgetary constraints might make it difficult to get your hands on some of them (sambal oelek is actually very cheap, but that’s not the case with many specialty items and I recognize that it not be readily available everywhere). Googling and a little creative problem solving usually yields an accessible substitute. Try not to let it stand in your way of trying a new recipe. Because seriously, you need to try these noodles… ;)
What’s on your dinner plate tonight? Any favourite recipes you’d like to share? I’d love to hear!