Upon returning to the interwebs from Thanksgiving break, I was stunned to find my Google reader jam-packed with almost nothing but sweet holiday desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I adore those types of recipes (and have plenty still up my own sleeves), but immediately after Thanksgiving, I wanted some nutritious, clean eats to balance the weekend’s indulgence. Raw food to the rescue!
But it’s freezing here in the Midwest. Who wants to eat all-raw when the temps drop? I personally prefer to combine raw and cooked food for comfort’s sake, and you all know I’m not shy about cooking or heating my raw recipes. Today, I’m going to give you the best of both worlds.
This delectable recipe comes straight out of my cookbook Practically Raw. In fact, it’s on the cover of the book! Lest you forget, all the recipes in Practically Raw provide cooking/heating/baking directions for chilly days (or dehydrator-free kitchens), so you can get just as much use out of the book in the winter as you do in the warmer months.
These Almond Butter Sesame Noodles are a great example of a Practically Raw recipe that can be made raw or cooked.
I’ve always loved Asian noodle dishes with peanutty sauces. In this version, the more subdued flavor of almond butter produces a mild, nuanced sauce that’s the perfect match for the fresh veggies and somewhat-crunchy kelp noodles. If iodine-rich, nearly-calorie-free kelp noodles aren’t an option for you (or if you just want a hot cooked noodle dish), don’t fret; I provide tons of other noodle options below the recipe.
From Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make by Amber Shea Crawley, (c) 2012. Used by permission.Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Soy-Free, Raw Per serving: 265 calories, 19.2g fat (2g sat), 19.8g carbs, 4g fiber, 7.7g protein
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce (optional)
- 2 (12-ounce) bags kelp noodles, rinsed and drained
- 2 medium carrots, peeled if desired and cut into matchsticks
- 1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
- 3 green onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup dry cashews (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the noodles, carrot, and bell pepper. Add the almond butter sauce and toss to coat.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours, until chilled, or serve immediately. Garnish with the green onion, cashews, and sesame seeds just before serving.
• Tamari: soy sauce, nama shoyu, or liquid aminos
• Agave nectar: coconut nectar or any other liquid sweetener
• Kelp noodles: see Chef’s Tips below
• Cashews: dry-roasted peanuts
• Sesame seeds: hempseeds
• You have numerous choices for what type of noodle to use in this dish. Here are some suggestions:
- 1 (8-ounce) package soba noodles
- 1 (8-ounce) package udon noodles
- 1 (8-ounce) package whole wheat spaghetti noodles
- 1 (8-ounce) package gluten-free brown rice noodles
- 2 (12-ounce) packages kelp noodles (no need to cook; just rinse and drain)
- 4 (8-ounce) packages tofu shirataki noodles
- 4 medium zucchini or yellow squash, peeled if desired, spiralized
• Remember to precook the noodles ahead of time for quick and easy assembly.
• If you don’t have agave nectar or another liquid sweetener on hand, you can use 1 tablespoon granulated sugar plus 1 teaspoon water instead.
• Feel free to add more veggies or change up which vegetables you use. Snow peas, sliced mushrooms, and shredded cabbage all make nice additions. Variations
• Peanut Butter Sesame Noodles: Use peanut butter and dry-roasted peanuts in place of the almond butter and cashews.
• Protein-Packed Sesame Noodles: Bulk this dish up by adding cubed baked tofu or tempeh.
I myself frequently make this dish with cooked noodles. In fact, I did so just last week! I tossed the almond butter sauce and crisp raw veggies with tender, warm soba noodles (see photos below). It was outrageously delicious.
Since all the recipes in Practically Raw can be cooked or warmed if desired, it’d make a great holiday gift for the cookbook lover in your life—or anyone who simply wants to eat healthier in the winter months.