I am happy to report that I have a new favorite recipe. And possibly a favorite to top the charts. My Pesto "Noodles" will happily satisfy any of you pasta lovers out there without the gluten, carbs, dairy, high-fat....sound too good to be true? I know.
For anyone who knows me, pasta is something I absolutely adore. And it was also the hardest thing I had to give up after realizing I felt like death after eating it. So I'm sure you can imagine my excitement at the discovery of this recipe and most importantly the main ingredient: Kelp Noodles.
What are these magical noodles you ask? They are simply a sea vegetable in the form of an easy-to-eat raw noodle. Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. Most importantly, they are highly versatile and take on any flavor/style you wish, whether you are craving an Italian pasta night, or you want to travel East for a Thai noodle bowl.
In this particular recipe, I also add the newly popular zucchini "noodles" and follow suit with carrot "noodles" to add a bit of texture, color and flavor to the dish. Let's face it, noodling veggies is so hot right now. Right!?
These veggie noodles also serve as a great substitute but I personally think are best when mixed in with Kelp Noodles as the vegetables sometime can get a little soggy. The kelp has a stiffer texture (resembling noodles) as opposed to the veggies (when cooked) tend to be a bit softer.
I added my all-time favorite Vegan Pesto to this dish along with sweet roasted tomatoes and peppery arugula. But of course feel free to add whatever sauce, veggies, protein, etc. that your little heart desires. I ate this for dinner last night hot, but it was possibly even more delicious for lunch today cold. Like I said, VERSATILE.
Enjoy this guiltless beyond yummy "noodle" dish and have fun experimenting with the life changing Kelp Noodles! Bon Appétit friends. Bon Appétit.
1 package of Kelp Noodles
1 medium zucchini
1 large carrot
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cipollini onions (sliced thin)
1 big handful of arugula
4 tablespoons of Vegan Pesto (you can make ahead of time)
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss your tomatoes and onions with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread across a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes and onions are soft and roasty toasty. Set aside.
Next take your kelp noodles in a medium bowl and soak them for about 15 minutes with warm water. (This will soften them up a bit). While the noodles are soaking, make "noodles" out of your zucchini. There are a few ways to do this, but I highly suggest buying this spiral vegetable slicer. It's only $30 and makes great noodles. For this dish, I used the blade that makes the thinnest (spaghetti-like noodles). Alternatively if you don't have this device, you can try using a vegetable peeler as I do for the carrots, but they will be thicker and flatter noodles (like fettuccine). For the carrot use a vegetable peeler (as I just mentioned) and thinly shave off pieces to resemble noodles. (Side note: I find it difficult to use the spiral veggie slicer for carrots because they are skinner than zucchini. To get a better noodle, your traditional veggie peeler does the job).
Add veggie noodles to a colander in the sink and sprinkle with a small handful of salt (as mentioned before, your veggie noodles tend to get a bit soggy. This process will release some of the water). Set aside for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, drain the kelp noodles and shake out excess water. If the noodles look too long, feel free to cut them with kitchen scissors to shorter strands.
Take a large skillet on high heat and add about a tablespoon of oil. Take your veggie noodles and squeeze out any excess water. You should release quite a bit. Shake them back into shape and throw them onto the hot skillet. You want them to brown up a bit before adding the kelp noodles. This will add some texture back to them. Let cook for about a minute or two, just until you see them start to brown slightly. Next, add your kelp noodles and toss around evenly with veggies. You may want to add another tablespoon of olive oil if the pan seems dry. Let cook for about 5 minutes and lower the heat to low. Toss in your pesto sauce. Make sure to stir around well as it takes a couple minutes to get the kelp noodles coated evenly. Next toss in the tomato/onion mixture and turn the heat down to simmer and cover the pan.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a smaller skillet over medium heat. Add your arugula and let cook up until just soft (about 5 minutes). Lastly, add your arugula to the noodle pan and toss everything evenly. Serve with some freshly grated parmesan (or vegan parm) and enjoy!