One of the biggest misconceptions so many people have about healthy eating is that it is boring, flavourless and involves a hell of a lot of celery sticks. Another is that healthy eating requires an abundance of time or an A-list celebrity bank account to afford someone to cook for you in order to stick to it. Well I’m happy to inform you that neither are true.
While my diet does include a few raw celery sticks per day, I am pleased to say my daily menu plan is far from bland. In fact, not to blow my own horn (toot toot) but I have gotten quite good at creating amazingly tasty yet healthy versions of my (and many other people’s) favourite foods. And since most of us suffer from a perpetual feeling that there just aren’t enough hours in the day, I try and create recipes that don’t require a lot of time to make, like this week’s Sesame Shrimp Kelp Noodle Bowl.
Like many, I have a small arsenal of take-out menus stashed in a kitchen drawer in case of emergencies (such as Friday nights when the only energy I have left is the amount it takes to pour a glass of red wine…). But as much as possible I love trying to create my favourite ethnic inspired dishes on my own with a clean ingredient list (plus – Chinese take-out always seems to give me the mother of all headaches). Ready in about 25 minutes, start to finish, this noodle bowl is honestly so delicious while boasting tons of vitamins and nutrients from the array of vegetables (none of which are celery) and creamy, rich flavour from the slightly spicy tahini based sauce. And by using kelp noodles instead of traditional noodles, it is crazy low-calorie.
So what the hell are kelp noodles? I’ll tell you. Kelp noodles are actually made from kelp (obviously), which is a brown seaweed. They’re high in important nutrients, namely calcium, iron and vitamin K; and also contain over 70 minerals, trace elements, enzymes, potassium, magnesium, iodine and 21 amino acids. They’re gluten-free, fat-free and vegan, and at only 15-20 calories per serving, you get SO much bang for your noodle buck.
If you’re feeling squeamish about the idea of seaweed noodles, rest assured that these noodles taste nothing like seaweed. In fact, much like tofu they don’t have a strong natural flavour at all and easily take on the flavour of the ingredients they are cooked with. The key is to soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes then rinsing well before adding them to your dish. This helps get rid of any salty taste from the liquid in the bag while also allowing them to separate and soften a bit (although they still maintain a bit of a crunchy texture). Not sure where to get them? I use this brand and get them at Whole Foods, but you can order them from their website if you can’t find them in store.
So tonight, I challenge you to put down the take out menu and trot that hot ass of yours into the kitchen and whip up a flavourful and nutrient-packed meal that will actually nourish your body the way it deserves – no celery sticks required.
The Natural Blonde
P.s. I have officially started school! Woot! Stay tuned for so many knowledge bombs to be dropped here at TNB. And yes, I have had the “back to school” song from Billy Madison on repeat in my head for the last week….
Sesame Shrimp Kelp Noodle Bowl
- 1 bag frozen shrimp, thawed and peeled
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 inch slice of purple cabbage, chopped into smaller pieces
- 2 Portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 1 bag of plain kelp noodles
- 3 tablespoons of tamari, coconut aminos, or low sodium soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp. of tahini (sesame paste)
- 1 Tbsp. of dried herbs (I used a mix of basil, oregano, and chili flakes)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, divided
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Place the kelp noodles in a large bowl, cover in hot water and set aside.
To make the dressing, whisk together the tamari, tahini, lemon juice, herbs, and salt (I actually use my magic bullet to make sure it’s super creamy and well combined). Set aside.
Next, in a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and saute until pink and cooked through, around 5-8 minutes. When cooked, transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside.
Add the rest of the coconut oil to the pan along with all the vegetables and saute until they are tender but not soggy, around 10 minutes. Add the shrimp back in along with the dressing and stir to combine. Lastly, drain the noodles and rinse well before adding them into the pan, stirring to coat in the sauce and warm through.
Transfer to large bowls, sprinkle on some sesame seeds and serve!
This makes more than enough for me and Trevor with leftovers for lunch the next day. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.