Now that I’m carting around a small watermelon-sized bump, I find myself relying on quick and easy recipes more than ever. My feet just don’t want to be on the ground for long come 7pm, especially since I spend a lot of the day on my feet testing recipes. So, I figure now is a great time to build on my quick and easy recipe collection to help us get through the next several months (years?). No matter what your particular situation, I think there’s always a demand for healthy, delicious meals that don’t take long to throw together. I hope to showcase more of these recipes in the months to come. With summer around the corner, this seems like the perfect time to kick it off!
This is one such easy meal that we’ve been making lately (when I can peel myself away from the watermelon and kiwi, that is) and it’s on the table in 30 minutes flat. Noodle bowls are awesome because you can customize them any way you like – a total clean out the fridge kind of meal. If I have some veggies on their last legs (rubbery celery, I’m looking at you), they are brought back to life in a noodle bowl.
This is a flavourful and comforting meal without feeling heavy in the slightest. Just like the noodle bowls in my cookbook, I use a small amount of noodles (rather than a whole package) and pair it with several cups of vegetables for lots of nutrition and fibre-packed satiety. The julienned carrots add a pasta-like texture, softening like a noodle when heated. It’s my secret to keeping the meal light and energizing without feeling like you’re missing out on those comforting, starchy noodles.
A veggie-packed, light-on-the-noodles noodle bowl that's paired with a quick and easy homemade Teriyaki sauce. Go ahead and customize this noodle bowl with whatever veggies you have on hand to use up. To add protein to this recipe, try adding edamame or pan-fried tofu.
For the Teriyaki Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) low-sodium tamari
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) untoasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
- 2 large garlic cloves, grated on microplane
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (use less for less heat)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon potato starch or cornstarch
For the noodle bowl:
- 1/2 box (4-oz/115g) soba noodles*
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or untoasted sesame oil
- 3 1/2 cups broccoli florets (1/2 large bunch)
- 3 celery stalks, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
- 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced (1 1/3 cups)
- 2 to 3 large carrots, peeled and julienned (1 1/2 cups)
- 3 to 4 green onions, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 3/4 to 1 cup shelled edamame (optional, thaw if frozen)
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook the noodles as instructed on the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Prepare the sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients until combined. Set aside.
- For the noodle bowl: Preheat an extra-large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil and coat the pan. Add the broccoli florets, celery, and red pepper, and saute for about 7-10 minutes, until almost tender. Stir frequently, and reduce heat if necessary.
- Add the carrots and edamame (if using) to the skillet and saute another couple minutes.
- Stir the drained noodles into the stir-fry mixture along with all of the Teriyaki sauce. Cook for a couple minutes until the sauce thickens slightly and the carrots soften a bit.
- Serve immediately with a garnish of sliced green onion, and sesame seeds.
- Store leftovers in a container in the fridge for 1- 2 days. To re-heat leftovers, add them into a skillet with a bit of oil. Heat over medium until heated throughout, season to taste, and serve.
- I use spelt buckwheat noodles as I love the flavour. They contain gluten, however. For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free soba noodles that contain 100% buckwheat (or a mix of buckwheat and rice). Be sure to check the label as many buckwheat noodles contain wheat.