A Simple Guide into eating Healthy, Budgeting & Surviving in a busy, corporate, Mega-City

Vegan Comfort Noodles - Alternative for Instant Noodle Lovers

Saturday, 29 July 2017




Vegan Comfort Noodles - Alternative for Instant Noodle Lovers


I'd like to share this very spontaneous yet surprisingly good recipe I've done using Japanese Soba Noodles and a whole lot of vegetables. I've been really keen into adapting to a whole-food plant-based diet and this recipe has become an all-time favourite for me. It's super easy and super healthy (and cheap)! 


Let's get cooking!





I don't know about you, but I love instant noodles. I'm sure most of us have shared a lot of ups and downs with specific recipes, but I think Instant Noodles/Ramen were mostly there for us when we were at our lowest point in our lives. I remember during college while I started working to support my studies, Instant Ramen has been a staple and almost like a comfort food for me. When I was exhausted, or when I wasn't feeling well, it was just a go-to thing for me. 

It's the not healthiest thing in the world since it's mostly loaded with sodium and things that are not supposed to be consumed on a daily basis but the craving and the love for instant noodles just didn't go away! 

I wanted to think of something that could be a staple comfort food but would still not need a lot of sodium or meat or dairy or oil. As a budding and aspiring vegan, I was experimenting with a lot of new recipes I was not familiar with. And to be honest, introducing beans to our daily diet has been a bit tricky since Filipino food or Japanese food (what I grew up with) didn't really involve a lot of beans (except for edamame and such) but we're getting more and more used to it. 


I used fairly cheap ingredients, they're not really seasonal since there's no such thing as seasonal if you're living in the middle of the desert lol. I used my usual pantry staples such as frozen Spinach and Broccoli and a new pantry essential, Japanese Soba Noodles. 



Japanese Soba Noodles AED 12.75 = USD 3.50 ( at Carrefour Supermarket)


Don't let the packaging fool you! Yes, it's true you can buy a whole six pack of Instant Noodles with AED 12 but these Japanese Soba (Buckwheat) Noodles expand like crazy when cooked. In the end, this lone pack was able to fill 2 Lunchbox containers and two dinner plates with a little bit of left over. I haven't checked other supermarkets in Dubai if they have this brand but you can easily find this on the Japanese Food aisle in any Carrefour in Dubai. 



The Anatomy of a Healthier Comfort Noodle Dish





Carrefour is a really good place to shop because you have a lot of different deals on food that would save you a lot of money in the long run. The last time I went to get vegetables, I stumbled upon a Family Pack on beans and Chickpeas. And since I've been wanting to try new recipes that involved these ingredients, I've decided to take the bulk. It was worth it! 




I got three types of cans:







1 Family Pack of Canned Red Kidney Beans cost 
AED 7 = USD 2. It was a great deal since you get four 400g cans. It's the same price for the Baked Beans and the Chickpeas. 

Beans are a great source of carbohydrates and protein. Since I refrained from consuming all kinds of meat products, I needed something that would not be too expensive and something that would fill me up. After reading a bunch of tips from vegans and vegan recipes online, I decided to go for it. 










I hope these Nutritional Facts would open you guys up to exploring more bean recipes. It honestly changed the "going vegan" game for me. I'm not relaly craving meat but on my first few weeks, I've really felt weak and I didn't have any energy to last me throughout the day. But as I incorporated more beans and complex carbs to my diet, I've had more energy and I feel fuller for longer. 

OKAY, Enough stalling. Let's get cooking! 



Things you will need: 
Print this Recipe


Japanese Soba Noodles (dried)
6 cups of water (or until all of the noodles are completely submerged) 
1/4 Red or Purple Cabbage
1 whole Broccoli 
1 can of 400g Chickpeas
2 cups Frozen Spinach
*You can also add some peas 
4 Cloves of Minced Garlic
Garlic Powder
Salt 
Pepper
Olive Oil 





SOBA:

How long should I cook my Soba Noodles?


On a big pot, bring your water to a boil and once it’s boiling, you can put your soba noodles. Make sure the noodles are fully submerged in water.
Let it cook for about 7-8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the noodles since they get very soggy. I overcooked mine; they were great but I really wanted a firm noodle. 


SPINACH

You’re free to use fresh baby spinach but frozen spinach is just more convenient and cheaper for me. Take 2 cups of frozen spinach from your bag and let it defrost an hour before you start cooking. Return the bag to the freezer so you don’t waste anything. 

*If you decided to use fresh baby spinach for this recipe, be sure to add your greens after you cook the broccoli. If you're using frozen, I recommend cooking it with the cabbage. 



VEGETABLES

On a hot pan, add some olive oil and cook your sliced cabbage and frozen spinach until tender. Cabbage takes a while to cook so you have to be patient and you have to cook it first so you don't overcook the other veggies. Once cooked (about 4-7 minutes), add the minced garlic and let the garlic just flavour the purple cabbage. Add just a pinch of salt, and then you can add your chopped broccoli and cook for another 3 minutes before you can add your chickpeas, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook your veggies for another 3 minutes and set it aside.

After 7-8 minutes, take your Soba Noodles and run some ice water through a strainer to stop the cooking process and so your noodles don’t get soggy. You don’t need to season your noodles since they already have a lot of flavour. You can now plate it and serve or pack for lunch tomorrow!



YOU CAN CUSTOMIZE THIS RECIPE:

Honestly, this is so easy and this recipe is so versatile you can swap the ingredients to your preferred seasonal or fave veggies. You can add peas, carrots, baby asparagus and a whole lot more. I’ll probably experiment more with this recipe, so stay tuned! I can't wait to share it with you guys. 

*You can also sauté the veggies with chili or dried chili flakes if you want it spicy. 







If you ever try this recipe with more variety, feel free to share! I'd love to know what you guys come up with. I really love noodles! Instant noodles, yes, but I'd like to get out of the habit of eating them since they're not the best for your health. If you love noodles and you're looking for a nutrient-packed, filling, satisfying, comfort noodle recipe, this would be it! The buckwheat noodles have this earthy, yet a bit salty flavour so you don't really need to season it so much. They're heavy too, so you won't really crave for rice. 

Personally, being a rice-eater, I've successfully gotten out of the habit of wanting rice every single time I eat. I think this is a great way to diversify your meals so you don't get tired of eating the same thing over and over again and you're less likely to be tempted to order fastfood or eat out. You save money, and you make healthier choices — isn't that the best thing ever?





I used purple cabbage since it adds more dimension and more importantly, colour to my plate and I'm all over the "Instagram-worthy" food kind of thing, haha!

But honestly, guys, if your food looks great and tastes amazing, simple and clean, crisp flavours, you would want to get healthy asap and you'll be able to stick to it! 






I hope you guys try it and once you do, I hope you enjoy it! It's fairly cheap and it was really easy to prepare. I spent about 30 minutes with everything including the chopping and cleaning up so it won't take so much time off your after-work hours. 


Thanks so much for reading and see you guys next week! 








2 comments on "Vegan Comfort Noodles - Alternative for Instant Noodle Lovers"
  1. The Japanese sure know how to make delicious food that are comfort foods in the true essence of the word. Your post has made me crave Korokkes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your lovely comment! I know what you mean when I see great recipes I can't help but crave! haha! I love noodles but they're not the best for you. I hope you can try out this recipe soon! Have a lovely weekend ahead! :D

      Delete