Archive | March, 2012

Fried Udon Noodles

4 Mar

One of my favorite food books is Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet.  I remember being 10 years old and totally inspired by her commitment to animals, especially shelter dogs.  Seeing how much she’s done in the past 15 years is truly remarkable, and she continues to inspire me to do better and be kinder.  Her book is the perfect starter’s guide or refresher course to veganism, and it includes some awesome recipes, from decadent peanut butter cups to win over skeptics, to deliciously simple macrobiotic dishes that heal you from the inside out.

I’m decidedly not in the totally health conscious vegan camp at the moment, though I need to work on that as my wedding looms closer.  I still have to pour creamy dressing over greens to get my salad on, and there’s been a sale at Whole Food’s on Coconut Bliss ice cream that I’ve taken advantage of more than once.  Is it better than dairy ranch and dairy ice cream?  Yes!  But I’m no “superhero,” as Silverstone refers to eaters of her macrobiotic recipes.

But there’s one recipe of her’s that’s totally won me over, that’s both decadent AND macrobiotic: fried udon noodles (page 229).  It’s simple to prepare, and it is so delicious you’ll smack yourself.  You’ll have to buy the book to get the recipe, but I can share how I’ve altered it to make it even easier.

Fried Udon Noodles: best of both worlds

1. Instead of dry noodles, I use Annie Chun’s Organic Japanese-Style Udon FreshPak Noodles. You spend a little more time stir frying them to fall apart naturally (do not force them apart!), but you save at least 20 minutes waiting for water to boil and cooking dry noodles.

2. I use 2/3 smoky sweet paprika, 1/3 hungarian paprika, to give it a little more flavor than just straight up sweet paprika.

3. Yellow onions are so freaking yum here.

4. I recently started using Organic Emperor’s Kitchen Chopped Garlic, and I might be a convert. I used to scoff at people who used garlic from a jar, knowing how easy it was just to throw a few cloves into a mini food processor, but since mine’s on the fritz, I’ve traveled to the dark side.  It certainly saves you a prepping step and has this dish come together even faster! Just make sure your jar of garlic isn’t hiding any gross ingredients like high fructose corn syrup – it’s been known to happen.

5. Throw in whatever vegetable bits you have in the fridge to make this dish your own. Not pictured here, but I love using mushrooms when I have them around!

It takes some time for everything to cook, but due to the minimized prep, it feels super easy and doesn’t daunt me even when I’m tired on a weeknight.  If you’re interested in being kinder, whether to yourself, your family, the earth, or the animals, check out The Kind Diet and get inspired.

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