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+ servings
Quick Friday night vegan dish Coco peanut noodles

Coco-peanut noodles: prep ahead and on-the-spot instructions

This Friday night vegan favorite can be on the table in less time than it takes to order take-out noodles, assuming you have some basic ingredients in the pantry and leftover veggies in the produce drawer. Treat all ingredients listed as suggestions and feel free to replace, remove, or add vegetables to suit what you have at hand.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 3 people

Ingredients
  

Sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped (or minced if not using a blender)
  • 2-inch piece ginger roughly chopped (or minced if not using a blender)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or lime juice
  • 1/3 cup nuts and seeds or 3 tablespooon nut/seed butter (if not using a blender)
  • 1 or 2 dates or 1 tablespoon sweetener if not using a blender (maple syrup or a smaller amount of molasses or brown sugar)
  • 1 1/4 cups liquid cooking water from the noodles is best; if prepping ahead, coconut milk is decadent but delicious; vegetable broth or plain water will work
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste or 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili peppers or hot sauce, to taste

Noodles, veggies, and more

  • 3 bundles soba noodles or any noodle you like, really
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu or 1 1/2 cups shelled edamame beans or 1 block tempeh
  • 1 red onion diced small
  • 1 bunch kale stems sliced thinly, leaves wrung and chopped to thin ribbons
  • 1 carrot thin half-moons
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice or whatever you get from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
  • fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • vegan kimchi for garnish (optional)
  • toasted sesame oil for extra yumminess (totally optional)

Instructions
 

SAUCE - last-minute method

  • Place all ingredients except the liquid in the jar of a blender. Proceed with the rest of the recipe but, before draining the noodles, save 1 1/4 cups of the cooking water and add it to the blender. Process until perfectly smooth.
  • If you do NOT have a blender, mince the garlic and ginger, substitute nut/seed butter for whole nuts/seeds, and use a regular sweetener instead of a date (maple syrup works great). Add 1 1/4 cups of the cooking water and whisk until smooth.

SAUCE - prep ahead

  • Follow instructions above, except use coconut milk, vegetable broth, or water instead. Refrigerate in a labelled container.

NOODLES

  • Follow package directions but cook for 30 seconds less so the noodles are al dente.
  • Retain 1 1/4 cup of the cooking water when draining if preparing the sauce at the last minute.
  • Rinse drained noodles with cold water to stop the cooking.

STIR-FRYING AND ASSEMBLY

  • Preheat a heavy skillet or wok on medium heat.
  • If using tofu or tempeh, dice and sauté in the skillet for 5 minutes, until golden on all sides. Remove from the skillet and set aside. (If using shelled edamame beans, pour boiling water over the frozen beans and let rest for 5 minutes, then drain before adding into the dish.)
  • Add the red onion and kale stems (save the leaves for step 6) to the skillet. Sauté 2 minutes.
  • Add the carrot and red bell pepper pieces. Sauté 3 minutes.
  • Add the lime juice and scrape the bottom of the skillet energetically to detach caramelized bits.
  • Return the tofu or tempeh to the skillet, along with the prepared sauce and noodles. Stir to coat everything nicely. Add the kale leaves and stir again.
  • Give the whole thing 2-3 minutes to get evenly warm.
  • Serve in bowls with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and any or all of the optional garnishes: fresh cilantro, vegan kimchi, and/or toasted sesame oil (a little goes a long way).
  • Slurp away!

Notes

  • Whether you use oil or not is up to you. Two teaspoons of peanut oil to start the stir-fry is plenty. Otherwise, make sure to have a little bit of water or broth at hand.
  • If you aren't used to sweetening with dates, you may prefer a conventional sweetener. By all means, don't tell yourself you have to go to the grocery store to buy dates in order to make this recipe! The point is to avoid eating out, not to make the world's healthiest meal.
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