Like every Instagram foodie in the world, I eat pretty much everything out of bowls. Bowls are great. You can put so many things into bowls and then mix them all together and get a bit of everything. Plus, you can generally cram more food in them, which is a plus. As a vegan athlete, I try to build most of my bowl-food recipes to include a starch or grain, protein, a bunch of veggie combinations and some kind of sauce. Sauce is a huge part of flavoring-up vegan food. I love the taste of all the disparate parts of the bowl on their own, but drizzling something over the whole thing takes the meal up a couple of notches.
For this recipe, I used the vegetables I had on hand: butternut squash, kohlrabi, and kale. They are all seasonal and inexpensive this time of year in the northern hemisphere. Many people don't know what to do with kohlrabi. Here, I grate it to add bulk and flavor, but you can also cut it into strips and eat it raw, dipped in the peanut-ginger sauce in this recipe, or in hummus, or any other kind of dip you like.
This recipe can easily be modified to include or exclude any vegetables. Experimenting with veg combos is one of the most fun parts of vegan cooking.
The sauce in this recipe was adapted from Honeybunches of Onion Tops' Phoebe Thorburn's cookbook. She is a lovely human and I highly recommend her blog, cookbook, and YouTube videos for vegan inspo/Australian scenes.
Ok! Let's get into this recipe goodness!
Peanut Ginger Noodle Bowl with Butternut Squash, Kohlrabi, Kale and Tofu
Serves 4-ish people. The sauce and cooked veggies can be stored in the fridge, so this is a good meal-prep recipe. Just cook the noodles day-of, since they don't store as well cooked.
For the Bowl
- 1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into cubes
- 1 medium kohlrabi, peeled and grated
- 1 bunch of curly or dinosaur kale (also called lacinato kale)
- 1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped
- 2-4 cloves garlic (depending on taste), minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp ground coriander seed
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 2-4 tbsp tamari
- Ground pepper
- A little oil or water for sautéing
- 1 package marinated tofu, or marinate your own firm tofu in tamari, apple cider vinegar, a little maple, garlic and whatever spices you like; cut into slices
- Noodles of choice, I used Rice Ramen from Lotus Foods
- Sesame seeds for serving
For the Sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1-2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp water
- Optional: 1 tbsp liquid sweetener of choice. Many people prefer to add sweetener to "balance" flavors, but I almost never do. Maybe it's because I love salt so much, but it's up to you.
- Note: you can always add more tamari, vinegar, lime juice, or water to thin out if it's too thick. Just taste as you go.
1. Put the grated kohlrabi into a mesh strainer and push down on it with clean hands over a sink to squeeze out excess water. Alternatively, you could use a cheese cloth, but I'm not fancy like that.
2. Make the sauce: whisk all ingredients together in a bowl; set aside. Put a pot of water on medium-low heat, covered, to start heating for your noodles.
3. Put a large soup pot on medium heat and add oil or water. (You want a large pot because even though the veggies cook down, they're really bulky at first). Add the onion and stir, then let them sit a little without stirring to get some caramelization. Add the garlic and stir, adding a splash of water to loosen the stuck onion bits. Sauté for 3-5 minutes.
4. Add the butternut squash cubes and stir again. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes. Whenever stuff starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little more water. It will evaporate and will ensure the burned bits are the flavorful yummy kind, not the I'm-eating-soot kind. If you have a nonstick pan, you're probably good on this front.
5. Stir in the grated kohlrabi and cook a couple more minutes. When the squash is getting softer and is almost done, stir in the kale, tamari, and spices. Cook down and set aside.
6. By this time, your water should be boiling, so add some salt to the water and cook the noodles per the packet instructions. For ramen/rice noodles, this takes ~3 minutes.
7. Put it all in a bowl, yo! Drizzle the sauce over the top, sprinkle on sesame seeds, top with sliced avocado if you've got it (which I didn't on the day I photographed this).
And voila! Delicious dinner.
If you try this and post a photo, tag me @thethirdsunday!