How to – Make your Own: Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad

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Ahhh ramen noodles.

As cliche as it is, I fell in completely in love with them, followed by entirely sick of them in my first year of university. I bought cases and cases of chicken flavoured Mr. Noodle that year. Stuck in a dorm room, a kettle as my only cooking aide, it was the only way to get a hot meal unless you wanted haul your ass down to the student cafeteria. Which required getting dressed and looking ‘reasonable’.  Mr. Noodles it is.

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Ramen is big business these days.  There are some incredible ramen houses scattered around the city, and they be fancy. And soooo delicious. Definitely not the Mr. Noodles of the early 00s.

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But oh, that humble $0.39 package of ramen still has loads of potential. Especially when you toast it up with some almonds and throw ’em into a flavour packed salad.

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The toasting step will add an extra 10 minutes to the prep work here, but with little else to do, I wouldn’t recommend skipping it unless you really must. It adds SO much flavour. Good luck not snacking on the entire pan before it hits the salad bowl. Again, if you anticipate leftovers, reserve a handful of the ramen mixture and keep it in a separate container, tossing with the salad just before serving. It is a crunchy noodle salad after all.

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The asian sesame dressing for this salad reminds me of our Asian Orzo Salad, which has always been a potluck favourite.  This newbie is about to join the potluck line-up, though! The edamame is a perfect source of vegetarian protein. If you’ve got leftovers and want to take them for lunch, throw another handful of edamame in to boost the protein so it’s ‘meal worthy’. An alternative protein source like chicken, tofu or shrimp will do the job too.

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Toss it together and voila, GORgeous.

Eat alongside a piping hot bowl of Mr. Noodles.

Erin

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Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad

Serves 6-8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Website Lightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients

  • 14 ounce bag of cabbage slaw
  • 1 cup frozen edamame (thawed)
  • 1 mango (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 - 2 ounce packages of ramen noodles (crumbled, flavour pack discarded)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Asian Sesame Dressing

  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Note

This would be a terrific potluck salad. Bring the ramen/almonds in separate container and toss them in just before serving to maximize the crunch factor!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spread ramen noodles and almonds onto baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes, stirring halfway through, until lightly browned (watch carefully over the last minute or two to avoid burning them). Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage slaw, edamame, mango, green onions and once cooled, ramen noodles and almonds.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for Asian Sesame Dressing. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

How To: Slow Cooker – Orange and Honey Braised Carrots

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Yup, that’s right. TWO slow cooker recipes in a row. And BOTH vegetarian. How about that?

I tend to agree with Erin – most vegetarian slow cooker recipes do result in a pile of mush. But just like our daal, I have found when treated correctly, you can still get the same oven or stove top texture, but without having to actually be home.

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This recipe comes from Ricardo magazine, who generously gifted me a copy of their November issue. When I came across this carrot recipe I was intrigued – braised carrots in the slow cooker?! It totally works! And is totally delicious.

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This recipe cooks in about 4 hours – the perfect amount of time when you have an errand or two to run in the afternoon, or just want to free up some oven space when prepping a meal. I followed the recipe almost to a T- I did cut the butter in half because while I wanted the flavour, I also wanted that natural and sweet carrot flavour to shine.

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Slow cooker daal, slow cooker carrots – what vegetarian recipe will we slow cook up next?!

Dara

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Slow cooker Braised Carrots

Serves 4
Meal type Side Dish
From magazine Adapted from Ricardo Magazine

Ingredients

  • 10 large carrots (peeled and sliced in half lengthwise)
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups orange juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Note

These carrots would make a delicious side dish for roast chicken or salmon. You could substitute the honey for maple syrup if you would like.

Directions

1. Butter the bottom of your slow cooker. Add carrots on top and pour the orange juice over top.
2. Drizzle with honey and season with salt and pepper. Cook on high for four hours, or until carrots are tender.
3. Plate carrots and drizzle some of the cooking liquid on top.

 

 

How To: Healthy Side – Spicy Coconut Curry Noodles

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I had a lot of trouble writing this post. Why?

Because really all I want to say is, GO MAKE THESE NOODLES NOW!

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Sure, I could write about how they are creamy, spicy, and sweet all at the same time, they make the perfect side for just about any protein, and they come together in literally 10 minutes and in one pot.

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But really, all you need to know is they are delicious and are just as good hot as they are eaten cold standing over the stove, not that I would know anything about that.

Make them!

Dara

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Spicy Coconut Curry Noodles

Serves 4
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish
Website Adapted from Shutterbean

Ingredients

  • 8oz rice noodles
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp red curry paste
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro (chopped)
  • 10 basil leaves (chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut (toasted)

Note

These noodles are great on their own or as a side for grilled chicken or tofu. If you like things extra spicy, top with an additional squirt of sriracha.

Directions

1. Cook rice noodles according to package directions and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan whisk together coconut milk, tomato paste, fish sauce, sriracha, red curry paste, and salt.
3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add rice noodles to pot and stir to coat in the sauce. Add cilantro, basil leaves, and toasted coconut and mix to combine. Top with additional coconut and cilantro, if desired.

How to: Make your own – Cauliflower and Cheese Tots

 

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The harvest is rolling in now, folks.  It’s the very best time of year to get fresh everything and I’m feeling overwhelmed with choice!

I picked up 2 huge heads of cauliflower last week for $4. Because $4!

I made 4 cauliflower and cheese quiches (2 went straight into the freezer) and these little golden nuggets.IMG_6854

My little kiddo, who thank lordie is an excellent eater, is full-on in to the finger foods now.  It took quite a while for her to warm up to actually feeding herself rather than playing the part of greek goodess and being hand fed by servants (read: mum & dad), but she’s got it now!

So, I made tot-sized tots! How perf.

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I love that this is such a straightforward, simple recipe.  Minimal ingredients, minimal prep, minimal fuss.  While I haven’t experimented much with the recipe yet, I’m certain you could make changes to suit your needs.  Panko rather than cornmeal, onion or garlic power rather than mustard or even a cheese switcheroo like parmesan or asiago.

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Leaving the mixture in the refrigerator before forming your tots will give the cornmeal a bit of time to absorb a little moisture and will help them stick together. If you’re in a rush you can get away with leaving this step out, but you’ll have to treat the tots delicately until they’re cooked.

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In they go!

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Out they come, light, crispy and cheesy.

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Eat them while warm from the oven.  If for some crazy reason you have leftovers, they’re best re-heated in the oven.  Dipping sauce you ask? I’d go with sriracha mayo, but that’s just me.

Enjoy!

Erin

Cauliflower Cheddar Tots

Serves 2 dozen-ish tots
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Website Katya Wulfers - Yummy Mummy Club

Ingredients

  • 1 Small head of cauliflower (or about ½ a large one, cut into florets)
  • 1 cup finely grated old cheddar cheese
  • 1 Large egg
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard powder

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until very fine. You should have approximately 3 cups of finely chopped cauliflower.
2. Add cauliflower and remaining ingredients to a large bowl and mix well until thoroughly combined. Place bowl in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
3. Using heaping tablespoon form cylindrical tots with the mixture and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for 16 minutes, flipping each tot over halfway through.
Serve warm.

How to: Make your own – Vibrant Green Veggie Patties

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Thank goodness for partners.  Dara has really stepped up her game over the last couple months and has picked up my blog slack. It’s been a crazy but wonderful time. My hubby was off on paternity leave for 6 weeks and we took a family road trip to the Maritimes (so. much. seafood.). That, and my babe turned one and I’m back to work!

Truthfully, it’s nice to be back to work and back to a routine.  I really loved so much of time off with my daughter but I was ready to get back to the world and ready to let her learn about it. Daycare gave me my fair share of anxiety, but she transitioned really smoothly and seems happy there already.  Best baby ever.

This recipe comes courtesy of my friend Shauna, a fellow RD, who runs a private practice and regularly offers really unique cooking demonstration classes. I’ll actually be assisting her in an upcoming class about spiralizing! How on trend is that?!

She sent this recipe on over to me for a test and I’ve made them THREE times.

Flavour. Bombs.

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The recipe is straightforward and very easy to put together, so don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list. If you’ve never cooked with millet before, it’s a snap. It has a really mild flavour and when pan fried, gives the patties a perfectly crunchy coating.

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Shauna’s original recipe calls for ½ cup of cilantro.  I’m a no-go on cilantro so I subbed with parsley.

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All the aromatics (herbs & zest) give these patties a bright fresh flavour.  Sub in your faves!

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Refrigerating the mixture is important because it allows the panko, millet and baking powder to absorb some of the liquid and makes forming the patties much easier, so don’t skip this step. The patties are pretty delicate until they start to cook through, so pack them together as tightly as possible.

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Trust me, you will just swoon over the crispy factor of the crust.

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Erin

Vibrant Green Veggie Patties

Serves 4-5
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Website Friend and fellow RD Shauna Lindzon

Ingredients

  • 1 Small bunch broccoli (chopped into medium florets)
  • 1 Small onion (peeled and quartered)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1 cup cooked millet (see instructions in recipe note)
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (divided)

Note

To cook millet: Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.  Add ½ cup of millet, return to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat (keep covered) for 10 minutes, fluff with a fork. Feel free to snack on remaining millet with a little soy sauce!

Directions

1. In a food processor, combine broccoli florets, onion and garlic and pulse until pieces are roughly the size of rice grains.
2. Transfer broccoli mixture to a large bowl and add remainder of ingredients. Mix until combined and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
3. Remove from refrigerator and form into small patties (pack them tightly), about 2 Tbsp each. Mixture should make 15-18 patties.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp of canola oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry each patty for 4-5 minutes each side, until a golden crust forms and patty is cooked through. Fry the second batch with the remaining canola oil.
5. Serve along side a creamy lemony dip (¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup greek yogurt, juice of ½ a lemon and s&p to taste)