Happy Labor Day! I hope that you enjoyed a wonderful long weekend.
Remember those days in college when ramen was the cheapest dinner you could make? Well for Meatless Monday I would like to offer a new way to look at that cheap package of dried noodles. You can really make it so much more than just a brothy, salty, soup.
As I was slowly perusing the aisles of my Whole Foods (which is an activity that I do just for pure entertainment and inspiration all too often) I was pleasantly surprised to find such a great variety of new ramen available. The ramen that I used for this recipe was a gluten-free option made from forbidden rice. The deep dark purple/black color was so intriguing. I am a new fan of Lotus Brand ramen. You can find more information about their products here.
I have to say thank you to my sister for a fantastic birthday present. She gave me a Vegetable Sprialer! Making “Zoodles” (zucchini noodles) was so easy and fun with my spiral vegetable slicer. As I was spinning the zucchini through the machine I felt like a kid making play dough spaghetti. Do you remember that toy? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the play dough spaghetti maker was one of my favorite toys since I have turned into a food blogger.
Zoodles or Squoodles (squash zoodles) are a great gluten-free option for pasta. I have to admit I was very skeptical that I would not enjoy the taste but they are so mild that they really did take on the stronger flavors of the dressing. I am a fan. It’s definitely not chewy pasta but it’s pretty darn close.
For this recipe I have to send you off into the world of taste and adjust. I made the dressing from the spice packet included and just added vegetable oil, rice vinegar, sugar and tamari sauce until the dressing tasted salty, umami and just a tad sweet. Each spice packet will have a different flavors and require different adjustments.
On Labor Day Meatless Monday, try this meal as an easy vegan dinner or lunch option after you have enjoyed every last ray of summer’s sunshine. Don’t be afraid! Keep adding and tasting.
- 1 package of ramen noodles
- 1 zucchini cut into matchstick "noodles" or cut in a vegetable spiraler
- 1 spice packet from a ramen package
- About ¼ vegetable oil
- About 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- About 1 tablespoon soy or tamari sauce
- About 1 teaspoon sugar, agave or honey
- About 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- About 1 tablespoon reserved cooking water
- Enough greens and vegetables for 2
- Some ideas are:
- Baby greens
- Baby spinach
- Whatever you like!
- Chopped salted peanuts (optional)
- Cook ramen in boiling water according to package excluding spice packet. (About 4-6 minutes) Add zucchini noodles during the last minute just to soften them up. Reserve ¼ cup of cooking water to thin dressing if necessary. Drain and run ramen and zucchini under cold water to stop cooking process.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or mini prep. Blend until well incorporated. Taste and adjust to your liking.
- Place greens in the bottom of a salad bowl. Arrange other vegetables in sections on top of greens. Place a small pile of ramen on top and a small pile of zucchini on top. Repeat for second salad. Top each salad with dressing and toss.