Use Your Noodle 2

Noodles – the glorious comfort food that reminds so many cultures of home. Noodles have become the staple food worldwide (from Rome to Bejing) for centuries. The oldest evidence of man enjoying a good ole noodle dish dates back to nearly 4,000 years ago!  We can thank Asian origins for the creation of the noodle, which in 2017, is consumed across the globe.

Recently, noodles have been growing in popularity as carbohydrates are no longer the notorious demon of the diet world. Although keep in mind not all noodles are created equal. Noodles made with white flour are still bad but the varieties made with rice, buckwheat, semolina and seaweed are – dare we say – good for you. Not only do they provide us with great comfort, but these types are packed with nutritional benefits and vitamins (in moderation). The other bonus about noodles is that they can be prepared with superfoods, veggies and staple proteins with flavors that bring your tastebuds all across the globe.

In honor of noodles’ humble origins in Asia, we shared two healthy, winter warming recipes with ramen and soba noodles. Easy to make on a busy weeknight or for a special someone.

Enjoy!

Crockpot Caramelized Pork Ramen Noodle Soup w/Curry Roasted Acorn Squash

by Half Baked Harvest | @halfbakedharvest | HalfBakedHarvest.com

prep time: 25 minutes |

cook time: 7 hours

total time: 7 hours 25 minutes |

yields: 4 bowls of soup + extra pork

  • 2-3 pounds pork shoulder roast 
 (or butt)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, 
 plus more of needed
  • 1/4-1/2 cup + 2-4 tablespoons low 
 sodium soy sauce 
 (Use low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup + 2-4 tablespoons 
 rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
 (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons thai red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek 
 (chili paste)
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups wild mushrooms, left whole – or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 packs Ramen noodles, 
 seasoning packets discarded
  • 4 soft boiled or fried eggs, for serving
  • Chopped carrots, sliced jalapeño, cilantro + green onions, for serving
  • 
Curry Roasted Acorn Squash
  • 1 medium acorn squash, 
 seeded + diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. Add the pork to the bowl of a crockpot. Pour the chicken broth, 1/4-1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup rice vinegar and fish sauce over the pork. Add the Thai red curry paste, ginger, sambal oelek, juice of 1 lime, Chinese five spice powder, black pepper and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

2. About 40 minutes before you are ready to eat, roast the squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

3. In a small bowl mix together the melted coconut oil, curry powder, miso, brown sugar and a good pinch of pepper. Add the cubed squash to a greased baking sheet and pour the curry mixture over the squash. Toss well. Bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing a couple of times during cooking. You want the squash to be lightly browned and crisp.

4. Meanwhile, remove the pork from the crockpot and add the mushrooms. Cover the crockpot and crank the heat up to high. Lightly shred the pork with two forks or your hands.

5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame oil. Once hot, add enough pork to cover just the surface of your skillet, do not overcrowd the skillet. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over the pork, add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, toss. Allow the pork to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir and allow the pork to continue to caramelize, about 3-5 minutes total. Remove the pork from the skillet, repeat with the remaining pork. Keep the pork warm.

6. Add the Ramen noodles to the crockpot and allow them to cook 5 minutes. Once the noodles are cooked, stir in only half of the pork. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with extra caramelized pork, curry roasted acorn squash and an egg. Season the egg with salt and pepper, Add the carrots, jalapeños, green onions and cilantro if desired. Happy slurping!

Cold Avocado Cucumber Soba

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 4-6 ounces soba noodles
  • 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 medium cucumbers 
 (or 1 large seedless cucumber)
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons ponzu sauce 
 (or extra tamari & rice vin with a squeeze of lime)
  • Avocado slices
  • Sesame seeds
  • Optional additions: 
• tofu or a protein of your choice
  • sriracha or chile flakes

Instructions

  1. Boil the soba noodles in salty water until al dente. Blanch them for 30 seconds in a bowl of cold ice water, then drain. Return them to the (empty) bowl and gently toss with a splash of sesame oil so they won’t stick together while you finish everything else.
  2. Thinly slice the cucumbers using a julienne peeler (you could also use a mandolin or veggie spiraler). Discard the first peel (it will be all skin) and carefully make your slices around the seeded part in the middle.
  3. Toss the cucumber slices and scallions with the soba noodles. Add tamari, rice vinegar, and ponzu and toss again. Taste and adjust seasonings. Top with sliced avocado and sesame seeds. 
Serve cold.