Winter Glow Noodle Bowls with Orange Peanut Sauce

February 14, 2018

Looking for something fresh to get through the last bits of winter? I've got you! I've been really trying to get plenty of colourful, but still seasonal, foods in lately instead of just relying on just one or two vegetables. I lucked out with some locally grown hothouse cucumbers, along with kohlrabi, carrots, beets, purple cabbage, and oranges here. These vegan noodle bowls are a fun way to get lots of veggies in, and I've used a legume pasta along with the peanut sauce to edge the protein up without having to add beans, or my nemesis, tofu. There's a nice variation in texture with the steamed beets alongside the other raw vegetables and oranges. The red cabbage is a ride on my red cabbage and orange salad but simplified a bit since it's being combined with so much other good stuff.

About that legume pasta. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm currently working with a new German brand, Planet Plant Based, but this isn't a sponsored post - I'm doing some photography work for them and I think it's good pasta. I'm using their green pea tagliatelle in this recipe and I really like it. Bean and legume pasta certainly has a bit of a different texture than regular wheat pasta, but I think as long as you know that from the beginning, you won't be disappointed. The trick is to find a brand that has a good flavour and texture and stick with it. I eat kamut and spelt pasta but it's nice to have a high protein choice for recipes like this, so something additional isn't needed. Otherwise you can use brown rice or rice noodles. This recipe serves two people but I didn't want to make two for pictures since it was just me home, hah. Pure laziness. If you can multitask, these bowls can be ready in a little over half an hour, the amount of time it takes the beets to cook. Since they're eaten at room temperature in any case, you can easily take it to work as well. 

You can see that the peanut sauce is served in the photos in a little dollop instead of a drizzle, which is how I would usually do it. Graham has a thing for chunky peanut butter right now so it's all we had, and if I don't have smooth peanut butter I like to make it a little thicker. I've included the guidelines for both in the recipe so you can decide which you prefer - just make sure you're using natural peanut butter and not the sweetened fluffy stuff, or it won't taste right. I'm sure you could sub something else (almond butter!) if you can't have peanuts, or go with tahini if you can't have any nuts. I've topped it with a little cress because I had it, but if you have sprouts, use those instead.

I sent one of these photos to my friend Heidi (The Simple Green) because I wasn't sure they were reflective of my style and she said that whenever she sees that vibrant purple, i.e. cabbage, she thinks of my pictures! I am Kraut Frau. 

This recipe was totally inspired by Alanna from The Bojon Gourmet but unfortunately my pictures will probably never match up to hers! I thought that the recipe came to me without outside influences but I saw this recipe again when I was on her site today and it was clearly influenced by her beet poke bowls so I went all out and let her beautiful styling inspire the photos, too. Hers are more sushi bowls and I'm not pickling the veggies for this recipe, but those poke bowls look awesome.

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Winter Glow Noodle Bowls with Orange Peanut Sauce
Serves two

230 grams / 5 small beets
1/2 small kohlrabi*
2 medium carrots
1 small cucumber
1 orange
100 grams / 1/2 package of legume or rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions

Begin by cooking the beets. Place them, skin on, into a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until they can be pierced with a fork. Drain and cover with cold water, then peel and cut into 3cm pieces. Prep the cabbage and other elements while the beets are cooking.

Use a vegetable peeler to slice ribbons from the kohlrabi and carrots. Julienne the cucumber, and slice the oranges, removing the skin. Drain the pasta and set aside. To serve, divide all of the elements between two bowls and top with the peanut sauce. 

Orange cabbage 

200 grams / 1/2 small red cabbage
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Juice of an orange (~3 tablespoons)

Very thinly slice or shred the cabbage and place it into a large bowl with the vinegar, salt, and orange juice. Mix until coated and set aside for at least 20 minutes to soften.

Peanut sauce

3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon sesame or another light tasting oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon coconut sugar
Juice of an orange (~3 tablespoons)

In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients until combined. 

• If you want to thin out the peanut sauce more to make it a drizzle, you can add a little water or some more orange juice until it reaches the consistency you'd like.

1. I know kohlrabi can be hard to find, but it's just a mild, crunchy root vegetable. You can substitute radishes for it.

4 comments on "Winter Glow Noodle Bowls with Orange Peanut Sauce"
  1. This looks lovely - so refreshing and nourishing!

    1. Thanks, Melanie! It's nice to have a little refreshing food, even when it's still cold out :)

  2. Hi Alexandra! Great blog and recipes! I have a question: how do you usually make your backgrounds? This one for instance has this stone-like texture. And some of the background walls are also textured. Do you use any special technique? :)

    1. Hi Ana! I don't make them myself, I just use different boards and stone or tile backgrounds. Sometimes I just use the floor too. This one is a kiln shelf from a wood-fired kiln of a friend so it's essentially stone with a salt coating, and I also use regular house tiles, window sills, wood, or whatever's around! If it's a white wall in the background it'll be plaster and otherwise it's another board that I'm using. Junk makes the best food photography backgrounds, in my opinion. I hope that helps!