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Practically Raw recipe: Almond Butter Sesame Noodles (raw OR cooked!)

November 27, 2012

Upon returning to the interwebs from Thanksgiving break, I was stunned to find my Google reader jam-packed with almost nothing but sweet holiday desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I adore those types of recipes (and have plenty still up my own sleeves), but immediately after Thanksgiving, I wanted some nutritious, clean eats to balance the weekend’s indulgence. Raw food to the rescue!

But it’s freezing here in the Midwest. Who wants to eat all-raw when the temps drop? I personally prefer to combine raw and cooked food for comfort’s sake, and you all know I’m not shy about cooking or heating my raw recipes. Today, I’m going to give you the best of both worlds.

This delectable recipe comes straight out of my cookbook Practically Raw. In fact, it’s on the cover of the book! Lest you forget, all the recipes in Practically Raw provide cooking/heating/baking directions for chilly days (or dehydrator-free kitchens), so you can get just as much use out of the book in the winter as you do in the warmer months.

These Almond Butter Sesame Noodles are a great example of a Practically Raw recipe that can be made raw or cooked.

I’ve always loved Asian noodle dishes with peanutty sauces. In this version, the more subdued flavor of almond butter produces a mild, nuanced sauce that’s the perfect match for the fresh veggies and somewhat-crunchy kelp noodles. If iodine-rich, nearly-calorie-free kelp noodles aren’t an option for you (or if you just want a hot cooked noodle dish), don’t fret; I provide tons of other noodle options below the recipe.

Almond Butter Sesame Noodles

From Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make by Amber Shea Crawley, (c) 2012. Used by permission.
raw, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free

For the almond butter sauce:
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
(or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce (optional)

For the noodles:
2 (12-ounce) bags kelp noodles, rinsed and drained
2 medium carrots, peeled if desired and cut into matchsticks
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
3 green onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry cashews
(optional)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the noodles, carrot, and bell pepper. Add the almond butter sauce and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours, until chilled, or serve immediately. Garnish with the green onion, cashews, and sesame seeds just before serving.

Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 265 calories, 19.2g fat (2g sat), 19.8g carbs, 4g fiber, 7.7g protein

Substitutions:
• Tamari: soy sauce, nama shoyu, or liquid aminos
• Agave nectar: coconut nectar or any other liquid sweetener
• Kelp noodles: see Chef’s Tips below
• Cashews: dry-roasted peanuts
• Sesame seeds: hempseeds

Chef’s Tips:
• You have numerous choices for what type of noodle to use in this dish. Here are some suggestions:
– 1 (8-ounce) package soba noodles
– 1 (8-ounce) package udon noodles
– 1 (8-ounce) package whole wheat spaghetti noodles
– 1 (8-ounce) package gluten-free brown rice noodles
– 2 (12-ounce) packages kelp noodles (no need to cook; just rinse and drain)
– 4 (8-ounce) packages tofu shirataki noodles
– 4 medium zucchini or yellow squash, peeled if desired, spiralized
• Remember to precook the noodles ahead of time for quick and easy assembly.
• If you don’t have agave nectar or another liquid sweetener on hand, you can use 1 tablespoon granulated sugar plus 1 teaspoon water instead.
• Feel free to add more veggies or change up which vegetables you use. Snow peas, sliced mushrooms, and shredded cabbage all make nice additions.

Variations:
• Peanut Butter Sesame Noodles: Use peanut butter and dry-roasted peanuts in place of the almond butter and cashews.
• Protein-Packed Sesame Noodles: Bulk this dish up by adding cubed baked tofu or tempeh.

I myself frequently make this dish with cooked noodles. In fact, I did so just last week! I tossed the almond butter sauce and crisp raw veggies with tender, warm soba noodles (see photos above and below). It was outrageously delicious.

Since all the recipes in Practically Raw can be cooked or warmed if desired, it’d make a great holiday gift for the cookbook lover in your life—or anyone who simply wants to eat healthier in the winter months. 😉

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. Tara permalink
    November 27, 2012 4:01 pm

    Yum! This is one of my favorite recipes from ‘Practically Raw’! I’ll be honest, I always make it with cooked noodles because kelp noodles were unavailable to me. However, kelp noodles just popped up at my local Whole Foods AND I have a spiralizer now. An all-raw version is in my future–but not until after it stops snowing….

    • November 28, 2012 10:25 am

      Sometimes I think I prefer it with cooked noodles! At least this time of year. 🙂

  2. November 27, 2012 5:52 pm

    Looks incredibly delicious, Amber! I’ve used a similar recipe for a coleslaw + veggie salad which was great… and I bet this is awesome with kelp noodles, too. 🙂

    • November 28, 2012 10:24 am

      I bet you could toss the almond butter sauce with broccoli cole slaw and julienned veggies and eat it as a salad, too!

  3. jenn permalink
    November 27, 2012 9:02 pm

    Hey this is totally off the topic but since you’ve been checking out juice companies I was wondering if you’ve come across any in Hawaii. I recently moved to Oahu and can’t find any raw food interest here. Any info? Jenn

    • November 28, 2012 10:22 am

      I haven’t come across or heard of any juice cleansing companies in Hawaii yet, but I’ll let you know if I do!

  4. November 28, 2012 9:32 am

    This takes me right back to that beautiful, happy, wonderful day when I first arrived in Kansas City and squeezed you in a hug. xo

    • November 28, 2012 10:22 am

      And I made you these noodles and we sat at the kitchen table as the sun set talking about…life. ❤

      • November 29, 2012 7:36 pm

        …life and life and everything in between, and there was no part of me that didn’t feel like I’ve always, always known you. xo

  5. November 28, 2012 10:20 am

    Love it – I’m just afraid that kelp noodles are that expensive =/

  6. November 28, 2012 3:30 pm

    As always, I’m in awe of the versatility and flexibility you bring to food. It’s too bad when sharp lines are driven between what are, at least on one level, simply different methods of prep.
    love
    Ela

  7. November 28, 2012 4:00 pm

    I like to mix raw and cooked foods this time of year, too (I’m also craving some lighter food options after Thanksgiving). Love this recipe.

  8. November 28, 2012 4:56 pm

    I need to find kelp noodles! They look so neat!!

  9. November 28, 2012 7:14 pm

    Yummm! I love flexible dishes… I haven’t had kelp noodles in too long since I have to order from afar and your pics make me crave them! lol

    • November 28, 2012 8:06 pm

      Haha, add “craving kelp noodles” to the “you know you’re a raw chef when…” list! 😛

  10. November 29, 2012 5:26 pm

    i love simple nutty veggies and noodles. these are some gorgeous bowls of food i want to gobble up!

  11. November 30, 2012 11:00 am

    Oooh, shirataki is a great idea for this recipe! I made it with kelp noodles and really liked it, but shirataki would be great for that gooey, comforty factor versus the crunch of kelp.

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