First, I'd like to start off by saying that I am not 100% vegan. The food section of this blog is not exclusively vegan, and I don't think it will ever be fully converted to be exclusively vegan, either. This is the first vegan recipe that has actually graced my blog, haha. But I'm sure there are more on the horizon! As I mentioned in my "2017 In Review" post, I have been on an ongoing journey towards a better relationship with food. I feel better when I eat better - I have more energy, and am more productive. It's better for the planet to eat more veggies - and in a way, is a form of activism. The reason I can't commit right now to being fully vegan? It sounds super selfish, but I think my love for ice cream and pizza run too deep. I also LOVE seafood.. shrimp and lobster particularly. I'm sure this makes some of you vegetarians / vegans cringe. I am not opposed to incorporating more nut milks or nut cheeses, but am allergic to many nuts.. which makes it more difficult / a pain in the ass to find those alternatives. I really admire those of you who not only manage a fully vegan eating regime, but also do it with food allergies! So anyways, right now... I am okay with being "vegan-ish" or "vegetarian-ish" and making active better plant-based choices when I can -- but also not beating myself up for eating ice cream or pizza or whatever it may be every now and then. Everything in moderation!
Now... onto what you came here for: Zucchini Noodle Ramen!
For me, ramen has always been a "quick fix" meal. It was never a luxurious "treat yourself" experience. But more recently - I've rediscovered... or rather... reinvented ramen for myself. It can be healthy AND indulgent!
With the country currently being under a serious deep freeze spells thats lasted waaaaay too long tbh (LOL) - I have desperately been craving nothing but hot comfort food! And typically... comfort food is high in fat / bad carbs / generally not great for you. So I was curious... could I make ramen with ZUCCHINI? And the answer is: YES! Here's how:
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 1 small-medium zucchini or 1/2 of a large zucchini, spiralized
- 2-4 mushrooms, sliced
- 2-3 baby carrot sticks (or 1-2 inch chunk of larger carrot), cut into thin strips
- 2-6 cilantro strands, chopped
- 1-2 gloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1-3 sliced pieces of fresh ginger, cut into thin strips
- 1/3-1/2 packet leftover ramen seasoning OR a generous helping of salt
- paprika, to taste
- turmeric, to taste
- 1 egg (optional) OR substitute with tofu
WHAT TO DO:
- First of all, if you don't have a spiralizer - you need one. I use THIS ONE.. and it's only $8.99 on Amazon! It's small, handheld, and so easy to use. Don't be intimidated! Once you have that, be sure to spiralize your zucchini. Set it aside in the bowl you plan to eat your ramen out of.
- Clean and prepare your mushrooms, carrots, and cilantro. Add to the bowl with your spiralized zucchini! If you want to save some cilantro for sprinkling on top, feel free to set some aside.
- Boil a small pot of water to start your soup. Once boiling, add garlic, ginger, your leftover ramen seasoning (or salt), paprika, and turmeric. Stir until combined.
- (Optional) If you want, you can add an egg, too! I still have not mastered how to properly poach or soft boil an egg.. so I usually scramble it first then dump it into the soup and let it cook that way. It's almost like egg-drop soup inspired-ish... haha. (Instead of egg, you could also sub in tofu for some extra protein.)
- Dump the soup mixture (w/ cooked egg) into the zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, and cilantro.. (the hot water will cook the veggies through) and ta-da!! You just made zucchini noodle ramen! :) It's THAT easy.
Really, you can add whatever you want to your zucchini ramen. You can even add meat, if you want! There are no rules. ;) What are your favorite things to put in yours? Tell me in the comments below!