Those of you unfamiliar with Russell James, the raw food chef from England, would do well to check out his website. If you are interested in a raw food lifestyle and how to efficiently and deliciously make it happen, I strongly recommend James’ Raw Food Home Study Program that covers everything from setting up your kitchen with the necessary supplies, to proper chopping and cutting techniques all the way to delicious and healthy meals, snacks and desserts. He is a wealth of incredible information on raw foodism. And it is because of him that I learned about kelp noodles, which have turned my raw food experiment on its head! Suddenly, there is a whole new tasty product to help me live a healthy, delicious life!
As their name suggests, kelp noodles are made from kelp; seaweed that is loaded in minerals (especially iodine) and a nice source of Calcium and B vitamins, while devoid of fats and carbohydrates. The all important minerals contained in the noodles can increase energy levels and metabolism because they nourish the thyroid, which is a nice benefit. In fact, I recently had them while feeling exhausted after a long weekend and immediately, my energy picked up! These crunchy, chewy noodles, that can add a twist to many meals, come in packets that contain a total of 18 calories (just 6 calories per serving!) with no sugar, cholesterol or fats. They have come into my life at the perfect time, revolutionizing my raw journey.
After scouring the internet and the health food stores of New York City, I finally found a source in California called Sea Tangle Noodle Company. Unfortunately, I had to buy a case in order to try it once, but the entire box plus shipping and handling is far less than what I spend in a typical week at Free Foods NYC, and if it can help me be more creative in my eating, then it is certainly worth it.
Whether you are a raw food enthusiast or not, you can benefit from and enjoy these noodles. Add them to miso soup or any broth, adding texture and bulk while increasing satisfaction. You can also use them in stir-fries instead of a regular noodle for a more nutritious twist. Since I am not cooking and heating them, I used them instead in a salad and oh, what a salad it was!
Peanut Sesame Sauces are fairly common, but peanut is a common allergen and I have yet to find it in the raw. Instead, I used raw almond butter for a healthier twist on this old favorite. Almonds are a good source of essential fatty acids, contain a cancer fighting chemical called laetrile and help to improve your “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering the bad. It is also available raw. I used Artisana raw almond butter and it came out outstanding. I like the little bits of fresh ginger that give it a bit of a burst. It is very flavorful and rich so you may want to thin with a little warm water before using. A little can go a long way.
Almond-Sesame Noodle Salad
- 1 ½ cups thinly sliced cabbage
- 2 scallions, sliced thin
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ½ large carrot, julienne
- ½ cucumber, julienne
- ½ cup kelp noodles
- 1/2 cup smooth raw almond or cashew butter
- 1/4 cup (wheat free) tamari or nama shoyu (tamari is not raw but is wheat free. Nama Shoyu is raw but not wheat free)
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1 medium garlic clove, chopped
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
Blend sauce ingredients together in a food processor.
Rinse the kelp noodles and toss with ¼ cup almond-sesame sauce, set aside. Combine the other ingredients in a large bowl. Add the noodles with sauce to the cabbage mixture, mixing well. Add sauce if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.