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It’s the week of speedy raw lunches!

Today’s recipe came to me at random, as I was attempting to prep for a bio lab. I had half an avocado, tons of carrots (I always have tons of carrots on hand for juicing), half a cup of aduki beans that were left over from a batch I cooked up in the rice cooker this past weekend, and…and what? I knew I could throw these all into a salad, but suddenly, it dawned on me: I had a bag of kelp noodles that had been sitting around for quite a while. I love kelp noodles because they offer the crunch of salad with the general aesthetic and feel of pasta. And it’s very easy to control how soft or crispy they are.

How? Well, when I’m not in the mood for kelp noodles that have a bit of crunch in them (which all of them naturally do), I simply heat a pot of water till it’s quite hot, but cool enough for me to stick a finger in quickly. I turn off the heat, add my kelp noodles, cover them, and let them steam for about ten minutes. I then drain and serve. This is a very easy way to make the noodles softer and more palatable, especially if you’re not familiar with their texture.

As usual, I’m sure a few of you are wondering where to get kelp noodles. My answer: I order them online, either directly from the Sea Tangle Company or through Amazon. You can find kelp noodles at many health food stores and Whole Foods, but many still don’t carry them, and I find that it’s very easy to simply order a pack of six. They have a seemingly endless shelf life, and I use them often enough that it’s absolutely worth it for me!

So: I had the ingredients I needed for an excellent raw lunch. Here’s what I did with them.

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Kelp Noodles and Azuki Beans with Creamy Carrot Avocado Sauce (high raw, vegan, gluten free)

Serves 1

For the sauce:

1/2 large avocado
1 large carrot (or 2 small), chopped
1 tsp fresh minced ginger (or powdered)
2 pitted dates
1 tbsp nama shoyu or tamari (I try to use reduced sodium)
1 cup water
Juice of half a lemon

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till smooth.

For the pasta:

1 package kelp noodles (Yes, I eat about a package for a meal. You can definitely split this between two people! Or just cut down on the noodles.)
1/2 cup aduki beans (fresh is loveliest, but BPA-free canned beans are fine, too)

Mix the beans and noodles, and top with about half a cup of sauce. Mix and serve with some fresh greens, vegetable crudites, steamed broccoli, or raw crackers (or a mish mosh of all of the above!). A sprinkle of nutritional yeast is nice here, too.

The sauce is delectably creamy, and the ginger gives it a nice bite:

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There’s a lesson here: when you’re wondering “what should I eat for lunch,” do a quick inventory of what’s in your fridge. Think about what you can use for a sauce or dressing, what you can use as a protein, what you can use as a source of complex carbs (energy!!), and what might work as a “base.” By base, I simply mean whatever is going to take up the most volume in your meal: for me, it’s usually greens (a salad base, for instance), but it’s often also zucchini noodles, kelp noodles, or a grain. Then, think about flavor pairings (carrot, avocado, and ginger are heavenly together), and mix it all up. It’s that simple!

Complex recipes are great when you have time for them, but when it comes to making a high raw lunch on the fly, this little “system” tends to work for me.

Speaking of time, my blogging time is running short. Till tomorrow, friends!


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