Smoky Southwestern Kelp Noodle Bowl with Black Beans and Corn


Happy Friday, all!

After a long week of outstanding remarks on body image, fitness, and recovery, I’m here with some food, at last. The beautiful bowl you see above was today’s lunch, and it was surprisingly wonderful for a recipe I came up with at random. It’s a bowl of kelp noodles, corn, broccoli, and black beans that is pulled together by a tangy Southwestern dressing. And it’s a winner.

I made this dressing a few weeks ago for dinner with my cousin. She was impressed, so I set about tweaking the recipe and getting it right for you all. I think I’ve nailed it. Like many of my dressings, it’s a tahini base. I use both lemon and apple cider vinegar here: I find that ACV can bee too tart and overwhelming on its own, while lemon can be too subtle. This is a perfect happy medium. And of course, I had to use smoked paprika, because no southwestern inspired recipe of mine would be complete without it.


Smoky Southwestern Kelp Noodle Bowl with Black Beans and Corn (raw, vegan, gluten free)

Serves 2, dressing yields 1 1/2 cups (so you’ll have extra)

1 package (12 oz) kelp noodles (I purchase through Amazon or from the Sea Tangle company online)                                                                                                 1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup corn, raw or cooked
1 cup broccoli florets, steamed and chopped

For the dressing:

1/3 cup tahini
6 tbsp water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp tamari
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp maple syrup

1) Mix together dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor till smooth.

2) “Massage” about 1/2 cup of the dressing into the kelp noodles. Add vegetables, and toss again, adding more dressing as needed.


Smoky, tangy, and delicious. My kind of lunch.

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I enjoyed this dish along with a big salad and sweet pea hummus. Some nutritional yeast on top is also quite tasty!

Thanks for the lovely remarks about Alex’s GR story this week. Today, Alex tweeted me to see what I think of this story from Ecorazzi. To sum it up, Scarlett Johansson is reported to have said that she went on a raw, vegan diet to slim down for The Avengers. She also says that she’s “always following some crazy regime,” implying that raw veganism is one of them.

Assuming it’s accurate, I think the remark is too bad, mostly because I think it’s a shame that Johansson always feels pressure to be wedded to a restrictive or bizarre diet. I’m sure the pressure to diet is immense for her, and I feel sympathy for that predicament. Of course, I also think it’s a shame that raw veganism would be tossed into the category of “crazy regimes,” when so many bloggers and personalities are out there showing us that veganism—raw or not—can be accessible, easy, and fun. But if you approach raw veganism as a crash diet—which Johansson is basically saying she did—it will feel like a crash diet. No surprise there.

I think this community understands that any way of eating can become crazy or radical. That’s true of raw veganism, just the way it’s also true of high protein diets like Atkins, the Paleo diet, locavorism, and many other eating styles. Intentions matter—are you trying to lose weight, or do you want to embrace a way of eating because you believe that its values are in line with yours? Are you trying to fit into a catsuit, or do you believe that a particular lifestyle will offer you true, lasting health? Only you can know the answer. If you find headlines like this discouraging, don’t: Johannson is entitled to diet through raw veganism if she wants to. But that doesn’t mean that raw veganism is a “crazy regime” in and of itself. The statement reflects one person’s motives, not the lifestyle’s broader potential.

What do you guys think? And happy weekend to you all!


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Categories: Vegan Bowls
Ingredients: Black Beans
Dietary Preferences: Vegan

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  1. I’ve been enjoying a modified version of this bowl for lunch this week (kale instead of broccoli, no corn), and oh my, this might be the BEST dressing I have ever tasted! I could eat a small bowl of it, with a spoon… so tasty! Thanks for the introduction to kelp noodles.

  2. Hi! Did you use roasted or raw tahini for this recipe? I’ve just discovered raw tahini and it tastes sooo different! I love them both but keen to know which you had in mind


  3. Holy moly this was good! I used asparagus, corn, and a ton of leftover white and kidney beans I had. I used 3/4 tsp paprika and I only used 2T water and the sauce was still super soupy so next time I wouldn’t use any water. This was my first time trying Kelp Noodles (I got mine at Whole Foods) and I am hooked! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Just made this again, (this time with no water and with Bragg’s instead of tamari) and it was perfect! Yum yum yum! Thanks!

  4. That’s interesting. A few years ago I remember her reading an article that she wasn’t influenced by the need to achieve a particular body shape and that she was proud of her curves. Maybe it’s changed. It is a shame she is doing it to lose weight rather than for the health benefits.

    Me, I’m totally in this for the health aspect. Maintaining a stable weight is just a side benefit and a reflection of a healthy body.

  5. I just wanted to thank you for continually shedding such a vibrant and bright light on veganism, what it does for the body, the planet and the animals. It is very important work what you are doing, and I know you must meet opposition regularly. Thank you for doing this work.

  6. I think that there are so many different diets out there that there’s ceased to be as much bias against any single one. Sure at one point it was political and revolutionary to be vegan, but I think now it’s just considered another alternative means to fuel oneself. She could as easily gone paleo and said the same thing about it being a “crazy regime”. It’s just different, and restrictive.

    Until people learn how to fuel properly after adopting a new way of eating, I think they’re likely to lose weight just out of difficulty of figuring out what to eat! I struggled with that a bit last year when I just started cutting out processed sugar! But once you figure out the ins and outs, you can get on with living.

    Incidentally, I was vegetarian until a few weeks ago when allergy tests came back with gluten, dairy and egg sensitivities, so I guess I’m now vegan! I’d already been loving a lot of your recipes (I’m actually eating the Very Berry Chia Pudding right now!) and you helped make the transition easy for me, so thanks!

  7. I’m from Cleveland, so Scarlett Johansson was spotted downtown here during filming (a small part done in Cleveland). I can attest that Kimberly Snyder was an on set chef so I’m sure there were lots of yummy raw vegan foods. But let’s be clear, when spotted at a local restaurant Scarlett spent most of her time smoking and not really eating. So I’m sure her diet felt like massive deprivation. (also many foods we know are addictive. Maybe she was feeling cravings and replacing one addiction for another?) I mean this in no negative way towards the actress. She’s gorgeous and I’m sure was fabulous in this movie, but I write this to put perspective on why she may have felt like she went so “extreme”

  8. Hi Gena, =)
    It sounds like Johansson is perhaps being apologetic about her recent habit/diet. If that’s the case, it’s unfortunate. It reminds me of someone’s comment I heard once: “I eat so healthy sometimes, it’s disgusting!”. We should be proud of our interests/values/whathaveyou, and not so humbly call them “a crazy thing I’m doing”.
    Btw, I’m so excited you posted about kelp noodles!! Had it for the first time at Cafe Gratitude in LA and it was delishhhh. I’ve been wondering where I could purchase them. Thank you! =)

  9. The Scarlett stuff could have been worse. She still looks fairly muscled so at least that combats the myth that the diet will turn you into a waif. I don’t know, I don’t take too much stock in celebs. The ones that are really vegan don’t talk too much about it.

    I have been craving kelp noodles lately, thanks for a dish that mixes raw and cooked, the best of both!

  10. Sounds like a delicious recipe! I hope you have a restful w/e.

    I tend not to pay much attention to throwaway remarks like that by famous people–they’re often sound-bite-ized and edited out of context, and I don’t know how far the implication (clearly present as it stands) that a raw vegan diet is a crazy fad was part of SJ’s original intent…

  11. That sounds so good! I have kelp noodles but haven’t used them yet. I like this flavor combo, I bet it’s tasty!

  12. You may have answered this a hundred times but, kelp noodles: what would you say the texture is like? Kinda like bean thread noodles? I’m very wary of them, but the rest sounds great! I’ll definitely try the dressing.

    Funny that Scarlett said she went raw vegan to “fix” her Paleo diet. Wonder what that’s all about.

  13. Love this recipe!

    It is sad that veganism is, by some, seen as “extreme” and “crazy”. I wish more people would understand that vegan diet is not a fad (which, in my mind, paleo is), but more comprehensively a way of eating and living compassionately.