Creamy Pepper Sauce and Kelp Noodles

Have you ever had kelp noodles? Elysia and I discovered them awhile ago and enjoy using them as a replacement for pasta when we want a lighter meal. They have a crunchy texture, which may surprise you when you first try them, but if you soak them in warm water for awhile, they become much softer. Neither of us mind the crunchiness so we usually just dig right in, but you can decide what you prefer.

Because the noodles are made of kelp, they are definitely healthy:
     “Kelp is rich in more than 70 minerals, including potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and iodine. It also contains enzymes, vitamins, trace elements, and more than 21 amino acids”. ~Livestrong.com
     All of that AND they only contain 6 calories per serving. Crazy.

The brand that we have tried is called ‘Sea Tangle’ and are not the easiest to find. You can, however, order them online if you like or they have a list of stores as well. The noodles themselves do not have a lot of taste (not ‘fishy’ or ‘sea-like’ at all) so they need a little assistance in that department. 😉

The recipe that follows is for a sauce that can be used to top those noodles or as a flavor-booster for veggies and more. It is super easy to make and comes together quickly so give it a try!

Creamy Pepper Sauce
[Serves 3-4]

  • 1 tsp. Oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbl. Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup Lite Coconut Milk (Canned)
  • Cayenne Pepper, to taste
  • Salt & Pepper

– Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan over medium-low heat (I used canola). Sprinkle with salt and saute the red onion and red bell pepper until slightly browned (6-10 minutes). Set aside.

– Combine the cooked veggies and remaining ingredients in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Taste for salt and pepper and add accordingly.

– Toss with pasta, kelp noodles, veggies, zucchini noodles or anything that needs a little extra sauce!

Roasted Polenta Casserole

We’re sorry about the lack of posts this week; it has been an up and down week for us. The cooking class went great on Tuesday night; thank you to those who came! We enjoyed meeting each of you and hope you liked the recipes we prepared. For those of you who didn’t make it, we did tape part of it but it will be a little while before we will be able to hopefully post it. We also have two recipes from the class that we’ll be posting about as well.

I’m not sure if we’ll be posting anymore this week because a family emergency has taken us out of town, so we’re staying in a hotel tonight. I do have a recipe for you that uses the polenta that we featured last week so hopefully this will tide you over for a little while.

If you don’t want to take the time to make the polenta (even though it’s really easy to do!), feel free to substitute pre-made polenta, it just won’t taste as good 😉

Roasted Polenta Casserole

  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a roasted red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup. julienned sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup. chopped onion
  • 2 small portabella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 recipe Tofu Ricotta (from Veganomicon)
  • 1 recipe Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Polenta, or substitute one store-bought package.
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • Nutritional Yeast, Garlic Salt and Garlic Powder

– Preheat oven to 375F.

– For the sauce: In a small saucepan, add the first five ingredients and heat over medium-low, stirring ocassionally.

– Meanwhile, prepare the tofu ricotta mixture as directed and heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they begin to release their juices. Than add the spinach and cook just until wilted; remove from heat.

– Using an immersion blender (or regular blender, just make sure mixture isn’t too hot or you might have an explosion on your hands), blend the sauce ingredients until smooth.

– Assembly:
– Spread an even layer of sauce on the bottom of a glass baking dish (I used one that was 8×8):

– Top the sauce with a layer of polenta:

Cut the polenta however you like to fit your baking dish.

  –  and then with a thick layer of ricotta:

– Then sauce, then spinach mixture:

– Followed by more sauce, ricotta, sauce, and finally the polenta:

– Lastly, spread the tomato slices on top and sprinkle with Nutritional Yeast, garlic powder and garlic salt.

– Bake, uncovered, in the oven for 1 hour, or until heated thouroughly and then broil until the top is golden-brown.