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!

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Pie!

December has definitely arrived with the declaration of several inches of snow in our area this past weekend. I was pretty excited on Saturday while if was snowing because I always like the first real snow. That being said, it won’t take me long to get over it! I think I’m in for a long Winter. Do you look forward to the first time it snows? Or maybe you live in an area where you don’t even get any snow. I think that Christmas would be a little strange without snow but otherwise I wouldn’t mind it.

On Saturday night I went on a trolley ride that was supposed to be a holiday lights tour. While it was fun (they served wine and champagne 😉 ), I was surprised that the majority of people didn’t have any Holiday lights up around their houses. I know that it’s a lot of work for the short period of time that they’re up (unless you ‘forget’ to take them down..), but was still surprised. It was nice because it was still snowing but there were some hills on the route covered in snow that I wasn’t sure the trolley would make up! They had to back up a couple of times when the tires started spinning. At least we didn’t have to get out and push…

Enough about my weekend though. No one guessed what the fruit that I used in the pie recipe is, so I will just tell you! Persimmon. I had heard of Persimmons before this year but hadn’t actually tried them until recently. There are usually two varieties available in stores, the Hachiya and Fuyu. I bought both and used a combination in this recipe. I think that main difference is that the Hachiya is more ‘astringent’ when it isn’t ripe and leaves this really strange, chalky coating on your tongue. Because of this, try to buy the Hachiya when it’s soft to the touch. I preferred the Fuyu for taste because I’m impatient and didn’t want to worry about it ripening.

 The following pie comes together quickly in a blender or food processor. The crust is equally easy to make and compliments the filling well, but if you really want to make it simple, a graham cracker crust would work fine too.  However, check the nutrition labels if you do! A lot of graham cracker crusts still have trans fat in them so you definitely want to avoid that because it is the worst type of fat for you to consume (it actually raises your ‘bad’ cholesterol levels).

Persimmon Coconut Pie

Filling:

  • 1 ½ cups of chopped persimmon + 1 whole Persimmon
  • 6 ounces of firm Silken Tofu (about ½ of a box of Mori-Nu)
  • 1 tbsp. of Brown Rice Syrup
  • 1/8 cup Sucanat or Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp. of Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Dried Dates
  • 2 tsp. of Coconut Spread or Oil
  •  ¾ cup Non-Dairy Milk
  • 2 tsp. of Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. of Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp. of Ground Cardamom
  • 1 ½ tsp. of Orange Zest
  •  ¼ cup of Shredded Coconut
  • 1 tsp. of Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp. of Salt

Crust:

  • 10 Dried Dates
  •  ¼ cup of Pecan Halves
  •  ½ cup of Old Fashioned Oats
  •  ¼ cup of Shredded Coconut
  •  ¼ tsp. of Ground Cardamom
  •  ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of Salt
  • 2 tsp. Coconut Spread or Oil
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

– Preheat oven to 350 F.

– In a blender or food processor combine the ingredients for the crust.

– Spray a pie dish with cooking spray. Put the crust mixture in the pie dish and use a small rolling-pin or spatula to press the crust along the bottom and up the sides (it should not go all the way to the top).

– Slice the whole persimmon into thin rounds and line the pie crust with about half of them. Reserve the other half.

– Process all filling ingredients in the blender.

– Pour the filling into the pie dish (it will completely cover the pie crust). Top with remaining Persimmon slices.

– Bake for one hour and then cool completely before serving.