This recipe was previously published on September 26, 2016.
I've passed by the bags of Tofu Shirataki noodles in my grocery store countless times, never thinking twice about what use they'd be in my kitchen. The noodles, which come in several varieties, were always to me a "convenience" food on par with ramen or microwaveable "curry." I'd rather have the real thing, thank you: tofu or noodles but not this hybrid.
This week I decided to inspect this item more closely, and I'm so happy I did! The noodles are incredibly low-calorie (only 10 calories for half the package), so while they're not a great source of protein like regular tofu, or of healthy carbs like soba or other noodles, they add flavor and texture to a dish without any guilt (and their low-calorie count leaves more room for tasty add-ins).
I conjured this Thai-inspired soup to give the noodles, which might otherwise be bland and boring, some kick. The creamy coconut-avocado broth is a lovely alternative to traditional curry broth, in addition to being a little reminiscent to a (savory) smoothie bowl. You can throw in any combination of vegetables, protein, and carbs (think legumes, too), I'd imagine, so have fun experimenting.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F. On a small baking sheet, toss the cubed sweet potato with 1/2 tablespoon oil and cumin to coat. Roast for about 30 minutes or until crispy.
2. Drain the noodles of their liquid, and wrap them in a paper towel (as you would a block of tofu) to remove any excess liquid. Press with a bowl or other weighted object while you prepare the other ingredients.
3. Mash the avocado with a fork in a medium bowl. Whisk in coconut milk and water, then pour in a medium saucepan. Add spices, and heat over low until it begins to froth. Lower to a simmer, then add the noodles. (You may wish to separate the noodles with your hands or a knife beforehand.) Cook for around 5 minutes or until the noodles are warm.
4. In a medium sauté pan, combine the spinach, onion, and remaining oil. Cook until the onion is soft and spinach begins to wilt.
5. Divide noodles, potato, and spinach between two bowls. Pour remaining broth from the noodles over each bowl, and top with cilantro.
Features Editor Jennifer Kurdyla is a New York City girl with Jersey roots and a propensity for getting lost in the urban jungle. An experienced publishing professional, yoga instructor, home chef, sometimes-runner, and writer, she adopted a vegetarian lifestyle in 2008 and became vegan in 2013. She has written for The Harvard Review Online, The Rumpus, and Music & Literature and maintains a wellness-based website, Be Nourished, which features original writing and recipes. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram @jenniferkurdyla, Twitter @jenniferkurdyla, and Pinterest.