This week we’re not messing around, right? Getting everything done in a short work week, tearing through the huge grocery/to-do list before Thanksgiving, and shortlisting your Black Friday buys. I get it. Cooking right now isn’t at the top of the list . . . or even on the list. But maybe this recipe will help you re-think that.
There are three main rules I follow when I don’t want to cook, but know my body and mind will benefit from me spending 15 minutes in the kitchen.
1. Use your pantry and freezer. Noodles, quick-cooking grains, and canned beans are all great bases for a meal and more likely than not, you have one of those in your pantry right now. Ditto goes for freezer vegetables — frozen green peas thaw and cook faster than fresh and broccoli or cauliflower florets are pre-cut and can actually be roasted straight out of the freezer with surprisingly great results. See method here.
2. Don’t worry about perfect. Would your meal better if you went out and got fresh ricotta to top it with? Sure. But would it also be edible and even delicious if you just grated a bit of Parmesan (that you already have in the fridge!) on there. Yes. Always yes.
What I’m addressing here is my own personal need to make every meal “perfect” and “amazing”, which is not possible, or even fun. So if you usually make something with one ingredient but don’t have that when you’re ready to eat, find something else that sounds good to you and give it a shot.
3. Take shortcuts. Consider buying pre-cut or pre-cooked (rotisserie chicken to the rescue) aspects of the meal to take the pressure off and surrounding those things with vegetables and other ingredients that need little prep (like a simple arugula and shaved fennel salad with that chicken).
Everytime I’m at Trader Joe’s (not sponsored, but open to it) I buy a bag of their shredded brussels sprouts — no messing around with cutting off the base and peeling off the outer layers of each. individual. sprout. — they make a dish like this dead simple.
That being said, if you do have whole b-sprouts (like I did when I cooked this) think of that prep as your daily meditation. Or just listen to your favorite podcast for five minutes while you trim and slice them, it’ll be over before you know it.
Brussels Sprouts & Soba Noodle Stir Fry
A quick and simple plant-based meal with garlic and ginger sauteed brussels sprouts and soba noodles.
- 1 lb. brussels sprouts trimmed and sliced thin so you have ribbons
- Avocado or grapeseed oil
- Salt to taste
- 8 ounces soba noodles
- 1 cup frozen edamame thawed
- Sesame seeds optional
- 3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce, or coconut aminos
- Juice of ½ lime
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 2 garlic cloves grated on a microplane or chopped very finely
- 1- inch piece of ginger grated on a microplane or chopped very finely
For more protein, add one of the following:
- 1 fried or soft-boiled egg per person
- 1 cup of roasted cashews
- 1 cup of shredded cooked chicken or 1 chicken breast sliced thin
Place a medium to large pot of water on to boil. Once boiling, add a big spoonful of salt and the soba noodles, cook according to the package (I cook mine for 4 minutes). Once just tender, drain the noodles.
While the water is coming to a boil, make your sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking together.
In a large pan or skillet with high sides, heat enough avocado oil to cover the base over a medium-high heat. Add shredded brussels sprouts and a generous pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes until golden in places and bright green. Add edamame to the pan and stir to heat through. Turn off the heat.
Add sauce and cooked noodles to the pan and toss to combine. Serve warm.