Spring brings vacation, warm weather, and a dilemma: some classic dishes are just too heavy to eat in the sun and heat. However, don’t worry! We’re bringing you tips from our bloggers and the Food Monster App on how to make noodles perfect for the season, so you never have to go without them. You can have your cake (or in this case, noodles) and eat it too!
Make sure to check out our Blogger Tips Archives for more hacks like these!
1. Choose a lighter noodle base!
There’s no better place to start when making a dish lighter than the base! When you’re choosing a noodle dish, find some lighter noodles that will give you tons of flavor without making you feel too weighed down after eating it. HeeJee Lee shows us how to do just that with these Jap-chae: Korean Stir-Fried Glass Noodles! Glass noodles themselves are a lighter noodle, and Jap-chae (which means mixed veggies) is fresh and bright with vibrant veggies and an easy but delicious sauce.
Italian noodles aren’t typically viewed as light, but angel hair is a great option! Try this Carrot Beet Angel Hair Pasta With Spicy Pistachio Pesto from Rachael Campbell. The mint, lime, and chili in the pesto create a zingy sauce that perfectly accompanies the carrots and beets, all over delicate angel hair pasta.
Kelp noodles are a popular spring dish, as they have a light texture and can be eaten raw, as well as being nutritious and packed with vitamins and minerals including iodine, magnesium, and B vitamins. Annaliisa Kapp showcases them in her Sweet Potato, Red Cabbage, and Kelp Noodles With Miso Dressing. This dish is quick and easy, and provides you with plenty of options for variety: hot or cold, main or side dish, any way you eat it will be delicious and invigorating!
2. Swap out noodles for zoodles!
Using zoodles, or zucchini noodles is a tried and true method for a lighter and veggie-packed noodle dish. You can pair zoodles with an endless variety of sauces and toppings, but a delicious way to serve them is this Summer Zoodle Glow Bowl by Shannon Leparski! The avocado lime sauce is a refreshing touch to this already deLIGHTful dish, and the edamame and veggies pack a nutritious punch.
Zoodles can even hold up to a classic dish, like this Zoodle Pad Thai by Tiana Haines! The spicy peanut sauce against the cool and crisp noodles creates a well-balanced meal that you’ll keep going back to again and again.
Adding a vibrant fruit to a noodle dish (yes, fruit in noodles!) is a great way to bring in freshness. Jen Elliot’s ‘Zoodles’ With Avocado, Peaches, and White Beans does just that and incorporates fresh peaches into the recipe! The touch of sweetness brings out all the other flavors and lets them each shine.
3. Swap out the noodles AND zoodles for these veggie options!
While we all love zoodles, sometimes you may want to change it up. Luckily, zucchini isn’t the only vegetable that makes an awesome base for noodle dishes! Another gorgeous green alternative is cucumber in these Cucumber Noodles with Spicy Tahini Sauce by Rachel Carr, which tops crisp cucumber with creamy tahini to create a tasty combo of textures.
These Roasted Beet Noodles with Oranges and Crispy Kale by Alissandra Maffucci incorporate the lively flavor of fresh oranges and balance it with salty and crisp kale. With roasted walnuts, this recipe is exciting and delicious from taste to texture and everything in between!
Sweet potato noodles make an awesome standard noodle alternative, as you can see in Rene Barker‘s Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing. Sweet potato makes for a slightly more savory noodle, which is complemented perfectly by a tangy peanut dressing. The edamame brings in some extra protein!
4. Have a chill summer with cold noodles!
Combat the heat with deliciously cool noodles! They’ll keep you refreshed as well as nourished. This Cold Soba Bowl with Lemon Miso Sauce brought to you by Jessica DeMarra is the perfect answer! The heartiness of the soba noodles will keep you full without being too heavy or hot, with the bonus of the crunch of the veggies with creamy miso and zesty lemon. Jessica DeMarra also shows you how to make Cold Udon Noodles With Spicy Bibimbap Sauce, which provides a cool homage to the traditional Korean meal by serving it cold with tempeh!
Less cooking in the spring is always a perk – it means less heat in the kitchen! These Chinese Cold Sesame Noodles by Pavani Nandula have a no-cook sauce, just mix and toss over noodles! Easy enough to make but full of flavor, these noodles are a perfect summer dinner.
5. Lighten up your sauce!
Another tip to make spring pasta is by lightening up the sauce and not weighing down your meal with heavy dressings. However, that doesn’t mean your sauce has to be boring or lacking flavor. A great example is Stephanie Rafnson‘s Heirloom Tomato and Basil Wine Sauce Over Pasta. Simple ingredients like basil, garlic, and olive oil combine with the tomatoes and white wine to create a sauce that feels luxurious yet light.
Spaghetti Moroccan Style With Spinach and Walnut Pesto by Dan Waters brings the cuisines of different cultures together with Moroccan spiced vegetables in a spinach and walnut pesto over spaghetti. You’ll be crazy about the seasonings in this dish!
Lemon is a classic summery flavor that is also always good with pasta, so it’s no surprise that we love this Lemon and Walnut Linguine With Roasted Broccoli by Sarah Gory. The roasted garlic becomes mellow and sweet, and the breadcrumb-walnut mixture deepens the flavor. The author recommends using the best ingredients you can find for this simple dish to kick it up a notch!
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.
For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster App which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
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- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
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- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
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