Perfect Winter Warmer. A mix of a bean chilli and chilli con carne. 251cal, 6g fat 29g carbs 24g protein per 350g serving
Am not sure where this spicy vegetarian noodle bowl came from. Prior to this I used to make a dish very similar to this with a chilli stock cub, fresh tomatoes and spices. But the stock cube was discontinued!
When this happened I was obviously devastated because it was one of my ultimate comfort foods, the kind of food that just fills you up and keeps you warm!
When I started cooking more and more from scratch, I started to understand what flavours worked together and what didn’t.
Combining my favourite foods
It was somewhere in between trying a tofu stew and doing shabu shabu at home that this dish was born.
I discovered a Tteokbokki recipe, which is Korean rich sticks coated in Gochujang. Gochujang is a red spicy chilli paste. It’s Korean street food at it’s best! And I am sure I will share my recipe for that in the coming posts!
Chewy rice sticks with a kick of heat, outrageously addictive for any carb fans (like myself).
Then I discovered Shabu shabu, which is the Japanese version of Chinese hot pot, which I adore.
The whole family sitting around the table dipping wafer thin slices of meat, seafood and fresh vegetables into a boiling hot broth, which cooks things in seconds.
The more you dip the deeper the flavour of the broth as it reduces. Typically in Japan, rice will be tossed in at the end to absorb the remainder of the both, also making an absolutely gorgeous dish all on it’s own
When I was fiddling around with all three of these dishes. Well, it kind of evolved from there.
Taking an idea and matching it to my tastes.
A big part of cooking comes down to confidence, My friend Zoe is an amazing cook. But she doesn’t always believe she is. She will stick religiously to a recipe, not wanting to add additional ingredients. Just because she is nervous it won’t taste as good or it will go wrong somehow. I love watching her try new things, and each time she does, she gains a bit more confidence in her own abilities.
I can’t wait until the day she puts the cook book to one side and she just cooks her favourite food, exactly how she wants it!
It is having that confidence to take a recipe and tweak it to your own wants and needs that will serve you more than me just publishing a recipe. Unless it is something like baking where the amounts directly affect the cooking. I want you to be able to take my recipes and make them your own.
Back to the food
I love Gochujang, it I was sure I could make a base stock with it.
To that I added szechuan peppercorns, ginger, garlic, birds eye chillis and star anise. As I cooked with it, throwing in the vegetables, tofu, copious amounts of mushrooms the flavour started to develop. I had made some fresh noodles that day so I threw them in. They cooked amazingly, chewy, full of flavour and to top it, I poached an egg in the broth, which is really common in hotpot.
Before I knew it I was enjoying hot bowls of steaming noodles packed with veg.
I’ve never looked back, and at least once a month I drag my husband out to the Asian supermarket so I can stock up on my chinese broccoli, tofu, fresh noodles and mushrooms.
Right lets break this down. Each (rather generous) bowlful will come in at 452 Calories, 11g fat, 66g carbs (noodles mostly, but am prepared to make that sacrifice for this dish) and 31g protien. Thanks to my local Asian supermarket (which is really reasonably priced) servings are costing £1.19 per serving!
This is an entire meal and it will fill you up guaranteed. It beats the equivalent take away meal easily on every nutritional point. Plus it’s nice to be able to make spicy Vegetarian noodle bowls to cater for all diets!
this makes it well worth incorporating into your meal plan, especially if like me you track macros. It is simple, quick and satisfying.
If you like tofu dishes check out my other recipe
or one of my other recipes without the tofu! https://www.justnicole.co.uk/spinach-mushroom-and-garlic-rice/
I hope some of you find this spicy noodle bowl recipe as amazing as I do.
Until next time
Spicy Noodle Bowl
- A large soup pan
- A frying pan
- Large tea strainer or spice bag (this is possible to do without these items . I will leave additional notes at the bottom of the recipe)
- sieve if you do not have a tea strainer or spice bag
- 400 g fresh noodles (jindu) You can substitute with your preferred but adjust the nutrition accordingly
- Two Heaped tbsp Gochujang Paste
- 3 litres boiled water 2 kettle fulls
- 400 g medium firm tofu
- 3 large pok choi this will do all servings but I recommend just popping as much as you want to eat in that serving to keep it crunchy
- 300 g enoki mushrooms, trimmed I have tried this with every mix of mushrooms and they all work perfectly. so don't worry too much about this
- 400 g Chinese Broccoli this can be altered to normal broccoli if you can't get hold of chinese
- full bunch spring onions/ scallions for my american readers
- 2 tbsp ginger
- handful beansprouts washed
the spices- I use a tea strainer, but a spice bag will do just aswell
- 3 star anise
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 tbsp szechuan peppercorns
- 2 tbsp dried birds eye chillis
- add water and gochujang to a large stock pot
- place spices into bag or strainer
- place bag of strainer into stock pot
- allow to boil and turn onto a rolling simmer
- Add mushrooms (they can handle the heat)
- in a frying pan sear tofu until browned and crisped,
- add to stock
- for the pak choi and chinese broccoli remove the leafy part and keep to one side. the stalks and leaves have different cooking times.
- pop the stalks into the broth
- take the bunch of Spring onions/ scallions, cup tops and trim ends. cut in half (keep one or two aside to scatter on top of finished dish)
- add them to the broth
- allow to simmer for 5 minutes
- remove tea strainer to allow for more room
- Add fresh noodles, stir so they don't clump together
- cook for five minutes on a boil
- place a bed of beansprouts at the bottom of a nice deep bowl, along with the leafy parts of the vegetables.
- scoop as into a bowl a serving of noodles, tofu and vegetables along with extra broth. this will start cooking the beansprout at the bottom of the bowl.
- crack an egg into the cooking broth, being sure to keep a track of where you placed it
- remove after 1-2 minutes, egg should be cooked on the outside but soft and running yolk
- scatter some finely sliced green onions
Red lentil and mushroom curry is a favourite in this house.
As you can probably tell, I have an obsession with Takeaways done healthy.
Because takeaways done healthy are normally Cheap food you can make at home….
This costs 38p per serving!
And Indian cuisine, am in love with that
Or food in general….
In Indian food, it focuses on 6 core elements salty, sweet, bitter, sour, astringent and last but not least spicy.
It’s why it ticks so many boxes for people.
Traditionally Indian cooking is heavily based on vegetarian dishes, which makes it ideal to alter for vegans.
In India, the ecosystem is so diverse, as are the dishes that vary from area to area.
Some of the fundamental ingredients in Indian food have been brought to the country from other lands.
Tomatoes and chillies from the Portuguese, even Potatoes!
Like all good cooking, the real flavours start with good honest ingredients.
It doesn’t need to be expensive, highly coveted and artisanal.
While it is nice to be able to splash out on more expensive ingredients from time to time. Every single recipe starts out from humble origins.
And all the best food I’ve ever eaten….
Mostly home cooked by people who know how to get the best out of an ingredient without the extra fuss.
Anyway I have rambled enough, let’s get into
This recipe is outrageously healthy, filling and tastes gorgeous!
coming in at 285cals, 19.5 protein, 3g fat, 41.4 carbs for 300g portion It can’t be beaten.
Now with winter coming in having something warm and filling in your tummy is paramount, we are looking for comfort food here!
This freezes well and is really easy to make.
I hope you enjoy this red lentil and mushroom curry recipe
Have it as a main course or a side dish to the slow-cooked tandoor chicken (recipe below)
Click the picture or here to give it a try!
Don’t forget my dms are open and I’d love to hear from you. Tag me in your pictures on my social media so I can see what you’ve been up to!
Lentil and Mushroom Curry
- one pot
- 250 g red lentils
- 200 g mushroom whatever is your favourite
- 1 medium onion Finely diced
- 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and sliced thinly or grated
- 3 cloves Garlic Crushed
- half tsp caraway seeds
- half tbsp garam marsala
- half tsp turmeric
- half tbsp mustard seeds
- half tbsp cumin seeds
- half tbsp cumin powder
- half tsp black pepper
- 10 dried curry leaves optional
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 6 pods cardamom leave whole or crush with knife for more flavour
- half tsp clove powder or 8-10 whole cloves
- 1.5 tsp kishmiri chilli powder because this may only be available in certain areas, this can be substituted with half paprika half cayenne powder
- half tsp tandoori marsala
- 2 whole dreid chillis
- 100g tomato passata or half tin tomatoes
- 6 cups water
- rinse lentils and allow to drain
- heat pan on medium heat
- add onion, mushrooms and all spices to the pan
- allow become fragrant (add a drop of water to prevent burning)
- add lentils and half of the water
- mix through
- cover with lid and allow to simmer
- keep adding water as needed to prevent drying
- half way through cooking time, add passata.
- leave lid on and keep cooking for remainder of cooking time
- you will know it is done when lentils are tender and it is nice and thick.
Serve and enjoy
- thicker sauce- allow to reduce with lid off
- thinner sauce add extra water or passata
- acidic tomatoes- add half a tsp of sugar to counter
- Freezes well
Let’s talk about tandoori chicken! Well even though the title says Tandoori Chicken, this marinade will work with whatever meat you chose to use Tandoori gets the name from the bell-shaped tandoor oven, I could only dream of having one! But I am going to …
Rice and Peas is a perfect side dish to the Jamaican me Hungry Chicken. Click below to view!
fluffy creamy rice with coconut, spring onions and hint of spice. Mixed with red kidney beans to give extra texture and creaminess! Classic home cooking in Jamaica.
Did i mention this is 21p per serving! Perfect for those cooking on a budget!
Best served with friends, while a BBQ is burning close by.
Origins of rice and peas
This dish originates from Ghana and the Ivory Coast, its roots stemming from the slave trade. Even back then people associated food with fond memories, familiarity is a comfort.
Slaves would cook food they could link back to their homeland, it really does show how food feeds the soul.
I come from Liverpool, our regional dish is ‘Scouse’ it’s a dish we adapted from Scandinavia, ‘Lapskaus’. It’s a hearty meat stew, with potatoes, carrots, leeks and onions. Mostly eaten on miserable rainy days (which in the UK there are plenty). Served with a crusty buttered bread for dipping and topped with pickled red cabbage or beetroot. It is ingrained so deep in to the City’s heritage, we are called Scousers.
Every family recipe is slightly different, tweaked as it is passed down through the family. It’s a dish you have to warm your heart. It’s simple food that makes you feel warm and full on a cold day.
Rice and Peas is traditionally cooked on a Sunday, reasoning being, Sunday was considered a day of rest for the Slaves. Even though the roots of Rice and Peas is dark, the tradition is still much loved even today.
I was fortunate enough to spend some time in a small village in Jamaica (unexpectedly). I can’t say the church service I attended spoke to me (am agnostic). However, It was lovely to see the energy and excitement put into the service!
If you ever find yourself in Jamaica across the road from every church is a bar, try a Red Stripe Lemon. It is AMAZING! Ice cold on a hot tropical day…
Getting the most out of your cooking
When I make big batches of food like this, I weigh the portions and vacuum pack servings, It’s so easy to do and really can be a time saver.
I have them in the freezer for the days that I am pushed for time, or when the kids drop the “I fancy *insert the most awkward meal ever* for tea” bomb. This normally happens on the most inconvenient time imaginable, normally when I have zero of the ingredients in, it’s a true skill.
My husband prepares all of his lunches for work in advance, so being able to mix his diet up by pulling something new out of the freezer keeps his food from becoming monotonous helping him to stay on track
I’d love to hear your family recipes and how they started. Drop a comment, email or DM me on my social media and let me know!
Catch you later
Rice and Peas
- Large pot
- 200 g rice Any rice will work well for this depending on what you prefer
- 1 bunch spring onions chop half finely, keep other half to one side for garnish
- 1 400ml can coconut milk
- 2 large sprigs Thyme 3 tbls dried
- 1 small white onion finely diced
- 1.5 tsp all spice
- half scotch bonnet diced as small as you can (optional)
- 1 400g can Red Kidney beans feel free to add another can if you prefer more
- 350 ml water
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- give the rice a quick rinse under the tap until water runs clear, set to one side
- Put a large pan with a touch of water
- add garlic, spring onions, chilli, thyme, all spice and white onion into the pan
- cook on medium heat for 2 minutes
- add in rice, coconut milk, water
- bring to boil
- place lid on top of pan and simmer for 25 minutes (depending on rice you have chosen to use this cooking time can vary)
- * be sure to keep checking the pan to make sure it does not boil dry, add extra water as needed until rice is tender
- drain and rinse red kidney beans
- once rice is tender, switch off heat add beans, stir through and leave for 5 minutes
- roughly chop remainder of spring onions and scatter on top.