Updated: Sep 23, 2020
I love cooking. Let me say it again, I love cooking. But there are days where something cooked by someone else - anyone else - tastes better than anything I could whip up for the very simple reason that I didn't have to make it. For me and for so many of us, the global pandemic has meant preparing three meals and multiple snacks per day, for ourselves and perhaps also for the people living with us. That's a lot of pots and pans! Staying home can make a weekend take-out treat impossible for logistical reasons. I've been using this time to craft simple and healthy meals that replicate my favorite meals out - welcome to Sriracha Lemon Lentil Noodles, as delicious and spicy as a Thai food order, perfect on their own or as a side dish, with a delightfully moreish flavor that's so satisfying.
I have an ongoing love affair with zucchini - or courgettes as they are called here in Ireland. I love their versatility...sautéed in soy sauce until brown and topped with sesame seeds; grated and baked into bread in place of bananas; spiralized into noodles and served under coconut curry sauce. As we come into summer, I will be continuing to experiment with different ways to cook and bake with zucchini.
Like everything in life, it's easy to slip into meal patterns. To continue dishing up the same five dinners because the required ingredients are burned onto your brain and it's easier than sitting down and meal planning your week's menu. Let's try and let go of that reflex and make simple and seriously satisfying meals more accessible. There are a lot of ways to adapt this recipe based on your preferences and the availability of ingredients:
I love using fresh lentil noodles, which are packed with protein and ready to drop into the pan. Dry packaged lentil noodles are also absolutely fine but should be cooked al dente before using in this recipe.
If you love zucchini even more than I do - or if you are gluten-free - you can use zucchini noodles and create carrot ribbons for color and texture. I've also served up this dish using butternut squash noodles and zucchini and carrot ribbons - delicious.
Naturali vegan butter is my favorite in Ireland but I also like Earth Balance, which can be found in most grocery stores in the US.
Turmeric is a super-spice - great for heart health and a natural anti-inflammatory - so I've tried to work it into more and more of my recipes lately. You can use the powdered spice here or a fresh peeled and grated pinkie finger-sized knob.
Sriracha-Lemon Lentil Noodles
Lentil Noodles fresh for stir-fry or cooked if using dry packaged
1 zucchini, peeled into ribbons
1 lemon, zest and juice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Handful Fresh Parsley
2 TBSP Sriracha
1/3 Cup Low-sodium soy sauce OR coconut aminos
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup Chicken Broth
Pad of vegan butter
1 TSP Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper
Pinch of Turmeric
Melt vegan butter in the pan and sauté garlic and zucchini ribbons
Stir in olive oil, sriracha, lemon juice and zest, chicken broth, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and turmeric
If you are using fresh, stir-fry ready lentil noodles, add in. If you are using dry lentil noodles, cook to al dente and drain well before adding in.
Top with parsley to serve.
This recipe is delicious on its own or as a side dish. I like this with coconut-lime grilled chicken and asparagus. You pick!