garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Messpin it!garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Messpin it!for garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Messpin it!for garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Messpin it!for garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Messpin it!for garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Messpin it!
So, what is our general feeling on Instagram stories? You know, that thing they introduced that’s awfully similar to Snapchat, but slightly simpler, and with a detectable lack of puppy face filter. I tried to get into the groove of using it to document some cooking and food/beverage things in my everyday sorta life, but it felt forced. Snapchat brings up this discomfort for me too. I like sending silly stuff to my friends, but that’s about as far as the enjoyment goes.

When I detect a personal resistance to something, especially if it’s a screen-based entity, I immediately ask myself “What would bring me ease in this situation, and what do I really want?” I like the connection and creativity that “micro-blogging” tools allow, but I also can’t stand things that drain time when I’m not paying attention. Ditto for things that feel like success is only possible via brute force. Snapchat/Instagram Stories seem to open up this world of constant availability so easily.

And yet, everyone seems to be stressing the importance of these video/image/communication tools that encapsulate a 24-hour lifecycle. Any time there’s an excessive use of the word “should” floating around, it’s nice to focus on what the most loving and productive way forward would be for others and yourself. I’m not loving myself or connecting to something greater when I use these things. It doesn’t make me more creative. That’s just me! A lot of this has to do with being a sensitive person that’s easily overstimulated.

I’m a huge fan of the “If it doesn’t add, it subtracts” mantra for most of my career/relationship/life endeavours, and I think these apps are slowly turning into a minus situation. It’s all about creating value for yourself and others, right? You may not be seeing me over on those things too much for the next bit. Cleo pics excluded of course!

Smooth transition: how about some noodles, yes? This one is the perfect trifecta of 1) ready in 25 minutes 2) so, so delicious and easy, and 3) healthy and pretty at the same time. I use tamari, sesame oil, and a few other pantry things as the base for the very simple sauce. Everything can be tossed in the pot that you cook the broccoli/noodles in. Sear some tempeh and done. Easy, right? It’s a chill weeknight dinner that makes totally excellent leftovers. I keep making pistachio dukkah, so I sprinkled some over mine–amazing! Hope you guys try this one xoxo

for garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Messpin it!garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Messpin it!garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Messpin it!garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Messpin it!garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Messpin it!
Print the recipe here!
from The First Mess //
NOTES: Use any noodles you like for this. I went with a simple spelt-base noodle that I had on hand, but you could also do buckwheat soba, edamame/mung bean fettuccine, brown rice noodles… spiralized raw zucchini even! If you go for traditional cooked/grain-based noodles, just be mindful of the cook time on the package, and drop the broccoli in when there’s about 3 minutes left with the cooking time.

A note on the tempeh too: generally I think tempeh is best when it’s first steamed and then seared/roasted. If you’re open to frying the tempeh in a decent amount of oil (as I describe in this recipe), you can skip the steaming and go straight to browning.

¼ cup gluten-free tamari soy sauce
2 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
2 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus extra
1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil (I used a hot-toasted one with chilies)
1 clove of garlic, finely grated with a Microplane grater
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus extra for garnish

¾ lb noodles of choice
4 cups small broccoli florets, from roughly 1 bunch of broccoli
2 tablespoons coconut oil
8 oz/227 grams tempeh, sliced ½ inch thick
handful of Thai basil leaves, sliced (or regular basil, no big deal!)
2 green onions, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, maple syrup, lime juice, sesame oil, garlic, and sesame seeds. Set aside.

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the noodles. Cook the noodles according to package directions, dropping the broccoli florets into the pot when there’s 3 minutes left. Drain the noodles and broccoli.

While the noodles and broccoli are cooking, heat the coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Place the tempeh slices in the pan in a single layer. Let the first side brown thoroughly. Flip the slices over and let the other side brown. Season the tempeh with salt and pepper and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.

In a large bowl, toss the noodles, broccoli, tempeh, Thai basil, green onions, and sesame garlic sauce together until everything is evenly mixed. Garnish the sesame garlic noodles with some extra sesame seeds and serve!

  • Julia @ HappyFoods10/08/2016 - 4:41 am

    Never eaten tempeh but looking at this dish I feel like running to our local shop to have a look if they sell it so I could make it!ReplyCancel

  • Dawn10/08/2016 - 4:48 am

    Excellent. I have a packet of tempeh in the fridge too. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • Clémentine10/08/2016 - 5:04 am

    Thanks Laura for the words on Instagram & co… I’m also trying currently to check only once a day and maybe not scrolling through the whole feed thread as I followed more people/restaurants recently…

    Same for this kind of noodle dish is exactly what I will go for if I feel lazy, craving for comfort food and that it seems that my fridge has nothing to offer! It turned out to be always a nice and yummy surprise!ReplyCancel

  • Anya10/08/2016 - 7:13 am

    SO many good points you make here, Laura! We just started getting into the groove of things with Snapchat, and then Stories came out, and now we are kind of at a loss :) And I do find those apps taking up way too much time. What I like about them is getting the ‘raw,’ unfiltered view into the lives of people I admire over the internet, and I do think it might make readers feel more connected as well.
    Anyways, these noodles look amazing! Never seen tempeh captured in a more appetizing way.ReplyCancel

  • Alys10/08/2016 - 8:14 am

    Holy cow this is like all my fav ingredients in one recipe! Amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle @ Hummingbird High10/08/2016 - 8:19 am

    dude, i am not a fan of how all these stupid social media apps are turning out. i’m barely on instagram anymore, it stresses me out way too much. and if i’m being honest, it all looks the same now? it’s hard to find people who are truly innovating and inspiring. sigh. can we all go back to just blogging??ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker10/08/2016 - 8:54 am

    I feel these feels so hard right now! Once I get done watching Snapchat, I feel like I have to move onto Stories..then there’s regular Insta, then Facebook..ahhh!! I need to start giving up on a few and just chilling on the screen time :) In love with those noodles chica, that broccoli is calling my name!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica10/08/2016 - 9:11 am

    I feel exactly the same, it’s too much! Not into Instagram stories at all. The more time I feel forced on one app, the more time I end up away from it. Spending too much time looking into others lives and not in my own, and it just doesn’t feel right. Loving this noodle bowl :)ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder10/08/2016 - 9:24 am

    I feel you on those Instagram stories, and appreciate you honest thoughts here Laura <3. As someone who is also really sensitive to overstimulation too, trying to figure out the SM balance personally + professionally is really tough. But you are encouraging me to go with my gut here, thank you! And this noodle dish sounds innnnncredible girl! Broccoli is my favorite, and I love what you've done with that tempeh ;). Hugs and cheers to less screen time – xoReplyCancel

  • Ashley10/08/2016 - 11:29 am

    Frankly, I think the Snapchat/IG Stories-like apps encourage anxiety & compulsion by creating a false sense of urgency relating toward checking social media: If you don’t check regularly, you might miss something! I am severely disappointed in the lack of ethics among gaming & app developers, who are more interested in creating technology that people “won’t be able to live without” in order to increase their bottom line, instead of creating technology that actually enhances people’s lives.ReplyCancel

  • Allyson10/08/2016 - 11:50 am

    I’m stealing your “if it doesn’t add, subtract” mantra. I haven’t tried Instagram stories yet and I’m not particularly interested. It seems like all of our technology is moving in the assumption that we want to be connected 24 hours a day, when really it’s quickly becoming (at least for me) just one more thing to keep up with. Ugh.

    In noodle news, these look excellent. I imagine this would be excellent with soba.ReplyCancel

  • valentina | sweet kabocha10/08/2016 - 12:08 pm

    1. I wasn’t able to use Snapchat, Instagram is so easy that I share some little videos and “backstage” shots, but I try to not overdo, since I think it can be a double-edged sword – I unfollowed some accounts because they post a new story every 30 minutes and they’re pretty boring.
    2. Your photos are more stunning than ever!
    3. These noodles, gosh *___*


  • montanahappy.com10/08/2016 - 12:55 pm

    Your photo skills are amazing…wow! This recipe looks delicious…can’t wait to try.ReplyCancel

  • Joyce @ Sun Diego Eats10/08/2016 - 1:12 pm

    This is the kind of thing I like to make an obscene amount of and eat for lunch everyday. Tamari + citrus + maple syrup is the BEST dressing for nearly everything.

    And for me my Snapchat is private/for friends so I don’t mind Instagram stories so I can post food content there and save bee filter face/excessive cat pictures for my snaps!ReplyCancel

  • Natasha10/08/2016 - 1:43 pm

    Hi! loved your thoughts about the Instagram and snapchat stories! I think we are molding into a society that tries to force everyone into maintaining an online presence, which can be rewarding but takes us away from the real stuff happening in the moment! A reminder to visit the present moment more often. :) The noodles look great!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full10/08/2016 - 1:49 pm

    I’ve never heard that before, but I love it – “If it doesn’t add, it subtracts.” Very wise words. I’ve been slowly moving away from instagram as it’s really been stressing me out (i.e. hashtags, how many followers I have, etc), and I never got into snapchat in the first place. It doesn’t add, so it subtracts! :pReplyCancel

  • Adina10/08/2016 - 3:16 pm

    I am in full support of stepping back from Instagram!!! I love everything you said. I feel like Instagram can take over your entire day, business, and life if you try to keep up with it. Keep being you! I love it, I will definitely be checking in on your blog. Thanks for the quality content and REALness.ReplyCancel

  • Leah11/08/2016 - 2:17 pm

    Thanks so much for this yummy recipe. Made it last night and we loved it. My 5 year old ate every bite!ReplyCancel

  • Cassie12/08/2016 - 8:56 pm

    I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful the photos are! I agree that Instagram can be addicting and a bit toxic if you abuse its algorithmic structure. The scenario of “if it doesn’t add, it subtracts” is definitely true!ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne13/08/2016 - 12:11 pm

    Ah, such a relief to hear other people feel the same was about social media apps! I actually deleted Twitter about a month ago, I was only keeping it because I thought I was supposed to and then felt guilty when I never used it. How silly! I haven’t used Snapchat for my company and probably won’t be using Instagram stories. It just doesn’t sit well with me. Like you said ” A lot of this has to do with being a sensitive person that’s easily overstimulated.” I totally agree.



  • Maya | Spice + Sprout16/08/2016 - 11:11 am

    I feel like you are always so articulate about these things! I really love and appreciate your honesty here. I feel like as a pretty small and new blogger and I am always trying to play catch up, and social media is such a big part of that, but something that also creates stress/envy/bad vibes. I am going to make a big effort to listen to myself more! Thanks, Laura! <3ReplyCancel

  • Agnes {Cashew Kitchen}22/08/2016 - 11:53 am

    I’m totally with you on the instagram stories thing. Whenever something requires my attention repeatedly throughout the day I feel easily overwhelmed. I’ve never been good at updating things often in general, and whenever I have an ongoing conversation with a friend on, say, Messenger, I like to wait for a day or so before answering. Because falling into that spiral of constant back-and-forth communication stressed me out for some reason. I’ve always preferred to work on my things in solitude, only to pop out every once in a while and publish it. In between I keep a pretty low profile.

    And regarding the recipe here, it sounds like exactly the kind of things I enjoy! Tempeh pairs so well with noodles, and broccoli is always a favorite :-) And the dusky light here is simply gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • […] Sesame garlic noodles with broccoli, basil, and crispy tempeh […]ReplyCancel

  • Julie06/09/2016 - 10:30 am

    I usually don’t like tempeh much unless it’s in a dragon bowl at a restaurant.
    Well… I LOVED THIS DISH! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • […] sesame garlic noodles with broccoli, basil and crispy tempeh […]ReplyCancel

  • Mado07/11/2016 - 9:43 pm

    Love the recipes, pix are gorgeous. Do us a favor, however, and increase your font size. It’s a deterrent.ReplyCancel

  • This recipe was so delicious! The dressing ratios were right on point (salty nutty tangy with a bit of sweet) and I loved blanching the broccoli with the noods to make it super quick. Thanks Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Katherine20/12/2016 - 11:50 am

    I made this last night!- delicious and easy! I might make a bit more sauce to use on the leftovers tonight. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • […] try tempeh tacos!   Here are some great recipes to get started: 1. Black Bean Tempeh Tacos 2. Sesame Garlic Noodles with Broccoli, Basil and Cripsy Tempeh 3. Spicy Black Bean […]ReplyCancel

  • Jen30/01/2017 - 1:53 am

    Somehow I have all these ingredients on hand! Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Lily09/02/2017 - 10:31 pm

    Thanks for this recipe! Made it with rice noodles and was really happy with how it turned out (so was my boyfriend who doesn’t love eating vegetarian). I’ve never tried steaming and then searing tempeh, but I like the sound of it. Do you have any tips for this?ReplyCancel

  • Ella27/04/2017 - 4:49 am

    Just made this, YUM! I used soba noodles and stirred them in with the tempeh and sauce.ReplyCancel

  • […] Sesame Garlic Noodles with Broccoli, Basil & Crispy Tempeh […]ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey16/07/2019 - 1:52 pm

    This was so easy and so good! whipped up quick with some thai basil from the back yard for an awesome lunch.ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea16/11/2019 - 10:19 pm

    This recipe has become a regular in my household. Delicious, simple, quick to put together and easy to take leftovers to work because its amazing both hot and cold. Thanks!ReplyCancel

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