Ease, simplicity, and big flavour are all the name of the game with these vegan Thai basil noodles with crunchy kale. We make a basic noodle stir fry with lots of chilies and garlic, add a bunch of nicely cut vegetables, and then we shower the bowls with crunchy, garlicky, sesame-flecked kale. So much flavour and texture. All ready in 30 minutes, guaranteed.
I’ve been keeping our meals really simple lately. Part of that is just the laid back nature of the season. The other part is me focusing on my physical and mental health with more intention. Developing recipes and photographing food for a living is amazing. I’m so, so grateful that I get to do it! But at times it can lead to cooking ruts and a total lack of motivation to get back in the kitchen at dinnertime.
My friend teaches an amazing boxing class that I’ve been going to as religiously as possible this summer, and my love for that class has led to a recognition of needing better self care in general. Once I started feeling stronger and more focused, I remembered that my body and mind should feel this way all the time.
This online entity is all me. Other than a management team for negotiating brand partnerships, I don’t hire anyone to handle anything. This is great in a lot of ways, but it can be harmful to every other aspect of my life on the worst days (friends, my relationship, family, and the aforementioned self-care). It’s easy to slip into the mindset that your work and success IS who you are. Once that starts happening, I know that it’s time to pump the brakes on a few things.
So I’m spending less time on social media and streamlining my cooking in a big way. Some of these changes will definitely be reflected here for at least a little while (bye for now weekend drink/links posts). I’m a person first, and I always maintain that you have to make space to FEEL the light inside of yourself before you can pass it on to others. Time to cultivate that light with a bit more focus.
Love you all. Go make some vegan Thai basil noodles :)
VEGAN THAI BASIL NOODLES WITH CRUNCHY KALE
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: My crispy tofu would be an excellent addition here! I just wanted to keep this simple with veggies and crisped up kale, but there’s a lot of ways to go deluxe with this recipe.
-You can also use regular basil if you don’t have Thai basil.
2 cups chopped kale, packed
1 ½ tablespoons avocado oil, divided
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, plus extra
½ teaspoon garlic powder
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
6 ounces (170 grams) brown rice noodles (I love these ones by Lotus Foods)
¼ cup gluten-free tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons filtered water
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or agave nectar
1 red hot chili, finely minced (use more or less to taste–this had some heat)
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
1 ½ cups chopped green beans
¾ cup Thai basil leaves
chili-infused oil (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, massage the kale with ½ tablespoon of the avocado oil, sesame seeds, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Once the kale is thoroughly coated and slightly softened, spread it out on the baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake the kale until crisp and dry, about 15 minutes. Set aside to crisp even further.
Cook the brown rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the tamari, water, and maple syrup. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the remaining oil and swirl it around. Add the chili and garlic and stir until quite fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the carrot, bell pepper, and green beans and keep stirring until the edges of the vegetables have softened a bit, about 3 minutes. Season them with salt and pepper. Pour the tamari mixture into the skillet. Keep stirring and tossing the vegetables until they are crisp-tender, about 3 more minutes. Add the cooked brown rice noodles to the skillet and stir to heat through and combine.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the Thai basil leaves. Divide the servings of vegan Thai basil noodles into serving bowls. Drizzle the top of the noodles with chili oil, if desired. Finish the noodles by crushing up the crispy kale on top and sprinkling with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.