At the end of May this year the incredibly talented Christiana Anca, perhaps better known under her blog moniker Tales of a Kitchen, released her debut cookbook Nourishing Noodles. It’s a beautiful, nutritious collection of plant-based recipes with a key focus on all things SPIRALISED!
Last month my dear friends over at Quarto dropped me an email to tell me about a new cookbook they thought I might like. Had I heard of Nourishing Noodles by Christiana Anca? Little did they realise I’ve been avidly following Chris (a.k.a. @talesofakitchen) on social media for years now, and am a huge fan of her work!
Chris is an inspirational foodie entrepreneur based in Perth, Australia. Originally with a background in development work, she experienced once of those magical career flips and successfully established a mega popular food blog (Tales of a Kitchen) AND a food catering business (Raw by Chris). Both of Chris’ healthy pursuits have a strong plant-based and raw food component to them (in case you couldn’t tell by the business name!). She’s become well known for her gorgeous mouth-watering raw vegan creations of both the savoury and sweet variety, and she’s been featured Huff Post, Women’s Health, The Kitchn, Buzzfeed and Greatist, to name a few.
One particular style of food Chris has an amazing knack for is creating phenomenal food using a spiraliser; THAT kitchen gadget, which has taken off exponentially over the last few years. (Something I am incredibly grateful for as a nutrition-focused gluten free girl, as it’s made noodle and pasta dishes so much more fun, appetising and nutritious.)
So, of course, Chris’ first book has naturally just got to be Nourishing Noodles; a gorgeous cookbook filled with creative, flavoursome and damn healthy dishes with a big emphasis on spiralised food. Nourishing Noodles very much follows the ethos of the Tales of a Kitchen blog; natural, unprocessed, not-too-fussy cooking that entices you into eating the rainbow and making it well through your recommended minimum serve of vegetables per day. Save for those recipes that ask you to dehydrate or pickle/ferment something, the recipes are relatively quick and uncomplicated.
The book is divided up into a few chapters to help you choose a noodly recipe that suits your mood. There are breakfast dishes (goodmorning pancakes), light snacks and bites (hello ‘cheesy’ quinoa bites), warming soupy things (yes please caramelized pumpkin soup with sweet potato noodles) and sooo many fresh and colourful plant-based mains. Chris has drawn inspiration from all over the world, with flavours like cucumber mint noodles with ginger dressing, carrot pasta with garlic sauce, and purple carrot noodles with Thai sauce. And yep, there is a desserts section too!
Nourishing Noodles also has some handy practical guidance tucked in with the recipes. There’s advice on how to spiralise just about everything and also a really great basics chapter with instructions on how to make those all-important plant-based basics including nut milk, salad dressings and other condiments like homemade dukkah. (I absolutely love it when cookbooks include these chapters, it’s so useful. Hen’s Clean Cakes is another gem with lots of healthy baking basics help!)
As we (hopefully!) move into a few months of warmer weather, and while the days stretch out so wonderfully long over here, the raw and replenishing recipes like many of those in Nourishing Noodles are just perfect. At the moment I’m just loving tossing together fresh big salads with punchy dressings for lunch and dinner. Chris’ book is packed full of ideas and inspiration for these. And she’s a self-confessed tahini addict too like me, so we are definitely singing the same recipe song.
My favourite Nourishing Noodles recipe out of those I’ve tried so far is the Broccoli Soba Noodles with Ginger Lime Tempeh. I LOVE the concept of using up your broccoli stalks by turning them into noodles (I eat the stalks anyway but I know many people don’t!). This dish is just bursting with flavour. Adding soba noodles to the dish together with tempeh ensures this is a satisfying and balanced plate of goodness, too. A snap of this recipe as I created it at home is featured above. Lucky for you guys, I’m also able to share the recipe on here with you, too! Full details are below.
Nourishing Noodles is a wonderful resource if you’re looking for fresh, simple and delicious ways to increase the veggie content of your meals. Popping your vegetables through a spiraliser and combining them with lively dressings and other accompaniments makes meals nutritious and FUN. Perhaps a good way to get your kiddies to tuck in to those plants too, no? I’ve been having much more fun with my spiraliser since I opened up this book and I think you will as well!
Nourishing Noodles – Nearly 100 Plant-Based Recipes for Spiralized Zoodles, Ribbons, and Other Vegetable Spirals by Chris Anca is now available online and in store including Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, Indigo (Canada) and Waterstones. You can hop on over to Amazon right now and grab it – if you’re in the UK you can click here to buy Nourishing Noodles on Amazon UK (this is my Amazon affiliate link, which means I earn a small commission on the sale of the book, at NO additional cost to you!).
Read on for my favourite broccoli noodles recipe…
- Broccoli florets from 1 head (reserve stalks for noodles)
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1 tbsp tamari
- Broccoli stalks, thin spirals
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 serves soba noodles, cooked according to package instructions, drained & rinsed
- ½ medium zucchini, thin spirals
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 green (spring) onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 tbsp white and/or black sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- 1 large handful mixed cilantro (coriander) and mint leaves
- 1 tbsp tamari
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- Chili flakes, to taste
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 block (8 oz/227 g) organic, non-GMO tempeh, cubed
- 2 tbsp tamari
- Juice of 1 lime or from ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp Hot Chili Sauce
- 1 tbsp cold-pressed sesame oil
- Place all ingredients for the broccoli florets in a large bowl and massage for a few seconds, then set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a separate large bowl, massage the broccoli noodles with juice from 1 lime for a few seconds. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining noodle ingredients and broccoli florets to the broccoli and soba noodles. Toss to combine well.
- Place all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.
- To make the tempeh, heat the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the tempeh cubes and sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Add the remaining tempeh ingredients to the saucepan and toss to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove tempeh cubes from the pan, add to the noodles, and serve immediately with the sauce.
Recipe extracted from Nourishing Noodles by Chris Anca, published by Race Point Publishing (£14.99).
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Nourishing Noodles from Quarto but was not otherwise financially compensated for this review. I was not required write a positive review and all thoughts on the book are my own.