Asian-Style Snap Peas & Yellow Peppers with Kelp Noodles
Ever heard of kelp noodles? As the name implies, they’re made of kelp. So not only are they gluten-free, they’re a sea food, and as a food from the sea, they’re high in iodine. That comes in pretty handy for anyone who’s dealing with hypothyroidism (i.e., an under-performing thyroid). And when you consider that many people eat a lot of foods that depress thyroid function — processed soy foods fall into the category of hotly contested potential goitrogens — eating more iodine in the form of foods from the sea is a good idea for pretty much everybody. (Unless, of course, you have hyPERthyroidism, in which case stay away from foods that bolster thyroid function.) I am in the hypo camp and therefore am a big fan of foods from the sea.
Another handy aspect of kelp noodles is that they don’t require any cooking — just take them out of the bag and enjoy! They have a unique crunchy/chewy texture that pairs well with other crunchy/chewy ingredients. In this recipe, I’ve only briefly cooked the veggies in order to maintain their crunchy appeal. You could skip the cooking step if you’d like and go all raw, but briefly cooking legumes (i.e., the sugar snap peas) and members of the brassica family (i.e., the broccoli) actually boosts their nutritional content. I think a little stove time increases their flavor, too. And I definitely prefer cooked garlic to raw garlic. Cooked garlic makes for a nice meal; raw garlic means I won’t taste anything else for three days. And I probably won’t have many partners on the dance floor, either. But you can opt for uncooked garlic if you’d like, although if you do that, only use one clove.
Asian-Style Snap Peas & Yellow Peppers with Kelp Noodles Serves 2. Can easily be doubled or tripled as you wish.
1 small head broccoli, florets only
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T. tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
1 T. rice wine vinegar
Dash of Aleppo pepper or pinch of cayenne pepper (I prefer the smoother flavor of Aleppo peppers)
Double handful of sugar snap peas
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 servings kelp noodles OR whole-grain noodles of your choice (opt for gluten-free whole-grain noodles if you’re making a gluten-free dish; kelp noodles are already gluten-free)
Fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add broccoli and cook over medium-low heat, covered, for 5 minutes. Let broccoli drain while you make the rest of the dish.
Heat a drizzle of unrefined sesame oil OR extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pepper strips and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until garlic has softened. Add tamarai, vinegar, Aleppo/cayenne, and the snap peas. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lime juice and cook 1 more minute.
Pull the skillet off the heat and stir in the broccoli and kelp noodles, or place the noodles on plates first and then top with the peppers and broccoli. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.