This has been the hottest weekend of the year so far and gloriously sunny (which is really quite exciting in Britain). I love to cook but I certainly don’t think it should ever feel like a chore and when the weather is this good I don’t want to spend hours hovering over a hot stove. I also don’t feel like heavy, rich food therefore this weeks recipe is a light and quick stir-fry: quick and easy to cook, light and tasty to eat so that I can spend my time enjoying the sunshine while it lasts. This stir-fry makes use of courgetti (noodle like ribbons of courgette) mixed with noodles to make it a light and fresh noodle dish and sneak some more vegetables in, and soy mince. You can buy dehydrated soy mince which is a great store cupboard ingredient for quick and protein packed vegan meals without worrying about going shopping, but if you don’t like soy then there are a selection of alternatives in the “tasty little twists” section. The courgetti and soy are brought to life by a mix of spices, starring turmeric whose wonderful yellow colour seems very fitting for sunny days. Just be warned that as lovely and uplifting as the colour is, it also stains most things it touches. I have previously made the mistake of putting turmeric dishes in plastic bowls which have then stayed stubbornly yellow for weeks however thoroughly I have washed them.
Turmeric and soy stir fry
Cooking time: 10 minutes preparation, 10 minutes cooking
Dietary info: vegan (if you use vegan noodles), can be gluten-free if you use gluten free noodles
- 1 courgette, spiralised (you can spiralise the courgette yourself, buy ready-spiralised courgette or just cut the courgette into fine ribbons with a peeler or sharp knife)
- 1 portion dried or ready to cook noodles, if you want to make this dish vegan check that they are not egg noodles
- 1 onion, diced
- 50g dehydrated soy mince -100ml water rinse 10 mins
- 1 vegetable stock cube (make sure this is vegan if you want to make this dish vegan)
- 150ml boiling water
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- Juice of ½ lime, with the juice of the remaining ½ lime to serve
- A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- Rinse the soy mince and the soak in 100ml water for 10 minutes
- If the noodles are not ready cook, then cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, rinse in cold water to stop them getting sticky and set aside
- Dissolve the stock cube in the 150ml hot water
- Put the onion in a non-stick frying pan with a splash of water to stop it sticking and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until it is starting to soften
- Add the garlic powder, turmeric, ginger powder, ground black pepper, chilli powder, soaked soy mince, courgetti and stock to the onion in the frying pan, and cook until the courgetti has softened (probably about 5-8 minutes, you can cover the pan for the first 3-4 minutes to let the courgetti cook down and make it easier to stir everything together).
- Stir in the juice of ½ lime and the cooked noodles into the mixture in the frying pan.
- Serve garnished with the fresh coriander, grated ginger and remaining lime juice. This can also be nice with a cool and crispy salad of grated carrot, sliced cucumber and shredded lettuce dressed with lime juice, and pinch of salt and a sprinkling of chilli flakes.
A few tips to prep ahead:
- This is actually pretty quick to cook completely on the night but if you want to prepare ahead you can:
- Dice the onion the day before and keep in a sealed bag or container in the fridge
- Spiralise the courgetti the day before and keep in a sealed bag or container in the fridge
- Rinse and soak the soy mince the day before and keep in a sealed container in the fridge
- Measure out the garlic powder, turmeric, ginger powder, ground black pepper and chilli powder into a small covered bowl or sealed container up to a week before (these can be kept at room temperature)
Some tasty little twists…
- For a lighter dish, replace the noodles with an extra spiralised courgette, or a different spiralised vegetable such as carrot
- Add extra vegetables, such as a handful of finely sliced mushrooms, babycorn, sugar snaps, peppers or beansprouts
- For other vegan versions replace the soy mince with crumbled tofu, green lentils or finely diced vegetables
- For a vegetarian version replace the soy mince with chopped up boiled egg (about 2-3 eggs) or scrambled egg (scramble 2-3 eggs beaten with a pinch of salt in a separate pan and stir in when you stir in the cooked noodles)
- For a meat version replace the soy mince with lean minced pork or turkey, or diced chicken. Add the mince or diced meat to the frying pan after you have cooked the onion for about 2-3 minutes then add everything in step 5 (except the soy mince) after 4-5 minutes and continue as per the instructions above.