Flavour Bomb Greens n’ Noodles

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I had my first harvest today. After several months of extremely hard work I cycled out to our garden with a pair of scissors, an empty basket, and some very excited taste buds.

Having zero access to a plot of land for many years now, it’s indescribably gratifying to get my hands down in the earth, plant seeds and watch miracles happen (well, they seem like miracles to me). To be able to bike past the market, just to sit in my strawberry patch, basking in the sweet, sweet glory of a perfectly ripe jewel that I’ve had a hand in growing is nothing short of awesome. Total connection.

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So, what is Sarah B. growing? Well, lots of root veggies, as Danish temperatures lends itself to produce that can hide underground for months on end (who can blame them?), but peas and beans will tolerate the cool and wet weather pretty well. I got some pretty groovy winter squashes in there, a good mix of herbs and edible flowers, and some fruit trees. Most of these treats I’ll have to wait a few more months for, so for the moment my pride and joy are the greens. Greens, greens, everywhere! And pretty ones too, with pink and purple stems.

In honor of the first harvest, I dedicate this post to greens. We could all stand to eat more of them, but they are not always the sexiest, nor the most sought-after veggie on many people’s list. In fact, I find that most folks are downright scared of green things. How the heck did this happen? With a few simple tricks, greens are downright tasty. I’ll show you how.

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Why Green is Gold
Leafy greens are among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. The greener they are, the more nutritious and healing they are. Loaded with vitamin A and C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and folic acid (the name derived from the word foliage), greens are also extremely low in calories for the nourishing punch they pack.

Including greens in your diet on a daily basis (it’s okay if that feels overwhelming – baby steps) is your ticket to greater health via their uncompromising ability to improve immune response and prevent disease. Leafy greens are also excellent brain-boosters, blood cleansers and cancer-fighters.

The happy news is greens are fairly abundant all year ‘round. They are very simple to grow (as I have now witnessed), but even if you don’t have a foot of soil to plant in, one can always find a green leaf at the grocery store during any season. And greens are extremely versatile: use them the obvious way like raw salad as I have done here, or add them to a soup or stir-fry (cooking them causes serious shrinkage so they are easy to hide!), blend them into a juice (I find spinach is a winner in this application), or juice them. One of my favorite ways to eat greens is to replace a wrap or piece of bread with a giant leaf and just roll up whatever I am munching on. This was a trick I learned some years ago and it really works – even with kids! The trick is making the flavours really sing until you can groove on the natural “green” taste, which I promise you will learn to love.

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With all these glorious fresh greens ready to enjoy from my garden now, I thought I better come up with a killer way to eat them day after day. I have been craving something with big taste, something with ka-pow! And my totally boss mix of flavours fits the bill for sure.

The cool thing about this meal is the customizing aspect to it, one I would imagine would greatly appeal to children, or anyone unenthused by leafy greens. Once the intoxicatingly vibrant dressing of lime juice, garlic, ginger, chili, tamari and honey wraps itself around each ribbon of green, these once humble leaves become shockingly addictive. Then each person is free to liberally add in their favorites: toasted sesame, cashew, and coconut, more chili, and spring onion, cilantro and mint. Please inform everyone at the table that more is better! Pile on the toppings because they are all super healthy, and along with massive flavour, they bring on major nutritional bonus points.

And if you want to stop at just the greens, by all means do so – I added the noodles for a more filling and complete lunch. Take it to the next level with some marinated, stir-fried tempeh, avocado, sprouts, beans or lentils. The point is, we are making greens taste good and you can do just about anything with that.

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I want to end this post with a huge thank-you to all of you who wrote a comment in the last post, on Facebook or sent an email. I have been so overwhelmed with your unbelievable outpouring of love and excitement for my pregnancy, and it means more than you know. I feel as if I have this giant extended family out there, made up of gorgeous people whom I have never even met, but wow, how I can feel you. And undoubtedly, so can this little sprout.

big love, Sarah B

oh – and because you’ll ask, I buy my seeds from here.

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And don’t forget to check out my recipes in The Guardian, in print and online.

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80 comments

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  10. Tamara

    Hey, Sarah,

    I can hardly wait to try this dish… but I’ll manage – until my greens come out (taking biodynamics into consideration, friday is the day to make the seedlings for leafy veggies)¨You are SO right, it does feel like a total connection to the earth, having a vegetable garden that you tend to with loving care. I bought my seeds from Realseeds.uk too, and they are amazing! But I’ve got a question – is there a book or a web page you know where I can read more about permaculture and gardening?

    Thanks.

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  12. carly

    I have been making this dish over and over each week. My husband and I can’t get bored of this AMAZING flavor, healthy and delicious. Thank you!!! We LOVE IT!!

  13. Valeria

    I just finished eating this fantastic bowl of noodles – totally addictive, perfect dressing and combination of flavours. I used oyster mushrooms and cavolo nero as veg, and soba as noodles – worked perfectly well! Thank you for sharing – easily, my noodles of choice from now on.

  14. Terry

    This post was the only one that came up when I googled “greens & noodles” – and I’m so glad it did! We have been inundated with [beautiful!] greens in our CSA bag & I am always looking for new ways to use them. I made this last night with Swiss chard, kale, turnip greens & soba noodles and we loved it. I imagine the dressing would also make a wonderful marinade for shrimp or fish for non-vegetarians.

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  16. Staci

    Just finished this for dinner tonight…it was fantastic!!! Both my daughters (ages 5 and 6) devoured it too! Can’t wait to make it again. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

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  19. Tahlia

    I made this for dinner last night and it was absolutely delicious! How long will the dressing keep for in a seal container in the fridge?

    • carly

      The dressing (tamari, ginger..etc) definitely should keep for a while in fridge. I have used the dressing on Quinoa dishes days after and its awesome! In general, tamari and the sesami oil, ginger, garlic, should stay for over a week or so.. nothing in the dressing will go bad for awhile. Enjoy!!

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  22. Shirley

    Hi Sarah B,
    I absolutely love your blog! I have been getting a lot closer to becoming vegetarian because your recipes are truly amazing. It’s not hard to convince my husband to try your dishes – he loves the flavour combinations. This dish is my favorite…so far! I hope you plan to visit us in beautiful Vancouver one day!!

  23. Asha

    thank you thank you thank you. this dish is simply gorgeous. i’ve just polished two platefuls and cannot wait to blog about it.
    i also tried swapping the noodles for buckwheat soba and the tamari for soy sauce. it worked.

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  27. Amy G

    Made this for lunch today and it was such a hit! Fresh kale, crunchy nuts and seeds and a delish thai inspired sauce. So yum! I topped it with wild salmon we had left over from dinner the night before. I will definitely be saving this as a go-to in the future.

  28. Suzanne

    Yikes…I misread that first ingredient as ‘Tahini’ (instead of Tamari)…still tasted fabulous over the noodles…reminiscent of Indonesian Rijsttafel sauce that I had in Amsterdam many years ago. Delicious!…though I think that I’ll use less lime juice next time.

    Absolutely love all of your recipes, Sarah…many thanks!

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  30. Beth Vaughn

    Love this recipe! My husband and I tried it, with a few modifications, we tried it warm… It was delicious! My husband loves it! I also use your samosa recipe (the filling) to make a wonderful Indian inspired salad in a jar! Thank you for your great ideas that lead to greatness in my kitchen too!

  31. Bianca

    I made this tonight – AMAZING!!!! I used brown rice as I didn’t have any noodles on hand, yummy! A new staple for sure. Thank you Sarah B x

  32. jessica

    i made this last night for my recipe group, and it was quite a hit! it is such a nice change from my usual peanut sauce with greens and noodles. i didn’t have rice noodles, so i used udon, and basil instead of mint. i was just impressed with how easy this was. it’ll definitely be a new staple! i’m curious about the use of brown rice vinegar – i’ve never seen it, and i just have rice wine vinegar. is there a big difference?

  33. keith

    Wow! Wow! I just got back from a week in Vegas where I consumed way to much meat and food in general. I wanted to come back and do a week of vegetarian food. This is my first meal and it is fantastic! I have an organic smoothie/healthy Asian influenced food restaurant near home that sells something very similar for $10/bowl. This is better and probably cost $4/bowl. It is so good, so healthy, so easy to make and PERFECT to beat the summer heat!

    … Love your blog BTW. I have been following it for a year and it has been a huge source of information on nutrition. And although I am not a vegetarian, I am a huge believer in most meals being vegetarian or close to it (and of course unprocessed as well) and your blog is almost always where I start in search for a recipe.

  34. Farmgirl on the Prairie

    This looks amazing Sarah B.! I can’t wait to try it out on my family and finally I think I’ve found a great use for Swiss Chard and Kale to share with my customers at the farmers market! Thank you for sharing your love of greens!

  35. Aly

    Thank you for another great post- I need to try this recipe soon what with my farmer’s market bursting with leafy greens these days! Who can ever get enough? :)

  36. Jacqueline

    Made this tonight for dinner!! My husband and I loved it! I had everything in my fridge :) Thanks Sarah!

  37. Shelley

    Thanks! Can’t wait to try the Greens n’ Noodles!
    FYI you may wish to check the “print” link on the posting, it just brings up the photo above the recipe.

  38. Alex

    I can’t wait to make this! The dressing sounds like it would be fantastic on lots of items, cooling and sharp for the summer.

  39. Kathy

    I have been using beet greens in place of lettuce or other salad greens. They have a wonderful flavor all their own. Thanks for all the great recipes and many congratulations for all of your pregnancy!

  40. Or Carmi

    Hi Sarah!
    This recipe sounds so yummy! i think i will make it for a dinner with friends this week,
    however, when i go to print the recipe, it prints the image instead of the recipe :( can you please fix that? i really want to print it!
    thank you so much, Or.

  41. Alexa

    Wow this looks so tasty! I love the acidic and sweet dressing combination! I think some tofu marinated in the dressing would taste lovely.

  42. Sarah

    I have to admit that I’m really jealous of you having a garden. For now I’ll have to stop at the market to buy my greens. But do you really think that there are many green-haters among your blog-readers :)

  43. Rosabean

    Hi Sarah, please write a book, I will buy it! You give me so much inspiration! I’ve been growing rainbow beets for the last month or so, they are still small but I just can’t wait to try this when they are ready!

  44. shellsten | Piecefully

    This looks absolutely wonderful. I’ll try it whenever I go home to my mum’s place where the garden is filled with greens. My plan is to turn the small patio outside my apartment into a place for greens – next year. Once again, thank you for sharing and inspiring. And congratulations! /S

  45. Tia

    Hi Sarah!

    Thanks for this recipe, I shall try it as soon as possible. You see, my first kale leaves have been totally (and I mean completely) eaten before I got the chance. With all my love and everything. Imagine the disappointment. But hey, this was just a prep for a question I have for you regarding eating uncooked greens. I remember reading that spinage should always have seen boiling water for 5min before they’re introduced to any human teeth. Something to do with some acid. What do you think? Your leaves look amazing by the way, I can’t get over how big they are. Well done!

  46. Jodi

    Gorgeous, Sarah! I know what you mean about tiny miracles – there is nothing like growing, harvesting and eating your own veggies! Beautiful post and recipe as always. x

  47. cynthia

    holy amazingness, this is my favorite recipe of yours yet… exactly what i needed. also love that i had almost all the ingredients already at home and no need for a food processor and all that jazz. i have to say you’re so right about the toppings– it really made the dish, apart from the amazing dressing that is. i can’t believe i’ve never toasted sesame seeds or coconut before. thank you :))

  48. Belinda Postneck

    Hi Sarah,
    Just want to let you know that when I click on print a picture comes up not the recipe.

  49. Shreya

    Hi Sarah, Congratulations :). I had this last night for dinner, it was pure awesomeness!!! My friend just wanted to ‘taste’ it. But after the first bite she couldn’t resist from eating more :D

  50. Sylvia

    Your chard looks happy! I’m so glad to hear you have your own garden! I know what you mean, total connection. There’s nothing like eating a salad that was sitting in the earth 10 minutes ago. Or watching a plant grow from a tiny seed. It gives me such joy!

  51. Ally

    I’m so happy that you’ve been able to put some roots down somewhere – it’s so special to grow your own food. Getting your hands dirty and being a part of the process of how you choose to nourish yourself, your loved ones, and our planet is indeed nothing short of a miracle.

    What a sweet time to plant seeds, grow sprouts, be grateful, and enjoy! xo

  52. Sarah

    Made this tonight! Will take a shortcut next time I make this on a weeknight by toasting the coconut, sesame seeds and cashews all at the same time, and serving them mixed. It was really delicious!!

  53. Linda

    Rainbow chard has to be my fave with its beautiful colours! I grow mine too and it’s such an amazing crop, it supplies us abundantly, so much that we often give some to our family/friends!
    I was curious about something though… I have the habit of using the liquid that remains after steaming these greens as extra broth for my soups, in the belief that some happy nutrients will still be in it. Is this just a silly idea, or do nutrients really survive in that water after steaming and even re-heating in the soup?

  54. Simone

    Hi Sarah; So proud of you for how far you have come since I first stumbled onto your site. Congratulations with your bun in the oven. Please do listen to your body (and tell us about it). I was sick for seven months with my first bun. It stopped when I quit working. I was just going to fast for myself (and my baby). It is an unforgettable never ending adventure, a child/ childeren.
    Swiss chard is one of my favourite vegetables. I buy it every week when in season at our farmers market. Very interested to see what comes out of your plot. We had Borlotti beans on ours and they did surprisingly well.
    Have a wonderful day!!!

  55. Alexis Harrison

    Yummy! As a fellow Canadian living in Europe, apart from growing these plants, where do you find them? I am living in Berlin, and while there is an organic supermarket on every block, I am finding it really difficult to source leafy greens. I don’t have a garden plot and my little kitchen window garden has room for herbs, but that is about it.

    Kale is in a jar or only eaten seasonally, I have not seen swisschard since I left British Columbia, and I am starting to get a little sick of spinach (never dreamed I would see myself type this).

  56. Ketmala Phoumalavong

    It looks delicious Sarah, thanks for sharing even though it is rather late for you overseas! I often make a similar version of your recipe with baby bok-choy, red bell pepper, jicama, avocado, snap peas or whatever is in season with buckwheat, millet or black rice asian noodle at home and everyone love it.
    PS: your swiss chard look beautiful!

  57. shilpa

    I thought I had decided what I was going to have for dinner until I saw this! Thanks so much for the inspiration! And congratulations to you-mama to be!!

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