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Author Notes: There are seven bodegas near my apartment, but I only shop at two. At the small one, I buy my almond milk. At the big one, I buy whatever is missing for a quick and wholesome dinner. I eat out a lot, so when I do eat at home, it’s good for my health! I knew I had fresh ginger in the house, a carrot, and a cooked Japanese sweet potato, which is one of my meal tricks—buy a sweet potato on Sunday and roast it in the oven, and then, later in the week, cut it off into sections as I need it.
Today I found out my big bodega is officially called Wholesome Foods. It’s owned by a man from Gujarat, India, which is north of Mumbai. I’ve never met him, but I love his store. The first thing I noticed when I walked in were the seaweed snacks. I grabbed a bag, and then found some gluten-free noodles made from konjac, a plant cultivated in East Asia that is similar to taro. It is usually labeled "shirataki" and flouted for its dearth of calories—zero, in some cases. (Miracle Noodle and Better Than Foods, which I bought, are brands that are most widely available in bodegas). Over by the refrigerator section, I spied some really good looking yellow peppers and Aidells chicken sausage. Dinner, done.
If it sounds too healthful, I’ll admit that I just finished following Whole30 for the month of January, a diet that involves foregoing dairy, sugar, alcohol, wheat, grains, soy and legumes. After a month of eating outrageously clean, it’s left me wanting to stick to the plan. The meal I’ve made here fits under the Whole30 umbrella, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. Enjoy! —Larissa Zimberoff
Serves 2, or 1 plus leftovers
- 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
- 1 inch ginger, finely minced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced in matchsticks
- 1 small carrot, diced in matchsticks
- 1 cup cooked sweet potato, diced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek, or 1 tbsp. for more heat
- 1 package "Better Than Noodles" (or any noodle of your choice)
- 2 Aidells chicken sausage (or a protein that you like), sliced
- 1 package seaweed snacks
- Heat sauté pan before pouring coconut oil. Add in one at a time: ginger, yellow pepper, carrot. Stir until softened. Add in sweet potato and sausage and stir. Add more coconut oil as needed.
- Add in 1/2 cup water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and Sambal Oelek. Stir.
- Add in noodles and toss until coated.
- Plate in shallow bowls. Use kitchen scissors to cut seaweed garnish over dish.