First Day Back in Madison and a Recipe for Sweet Potato Noodles, Golden Brussels Sprouts, and Chickpeas in a Cheesy Tahini Sauce

As I mentioned on yesterday’s What I Ate Wednesday, today I returned from Vassar College to my hometown of Madison, WI for a much-needed, month-long winter break. As expected, I filled the day with oodles of cooking and reveling in delicious, non-Deece meals, studded with bouts of holiday decorating alongside my mother. After paying an eagerly anticipated visit to my second (or I suppose third, now!) home of the Willy Street Coop to replenish my home pantry, I ardently enjoyed crafting the first meal made in my Madison kitchen since August, which consisted of a delectable massaged kale salad—a treat in which I haven’t had the pleasure of partaking for far too long.

This particular kale salad consisted of lacinato kale massaged with avocado, lemon juice, and mushrooms; with alfalfa and bean sprouts, carrots, parsley, dill, sunflower sprouts, baked tofu, sprouted quinoa, dulse flakes, nutritional yeast, and flaxseed meal stirred in; topped with cortido (a Mexican version of kimchi).

This particular kale salad consisted of lacinato kale massaged with avocado, lemon juice, and mushrooms; with alfalfa and bean sprouts, carrots, parsley, dill, sunflower sprouts, baked tofu, sprouted quinoa, dulse flakes, nutritional yeast, and flaxseed meal stirred in; topped with cortido (a Mexican version of kimchi).

Determined to knock off a good chunk of my extensive “Recipes to Try” list, I scrolled through the 32-page word document and combined three recipes that struck my fancy to create a delightful new recipe, rife with unctuous flavors, textural contrasts between creamy and crunchy, and winter veggies. The inspiration for the sweet potato noodles stems from This Rawsome Vegan Life, that for the sauce from Earthsprout, and that for the brussels sprouts from 101 Cookbooks. Though I did not think to include miso in the sauce until I had coated the noodles, I suspect that the complex sweetness of the fermented bean paste would compliment the recipe nicely.

sweet potato noodles and brussels sprouts (1)

Sweet Potato Noodles, Golden Brussels Sprouts, and Chickpeas in a Cheesy Tahini Sauce

Serves 2-4.

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 tbsp tamari
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medjool date
1 tbsp tamari
5 tbsp tahini
½ tsp turmeric
4-6 tbsp water

24 small brussels sprouts
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

To make the sweet potato noodles, thinly slice the sweet potato lengthwise, then cut those strips lengthwise again into thin strips. Alternatively, if you’re lucky enough to own a spiralizer, just use that. Place in a large bowl, toss with the tamari, transfer to a baking sheet, and warm the noodles until slightly tender but still somewhat crunchy—about 20-30 minutes.

To make the sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Once the noodles have finished tenderizing, pour the sauce over them, mix well until evenly coated, and stir in the chickpeas.

To make the golden brussels sprouts, cut the stems off of the brussels sprouts and remove any yellowing outer leaves. Cut the sprouts in half lengthwise and place in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the coconut oil on top and toss well to coat the sprouts. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, taking care not to overheat it lest the outside of the sprouts cook too quickly. Place the sprouts in the pan, flat side down and in a single layer, cover, and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the bottoms of the sprouts are only slightly browned. Once just tender, uncover the sprouts, increase the heat to high, and cook until the flat sides are dark brown and caramelized. Toss the sprouts once or twice to slightly brown the rounded side.

To serve, plate the noodles and pile the brussels sprouts on top.

sweet potato noodles and brussels sprouts (4)

Recipe submitted to Wellness Weekend, Foodtastic Friday, Gluten Free Fridays, Healthy Vegan FridaysAllergy-Free Wednesdays, and Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays.

My final cooking adventure of the day included a bout of recipe experimentation with Amie Sue’s Pumpkin Caramel Cereal.

maple cereal (4)

Tweaks to the Original Recipe:

  • Used defrosted almond pulp leftover from making almond milk in place of the almond meal.
  • Omitted the salt.
  • Replaced the pumpkin puree with 2 ripe persimmons (I planned to use fresh sweet potato puree, but my sweet potato hadn’t finished baking by the time I was ready to add it to the recipe).
  • Replaced 1/2 cup of the dates with dried apricots.
  • Used buckwheat soaked for about 2 hours instead of soaked and sprouted buckwheat.
  • Replaced the coconut with sunflower seeds.
  • Spread the mixture thinly on two aluminum foil-lined baking sheets and baked for about 2 hours and 15 minutes at 200 degrees instead of dehydrating the cereal.

Though I won’t have a chance to sample the cereal until tomorrow morning atop my standard smoothie, the results of my experimentation look quite successful, sound incredibly crunchy, and smell absolutely dreamy due to the magical ingredient of maple extract.

maple cereal (6)

Oh, how I cannot accurately express my happiness at returning to my comfortable, leisurely, culinary-experimentation-ridden home life, if only for a mere month. I can guarantee oodles of mouthwatering food porn and hopefully a substantial handful of new recipes on the blog until I depart once again to commence my spring semester as a freshman at Vassar.

Until next time, Ali.

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14 thoughts on “First Day Back in Madison and a Recipe for Sweet Potato Noodles, Golden Brussels Sprouts, and Chickpeas in a Cheesy Tahini Sauce

  1. Everything looks incredible!! The sweet potato noodles is especially intriguing – in Korea we have sweet potato noodles too, but we only use the starch of it, making the noodles super chewy and sweet :)
    Happy Holidays!!!

    • Thanks, Stephanie! I have heard of packaged sweet potato noodles before but have not been lucky enough to find them in the states (maybe I just haven’t been looking hard enough).

      • I really suggest you check out Asian/Oriental markets! They tend to have exotic ingredients such as purple-fleshed sweet potatoes, asian vegetables, natto, mochi, sweet potato noodles, and so many more in cheap prices :) Not to mention that some of the bigger markets like H-mart have cool gadgets such as steamer, pressure rice cooker, and etc!

  2. Everything looks fantastic! I’m so sorry the Linky wasn’t working again tonight! I’m not sure what the problem is. . . but have contacted the site adiminstrator and hopefully it will be all clear from now on. It’s up and running–hope you’ll head back to link up. :)

    And have a wonderful holiday!!

    Hugs,
    Ricki

  3. Triple YUM! This looks amazing and so many of my favorites!! The Madison WI caught my eye. We are originally from just south of Chicago (now in Ohio) so we had lots of friends in in WI and friends would always go there! Saw Madison got LOTS of snow last night :)
    Each week I am amazed by the wonderful loyal bloggers that return each week to link up their yummy food and information! I am so happy that each week we have a few new bloggers that join our group!

    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)
    I hope to see you again next week!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

    • Thanks, Cindy! What a small world that you have connections with Madison. Yes, we got hit super hard, so it’s lucky that I scheduled my travel plans for the day before yesterday, otherwise I would have been stranded in New York!

  4. Ali, these look awesome! I’ve never tried sweet potato noodles before but I’ll definitely have to give these a go, especially since sweet potatoes are one of the few things available over the winter at the Dane County Farmers Market, which, luckily, happens to only be a few blocks from my apartment ;) I’ll be back in Madcity after Christmas (and hopefully after the blizzard has passed) and am looking forward to the winter market!

    Thanks so much for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday!

  5. can’t wait to try this, I love sweet potatoes, so this should be right up my alley! FYI, the chewy sweet potato starch noodles sell under the “miracle” noodles name as they have no calories…they’re available in almost every grocery store, just ask! I am featuring your recipe this week, thanks for sharing it with us on Allergy Free Wednesday!

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