Ramen Romance: Easy, Gluten-free, Vegan Recipe

Matters of the (4)


 

 

ramen recipe

In honor of Valentine’s Day this past weekend, my husband and I celebrated by doing something a little bit “unconventional” compared to what other couples do on this day. We decided to stay in and cook up ramen! First, let me stop you right there– this is not the same type of ramen you ate in college. Ok let’s continue… So last year we started a new Valentine’s Day tradition where we decide on a recipe we would like to recreate together. We had such a fun time with this, we did it again this year and wanted to try our hands at making ramen. When we lived in Portland, Karim was on a very serious quest for ramen. There were so many great ramen spots there to explore and we’ve really been missing it since moving to North Carolina, so we thought what better dish to cook up on this day of love!

Earlier in the day I did most of the prep work by washing and chopping the veggies and garnishes. That evening we poured ourselves some white wine and got to work cooking up our very first homemade ramen.  I have to admit I did not believe in our skills and was prepared for a not-so-great bowl of noodles. But, we outdid ourselves and it turned out to be delish! I couldn’t believe how easy it was. It was the perfect warm, comfort food for a cold winter Sunday night. ramen recipe

This recipe is totally vegan and gluten free, but you can add pork and a soft boiled egg like Karim did. What I love about this dish is how customizable it is! Even the flavor of the broth is totally up to you. I usually find it to be a bit too salty when I eat it at restaurants, but at home I am the one to decide how much salt or spice to add and can load up on the veggies.

So when you try this recipe out, put your own twist on it. I can’t wait to see your version of ramen 🙂

ramen recipe ramen recipe

 

Enjoy!

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ramen recipe
Gluten Free, Vegan Ramen Recipe
Print Recipe
ramen recipe
Gluten Free, Vegan Ramen Recipe
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat
  2. Once the pot is hot, add oil, garlic, ginger and onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally for 5 o 8 minutes or until the onions have browned along the edges.
  3. Add 1 cup of the mushroom broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the bottom.
  4. Add the remaining 3 cups of mushroom broth + 2 cups water, tamari, and mushrooms. Stir.
  5. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer on low for at least an hour, or up to 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer this cooks, the more the enhanced the flavor will be.
  6. Taste your broth and adjust the seasonings a needed (add salt, sriracha, or additional tamari if desired).
  7. When your about 30 minutes from serving, start prepping your toppings (green onions and carrots*) then the noodles.
  8. NOODLES: bring pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add ramen noodles. Allow to boil for 3 minutes, then separate noodles with fork. Allow to cook for another minute, then drain and rinse with cold water.
  9. To serve, put 1/4 of noodles into bowl then pour broth over it. Top with carrots, green onions, cilantro and any other garnishes*
Recipe Notes
  • Store your broth (separate from the noodles) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Additional toppings for your ramen: tofu (or other protein of choice), bok choy, cilantro, soft-boiled egg.
  • To make the tamari roasted carrots, chop up about 1 cup of carrots in coin-sizes. Toss with tamari and garlic powder. Roast at 350F for 25 to 30minutes.
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Stress and Your Heart: Is there a link?

Welcome to part II of our Matters of the Heart Series. Last week was all about heart healthy living for disease prevention and today we’re talking stress. Can stress really cause high blood pressure or give you a heart attack? Read on to find out..

stress

We all have a lot on our plates, constantly balancing our day to day responsibilities with jam packed social calendars, extracurriculars, and personal hobbies. People are really busy! When we get a little too busy though, stress sets in with a death grip. Now I know sometimes a little stress can be a good thing, in that it lights that fire under you to check things off your long to-do list, but there is another side to that coin.

The consistent presence of stress in your life, can contribute to physical health issues.

Managing your stress appropriately can help reduce your risk of heart disease and chronic illness. When we embrace a positive mindset, we are more likely to eliminate destructive habits and find better alternatives to deal with our worry. This is why a healthy lifestyle is more than just eating clean and working out. It’s about the holistic approach– understanding the importance of health in all areas of life, including mentally and emotionally. If these areas are not taken care of, they can translate into physical illness.  

When in a state of stress, a chemical and hormonal chain reaction takes place within the body triggering inflammation.  While research has not yet proven that this directly affects risk of heart disease, there is evidence that stress influences your heart (and your health) in other ways. Stress can cause some people to behave in ways that increase their risk of heart disease. Think about it..  We don’t always handle stress in the best ways. Some folks eat to calm down (I could argue peanut butter cures all your problems…just kidding!). Other people throw themselves into their work.  What unhealthy choices do you fall back on when you’re under stress? When experience stress, we tend to make less than favorable lifestyle choices especially surrounding diet, exercise, and habits like smoking or drinking.

6 ways to manage stress and help your heart

Want to turn your stress around and help your heart in the process? Try these six simple tips.

  1. Listen to your body. Your body’s response to stress may be a headache, back strain, or stomach pains. Stress can also zap your energy, wreak havoc on your sleep and make you feel cranky, forgetful and out of control. If you find yourself with strange symptoms like these, your body may be telling you to slow it down. So pay attention.
  2. Stay positive. Laughter really is the best medicine. Laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries, and increase “good” HDL cholesterol. Overall, embracing a positive mindset and practicing gratitude can help you handle stress appropriately. 
  3. Meditate. Traditional meditation focusing on inward thoughts and deep breathing has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors (like high blood pressure). You can also sit quietly, close your eyes and listen to relaxing music. Yoga, prayer and even journaling can also prove to be relaxing for the mind and body.
  4. Exercise. Every time you are physically active, whether you take a walk or play tennis, your body releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins. Exercising not only melts away stress, but it also protects against heart disease by lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your heart muscle, and helping you maintain a healthy weight.
  5. Unplug. Avoid emails, TV news, and sometimes even social media.  It’s impossible to escape stress when it follows you everywhere. Take time each day—even if it’s for just 10 or 15 minutes—to escape from the world by doing something else with your time. Find an activity that is restorative and allows you to forget your burdens for a moment, such as reading, sports, adult coloring books, or any other activity you enjoy.
  6. Create a Self Care ritual. Take a bubble bath, listen to music, or get a massage. Any technique is effective if it works for you.

There will always be stress in your life but it’s your choice how you let it affect you. You may not be able to control the stress that comes into your life, but you can control your reaction to it and that makes a world of a difference.

Is your stress leading to destructive, unhealthy habits? How are you planning to take control of it and help improve your health? 

 

 

Thanks for reading,

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Health is where the Heart is

This month I’m sharing a series called “Matters of the Heart,” where you will find weekly posts about all things related to heart health, on both physical and emotional topics. I am doing this not in honor of Valentine’s day, but really because it’s American Heart Month. Bringing awareness to heart disease should be important to all of us because aside from being the leading cause of serious illness and disability in the U.S., it is also the number 1 killer of Americans. Even more tragic, is that many of the deaths related to heart disease are preventable and treatable.

heart health

 

Imagine if disease could be prevented, reversed, or even eliminated… What if you could avoid “inheriting” the high cholesterol that runs in your family, the uncontrolled blood pressure, or obesity gene? Can you actually have a say in how long and how strong  your heart will beat on? Envision yourself having a hand in living a longer, energized life that allows you to partake in celebrations and enjoy family & friends…. I’m not here to tell you I’ve found the secret to  longevity or immortality, sorry! But I AM here to share with you that prevention is key to fighting disease and embracing life. You CAN make huge impacts to your quality of life with small, consistent changes.

So how can we fight the battle against disease, especially heart disease?

Focus on health rather than weight. The number on the scale may fool you into a false sense of satisfaction, like thinking you’re “skinny” but it does not give you immunity to illness. Let’s not fall victim to crash diets and endless cardio.  Instead, change your mindset around health and wellness. Strive to eat and exercise with the intent of strengthening your heart and protecting your body from disease.  It’s important to take care of our health, get regular check ups, and listen to our bodies.  Make disease prevention your main focus and motivation for being healthy. You absolutely can prevent/heal/fight disease by living a healthier lifestyle.

You may already know what changes you must make to maintain optimal heart health and live your best life, now it comes down to remembering WHY these changes matter.

You may feel amazing right now, but think about those bad habits you can’t seem to shake and the consequences they could be causing you in 5 to 10 years from now. Is it worth it? Having worked closely with patients suffering from heart disease for a little over two years, I have seen first hand how disabling and fatal this disease is. On the other hand, I’ve been given the privilege of seeing many reverse their disease or preventing it from worsening by embracing a heart healthy lifestyle; in doing so, these folks have changed the entire trajectory of their lives.  That’s what I want for you, too! Take control of your life by committing to healthy changes.

Ditch the excuses and bad habits. It’s time to make some real changes.

This is your season to adopt simple, healthy practices that can positively affect the course of your life. Know that I am here to help you along the way.  This American Heart Month, please consider what you and your loved ones can do to promote a heart healthy lifestyle.

Here are just a few things you can do to set yourself up for success in health.

  • Eating whole, balanced, nutrition-dense foods
  • Exercising daily
  • Obtaining regular physicals and blood work
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing/ preventing any chronic diseases

Start by committing to doing just 2 to 3 of these at a time and pay attention to the huge impacts you’ll experience from such small, but consistent changes. What greater benefit could there be than living healthfully and actively into old age with no dependence on medications and almost no risk of heart disease or other chronic conditions.

 

How will you protect your heart?

 

What habits are you implementing into your lifestyle to maintain top-notch heart health?

 

 

Until next time,

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** Learn more about American Heart Month here **


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