You read the title right, this pesto and kelp noodle bowl is sure to be your new favorite low-carbohydrate pasta option! Enjoy a bowl of sauce-drenched pasta without breaking your macro goals or calorie goals for the day.
About This Kelp Noodle Recipe
I love using kelp noodles in stir-frys and cold noodle bowls. They can be found in the Asian isle in most grocery stores.
Kelp Noodles are made from edible seaweed called kelp, and are a gluten-free, low carbohydrate noodle option with a high amount of minerals such as iron (1). Did I mention they have an amazing crunchy texture?
Kelp noodles come ready-to-eat, making them convenient meal prep for a quick stir-fry or raw noodle bowl.
Key to The Perfect Pesto Recipe: Less Oil, More of The Good Stuff
One of my favorite go-to recipes is a pesto. You can use a variety of herbs and greens along with vinegar and spices to achieve unqiue flavors and combinations.
You don't have to include cheese or nuts in your pesto if you are dairy-free or nut-free; although some would argue that you couldn't call the sauce a pesto anymore.
A classic Italian pesto is prepared with basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese.
The issue you may run into when preparing a classic pesto is that most recipes call for 1/2 cup or more of oil, although this may help blend the pesto it leads to excess fat and calories.
Kitchen Hack: Replace oils with seasoning liquids such as lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, kombucha, or specialty vinegars.
Cut the calories and bump up flavor, experiment with using different seasoning liquids to blend your herbs and greens for your peso:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Lime juice
- Rice wine vinegar
- Sake or a dry white wine (yes I said it, using a bit of alcohol to flavor your pesto adds a bit of tang and goes GREAT with pasta)
- Kombucha (I like added a tablespoon or two depending on the size of the recipe)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Red wine vinegar
- Champagne vinegar
You get the point; you can reduce the amount of oil in your recipe by half or more then add the other liquid. Add as much or as little liquid as you'd like depending on if you like a smooth or chunky pesto.
The kelp noodle pesto bowl recipe listed below includes a recipe for a delicious and quick kale pesto prepared with parsley, cilantro, and kale, blending using apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.
How to Prepare Your Vegan Pesto And Noodle Bowl Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 4 each
- 1 package Kelp Noodles
- 1.5 cup Trifecta Broccoli or Roasted Broccoli
- ½ cup grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, drained from can (or hearts of palm)
- 1/2 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- ½ cup parsley
- ½ cup cilantro
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds
- 4 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of maple or honey if desired
- Food Processor (we love our Breville All In One)
- Cups and measuring spoons
Step 1: Prepare Your Herbal Pesto Recipe
Gather all of your ingredients to prepare the kale pesto recipe listed above or try out a pistachio pesto, classic pesto, or spirulina pesto recipe instead (these recipes will alter the nutritional value listed below).
Whatever pesto recipe is calling to you, feel free to add in other herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger, black pepper, or even coconut flakes!
You can even experiment with different leafy greens including:
- Dandelion greens
- Beet greens
- Red leafy greens
- Mesclun greens
- Collard greens
Dark-leafy greens are nutrient-dense but low in calories, they are a wonderful addition to any meal prep plans you have.
To prepare the quick kale pesto recipe:
In the base of a food processor, combine all of your pesto ingredients including any extra spices or flavorings.
We substituted nutritional yeast in our pesto recipe in lieu of salt to reduce the sodium content. Using herbs and spices instead of salt to season your recipes is a quick trick to minimize your sodium intake.
Blend for at least 1 minutes until ingredients are thoroughly combined.
It's is a personal preference whether you like a smooth or chunky pesto; for this recipe I recommend blending it smoother to coat the noodles evenly like a herbal vinaigrette (YUM!).
Step 2: Prepare Kelp Noodles and Added Vegetables
Remove the kelp noodles from the packaging and drain from any liquid they were submerged in. Toss the liquid and rinse the noodles out under cold water to gently break them up.
Set aside in a colander to strain out any excess liquid.
While your kelp noodles are draining, prep any vegetables you'd like to toss into your noodle pesto bowl (I kept all my vegetables raw).
Nutritious vegetables may include:
The sky is the limit! Feel free to add as many non-starchy vegetables or leafy greens into your noodle bowl as you'd like as a way to maximize nutrients while keeping calories low.
Step 3: Mix All The Ingredients Together and Eat
In a large bowl toss together your pesto, noodles, and added vegetables until evenly dressed.
Another added benefit from adding low-carbohydrate kelp noodles to your meal prep is the fact they are also low in calories. You can enjoy a heart cup and a half or more per serving of this meal prep recipe, leaving you satisfied and within your daily caloric intake range.
Figure out exactly how many calories you need to consume each day to achieve your macro goals will help you stay on track with your health and provide a clear plan for any goals you want set.
Try this free calorie calculator to get your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) in a few minutes
Storing and Serving
This completed recipe will hold for up to 7 days in an airtight meal prep container in the refrigerator, while the pesto on it's own can be frozen and stored for later use.
Add some protein to this recipe to make it the perfect meal for any meal plan:
Or choose from our Trifecta A La Carte proteins, ready to heat and eat on top of this delicious kelp noodle meal prep recipe.
Having trouble hitting your protein goals on a plant based diet?