May 04, 2011

Kelp noodles with broccoli pesto


You may have noticed that every now and then I stumble across a new (to me) ingredient that I like to experiment with. Finding these new ingredients is usually a result of browsing the web or the shelves of the health food stores and I really can't think of anything more exciting than creating a recipe around the newly found ingredient.


I found a packet of kelp noodles during my recent trip to one of my favourite health food shops in Sydney. 
I had heard of these gluten-free, 'raw' noodles before and was very intrigued to try them. The hefty price tag of nearly ten Australian dollars for a 340g packet means this will not be a frequent treat, but I found the noodles very tasty, wonderfully crispy in texture and most definitely a healthier alternative to most instant or packet noodles out there. 

I served the noodles with a broccoli pesto which is another favourite of mine. I really love the versatility of pesto - you can use pretty much any greens you have, combine them with any seeds or nuts, spices, dried or fresh herbs and some good quality oil - and hey presto, you have pesto! Broccoli, when in season, is a superb alternative to leafy greens and of course its also packed with nutrients!


Soaked sunflower seeds is a delicious, inexpensive alternative to pine nuts in a pesto. Soaking the seeds for a couple of hours is definitely worth the extra time and little effort as the soft seeds result in much nicer, smooth texture. You could easily alternate this recipe to your liking - try adding ground paprika or cumin, fresh herbs like coriander (cilantro), basil or even mint. Or use different oils like sesame oil, walnut oil or pumpkin seed oil. The choices are endless!

Kelp noodles with broccoli pesto*

300g broccoli, steamed or cooked in boiling water until soft
100g sunflower seeds, soaked for 2 hours
handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
water

340g kelp noodles, rinsed

cashew nuts, toasted, for serving

* this will make more pesto than needed for this dish. You can use the remaining pesto with chicken, fish or pasta, for instance. 

1. Drain the soaked sunflower seeds and discard the water.

2. Place the cooked broccoli, sunflower seeds, parsley, olive oil, garlic and lemon zest and juice in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper and add some water to thin the mixture. Blitz until smooth adding water if necessary to achieve a desired consistency.

3. To serve, place the rinsed noodles in a large bowl. Add a scoop of pesto and mix evenly through the noodles. Serve with the cashew nuts.


59 comments:

  1. Broccoli pesto? I love it! This dish looks so delicious, Maria, and you've really got my creative brain thinking now... I wonder what else you could use broccoli pesto for! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  2. This looks lovely! How funny, I made pesto with sunflower seeds last evening - such a delicious alternative to the usual pine nuts.

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  3. What a refined and unusual noodle dish! I love the idea.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. I'm a huge fan of broccoli pesto, it's so good! I haven't tried kelp noodles yet though, probably because of the price tag, but this looks delicious!

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  5. I'm intrigued by the noodles - are they actually made from kelp? Your photos look as gorgeous as ever!

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  6. I've never heard of Kelp noodles, but the texture reminds me of Shirataki noodles, also known as the miracle, no calorie noodles. And wow, broccoli pesto, this sounds intriguing too, you're always very creative, love your ideas :)!

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  7. This would be perfect for detox! I must seek out the kelp noodles. Although I have some soba I need to use first. Have any favorite soba recipes?

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  8. I have walked by the kelp noodles many times- wondering what exactly this mystery noodle tasted like- now I know! Thanks Maria:)

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  9. Oi olen jo pitkään etsinyt täällä noita nuudeleita,huonolla menestyksellä.Hyvä tietää,ettöä maistuvat hyvältä,jos kuitenkin joku päivä tulevat vastaan...

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  10. Pesto with sunflower seeds! Kelp Noodles! All new to me but I'm sure I would love every bite. BTW: I was just asked to be a contributing editor to "Honest Food Magazine". I see you have the badge on your blog! If there is anything about your experience that you would like to share, will you drop me a note? My e-mail is: rileymadel@yahoo.com Basically, is it giving you exposure to your blog? Do you get chosen frequently on the site? Thank you!

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  11. beautifully done noodles I like the cashews on top delicious

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  12. Your dish looks great - I've been meaning to try kelp noodles, dont like the price tag though.

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  13. Oooh! I love the sound of that pesto!

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  14. I haven't found kelp noodles yet, but when I do, this looks like a great way to sample them. :)

    Great tip about the sunflower seeds since they are much cheaper than pine nuts.

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  15. This looks great! I thought the noodles would be green.

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  16. Sounds really interesting! Did the noodles taste like kelp?

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  17. This is new to me also but after seeing htis, not for long. Must try!

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  18. I remember your tweet about this! I have never tasted kelp noodles before. I believe it must have been lovely. This noodle actually reminds me of konjac noodles (shirataki) used in Japanese dishes.I'd love to try your dish! I think the pesto will be good on buckwheat noodles too:)

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  19. love the broccoli pesto and am intrigued by the noodles! I've never used/seen those!

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  20. Broccoli pesto? Kelp noodles? Love the willingness to experiment with foods you haven't used. I can't say I've ever stumbled across these noodless but I love the sounds of it being both tasty and crispy. My type of noodle.

    Wonderful once again, Maria!

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  21. Never heard of or seen kelp noodles before but their appearance reminds me of mung bean/glass noodles. Must keep an eye out for them!

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  22. Oh, yummy! Hope I can find kelp noodles around here.

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  23. Hello Maria! Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. You have such a wonderful blog with beautiful pictures! Broccoli pesto + kelp noodles... what a creative dish! I never heard of both, but your pictures are very convincing this tastes good! ;-)

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  24. They sound really interesting. I'll have to ask if Mr NQN's mother has tried them. They sound just like something that she'd like! :)

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  25. Totally dig your creativity into the healthy alterantives.

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  26. I wonder if I'll find the kelp noodles around here... it sounds like a fantastic dish!

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  27. I've never tried or seen kelp noodles before. They look really beautiful and your pesto sounds so yummy! I love the idea of making a dish with raw broccoli which doesn´t happen very often in my kitchen. :)

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  28. Broccoli pesto? I would have never thought to do that although I would never think to do alot of things you do which is why I love coming back for you to see what your up too. It sounds so good and interesting with the different flavor. I have never seen kelp noodles around here but I will now be on the lookout

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  29. Kelp noodles sound amazing... I think i've had them before - they are kind of crunchy-ish right? Delicious. Also love pesto, had the best taglialini with pesto in Venice!

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  30. Two new ideas in one post, I feel spoiled! I've never come across kelp noodles, the closes is mung bean noodles (not very close at all). I love this idea. Super healthy.

    And broccoli pesto, I like this idea. It certainly blends well with cheese and oil and nuts in terms of flavour.

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  31. Maria, finally I found a way to leave my comment! I have to get here through google reader... Strange. Love these noodles. I am still quite clueless about kelp and I think that broccoli pesto is a keeper!

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  32. This looks absolutely beautiful! The pictures are lovely and I can imagine that it tastes great! Thanks for sharing :)

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  33. Hi Maria! Lovely to find a fellow Finn blogging far away from home. Upeita kuvia ja ihania resepteja : )Seurailen innolla. Marianna

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  34. Oh, I really like this...will definitely keep my eyes open for that kelp noodles!
    Lovely photography!
    ronelle

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  35. Broccoli Pesto sound so new and intriguing!I usually like thin noodles, have to look out for this variety now.

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  36. Very healthy meal! Never heard of kelp noodles, sounds really intriguing. Never thought of adding broccoli to pesto! Very creative dish!

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  37. These are such pretty noodles! Love the idea of broccoli pesto too -- great use for this veggie!

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  38. I get to learn something new- every time I visit you! The noodles looks so pretty n intriguing n the broccoli pesto is a great idea- have bookmarked the recipe :)
    US Masala

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  39. I've been looking forward to this post ever since we Tweeted about it ^_^ Kelp noodles, interesting - they look like harusame to me, wonder if they are?

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  40. The noodles sound so interesting! I haven't seen kelp noodles before, but I'll be looking for them. And, pesto from greens or green vegetables is one of my favorite things. Sounds fantastic!

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  41. I'm on a pesto kick, and will have to add broccoli pesto to the list (so far, I've made asparagus pesto and ramp pesto in the past week). Thanks for sharing!

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  42. Thank you all for your comments! I'm glad so many of you are interested in kelp noodles!

    Kelp noodles are actually made out of kelp and sodium alginate (+water). If you're unable to find these you could try rice noodles, mung bean noodles or 100% buckwheat (soba) noodles.

    Maria
    x

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  43. absolutely brilliant. Aren't these noodles also called glass noodle or may be they look like those ..i am not sure but your dish looks fantastic! Broccoli pesto sounds very interesting. I make only basil and pea pesto .. time to try this too :)

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  44. Kelp noodles, how interesting, and what a great way to serve them. I love pesto but have never tried a broccoli version. I will add this to my list of recipes to try. Also thanks for the tip on using sunflower seeds in pesto and soaking them beforehand. I like using a variety of different nuts in pesto, so will definitely try sunflower seeds.

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  45. What a beautiful recipe the broccoli pesto is. I've never heard of or seen kelp noodles before but will keep an eye out for them. I like the idea of serving the broccoli pesto with soba noodles.

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  46. Would love to find kelp noodles to try, and your broccoli pesto sounds so good, excellent with sunflower seeds.

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  47. Iv never heard of anyone doing broccoli pesto before. Def giving this one a go! It looks fab :)

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  48. What a great recipe! I just adore food that satisfies your appetite and doesn't make you feel guilty :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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  49. I'm in love. We are broccoli fanatics in my house, so this is a must try recipe. Plus, I love that it is dairy free. Thank you for sharing. What a wonderful bit of inspiration.

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  50. "Hey presto, you have pesto!" Haha, love it. It's really interesting, because I've never even SEEN kelp noodles. I'll definitely look out for it!

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  51. I'm fairly certain that only you could make me crave kelp noodles at seven in the morning. But you did! These look delicious!

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  52. Hey Maria! Great to see you've found kelp noodles. I actually eat them a lot. Given how pricy they are to buy here, I buy them in bulk from the states and it works out much cheaper, even with the horrendous shipping costs. Let me know if you want more info about the place I buy them from :)

    Really love your broccoli pesto idea, and think it would be lovely with the noodles given how tasteless they are on their own.

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  53. Glad to be introduced to the kelp noodles. They sound lovely and loving the brocolli pesto.

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  54. *going to look for kelp noodles*

    The springy look resembles ramen noodles....

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  55. Now I'm definitely interested in trying kelp noodles, will be looking for them the next time I go shopping.

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  56. So fun and creative! I have eyed these over the years at the health food store but never cooked with them.

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  57. Hi! Love the ideas - whereabouts in Sydney did you get them? I've looked and can't find them!
    -Cat

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    1. Hi Cat,

      Taste Organic in Crows Nest sells kelp noodles.

      Maria

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