Miso Noodle Soup with Greens & Pork Ribs – Grain Free (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

Miso Noodle Soup with Greens & Pork Ribs (Grain Free)

Pork ribs are simmered in a ginger-laced broth, then accented with greens and mushrooms and layered with flavors of miso, tamari and umeboshi plum vinegar (or rice wine vinegar). If this isn’t Japanese(ish) soul food, I don’t know what is.

Up until recently we enjoyed this with rice noodles, but lately we’ve loved it with mung bean cellophane noodles or (affiliate link) kelp noodles! Both of these grain free varieties are silky and lovely and totally neutral in flavor. And my kids give the thumbs up for slurpability which – you know – I tolerate, because they are eating such a nutritious meal!

Here are some more grain-free pasta options if you are looking for alternatives. As for the base, I make my own frugal chicken stock or a broth out of drumsticks.

Miso Noodle Soup with Greens & Pork Ribs (Grain Free)

Kelp Noodles

I fell in love with Japanese food in my early 20′s. After graduating college, I worked for a large Japanese company as a project engineer. It wasn’t long until I made a career leap to teaching Pilates and other wellness pursuits, but I was there long enough to get a good glimpse into Japanese culture, get comfortable with chopsticks and even have the opportunity to travel to Japan.

Spending a week in Japan was amazing in so many ways, but the food. Oh the food! It was out of this world.

Bear with me while I reminisce about some of my many food adventures there:

  • After a 13 hour flight and landing on soil that was 13 hours ahead of Atlanta, I felt completely upside down. I didn’t really come around until later at night when Tokyo was all lit up and a Japanese coworker and I settled into a sushi boat restaurant (here’s a good photo of one so you get an idea). We feasted on sushi and sashimi washed down with a little cold sake from a sort of miniature sake waterfall.
  • The next morning (after waking up bright-eyed at 4a.m. and watching the sunrise) I wandered down to the hotel restaurant and had the choice of an American or Japanese breakfast. I chose the Japanese breakfast which consisted of salmon, miso soup, pickled vegetables and rice. Such a great way to start the day!
  • My coworkers and I (both American and Japanese) often ate lunch at the company headquarters cafe. Usually I got the tonkatsu which is a breaded, deep-fried (but somehow light tasting) pork cutlet drizzled with a dark, complex sauce -salty, sweet and tangy. Such delicious food even in a sterile corporate cafeteria.
  • Then there was the magical experience I had in a green tea shop. In the interest of time, I’ll send you over to this Matcha-Ginger Scones post to read it if you’d like. (The scones are great too!)
  • One misadventure I had was at one of the finer sushi restaurants. I was with a Japanese coworker and we were both so excited about the meal to come. He was looking forward to eating some of the more exotic selections (sea urchin for one) but I stuck to the basics. We both had a “sweet shrimp” sushi and ate it at the same time. This was the first thing I had encountered that I didn’t like. In fact I couldn’t even tolerate it and to my horror, I started gagging involuntarily. But thankfully when I looked up, he had his eyes closed and was quietly moaning with delight so I took advantage and quickly spit it into my napkin. By the time he opened his eyes I was poised and smiling!

One of the popular “fast foods” is the ramen soup bowl. These are large hearty bowls of soup brimming with meat, vegetables and umami that hit the spot for lunch. I found a recipe for a pork ramen soup in (affiliate link) Slow Cooker Revolution and adapted it for the stove top and to make it more nourishing. It is deeply satisfying like the soups I remember in Japan. My husband raves about it and the kids down it without a complaint!

I hope you get a chance to try it and love it as much as we do!

Here are some more Japanese-inspired recipes from The Nourishing Gourmet:

Do you love Japanese food? What are your favorite dishes?

Miso Noodle Soup with Greens & Pork Ribs (Grain Free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Japanese-Inspired
Serves: 4
 
This richly-flavored, decadent soup is simple to make and a family pleaser! Adapted from a recipe in Slow Cooker Revolution.
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
  • 8 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 pounds pork ribs (bone-in baby back or a leaner cut of spare ribs, if using boneless use 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 (12 ounce) package of kelp or mung bean noodles
  • 6 cups spinach or kale
  • 2 tablespoons miso (white or red)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tamari (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon umeboshi plum vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Ideas for garnishments: scallions, sliced jalapenos, seaweed flakes and/or toasted sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Over low-medium heat saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the coconut oil or ghee, careful not to let the garlic burn.
  2. Once softened, add in the chicken broth, ribs and mushrooms. (Since my kids don't like mushrooms I usually saute these on the side and serve at the table separately.)
  3. Simmer for 2 hours if you can (this will make the meat even more tender and the flavors come together better). If not, 1.5 hours is fine!
  4. Take out the pork ribs and cut the meat into bite-size pieces, removing the fat.
  5. If you are using spinach and mung bean or kelp noodles, remove the soup from the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients including the meat. It's ready to serve.
  6. If you are using the kale and/or rice noodles that need some additional cooking time, you will need to add them in while the soup is simmering until they soften. Then take the soup off the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
  7. Serve the garnishments on the side.
Notes
To make this soup in the slow cooker, just add sauteed onions, garlic and ginger plus the broth, mushrooms and ribs. Cook on high 5-7 hours. Cut pork into bite-sized pieces. Stir in kale, spinach and noodles and let them cook til tender. (If you're using mung bean or kelp noodles they will be ready very quickly so add them right at the end.) Add back in the pork and season with the remaining ingredients. Serve.

 

Coconut Orange Ginger Beef Stir-fry

30 Minute Meal Coconut Orange Ginger Beef Stir-fry

By Lindsey Proctor, contributing writer

Would you like another quick, easy, nutritious meal to add to your menu rotation? Then this quick stir-fry is just the thing for you! Made with grass-fed beef, rice noodles, yummy veggies, fresh-squeezed orange juice, coconut water, and toasted sesame seeds, spices, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic, this dish is full of flavor!  Best of all, it comes together quickly (it took me just under 30 minutes from stovetop to table) thanks to the quick-cooking rice noodles and a hot sauté pan, plus a few other time-saving tips.

Plan ahead, prepare ahead

The key to getting dinner on the table quickly is to plan ahead and do a few quick preparations earlier in the day when you have just a few minutes of time to spare. For example, when you go to the freezer to get your meat out to thaw, grab your veggies, too! This will cut down on the time needed to sauté them, since they won’t have to thaw in the pan before they cook.

If you are working with a whole piece of meat – say a sirloin or flank steak – that will need to be cut into smaller strips for this dish, try to cut the meat when it’s still partially frozen. It’s so much easier that way, and when cooking time comes, your meat will be completely thawed and ready to sear.

When you put the water in the saucepan for the pasta, if you can safely use water straight from your kitchen faucet, make it hot! If you need to use bottled or filtered water, measure it out and put it in the pan earlier in the day so it can at least be at room temperature. This way, there’s less time needed for the burner to heat up the water, and it’ll reach boiling just a bit faster than if you start with cold water.

And I know that this is a commonsense tip, but sometimes I forget – when it’s time to start cooking, read over the recipe and gather your ingredients and supplies. It’s a lot easier to walk over to the spice cupboard and cooking gadgets drawer once and get everything you need, than to walk around your kitchen several times grabbing things as you need them!  Read over the recipe instructions and come up with a plan of action. Start the water boiling before you heat your oil, so that you can boil the noodles while you’re cooking the meat and drain them while the veggies are cooking. Make the most of your time, and you’ll have more moments to spend around the table enjoying a great meal with your loved ones.

Note: This recipe calls for soy sauce. Please see this previous post by Kimi for advice on choosing the right kind

Coconut Orange Ginger Beef Stir-fry
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb sirloin or flank steak, cut into small strips, thawed
  • 1 lb frozen stir-fry vegetables - I used a mix containing broccoli, carrots, peas, red pepper, and onion, thawed
  • 3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • ½ teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice powder
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
  • ⅓ cup coconut water
  • 3 Tablespoons organic, naturally brewed soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 Tablespoons organic, non-GMO cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 8 oz package rice noodles
Instructions
  1. Bring water for pasta to a boil, cook according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, toast sesame seeds over medium heat. Add sesame oil, Chinese 5 spice powder, ginger, and garlic. Cook until garlic is browned. Raise heat to medium high. Add beef strips and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Remove beef from pan and set aside. Do not remove any liquid that may have accumulated during the cooking of the meat. Add vegetables and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together orange juice, coconut water, soy sauce, and cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Pour over cooked vegetables and stir to combine. Cook until liquid has thickened, about 3 minutes. Add meat back into the pan and stir to combine ingredients. Serve over rice noodles. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honey Garlic Drumsticks (a simple summer crockpot meal)

Honey Garlic Drumsticks (a simple summer crockpot meal)

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Sweet, tangy, and a little bit of red-pepper-kick, these honey garlic drumsticks are the perfect meal for a hot summer night. I love the flavorful dark meat that chicken legs have to offer. Not only are they an incredibly frugal cut of meat, but the seasoning possibilities are near endless. Add in the simplicity of a slow cooker/Crockpot, and you have a nourishing meal for the whole family, or a crowd, without much effort.

When the weather is beautiful and warm, it’s much more difficult to give up time outside for prepping meals. We don’t have central air in our home, so turning on the oven during the summer can be a little uncomfortable. It’s easy to forget that crockpots aren’t just for hearty wintertime soups, stews, and chillies! I’ve learned that it’s a great option to beat the summer heat, and a convenient way to enjoy a delicious meal after a fun day outside.

This recipe can be easily prepared in the slow cooker crock itself, minimizing the amount of dishes needed to be washed. It’s also easy to adapt based on how much “kick” you desire. You can thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch or arrowroot powder after the chicken is cooked. Pour it over the meat, or into a bowl for dipping. You definitely don’t want to skip this part as the sauce is absolutely delectable!

More time in the sun with family and friends, and less time in your kitchen – a win all around in my book! Keep it simple and serve these drumsticks with a side salad, carrot and celery sticks, rice or quinoa, or some sautéed veggies with butter or coconut oil.

Kimi uses this (affliate links)  slow cooker, and uses this clay cooker for making quinoa or rice on hot days.

Time at the stove: 10 minutes if you choose to sauté or steam some vegetables. 20 minutes if you make rice or quinoa. Or none if you serve it with cold vegetables or a salad.

Time at the oven: 5 minutes if you choose to broil the legs for a crispy skin.

Other drumstick/wing recipes:

Other crockpot recipes:

Honey Garlic Drumsticks (a simple summer crockpot meal)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
 
These drumsticks are a perfect mixture of sweet and tangy, with a bit of kick! They are effortless to prepare and make a great summertime meal for your family, or a crowd.
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken legs
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 Tbls coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbls apple cider vinegar
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced (garlic lovers use 5!)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated, or about ¼ tsp dried
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbls arrowroot powder or cornstarch (used at the end to thicken the sauce)
Instructions
  1. In the crock of your slow cooker whisk together the honey, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper.
  2. Add the drumsticks to the crock, and toss them until they are fully coated with the sauce.
  3. Cook the drumsticks on low for 4-6 hours, or high for 2-4 hours.
  4. When the chicken legs are fully cooked, remove them from the crock, leaving the sauce inside.
  5. OPTIONAL - If desired, you can place the legs under the broiler at this point to crisp up the skin. About 5 minutes at 400 F should be sufficient.
  6. Ladle out ½ cup of the sauce into a small bowl, and whisk in the arrowroot powder or cornstarch (this step may not be necessary, but I find it's easier to get the lumps out in a smaller amount of sauce).
  7. Pour the sauce and arrowroot/cornstarch mixture back into the crock with the rest of the sauce. Whisk it in and allow it to thicken for a few minutes with the crock on 'high.'
  8. Serve the drumsticks with the sauce poured on top, or in a small bowl for dipping!

 

Cuban Picadillo Lettuce Wraps (GF, DF & Paleo-Friendly)

Cuban Picadillo Lettuce Wraps
By Alison Diven, Contributing Writer

When you crave something different but not too exotic for dinner, try picadillo! Brightened with green olives and capers, mellowed with currants, and warmed with cumin and cinnamon, this ground beef dish is sure to please young and old alike with its mild salty-sweet flavors. We piled it into lettuce leaves with rice and fresh pico de gallo for the perfect summertime meal.

If you’ve had picadillo before, my ingredients might surprise you. No potatoes! you gasp. And what’s with the capers? you wonder. Well, there are as many variations on picadillo as there are Latin-influenced cooks in the in the world. Spain, Brazil, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and more all boast their own version. This recipe features the add-ins my little family likes, and it happens to be on the Cuban(ish) side of things. I won’t claim authenticity, but I will claim deliciousness!

It’s that salty-sweet thing I can’t get enough of. I suppose I first developed a taste for it when I discovered Moroccan, Indian, and Persian cuisines in my early twenties. They paired spices I associated with baked goods, like cinnamon and nutmeg, with meat and poultry. What a revelation! While that period of my life was darkened by illness and desperate attempts to get well, one of its lasting gifts has been all the culinary exploration prompted by food restrictions and healing diets. It changed my cooking forever – for the better.

Cuban Picadillo Lettuce Wraps SliderRecipes Notes:

  • Choose 100% grass-fed ground beef or bison, if you can, for the best nutrition. (Read more about that and how to buy it for less here.)
  • If you’re grain-free, leave out the rice. We use it to help stretch the meat a bit further–it’s just too easy to keep filling lettuce leaves!–but it’s optional.
  • Cooked lentils could replace part or all of the ground meat for a more frugal, or even vegetarian, meal.
  • Instead of using lettuce leaves, serve the picadillo in tortillas, over rice or potatoes, or even in quesadillas for a different twist. And leftovers make a delicious omelet filling! Just add a little cheese.
  • Check the labels on your olives and capers to avoid preservatives and artificial colorings.

More ethnic-inspired recipes from the Nourishing Gourmet:

3 Ingredient Teriyaki Pan-Fried Chicken
Sriracha Lime Salmon One Pot Meal
Simple Persian Lentil Soup
Easy Thai Curry Noodle Soup
Thai Inspired Pizza with Peanut Sauce

Cuban Picadillo Lettuce Wraps (GF, DF & Paleo-Friendly)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Cuban-ish
Serves: 4-6
 
Salty, sweet, and a little tangy, this family-friendly dish will leave you begging for more! If you prefer, you can substitute raisins for the currants. Paleo and grain-free eaters can leave out the rice but will get fewer servings from the recipe.
Ingredients
For the Picadillo
  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably grass-fed
  • 2 Tablespoons tallow, lard, or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, about 1.5 cups diced small
  • 1 large green bell pepper, about 1.5 cups diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 14 oz can whole tomatoes
  • ¼ cup currants
  • 2 Tablespoons green olives with pimiento, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 Tablespoons olive brine (or white wine vinegar and salt to taste)
For the Pico de Gallo
  • ⅓ cup minced shallot or red onion
  • ⅔ cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste
To Serve
  • Lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves
  • Cooked brown or white rice (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add beef. Crumble and stir occasionally as it cooks. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add tallow or oil to pan. Add onions and cook until beginning to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in garlic, then add the salt, black pepper, cumin, and cinnamon and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. Add cooked beef, canned tomatoes, currants, diced olives, capers, and olive brine. Break up the tomatoes into small pieces while the mixture comes to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the pico de gallo. Combine minced shallot, chopped tomatoes, minced cilantro, lime juice, and a dash of salt, then set aside.
  6. To serve, fill each lettuce leaf with the beef mixture, a spoonful of rice (if desired), and a spoonful of pico de gallo or cilantro. Enjoy!