Ramen bowls are all the rage right now. Here’s how to make a homemade version using zucchini “noodles” in place of pasta
The first thing I think of when someone mentions a noodle bowl is ramen. But this “zoodle” bowl is the virtual opposite of that Styrofoam-enclosed staple of college dorms.
Veggie “zoodles” have a remarkably pasta-like feel and taste. What’s more, they’re made in bone broth, which is like chicken soup on steroids. Kellyann Petrucci, ND, author of The Bone Broth Diet, calls it “one of the most profound and important things that I’ve ever used in practice to get results from my patients.”
Unlike ramen noodles, this dish is loaded with fresh veggies—spinach or kale, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms—that provide a lot of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power. Add the cooked protein, and you’ve got a complete meal, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powerhouse of a dish.
It’s also a great, gut-healing meal to lighten up and detox for the spring. Use the optional fermented vegetables on top to health it up even more by adding beneficial bacteria that support the microbiome in your gut. (See “Featured Nutrient,” below.) Just make sure that you don’t boil the miso—boiling it will kill the fantastic microorganisms that are so wonderful for your gut. Add the miso to the soup after it comes off the flame, and mix well.
Notes from the Clean Food Coach
You can use any type of vegetables for this soup. If you’d prefer to use a root vegetable combination or other “tougher” veggies, simple boil them in the broth for 10–15 minutes until they reach desired tenderness before adding to the miso and sriracha.
Featured Nutrient: Miso
“Microbiome” is the name given to the trillions of microbes that live on or in your body, most of them in your digestive tract. Also known as “gut bacteria,” they’re a diverse population of microbes that actually outnumber the number of human cells (30 trillion) in your body. Gut health is now known to play a role in everything from obesity to schizophrenia—when the “bad” bacteria out-number the “good” ones, just about everything goes wrong.
Enter fermented foods. Miso is a naturally fermented food, which means it contains millions of live bacteria that help balance gut ecology and tip the scale in favor of the good guys that live there. The bacteria in fermented foods help release digestive juices and enzymes while increasing the absorption of minerals.
Almost every health professional I know now recommends regular consumption of fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, or tempeh. These are food superstars largely because they’re so important in keeping the gut healthy, which is one of the most important things we can do for our overall health.
- 2 Tbs. miso paste, or more to taste (any type)
- 1–2 tsp. sriracha, to taste
- 3–4 cups boiling, sodium-free bone broth, divided
- 1 medium zucchini or small daikon radish, spiralized or grated
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1 cup baby kale or baby spinach
- ½ cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
- ¾ cup cooked protein (try shredded chicken, flaked white fish, or cubed tofu)
- 1 Tbs. dried wakame, optional
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbs. fermented veggies, such as kimchi or sauerkraut, optional
- 1 Tbs. sesame seeds, optional
- Combine miso paste and sriracha in large bowl, and add about ½ cup hot broth. Stir well to melt.
- Add ingredients from zucchini through green onions in the order listed. Pour remaining broth over everything, and stir gently to mix.
- Let stand a few minutes for the veggies to soften, and sprinkle with optional toppings, if desired.