Classic pesto gets an Asian twist in these tasty noodle bowls. Asian kale pesto noodle bowls are quick, healthy, and versatile – perfect for a weeknight meal!
Kale obsessed? Me? Ok yes, I am kale obsessed. It’s easy to be obsessed with a vegetable when you’ve got copious amounts of it growing in your backyard. I always over-plant my garden with my favorite things. Like last year when I planted 14 tomato plants (or the year when my dad and I planted over 2 dozen). ???
Is it cliche that the nutrition girl loves kale? Perhaps. But, I don’t love it because I’m supposed to love it. I love it because I really love the taste, texture, and versatility.
I remember in college all of us aspiring nutritionists often hearing “oh you love healthy stuff because you have to”, or “you eat bird food”. Well, no we don’t. And I don’t know where the whole “you eat bird food” thing comes from because I’ve never eaten like one. I have a big appetite and I’m not ashamed of it. I’ll gladly finish my husbands plate when he’s too full and I’ve already scarfed mine down. (This doesn’t happen too often, but it has happened and I’m not afraid to admit it).
I’m a veggie-lover from way back and not much has changed over the years. In fact, veggie stir-fries and noodle bowls are some of my favorite things to eat. I mean, who doesn’t love a good noodle bowl? Noodles are the best. Especially when tossed with protein, veggies, and asian kale pesto. Yes, you read right.
Asian Kale Pesto
With a base of kale and the addition of tasty items like peanuts, cilantro, basil, miso, garlic, ginger, fish sauce (which can be omitted for vegetarian/vegan), and sesame oil, you’re going to want this asian kale pesto on everything.
I could have eaten the entire pan of these noodles. Let’s be real, I could eat an entire pan of any noodle dish. Because noodles are life.
I have so many favorite things about these asian kale pesto noodle bowls, but the best part is the ease and versatility. It just takes 5 easy steps and you’ll be in noodle bowl heaven!
- Make kale pesto: easy and can be done ahead of time!
- Soak rice noodles. It takes about 15-20 minutes in hot water, but you can use that time to work on your protein and veggies.
- Cook your protein. This can be tofu (as pictured), chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, etc.
- Choose and cook your veggies. I went with carrots, broccoli, and eggplant. You can use whatever you love or have on hand here.
- Toss it all together and EAT! <– The best part, obviously. ?
Like traditional pesto, this one can be frozen and kept on hand for when you are craving some noodle bowls. The recipe makes about double the amount than you’ll need, so you can save half for another time!
You aren’t obliged to only use it for noodle bowls. You can toss it in stir-fries, or soups, or any other asian dishes you love. I’m already dreaming up a few more ways to enjoy this pesto! Miso soup, perhaps? ?
Have a great week, my friends!
- 3 Cups Kale
- ¼ Cup Dry Roasted Peanuts, toasted*
- 2 Large Cloves Garlic
- ½-inch Piece Ginger, ginger
- ¼ Cup Fresh Basil
- ¼ Cup Fresh Cilantro
- 2 Tablespoons White Miso Paste
- 1 Lime, juiced
- 1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce, omit for vegetarian/vegan
- 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
- ½ Cup Extra-Light Olive Oil, or any light-flavored oil
- 1 (8 oz.) Package Rice Noodles
- Extra-Light Olive Oil, or any light-flavored oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 12 oz. Protein (Tofu, Chicken, Shrimp, Beef, Pork), cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 ½ Cups Assorted Vegetables (Carrots, Broccoli, Spinach, Snow Peas, Eggplant, etc.)
- Water or Chicken Broth, for thinning
- Chopped Peanuts and Scallions, for garnish
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, salt it, and then add in the kale. Blanch the kale for 1 minute and then drain and run cold water over it. Squeeze out all of the moisture between a towel, or a few layers of paper towels.
- Add the kale in a blender or food processor along with peanuts, garlic, ginger, basil, cilantro, miso, lime, fish sauce, and sesame oil. Pulse the mixture until chopped, then with the machine running, stream in the olive oil. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and set aside.
- Soak the rice noodles in hot water for about 15-20 minutes, or until al dente. You don’t want the noodles too soft or they will fall apart when you stir-fry!
- Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat and add some oil. Season your protein of choice with salt and pepper and add it to the hot wok. Stir-fry until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add more oil to the pan and add in your veggies and stir-fry until tender. (If you’re adding in spinach, wait until the rest of the veggies are tender before tossing it in).
- Toss in the noodles and your protein and stir-fry until everything is combined. Remove the noodles from the heat and toss in the pesto, adding some water or chicken broth to thin out the sauce and allow it to coat the noodles.
- Serve the noodles in bowls topped with peanuts and scallions. Enjoy!
- *Add the peanuts to a dry pan and toast over low heat for about 10 minutes or until fragrant. Keep a watchful eye on them so they don't burn!