As I mentioned in the “Why Gluten Free?” section of my blog, I was diagnosed with lupus during my senior year of college and have been working on managing it to the best of my ability for the past four years. While I’ve been extremely lucky and have seen a drastic improvement in my health since my initial diagnosis, it still will pop back up when I least expect it, usually in the form of migraines, severe joint pain and overwhelming exhaustion. Unfortunately, some days I push my body a little too far and will regret it the next morning when I wake up to flare ups of my lupus symptoms. For me, these mini-flare ups can last weeks, and pretty much mean that during any “free-time” I’m asleep (and “non-free-time” I wish I was asleep), which drastically cuts back on my cooking and food prep time.
When I was first diagnosed with lupus, I essentially only left my dorm room to go to class, and would often opt out of walking to the dining hall for meals. This resulted in me eating a lot of contraband peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that my friends stole for me from the dining halls, and a disgusting amount of ramen noodles from the vending machine outside my room. Ramen became my quick and easy comfort food to keep me going during those periods of exhaustion when I didn’t have enough energy for anything else except binging Netflix.
Since then, I have opted to follow a gluten-free, vegan diet which has eliminated ramen from my life. I’m also a lot more aware of how important continuing to eat healthy and exercise is, even when I’m feeling my worst. Despite this, something about flare ups leave me missing that quick and easy comfort food on days when I am just too exhausted to spend time prepping meals. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I needed to come up with an easy alternative for myself, and my Easy Microwave Spiralized Potato Ramen recipe was born. It has been the perfect quick and easy meal for me and has been a life-saver during flares. This recipe can really be as easy or as complicated as you want (or can handle, based on exhaustion level) and is so easy to customize based on what foods you have in your house, for when I’m too tired to make it to the grocery store.
The basis for this recipe is really just using a spiralizer or julienne peeler to make “noodles” out of potato (I highly recommend the spiralizer, it makes this ridiculously easy). After that you just add the potato to your broth of choice, microwave, and season to taste and the job is done! I’ve also been loading mine up with a bunch of extra vegetables, since it makes it a little more interesting, and I’m a bit more aware now of how eating healthier will help me feel better. For this version, I made up a miso broth using miso paste, but feel free to sub in any vegetable based broth that you have on hand!
Extra veggies will help bulk up your meal and keep the ramen interesting
- 1 peeled potato spiralized or julienned
- 2 cups water
- ½ tbsp miso paste
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Any mix-ins you have on hand (Possible mix-ins include: scallions, hot peppers, red pepper flakes, baby bok choy, cabbage, sliced peppers, sliced carrots, edamame, tofu, broccoli, mushrooms, peanuts, cashews, onions, curry paste, sesame seeds, etc.)
- In a microwaveable bowl, combine water, miso paste, tamari and sesame oil (or 2 cups of a vegetable based broth broth of your choice)
- Add “potato noodles” from one spiralized (or julienned) potato
- Cover the bowl and microwave for ~6 minutes, or until “potato noodles” are softened
- Add any mix-ins you have on hand. For the bowl pictured I used baby bok choy, red cabbage, thinly sliced peppers, thinly sliced carrots, edamame, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and scallions. You can make it as simple or complicated as you want!
- Enjoy lazily while binging Netflix.
Learning how to bake while following a gluten-free, vegan diet was a serious struggle for me. I went through trial after trial of different recipes and somehow failed in every way possible. I made cookies that looked good before they went into the oven and somehow flattened into a single rock-hard inedible sheet when they came out. I made cupcakes that were somehow simultaneously burnt and raw. I made breads that were gummy and crumbly at the same time. It was a mess. It took me at least a year to produce anything that was even halfway edible, and much longer than that before I felt confident enough to share my baked goods with other people. It was outrageously disappointing and discouraging and made the beginning of my transition to following a gluten-free, vegan diet very difficult. Eventually, after a lot of failures, I learned the tricks and substitutions that made for delicious gluten-free, vegan baked goods, but it certainly took me a long time.
Two years ago, my mom gave me the cookbook BabyCakes Covers the Classics and it was a huge part of helping me bake something that was not only edible, but delicious (seriously, I couldn’t recommend their cookbooks enough). After trying donuts at the BabyCakes bakery on a trip to visit my brother and sister-in-law in New York, I decided their donut recipe had to be the first thing I tested out. The donuts came out perfectly, and finally some of that overwhelming discouragement around gluten-free vegan baking was lifted.
After that first success I went on a somewhat obsessive donut-making spree testing out different recipe variations and flavor combinations. Now that I could finally bake something worth eating, I couldn’t stop myself from making batch after batch to make up for lost time. The weirdest thing about it is: before I was vegan and gluten-free, I actually hated donuts. It was definitely a bizarre food group to hate, but up until a few years ago I refused to eat any donuts except for fresh made apple cider donuts. This recipe, and the ability to make fun and unique flavors on my own has helped me to understand the donut hype — and now I can’t get enough.
These donuts utilized some of the farm-fresh peaches from my local CSA box, and when paired with cinnamon created a flavor that perfectly fit these early-fall days. I may have broken my recent rule regarding small portion recipes and no processed sugar, but the outcome was definitely worth it (sometimes you just need to treat yo self). The peach puree allows for a sweet peach taste throughout the donut, while also working as an egg replacer (just like in my Spiced Peach Muffins), and the hand-mashed peach allows for some larger pieces throughout the donut to give it that extra kick of gooey peach taste in every bite.
- ¾ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 2 peaches, with coconut oil for brushing
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Slice 2 peaches in half, removing the pit.
- Place peach halves cut side up in a baking pan, brush with coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Bake peaches for 35 minutes.
- Remove peaches from oven and allow them to cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325F
- Place 3 of the peach halves in a food processor and puree until completely smooth. Keep one peach half in a separate bowl and mash with a fork by hand, leaving some larger pieces.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients until well combined.
- In a separate bowl combine the roasted peach puree, vanilla extract, maple syrup and coconut oil (leave out the hand mashed peach for now).
- Pour the wet ingredients (withholding the hand mashed peach puree) over the dry ingredients and hand mix until thoroughly combined. The dough will be thick and sticky.
- Fold in the hand mashed peach puree.
- Distribute dough into a well greased donut pan. (This recipe makes 12 donuts. A typical donut pan makes 6, so you will either need to own two donut pans, or make the donuts in two batches).
- Bake donuts for 16 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
- Remove donut pan from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for around 10 minutes.
- Remove donuts from pan and place on a cooling rack.
- Once donuts are cool enough to handle, coat the donuts with cinnamon sugar (This works best if the donuts are still relatively warm when you are coating them).