Hoppin’ on the Tahini Band Wagon
A few weeks ago, Justin’s sister, Courtney, texted me asking me if I had used tahini before. I told her I had heard of it, but I haven’t had a chance to cook with it yet. Surprised and a little confused, she insisted that I needed to try it.
Put it in dressings, sauces, dips, she said. It’s an essential pantry item, she said. You NEED to try it, she said.
Whenever I would see the tahini as I strolled through the isles of Trader Joe’s, I would pick it up, look at the cute little jar, and think about if I should buy it or not. For some reason, I always put it back on the shelf and walked away. Without the tahini. I don’t know why I did it, if its ingredient intimidation or what, but I never came home with the tahini.
Well, one day, while I was strolling the isles of Trader Joe’s, stopped and picked up the tahini, admired the packaging, and then something crazy happened. I put the tahini in my cart. I don’t know what got into me. I was feeling adventurous. Carpe freakin’ diem, ya know? That day, I walked out of Trader Joe’s, tahini in hand, and I have never looked back.
For those of you who don’t know, tahini is ground, toasted sesame seeds. Peanuts is to peanut butter as toasted sesame seeds is to tahini. It is freakin delish. I have been sneaking tahini into many of my dishes lately.
If you haven’t tried tahini, this Tahini Carrot Noodle recipe is the perfect introduction. Tahini makes a great first impression, and the tahini in this dish is no exception. Blended with coconut milk and cashews, the sauce is so creamy and nutty. I had to hold myself back from drinking it, it was that good.
Another star of this dish is the carrot noodles. Trader Joe’s does it again with their Carrot Spirals, found in the freezer section. They are so easy to make, and the perfect, low carb base to this dish.
If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near by, don’t fret! Just get some whole carrots, and make your own noodles! If you have a spiralizer, you can use that. My spiralizer, (that I don’t love) leaves a good amount of core behind, so if I spiralized a carrot, I wouldn’t get very many noodles from it.
Another solution, that I prefer for carrots, is to use a vegetable peeler to make carrot ribbons. Not only is this very easy, it leaves you with long, beautiful ribbon noodles.
This recipe is great if you are on the Whole30, eating a low carb diet, a paleo diet, or if you just like tahini and carrots. You can also make this dish vegetarian/vegan by removing the pork. You can serve it as a side dish, or a main meal.
So without further ado…
Tahini Carrot Noodles
These creamy, Thai inspired carrot noodles are quick and easy! Both Whole30 and Paleo friendly, this recipe is so versatile. Take out the ground pork and it makes for a great vegan side. Add some fried tofu on top, and it makes a great vegan meal! I hope that my meat-eaters and vegan family and friends alike will enjoy this dish! (This one's for you, Jess)
Into the blender
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 tsp turmeric
In the skillet
- 1 lb ground pork leave out if making side dish or vegan dish (replace with tofu)
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder or fresh
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 red bell pepper sliced in thin strips
- 1 cup white mushrooms sliced
- 1 package Trader Joe's Carrot Spirals or 12 ounces of carrot ribbons
On top (optional)
- 1 garnish parsley
- 1/4 cup cashews garnish
In a large skillet, combine the ground pork and the ginger, garlic powder, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Brown meat on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 min.
While browning the pork, blend the coconut milk, tahini, raw cashews, curry powder, coconut aminos, and turmeric until smooth. Slice peppers and mushrooms.
Once the meat is browned, add the sliced mushrooms and red bell pepper. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 min.
Frozen Carrot Spirals: Add the frozen carrot spirals to the skillet. Pour sauce over the noodles, cover skillet, and cook on medium heat for about 4-5 min, until noodles are defrosted.
Carrot Ribbons: If you made carrot ribbons with carrots and a vegetable peeler, add the carrot ribbons to the skillet, pour sauce over noodles, and stir everything until incorporated.
Heat over medium heat, stirring occasional until noodles are warm and everything is incorporated.
Transfer to dish, add parsley and cashew for garnish. Take a picture and tag @youngwholeandhungry on Instagram so I can see it! Enjoy the fruits of your minimal labor 🙂
This recipe is Whole30 and Paleo friendly. Take out the ground pork and serve as a vegan/vegetarian side dish. Add fried tofu on top for a main vegan entree. Enjoy!