janet @ the taste space

Kelp Noodles and Kale with an Avocado-Miso Sauce

In Mains (Vegetarian), Salads on July 18, 2013 at 6:01 AM

Kelp Noodles and Kale with an Avocado-Miso Sauce

There are stereotypical differences of Canadians. You know, publicly-funded health care, colourful paper bills, and yeah, I throw extra u’s into my words. I knew about that.

And then, there are things that I had grown to enjoy that I miss. Like the lack of pennies. Honestly, that was a great idea for Canada. Or, our penchant for environmental choices.

Get this: I have garbage removal TWICE a week. However, there is NO recycling pick-up and definitely NO green bins/compost pick-up. (People drop off their recyclables at recycling depots at their leisure, if they do at all).

And then I have this peculiar contraption in my sink. A garburator. I only know it by name, since I have never used one and they are banned in Toronto.

My new co-workers have become accustomed to my Canadian accent but never cease to discover new Canadian-isms… and apparently, the word garburator is a Canadian term. To Americans, they are known simply as garbage disposal units.

Google helped me figure out how to use it. However, it didn’t stop me from plugging my drain within a week of moving in. My co-workers confessed they rarely use them since they plug up drains too often. I think I will leave it alone, too. It seems quite wasteful and noisy to get rid of tiny scraps of foods.

I have no problem pulverizing my food into a delicious sauce, though. (I think my Vitamix is more noisy than the garburator, but it is all for a good cause). For this sauce, I combined avocado, cucumber and hemp seeds for a bright luscious sauce flavoured with lime and miso. Twirled it overtop kelp noodles and thinly sliced kale for a quick summer meal.

Do you have a garbage disposal unit? Do you use it?

*PS: Rob reminded me that while Ontario collects a lot of recyclables, they also ship it across the world to China. Not so environmentally friendly…

Kelp Noodles and Kale with an Avocado-Miso Sauce

This is my submission to this month’s Pasta Please for cheeseless wonders.

Kelp Noodles and Kale with an Avocado-Miso Sauce
Adapted from Purely Twins

12 oz kelp noodles, rinsed, soaked and drained (or your favourite noodles, cooked as per directions)
handful kale, stemmed and thinly sliced (~1 cup)

1 avocado (150g)
half a cucumber, chopped (150g)
zest and juice of 2 limes (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup hemp seeds, plus some for garnish
2 tsp miso

1. In a high-speed blender, combine avocado, cucumber, lime zest and juice, hemp seeds and miso. Blend until smooth.

2. In a bowl, stir together the drained noodles, kale and as much sauce as desired. Garnish with additional hemp seeds.

Serves 2.

  1. Mmm, this looks great, and I love all the ingredients!!

  2. No garburator, but in our small town we don’t even get garbage pickup! I have to haul (or persuade my husband to haul) the garbage and recyclables to the dump, about a 5 minute drive from our place. I compost all the goodies that would go into a disposal unit, as that reduces the trips to the dump – hehe!

  3. I use my garbage disposal daily! Yes it is noisy but it also works great.
    I must admit that I have never had kelp noodles but this dish looks delicious.

  4. Ha, I was wondering when a culture clash would come up! Recycling pickup varies quite a bit from city to city, compost pickup is practically unheard of, and the garbage disposal is standard unless you live in NYC. And then there’s state bottle & can return–possibly the most haphazard recycling program ever. Fun times. I still haven’t gotten my hands on any kelp noodles, but when I do, I’m looking forward to trying this!

  5. When we remodeled our kitchen, we decided not to put a garbage disposal unit in. We wired for it but I decided not to have it installed. I was always clogging it and with a septic system the ground up food just fills up my tank. We compost.
    We have trash pick up twice a week and recyclables once a week here. I have two 30 gallon trash cans for my recyclables but just need a small trash bin for trash. We are proud to be environmentally friendly.

    • Booyah! Way to go. We always have a lot more recycling than garbage. Although without a compost, I feel bad now putting it in the garbage. I am going to separate the good stuff for home made stock now, though, and store it in the freezer until needed. We’ll see how that goes. 🙂

  6. We have a “garburator”, or waste disposal unit as they’re known here. We call ours Horis though…I’m not sure why but it’s always been that way! Although we compost too I really like how it stops the sink getting blocked up.
    I’m going to have to give this sauce a go- avocado and miso together sound scrummy 🙂

    • Horis is a much better name! We have no yard here, so compost isn’t really feasible (since I have yet to venture into vermicomposting). But it seems like the majority of my veg scraps are not fit for the garburator (kale stems, carrot peels, etc) – otherwise we’ll eat the good stuff!

  7. Here in New Zealand…. rubbish once a FORTNIGHT… green waste (gardening, food) once a week and recycling once a fortnight….

    I love your noodle salad, looks amazing. Will have to try it myself very soon

  8. Well in NYC we have garbage pick up and recycling pick up once a week…and no garburators or garbage disposals that I’ve ever seen! Weird that there’s no recycling pick up!

    I love the sound of the sauce for those noodles!

  9. Believe me, where Canada and the US differ, Australia and the US are worlds apart 🙂 It’s like a whole different planet reading about it at times! I’ve never seen a garbage disposal unit but I am pretty sure I’d clog mine too. And no recycling makes my mind boggle! Thank goodness you have your vitamix 🙂

  10. […] The Taste Space shared Kelp Noodles and Kale with Avocado Miso Sauce […]

  11. Because I’m too lazy to click the link, I’m guessing a garburator is the thing in the sink that makes a scary noise and eats up things like apple peels? We don’t have them in Australia. Scare the bejesus out of me. What if someone put their hand in?

    • Yes, that’s the garburator. Noisy and rumbly… Fingers in there would be bad news. We’re also afraid of random spoons falling in. So far we’ve just been using a plastic rod to poke things through.

  12. Ah, Janet. If it’s possible for someone much older to share a bit of advice, I’d tell you to wait until you’ve lived in Houston a bit longer, and traveled throughout our large and diverse country a bit more, before you firmly make up your mind what’s what. It would be kind of like me moving to Old Quebec City and, after a week of trying to chat with my neighbors, blogging that, to my complete surprise, very few Canadians speak English. I’ve moved some 50+ times in my life – from Hong Kong to Panama, Germany to the Philippines, Alaska to Florida. And many, many US states. It did take me a bit, but I finally learned to hold off on the judgmental generalities for as long as I could. That really helped me come up with insights that held more validity than (often misleading) first impressions. For the last ten years, I’ve lived in Austin, TX, Lago Vista, TX, Springfield, MO, Houston proper, and now, out in Katy, a suburb of Houston. In every single location, there was an active curbside recycling program. I don’t know where in Houston you are, but I’d guess it’s some sort of townhouse or apartment complex. Because I’d bet that if it were a house, in a Houston neighborhood, you would indeed have recycling pickup at your curb. Here’s a little more info: http://www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/recycling.html You are correct in your generalization that Americans have no clue what a “garburater” is, but many of us do love our sink disposals, and I’m one. It’s most valuable for disposing of leftovers from plates that have been eaten from. Surely if I were at your home for dinner, you wouldn’t take something off of the plate from which your family had eaten last night’s meal to “pulverize into a delicious sauce,” would you? Perhaps complete with germs from little Johny’s runny nose? How much better to, first, turn on the water, let it run a bit, then turn on your garburater and rid yourself of those unsanitary leavings, then let the water run a little more to be sure all those bits are long gone and not stuck around in the pipes to stop them up. Also, you must remember that you have come from a Northern clime into a very hot Southern one. Having a lot of wet food garbage around can really invite a host of unpleasant little creepy crawly visitors that you don’t have to deal with quite so often up north. As for composting, folks in more rural areas in the US are quite enthusiastic composters. But, as you point out, city dwellers with very little need for compost, are a little less enthusiastic. However, if you read the link I provided to the City of Houston’s recycling and composting systems, you’ll find that, somewhere in Houston, there exists folks that take advantage of it far more than the few people you’ve met that use it rarely, “if at all.” We have recycling containers provided to us free of charge, and curbside pickup. We do here. We did in Houston proper. Perhaps you need a new set of Houston friends?

    • Hi Chrissie,
      Oh my. Where to begin? First of all, I am sorry. I am sorry if this rubbed you and others the wrong way. It wasn’t meant to offend anyone, although I see now how it comes across as very judgmental. It is true the post may have been premature. So many thing have been happening so fast, it has been hard to keep things straight. You bring up lots of valid points. It must be my townhome complex that has decided to forego the recycling pick-up in favour of twice a week garbage pickup through their private contractor. We surmised the twice a week garbage pickup was actually to counteract the smells of lingering garbage that could come from such hot and humid weather… and which is why I figured a green bin pickup would be difficult here, too. I have lived in many different homes and apartments, and even if the garbage was contracted out, recycling was still available. Since there are quite a few recycling drop-off centers here, I erroneously figured a lot of people are without recycling, which is obviously not true. Having to take care of the majority of my waste, I have become a lot more aware of what we create. I have never been more motivated to make veg broth with my veg scraps since compost is not a feasible option now.

      I have a random question for you though.. based on your experience, what’s up with all the gates here? Is it a Houston-only thing? Or am I just in the wrong neighbourhoods? (I am also convinced that it is because of the gates that we don’t get curbside pickup since my townhome complex is very small; only 6 units; so much so that I didn’t even really realize initially that it was a condo complex)

  13. Love the sauce, find the discussion about moving country interesting. I felt a bit the same way as you when I moved to the UK and recycling was so much harder than in Australia. When I worked with the council and saw some of the discussions about trying to introduce recycling pick up I realised why it was so different in some of the historic towns that never were built for our modern life.

  14. The sauce sounds fab – thanks so much for taking part

  15. I really must find kelp noodles. Kelp & Kale sounds like a lovely combination.

  16. I recently found some kelp noodles, bought some once, and they are so tasty. I want to try your salad.

    I’m in Montreal and now we even have kitchen waste removal on my street =) Jealous?

  17. Controversy!! Haha… I’ve never thought much about garbage disposals (not “units”). I’ve lived in apartments and houses with and without them, and I totally take your point about compost! But… as for apartment living… I have to say that garbage disposals have been indispensable for a few reasons: 1) I lived in an apartment that had a bug problem– roaches and ants, nothing overwhelming, but I kept most of my perishable foods in the fridge or freezer. Having a disposal was key to keeping the bugs at bay! 2) When I lived in London, we had trash pickup once a week, and there was nowhere outside of our flat to store garbage (like a dumpster). We had to keep our bagged garbage in the apartment the whole week– and there were four of us! Having a disposal would have made a serious difference in the smell of our apartment.

    As for onion/garlic/celery/carrot scraps, I delight in saving them in the freezer. But it seems like it’s citrus peel that really goes off in the trash…

    Welcome to Amurca!

    • Thanks Julia! I have evolved to putting my soup-able scraps in the freezer, too, and adding my leftover citrus to infuse water. After I down the water, then I throw the citrus in the garbage disposal. I think we’re only putting citrus down there because we know it is safe and shouldn’t clog it. We definitely want to avoid clogs… it actually backed up our dishwasher, too, through the sink…. GAH!!!

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