Vegan Week: Quick Udon Noodle Soup

For some reason, my energy levels came crashing down from their record highs last week, which was really disappointing. Last week I felt like I could take on the world, and I was totally managing my inbox like a champ, but this week I was so tired and unproductive. I definitely needed coffee in addition to my green tea multiple times. On Thursday I was feeling really good again, but on Friday I felt like my blood sugars were dangerously low in the early evening. I’m not sure what I did differently to cause this shift–I did eat less quinoa this time around, but could that really be it? I’m hoping this is a one-off and I’ll have better luck in week 3.

Day 1 – Kind Bar (so hard to avoid honey!), sweet potato kale salad, orange, almonds, coconut milk curried tofu
Day 2 – 1/2 of a Clif bar, almonds, sweet potato kale salad, orange and fruit salad as snacks, leftover coconut milk curried tofu, an Emmy’s chai tea macaroon, an apple
Day 3 – 1/2 of a Clif bar, oatmeal with dried fruit, sweet potato kale salad (I clearly made these in bulk on a Sunday), orange and almonds for snacks, tofu udon noodle soup
Day 4 – Emmy’s chai tea macaroon and a banana, Hale & Hearty’s 10-vegetable soup, almonds, apple and a Kind Bar for snacks, Amy’s Kitchen Black Bean Enchilada
Day 5 – Kind Bar, a Moroccan vegetable soup from Frame, a bag of pretzels, almonds, carrots and hummus, salmon, broccoli crowns and quinoa to conclude vegan week

One of my highlights from this week’s vegan entry was a new quick udon noodle soup recipe that I tried from It had all the elements of a perfect weekday homemade dinner – quick, easy and tasty. The hardest part about it was trying to find some of the seasonings, specifically the star anise, which is a very intense licorice spice that is commonly used in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking. Needless to say, I couldn’t find it at Whole Foods, but luckily the awesome Dual Specialty Store just an avenue over sells every spice imaginable at extremely reasonable prices, including this novelty. As the recipe title suggest, this is a quick broth, so it won’t have as much depth and fullness as a restaurant one, but it certainly is flavorful, and you can add whatever vegetables you want to it.

dual specialty store - storefront
dual specialty store on 91 1st Ave
dual specialty store - spice rack
spices galore!
udon noodle - star anise and bay leaf
star anise and bay leaf

Quick Udon Noodle Soup, adapted from

1 cup vegetable broth
5 cups water
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
handful of udon noodles
1/2 block of firm tofu, cubed
1-2 cups of kale or any other hearty green
2 scallions, chopped
soy sauce to taste


Bring liquids, bay leaf, anise and salt to boil. Add the udon noodles. About 6 minutes in, add the kale, tofu and scallions. Cook until the udon and kale are tender.

udon noodle - step 3
one pot shop – bring everything to a boil

Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the bay leaf and star anise, and season with soy sauce (I used about 2 teaspoons). Serve in a bowl and enjoy!