bucking the trend.

If you’ve never had buckwheat noodles in your life, you are missing out – soba (as it is called in Japan) contain a fair amount of protein and can also be consumed by many who suffer from wheat-gluten allergies.  These thin noodles are a staple in Japan, and are gaining popularity around the world because of the many health benefits of buckwheat, like lowering blood pressure and helping decrease cholesterol.
Jules and I recently went to a cafe that served a dish made with soba that was absolutely delicious but quite expensive.  Soba noodles are usually available in decent-sized (six serving) packages for less than $4 – and my tiny bowl of soba and veggies was $6!  So like any decent home cook, I decided to make a similar version at home, and the result was even better than what I had at the cafe.  So here it is below!

Five Spice Soba Salad
 6.4 oz (half package) of soba noodles, cooked & drained according to package

1 medium carrot (I used purple), julienned
1/2 lb. sugar snap peas, stems removed and sliced at an angle once (depending on how big your peas are)
1 small zucchini, sliced (see photo below)
1/2 bell pepper, cut into small strips
3 oz. baby spinach
1 green onion (scallion)
small bunch of cilantro, chopped finely
black or white sesame seeds (optional)

neutral oil for cooking, like sunflower

Heat a little bit of oil in a medium sized nonstick saute pan, add the zucchini and bell peppers.  Move the vegetables around so they cook evenly.  After about 5 minutes, add the spinach and continue cooking until the spinach is wilted – but be careful not to overcook.  You want the vegetables to retain as much color as possible.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

For the dressing:

3 T neutral oil
2 T wheat-free tamari
1 T rice vinegar
1/2 tsp five-spice powder
1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl, you can adjust flavors to taste.  Use immediately.

Final assembly:

In a large mixing bowl, add chilled cooked soba noodles, cooked veggie mixture, julienned carrots & scallions, sugar snap peas, and half of the dressing.  Toss to coat all ingredients.  If the noodles seem dry, add a little more dressing.  Before serving, top with a little cilantro and sesame seeds (if using).

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fiendishly fond of cooking, SoulCycle, Pilates, green smoothies, and Korean spas.

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