Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Soba Noodles with Ginger





If you know me, then you know I LOVE soba noodles. Actually, if you just scroll through this blog a bit, you'll see a lot of Soba Noodle recipes. Well, here's another one! 



I used honey in this recipe, but if you want vegan, just use brown sugar instead. One thing I really like about this recipe is the use of ginger, lemon, and honey which is 
an ayurvedic aid for digestion and many other ailments. I usually make a lemon, ginger, honey tea every night, but this works too. This is a tweaked recipe inspired by 101 Cookbooks.


1 pack dried soba noodles (I use Eden's which is 8.8 oz)

1 tablespoon freshly grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup toasted sesame oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup Chopped white onion
2 teaspoons brown sugar (I actually used honey, but use sugar if you're making this vegan)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 celery stalk chopped
3 tablespoons of chopped tarragon, plus more to taste
a few big handfuls of tofu, pan-fried until golden. I like to experiment with different shapes. This time I did matchsticks, and I browned on all 4 sides.
3 or so handfuls of sesame seeds. Maybe more if you love them, and less if you don't!

I started by making the dressing since it's the most time consuming:
Combine the ginger, toasted sesame oil, lemon juice, onion, sugar (or honey), salt, vinegar, celery, and in a food processor. My dressing came out a little clumpy, but that's because I don't own a food processor and didn't want to use and clean my blender. Instead I used my coffee grinder which worked just fine, but won't give you a smooth finish. It's up to you. Taste and tweak if needed to get the dressing to your liking. It like it with a bit of a bite. Set the dressing aside.




At this point I cut up the tofu and begin to sauté it with a little bit of sesame oil in a skillet. At the same time I start the water boiling and noodle cooking process. Once the noodles are done, drain and rise.

When everything is done, in a large bowl, toss the soba noodles with the tarragon, the tofu, the desired handfuls of sesame seeds, and about 2/3 of the dressing. I use all of the dressing, but if you're skeptical then just add a little at a time as you taste.

I ate this with a side of cooked kale, purple asparagus, and chopped up raw cucumber. It was pretty delightful and refreshing, especially for hot Florida weather. I ate everything right after cooking, so it was warm, but the next few days I had the leftover noodles cold, which was really good too. If you're feeling frisky add some cayenne or even cilantro! Hope you feel healthy and refreshed, and enjoy treating your body like a temple!

Oliver helped me cook too! He's a cool cat.

Namaste, Love, and Meow,
Monica and Oliver

Monday, May 27, 2013

More Walking, Creative Cooking, and Less Driving


Since I've been back from Nepal, I've made a conscious decision to take more walks. In Nepal we walked everywhere, and it kept me feeling light and free. When I arrived back I realized how many things I have so close to me, but I still choose to drive to them. This weekend I decided to start cooking creatively again and take walks. 

On Saturday I walked to Whole Foods to purchase my groceries for the new recipe that I will post tomorrow. What I loved about this walk was the cool breeze and fresh air. The air is so fresh and clean here. I can feel it penetrate and hydrate each cell in my body as I breathe. I have never appreciated fresh clean air so much since I've returned. The air was so polluted in Nepal that it made my throat scratchy and made me feel weak and fatigued everyday. Just from the start to the end of a taxi drive would exhaust me because of the air, and also the probably the bumpy roads and jerky driving, but mostly the pollution. I remember thinking that the air felt like drops of refreshing water in my lungs. Here are some pictures from my walk. 

Half Full Water on Bench










Lonely Taxi




On Monday I decided to walk to Starbucks. What I loved about this walk was walking by a bunch of homes and businesses and noticing little gems of beauty that I would have never noticed otherwise. I also just kept looking around at the sun shining down and how it was making everything glisten. The colors of the leaves, flowers, and grass just looked so sharp. I can't believe how beautiful of a world we live in. I'm so in awe and never want to lose this perspective.








Do Not Enter, or Enter?




Peace sign or bunny




Penetrate the heart
Well, have a good sleep, and look for my new recipe tomorrow! First recipe post since 2010! How's that for a come back....!

Namaste,
Monica