Simple Spring Soba

6 Wed, 2011 § 4 Comments

After hitting the gym for some post-work bouldering, Dave & I are usually ravenous ravishing ravenous.  (Have you seen The Tourist yet?)  An early morning swim, biking to & from the climbing gym during our lunch breaks (where Dave pulled his shoulder 😦 ), then climbing again after work left us both drained yesterday — in a good way — so dinner needed to be fairly minimal & come together quickly.

Soba is a favorite of mine & cooks in only 3 minutes.  Tossing this with roasted or sautéed vegetables with dressing or a stir-fry glaze creates a perfect, low-key, high-taste meal.  No real recipe is needed, but this is what we did:

Preheat oven to 425*F & roast asparagus spears tossed with extra virgin olive oil & sea salt for ~12 minutes, tossing/shaking the pan often.

Meanwhile, heat a small amount of oil in a medium sauté pan.  Add a one-inch piece of minced ginger & sauté until fragrant, ~1 minute.  Add one giant clove garlic, minced, & cook until garlic starts to soften, being careful not to brown it.

Stir in 10 button mushrooms quartered & deglaze the pan with a splash of mirin & a couple sprits Bragg’s Aminos or Tamari; cook until mushrooms start to brown, about 5 minutes or so.  Prepare pot of boiling water while mushrooms brown.  Add a dash of red pepper flakes & fresh mustard seeds & cook about 1 minute.  I added the soba to boiling water the same time I added a handful of fresh snap peas to the mushrooms.  Cook snap peas just long enough they become bright green but stay crisp, which is about how long the soba takes to cook.  During the last minute of cooking, add a small splash of *toasted sesame oil to the vegetables.  Strain soba noodles & plate in wide bowls.  Top with sautéed vegetables & roasted asparagus as well as additional sesame oil if desired.

Adjust Bragg’s & oils to your taste.  I go light on the “glaze” so I can taste the vegetables over “soy sauce”.  *The first time I tried toasted sesame oil using a dipping sauce recipe from Clean Food, I did not care for it – it’s all I could taste!  I thought the whole bottle would just go to waste, but Dave didn’t mind the flavor at all.  Rather than swear it off, I started using less of it than called for so it simply added to the flavors of a dish rather than blow it out.  It grew on me, though I still use it lightly.

See the perfectly, pan-fried tofu?  No?  We didn’t either.  After finishing off our plates & still feeling hungrier than we had expected, I realized I forgot the tofu.  I headed back into the kitchen & pan-fried tofu for the first time, which turned out pretty perfect, so this was a two-course meal.  Finally, we were satisfied.

I always make extra soba because chilled soba is one of the best.  Lunch today: chilled soba with roasted asparagus, mustard vinaigrette & toasted pumpkin seeds!

Did you know button mushrooms are a unique plant-based source of B12?  It’s all the dirt. 😉

Remember Dave, the “thistle”-hater?  He always reminds me asparagus is a thistle, & he does not care for thistle.  Last night he asked if he could try just one bite of roasted asparagus to see if he liked it.  Guess who added a couple more spears to his plate?  😛  The verdict: “they are just salty enough they are not too asparagus-y.”  Love him!


What are your favorite fuss-less meals that don’t look or taste fuss-less?

Snap Peas & Lemon Butter

16 Fri, 2010 § 1 Comment

Did you know peas are actually a pretty great source of protein?  Just one cup of Sugar Snap Peas has about 10 grams.  Paired with Edamame, in mere minutes, you’ve got yourself a perfect light, spring dish with a nice little dose of afternoon protein.  This simple dish is from a great little cookbook, The Kind Diet. 

  • 2C Sugar Snap Peas, trimmed
  • 1C frozen shelled Edamame, thawed
  • 1bunch Radishes, trimmed & thinly sliced

Cook in boiling water for 1 minutes.  Drain & rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.  This is called parboiling.

  • 1T EVOO
  • 1 Garlic Scape, chopped
  • OR minced garlic OR shallot OR whatever you prefer

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic or shallot & saute 2 to 3 minutes until soft.

Add drained snap peas, edamame, radishes & 1/4 tsp sea salt; cook for 1 minutes or until heated through.

Remove from heat & stir in:

  • 2tsp Lemon Zest, finely grated
  • 1tsp Earth Balance butter
  • 3/4tsp Umeboshi Vinegar (or other vinegar)
  • Juice of 1/4 Lemon
  • 1/4tsp freshly ground Black Pepper

Makes about 4 servings

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