Here’s what a typical dinner can look like for me while in Japan. You can of course easily buy regular spaghetti noodles here, but I’ve found that using soba (buckwheat noodles) as an alternative is so amazing!
Soba is usually eaten in the traditional Japanese style with a soy sauce based broth. So, serving them the way I do is unconventional, but I find that the nutty flavor of the buckwheat goes perfectly with pesto.
I just put a bundle of soba noodles into a pot of boiling water and let them simmer for about seven minutes. After draining, I top them with a bit of pesto, some fresh basil leaves and whatever other veggies a have at hand. Today, I dressed it up with a handful of tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, daikon radish, and black beans.
Not only does soba taste good, but it’s actually an incredibly healthy alternative to white spaghetti noodles, as it’s much higher in protein and fiber. Buckwheat also contains no gluten, so if you can find soba noodles using 100% buckwheat flour, it’s gluten free as well!
One of my favorite meals that I like to throw together while here in Japan is a big bowl of soba noodles. It’s perfect in every way! It’s healthy, cheap, quick, easy, vegan, and delicious. When it’s cold outside you can serve it in a hot soup. Or, when it’s warm out you can eat it zaru soba style with a small bowl of cold broth on the side, which you dip bite-size portions of the soba noodles into bit by bit as you eat them.
For breakfast, I enjoyed a bowl of hot soba noodles in a soy sauce-based soup. I added in some wakame seaweed and fluffy agedashi tofu, and topped off the dish with Japanese chili powder and slices of fresh green onion.
I picked up a box of GF rice flour spaghetti the other day and I have to say that it completely surpassed my expectations. I mean I knew it would be good, but I almost prefer the chewy and firm texture to the whole wheat pasta that I normally have.
I cooked it up for lunch and mixed it in with some freshly made pesto. For the pesto, I simply picked a few leaves of basil from the garden and used my mortar and pestle to grind them together with a handful of pine nuts. Easy easy!
A friend recently gave me a spare bag of whole wheat flour, so I’ve been having some fun experimenting with it to see what I can come up with. In my last post I made a steamed banana muffin, and today I tried making fresh pasta from scratch.
I used 10 heaping tbsp of flour and added salt to taste, then mixed in just enough water to knead it into a firm dough. I let it sit for the rest of the morning before kneading it more thoroughly. Then I dusted it with a bit of flour, rolled it out, and chopped it into thin strips. I boiled the pasta and topped it with some homemade salsa and chopped up cilantro. Done!
For lunch, I was looking for a simple way to create a vegan version of a creamy Alfredo pasta, when I stumbled across the fantastic idea of making a sort of pesto using avocados. I just used one ripe avocado, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, and salt — and tossed this all into the food processor. I topped it with black pepper, olives, chili, and pine nuts. This definitely did the trick!