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!
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!
Lunch time! Steamed veggies with almond slices and whole wheat pasta. For the sauce I used Yves vegan ground meat. For the most part, I avoid processed foods, but this stuff is a really fantastic treat to add to spaghetti sauces every now and then.
Here’s a simple and delicious dinner I tried out the other night.
I just soaked the dry brown rice noodles in water until they’re nice and soft. While they’re soaking, I chopped up the veggies and extra firm 5-spice tofu. Then, lightly stir fried it in sesame oil for under a minute, adding in pine nuts, sesame seeds, and herbs.
These brown rice noodles are fantastic because they’re not only gluten free and healthy, but they’re so thin that they require no actual cooking time – just soak them in water and they’re ready to go!
Dinner tonight was yummy meat sauce spaghetti (:
The meat sauce was made with:
soy-based vegan ground meat, tomato sauce, tomato purée, spinach, sliced garlic, peas, chopped onions, oregano, basil, a dash of chili, and heaps and heaps of ground black pepper!
…and on top of whole wheat fusilli pasta, a well-deserved meal after a day of digging in the garden!
So…today was a pretty good day 😀
For tonight’s dinner, I tried out yakisoba using brown rice angel hair pasta!
They’re so thin that they required no actual cooking, and I only needed to soak them in water for 5 minutes while I sliced up the veggies.
When the noodles were ready, I drained out the water and put them in the non-stick pan with a little soy sauce, black pepper, yakisoba sauce, and just a drop of sesame oil. I stirred the veggies in near the end to keep them a little on the raw side. On my plate, I sprinkled on some sesame seeds, and as always, added a good dose of hot sauce!