SUMMER SOBA NOODLES

Summer Soba NoodlesThere’s this recipe blogger (who shall remain nameless) who my sister and I love to hate. Her recipes are delicious and her photographs are beautiful. But her writing drives me nuts. She’s always saying things like, “I had some mung beans on hand so I decided to just whip up some hummus.” Mung beans? What are those? And where the heck do you buy them? Or “I had some nettles from the market that I wanted to use up so I made this pasta and it was a total breeze.” Nettles? Seriously? No one just has nettles. And a pasta with nettles does not sound like a breeze.  I find it annoying that she makes whipping up recipes with obscure ingredients sound so easy, as if everyone lives this glamorous life of going to the “market” (vs. the “grocery store”) and has a fully stocked kitchen with healthy, wholesome ingredients and beautiful dishes and perfect lighting. Sorry, but that just isn’t my reality.

However, this dish I am about to share with you was actually born out of ingredients that I had on hand and needed to use up. And it was easy to make! Other than the sesame oil and the miso paste, nothing I’m listing here is obscure. And sesame oil and miso are pretty easy to find and can be used in a lot of recipes.

I was going to see a friend’s new house last week and offered to bring dinner. I was planning to make my spring pasta, but I realized the only pasta I had were soba noodles. So I decided to do an asian twist on what I was originally planning to make. And voila!

SUMMER SOBA NOODLES

Summer Soba Noodles 2

Summer Soba Noodles 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of soba noodles (9.5 oz)
  • 1 cup of multi colored heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • 2 large handfuls of cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbs of fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • about 1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce or shoyu
  • about 2 tbs of sesame oil
  • about 2 tbs of rice vinegar
  • about 2 tbs of water
  • 1 tsp of fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp of yellow miso paste
  • Siracha to taste (optional)
  • Sesame seeds

Directions:

Cook soba noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse.

Make the dressing or sauce. In a small mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, water, garlic, mint, miso paste, lime juice and a few generous pinches of the cilantro and scallions. Whisk together, adding more water, vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil as needed. Start with smaller amounts and add more as needed, to taste. You don’t want the soy sauce to overpower everything. If you want, you can add siracha to the dressing and whisk it in. I opted not to do this since one of my friends does not like spicy food.

Combine noodles, tomatoes, avocado, remaining cilantro and scallions in a large bowl. Slowly add dressing until it’s the consistency and taste that you want. Top with sesame seeds and lime wedges for garnish. Add siracha as desired.

Note: When dicing the tomatoes, I made sure to separate the seeds and juicy guts as much as possible. Small heirloom tomatoes can be pretty juicy when you dice them and I was worried this would “water down” my dish. I also think this recipe would be good with some cilantro lime shrimp. Yum! 

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Potato Salad Re-Mix

Potato Salad Remix 2Happy post 4th of July Tuesday, everyone! I hope you all had a lovely holiday and spent the day/evening/weekend eating your face off, enjoying some brews, sitting by the pool and watching fireworks somewhere like I did.

Potato salad seems to be a staple at any summer BBQ. And don’t get me wrong, I love a good old fashioned potato salad, with eggs and pickles and whatever else is in there. I really have no idea… I’ve never made it. But this year, I decided to create a lighter, healthier version of potato salad to bring to my summer parties. A potato salad re-mix, if you will. I went to three different parties this weekend (not on the same day, that would be miserable, and besides, I am not that popular) and brought this salad to every single one of them. It was easy to make head of time and to transport. And it seemed to be a hit!

I didn’t get a lot of great pics, but hopefully what you see here will suffice. I’m also adding in a pic of me holding up a peppermint stick in a lemon by the pool. This was one of my favorite childhood treats to get at the fair. And now they sell them at the snack bar at our pool. Score! I may be the only person over the age of 12 buying them, but that’s neither here nor there. I also may be the only person over the age of 12 who says score. Did I really just say that? Score?! What? Annnyway… About that potato salad re-mix.

Lemon Peppermint Stick

Potato Salad Remix

 

POTATO SALAD RE-MIX

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag (about 2 lbs) of fingerling potatoes or other small waxy potatoes, cut into halves and quarters
  • About 2-3 cups of heirloom tomatoes, in varying sizes and colors, cut into halves and quarters
  • 1-2 cups of frozen peas, thawed
  • A heaping handful of fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbs of mayo (or veganaise, which I used and prefer)
  • 1 tbs of plain greek yogurt
  • About 1 tbs of dijon mustard seeds
  • Lemon juice and water to taste

Directions:

Put the potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook potatoes for 8-10 minutes, until just soft. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes or else they will get too mushy. Once the potatoes are finished cooking, drain and set aside to cool. (I boiled my potatoes the night before and put them in the fridge overnight. I added them and the dressing to the rest of the ingredients right before leaving for each party.)

While your potatoes are cooking, this is a good time to cut your tomatoes. Combine tomatoes, peas, potatoes and dill in a large mixing bowl.

In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, greek yogurt, mustard seeds, lemon juice and water. Continue to add mustard, lemon juice and water as necessary. The dressing should not be too thick. It’s better to add more water than lemon juice if you need to thin it out otherwise it becomes too bitter.

Add the dressing to the tomatoes, peas, potatoes and dill a little at a time until your salad is the consistency that you want. I tried not to go too heavy on the dressing. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Add more dressing or dill as needed. And enjoy!

 

Recipe adapted from: A Food for Thought blog