Monday, February 17, 2014

Vegan Noodle Bowl

Vegan Noodle Bowl
This is a meal that will leave you feeling so good inside and out.  Full of veggies and high protein tofu, it is so satisfying and rich that you will not even notice that there is no meat in it.  Trust me because my husband and my son LOVED it.  I saw a recipe similar to this in a magazine awhile ago and was intrigued by the amount of sesame oil used in the dressing.  Usually just the smallest amount in a stir fry adds so much flavor, but this called for a few tablespoons.  I was skeptical, but it totally works.  The rich, nutty flavor adds a layer of depth to the otherwise simple combination of whole grain buckwheat soba noodles and vegetables.  Even without the tofu it would be a satisfyingly indulgent meal.  The original recipe also called for shredded red cabbage and fresh edamame but I didn't have either on hand when I made my version.  You really can add whatever vegetables you prefer and even use regular spaghetti noodles instead.  It is all about the sauce, which combines the perfect ratio of sweet, salty and spicy to this healthy and hearty dish.

Vegan Noodle Bowl
fresh ingredients

14 ounces extra firm organic tofu
2 T. organic canola oil
salt and black pepper

5 T. sesame oil
5 T. soy sauce
1/4 C. rice wine vinegar
1 T. agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
pantry ingredients
1 lime, zested and juiced

16 ounces soba noodles

1 organic green bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 C. organic carrots, julienned
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 C. red onion, chopped
1/3 C. cilantro,  chopped
2 T. sesame seeds

optional add ins:
(1 C. red cabbage, chopped)
tofu, ready to be baked
(1 C. edamame, shelled)

Thoroughly drain the tofu to remove as much excess moisture as possible.  Coat a pan with the canola oil and place the tofu on it, making sure both sides get covered with the oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 400F for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, set a large pot of water to boil.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave, garlic, pepper flakes, lime juice and zest. Set aside.  When there is about 10 minutes left on the tofu, cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions.  Once the tofu is cooked and the noodles and done, cube up the tofu into small, bite size pieces and toss with the dressing, the bell pepper, carrots, scallions, red onion, cilantro, sesame seeds and any other add ins you decide to use.  Serve warm or cold.

my dinner for the following night

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