Miso-Tahini Buckwheat Soba Noodle Bowl

I mentioned in my previous post that I’m suffering from a bit of a bad-eating hangover this week. Last weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada, and as I do every year succeeded in completely overindulging my taste for that delicious yet lifespan-shortening trifecta: sugar, salt and butter. My descent into overindulgence started out slow: a handful of chips here, a dollop of whipped cream there. By the end of the weekend, which saw me blatantly pig out on pumpkin pie and an assortment of other festive treats, I found myself craving junk food more and more. I heard this phenomenon referred to somewhere as the ‘sugar wheel,’ as it seems to happen most strikingly with sweets, but I find the same thing tends to occur with salty and fatty foods, too. Basically what happens is this: You increase your intake of unhealthy foods, then soon enough you don’t feel satisfied without eating said foods, so you eat them again, and want them even more. And on and on. It plays out the same way as any addiction, really. Has this ever happened to you?

I’m trying not to beat myself up too much about it. Typically my diet is fairly clean and it was Thanksgiving, after all. In the past when I’ve gone through an episode of unhealthy eating I find the only thing that puts me back on track is cutting myself off entirely from junk food until the cravings cease. It takes some will power, but by replacing the refined sugars with naturally-occurring ones, and the bad fats with healthy fats, it can be done. Further to my mission to detox my system this week, I put together this noodle bowl today for lunch. There is nothing like a big colourful bowl of vegetables to erase the memory of a gluttonous weekend and restore faith in your diet!

I love using grated raw beets in salads and noodle dishes like this one. I initially got the idea from a salad on the menu at Rebar, a mostly-vegetarian restaurant in Victoria, BC. Grating purple beets is guaranteed to turn your fingers a brilliant shade of magenta (unless you wear gloves or use a food processor) but the disfigurement is totally worth it. I threw in some grated golden beets, too. These ones won’t stain your skin!

Don’t feel compelled to use only the vegetables listed below in your noodle bowl. The miso-tahini sauce would work well with practically any vegetable or vegetarian protein! Steamed or sauteed broccoli and/or cauliflower would have done the trick. Or how about some sweet peas and shiitake mushrooms? Cubed tempeh or tofu would also have been nice. The options are endless!

Recipe: Miso-Tahini Buckwheat Soba Noodle Bowl

Makes 2 meal-size servings

Ingredients:

  • 180g buckwheat soba noodles
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 florets baby bok choy, ends removed
  • 1/2 cup grated purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup grated golden beet
  • 1/2 cup grated purple beet
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas

Miso-Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon honey (vegan alternative: agave syrup, maple syrup or cane sugar)

Method:

Prepare noodles: Cook soba noodles according to package instructions, or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Prepare baby bok choy: In a skillet over medium heat, saute baby bok choy in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until bright green and tender crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare miso-tahini sauce: In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, whisk together tahini, miso paste, olive oil, water, Sriracha and honey (or vegan alternative), until smooth. Once sauce has warmed through (try not to allow to boil), remove from heat.

Assemble noodle bowls: Fold noodles into miso-tahini sauce then divide into two serving bowls. Top each bowl with baby bok choy, grated beets, carrots and cabbage, sliced red peppers and chickpeas. Eat!

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