Soba Noodle Salad

In my life I am constantly searching for balance.  I’m searching for a balance between my school work and home life.  A balance between nights out and nights spent squarely in front of my Netflix, happily subsisting off of no further human interaction than that of the characters on my screen that I love way too much considering they’re fictional.  I also try to find a balance between junk food and healthy food.

I don’t know if it’s the Central Illinois air going to my head, but I crave junk food way more than I ever did back during college.  Maybe it’s because a burger in the city costs nine dollars, but even back in the suburbs where burgers (and other junk food) is sold for normal prices, I never really went for it.  But, hallelujah, sometimes down here I would give my right arm for a good Meatheads burger.  Or some Buffalo Wild Wing teriyaki wings.  I’m making myself hungry just typing that.

I joked with my roommate recently that if I didn’t know better I’d think I was pregnant with all these fast food cravings.  But we all know that station is firmly closed for business, so the only explanation is that I’ve gotten myself a junk-food-tooth.  And, folks, it’s been a struggle.

When in doubt, I cook.  The way that I see it – even if I’m craving something bad for me, if I cook something healthy I’ll feel obligated to eat it.  I was brought up on a strict no-waste policy, so unless I make something truly awful (which, funny enough, I actually did earlier this week) I’m eating it.  The great thing is that most times I end up really loving what I make and I forget all about those burgers and wings.

Unless it’s what I made earlier this week.  Yeesh, it was awful.  But, this ISN’T that meal.  Nope, this is something completely different.  Chewy soba noodles are drenched in a tangy peanut sauce with crisp cabbage and bell peppers.  All of it tastes so fresh that you can’t even imagine eating something out of a grease-soaked paper bag.

You know, until tomorrow.

Soba Noodle Salad

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8 ounces soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)

For the dressing:

3 tbsp creamy peanut butter (or almond butter)

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp honey

1 (1 inch) piece of fresh ginger, minced

2 tsp wasabi paste

For the salad:

1 (1 1/2 lb) head of napa cabbage, cored and shredded.

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

3 scallions, white and green parts only, thinly sliced

1 hothouse cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

3 tbsp black sesame seeds

Directions:

For the soba noodles:

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Cook the noodles and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Rinse well in cold water, drain, and put in a serving bowl.

For the dressing:

In a blender, combine the almond/peanut butter, soy sauce, olive oil, lime juice, sesame oil, 2 tbsp water, the honey, ginger, and wasabi paste.  Blend until smooth.

For the salad:

Pour the dressing over the salad, and add the cabbage, bell pepper, scallions, cucumber, and almonds.  Toss until combined.

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Source:  Giada’s Feel Good Food

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13 thoughts on “Soba Noodle Salad

  1. that does look lovely! And you’re so right, it’s all about balance. Some good-for-you foods, some not so much. (also lots of exercise to make the not-so-much not count so much ;-) ) Thanks for the recipe. Have a package of soba ready and waiting.

      • ok, so, there’s balance here, too I guess. When I work out too hard too many days a week, I eat all junk all the time, so some of my exercise days are more of a slow jog. It’s good stuff, the working out, though. Totally burns calories–though not as many as I’d like. You’ll do better than I as you’re younger so your metabolism is still in hyperdrive. Oh how I envy you those days :-D

  2. I get occasional junk food cravings, and it’s so crazy because I really love healthy whole foods! This soba salad would definitely set me straight. THat dressing sounds awesome!

  3. I am with you! I grew up with a no-waste policy in my family too. So I still will eat pretty much anything. And like you said, if it’s healthy, I’ll still eat it because I’m sure not going to let it go to waste! :) Looks like a yummy dinner! Glad it killed the junk food cravings at least for one night. :)

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