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Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing + Vegan Pizza!

Posted Jun 11 2012 12:00am
Good Afternoon and Happy Monday!

The countdown begins..... we have 2 more days of school and then summer begins.  I am not quite sure if I am ready or not, but I am looking forward to spending some fun-time with the kids and not rushing from one activity to the next.

Now, I must jump right into the discussion of food because I made the best Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing and yes, this recipe was adapted from Kathy Freston's The Lean book .  If you are intrigued by what I have been talking about the past few days then I highly recommend purchasing The Lean- A Revolutionary and Simple 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss .  This book is fantastic and I have actually been following her plan (for the most part) this past week.

The last two days I have had a handful of nuts along with my apple for a super satisfying and filling snack.

I love nuts so this step was a breeze.  My favorite nuts are almonds, walnuts, cashews and pistachios.  Yum.  A great place to buy nuts is Trader Joe's and they have a great assortment of raw and roasted nuts at a good price.

Go Nuts
The Lean Day 5: Going Nuts!A handful of nuts and seeds is filling and nutritious!

Soy What?
The Lean Day 6: Swap Out Dairy
Trade milk and butter for soy, almond or coconut-based versions for lower cholesterol.

On day 6 you are beginning to swap out your dairy products for non-dairy products.  I love coconut-milk based milks which I use in my smoothies as well as almond milk and soy milk.  I have yet to try rice and hemp and am going to give those a try next.

I also made another recipe from the book and have to share a version of it because it is so darn tasty!

I also gave some of the salad away to clients and friends and they loved it too.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing
I love anything with peanut dressing and this cold noodle dish is great for lunch or dinner.  The salad is packed with protein from the soba noodles and tofu and filled with veggies.  It is then doused with a little peanut dressing which makes everything even better:)
Ingredients vegan, makes about 4 servings

14 ounces extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained (I used Wildwood High Protein Extra Firm Tofu and did not find it necessary to press or drain)  1 tbsp Bragg's Amino Acids or low-sodium soy sauce 2 tsp toasted sesame oil 1/3 cup brown rice vinegar 2/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter 1/4 cup agave nectar 1/4 cup orange juice 2 cloves garlic 1 tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger root  1/4 cup water 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves 1 package Soba Noodles, 8.8 ounces
*I used Eden brand Wild Yam Soba Noodles

Cold Toss-In Ingredients:
1 Tbsp sesame oil 1/2 cucumber, diced 2 carrots, julienned 3 green onions sliced 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1/4 cup shredded red cabbage 1/4 cup shredded green cabbage 1/3 cup frozen edamame, defrosted and shelled 1/3 cup bean sprouts 1/2 can water chestnuts, sliced 1 head romaine lettuce leaves Toasted sliced almonds


1. Prepare pressed and drained tofu into 1/2 inch cubes.  2. Combine the amino acids, sesame oil, vinegar, peanut butter agave nectar, orange juice, garlic, ginger, water and red pepper flakes in a blender or food processor until creamy.  Add the cilantro and pulse, being careful not to over blend. 

3. Use a small amount of the dressing to marinate the tofu.  Cover the tofu with dressing and chill for at least 20 minutes.  You can chill the rest of the dressing as well.
4. Add in the dry soba noodles to a large pot of boiling water.  Make sure the noodles are completely covered with water. Cook for 5- 6 minutes.  Drain and rinse the noodles well in cold water.  Put the noodles in a container and add 1 tbsp sesame oil.  Shake well to coat the noodles.  Chill the noodles for at least 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, combine all the veggies in a very large bowl. Add the cold noodles and dressing into the same bowl and toss well to coat.   

6. Place a few lettuce leaves on each plate.  Using tongs, divide the noodle mixture among four plates on top of the greens.  Top with marinated tofu and garnish with almonds.

Oh my gosh, this is fantastically good.  I know I say every salad I put on here is "the best" but this one blew my socks off.  It is loaded with flavor and I have a feeling that I will be eating this on a regular basis.  It sort of solves my lunch dilemma.  I have a hard time finding things that are quick and easy and FILLING.  I often turn to my Ezekiel English Muffin with Nut Butter and Banana but that does not stick with me and I feel hungry a few hours after eating it.  The Cold Soba Noodle Salad, on the other hand, is so filling and leaves me hungry-free for hours.

Believe it or not, I actually ordered a Vegan Pizza this weekend.  One of the reasons why I don't think I could become a strict vegan is because of my love for pizza.  It is one of my "things" that I truly and dearly love and the thought of giving it up just crushes my soul.  I know that sounds a bit dramatic but it is how I feel so was proud of myself for ordering the Vegan Pizza at Pizzacato this weekend.
Pizzacato is now offering several different vegan pizza options and they all sound delicious.
Farm to Table- carmelized onions, sweet and savory walnuts on carrot-ginger base with arugula lemon  EVOO salad.
Middle Eastern- fried chickpeas, artichoke hearts, fresh romas, red onion and tahini on a garlic /olive oil base. Eric's Thai- shredded cabbage and veggies, on spicy peanut base with crispy fried wontons, sesame seeds and fresh cilantro.

I went for the Farm to Table but plan on trying them all!
Wow!  This pizza was incredible and the amazing thing was that I did not even miss the cheese.  I used to think it was the cheese I loved so much on pizza but now I think it may be the crust.  The pizza crust was perfectly crunchy and chewy at the same time and the carrot ginger base was super flavorful.  Topped with the bite of arugula and the added crunch from the sweet and savory walnuts made for a very positive first experience of vegan pizza.
I am enjoying this little experimentation to my diet and we shall see what comes of it.  
I am off to experiment with Soy Curls so I will let you know how that goes tomorrow.
Enjoy the rest of your day!

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