You know that feeling when you just get back from vacation, you’ve eaten way too much vegan gelato, and you kind of feel like a human lump? That’s kind of where I’m at right now.
I used to struggle with coming home from trips and feeling like I’d gained weight from all the “extra” eating I’d been doing. I know that this type of thing is inevitable when you’re eating great food all day, every day, for a whole lotta days, but I also know how daunting the first time stepping on that scale can be when you get back.
To be fair, I was eating fresh fruits and grilled vegetables much of the time I was there, (mostly because Portugal has the most amazing produce). And even though I did conquer 42 flights of stairs and 10 miles in one day - no exaggeration - I did also enjoy a hefty amount of vegan baked goods, pasta, and of course, cheesecake gelato, for ten days.
Nowadays, I focus much less on the “progress I've lost” and remind myself how much enjoyment I found in my time away. Having those irreplaceable experiences and enjoying all the local food is infinitely more important than worrying about a number on the scale.
I’ve ditched the mentality of compensating for that “lost progress” and have begun focusing more on the nutritious meals I can make for myself back at home. When settling into my normal routine, I eat whole, nutritious foods instead of cutting calories or overexercising to compensate for the food I’ve eaten on vacation.
Summer soba noodles are the perfect dish to make when I want something light that’ll also fill me up. Unlike a pastas with heavy sauce, the soy ginger sauce in this recipe is super light and flavorful.
The trick to cooking perfect soba noodles is to rinse them really well under cold water after they’re cooked and drained. This will also prevent them from splitting. Since soba noodles are made from buckwheat, they tend to fall apart more quickly than flour or rice based noodles would. By running them under cold water, they won’t be as gummy and will be much easier to handle without breaking.
The soy ginger sauce is super easy, because all you need to do is throw the ingredients in one bowl and whisk. Unlike olive oil, sesame oil is mainly added to dishes for its fragrance and taste. I learned the hard way not to add too much because it will over power the other ingredients in the sauce and taste too oily. You know you have the perfect amount when you have small, glistening drops of oil on top of your sauce. There shouldn’t be a whole layer coating the top.
To finish off this recipe, you’ll stir fry your broccolini with a teaspoon or two of sesame oil and soy ginger dressing. Use about a fourth of the dressing or just enough to coat the vegetables. Once the broccolini is tender and crispy, add in the rest of the sauce and soba noodles and give it a quick toss before it’s ready to serve.
You can garnish your noodles with green onion, nori, and a little more red pepper flakes if you like a spicier dish.
Sesame Soba Noodles with Soy Ginger Dressing
Takes , Serves 6.
- 2 Rolls of Soba Noodles (6 oz)
- 1 Cup Broccolini (91g)
- 1 Stalk Green Onion
- Shredded Nori for Garnish
- ¼ Cup Soy Sauce (2 oz)
- 2½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper
- 1½ tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- 2 tsp Coconut Sugar
- 3 tsp Date Syrup
- 1½ tsp Minced Garlic
- 1 tsp Grated Ginger
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
Soy Ginger Dressing
- In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Cook noodles for about 7 to 8 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and rinse cooked noodles very well under cold water. Set noodles aside.
- For Soy Ginger Dressing: Add soy sauce, red pepper, vinegar, coconut sugar, date syrup, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil to a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir until well-combined.
- With about 1-2 tsp of sesame oil, stir fry broccolini for about 3-5 minutes until tender and crispy. Then, mix in about ¼ of the prepared soy ginger dressing.
- Add soba noodles and remainder of the dressing to the pan with the broccolini and finish cooking for about 3-4 minutes.
- Plate and garnish with green onion, red pepper flakes, and nori.