March means springtime, but the weather may still be stuck in a winter rut. Try this nourishing noodle bowl for a healthy dinner that can be served warm or chilled.
March is here, meaning that many of us will be starting to trade winter soups for spring salads. Alas, unpredictable weather can leave us confused about whether we should reach for the salad bowl or the soup ladle. Fortunately, we have a great spring-ter (wint-pring?) recipe solution. Our Asian-inspired noodle bowl can be served warm or chilled, making it the perfect meal for transitioning between seasons.
This dish is also a protein powerhouse thanks to the combination of tofu and soba noodles. A Japanese mainstay that cooks in mere minutes, soba noodles can be found at your local health food store; look for options with 100 percent buckwheat and no added flours. If you have any leftovers, pack them up for a no-fuss lunch. Depending on your taste preferences, peanut butter can be used in place of almond butter.
Soba Noodles with Almond Sauce and Pan-Seared Tofu
From Matthew Kadey’s “Not Your Average Noodle”
1 package (350 g) firm tofu
1/3 cup (80 mL) almond butter
1/4 cup (60 mL) low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp (30 mL) rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey or agave syrup
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
1 in (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger, grated
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sesame seeds
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 package (250 g) soba noodles
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro (optional)
Slice tofu in half horizontally and lay on a couple of pieces of paper towel placed on a plate. Top with additional paper towel and another plate. Place a heavy object on the plate and let sit 15 minutes to press out the water.
In bowl, whisk together almond butter, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger, lime, and pepper flakes; set aside.
In dry skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove seeds from skillet and heat 2 tsp oil (10 mL) over medium heat. Sear tofu for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden on both sides. Remove from heat and slice each half into 12 cubes.
Add carrots to skillet and cook for 4 minutes. Add red pepper and garlic; cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
In large saucepan, bring water to a boil and cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water. Return noodles to pot and mix with vegetables, tofu, and almond sauce.
Place on serving plates and garnish with sesame seeds, green onion, and cilantro.
Each serving contains: 366 calories; 19 g protein; 17 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 44 g carbohydrates; 3.3 g fibre; 704 mg sodium