A little bit of ginger, a little bit of spice, a little bit of everything nice! I adore thai flavors and Thai cuisine which usually pair garlic, cilantro, chilis and lime with loads of raw veggies. When I left Ohio for a Chicago, I went from a very narrow world view to the wide open expanse of one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. I had not even know that you could find some of the global flavors in the States that I stumbled upon in my first year in the city. I made it my goal to sample and test a LOT of the non-Americanized and even fusion world flavors that represented the Chicago restaurant scape. One of the first forays was into a Thai restaurant, and not only did it expand my tastes, but it became one of my favorite styles of Asian fare in the intervening years. Thai definitely has a secure place in my home kitchen; especially peanut sauce (which is more Indonesian, but is usually on Thai menus).
Sustainability Spotlight: Soba noodles are produced from buckwheat which is a fruit seed and one of the first crops cultivated in Asia. Buckwheat was popular in the U.S. between the 1600's through the end of the 19th century. At that time, the industrial revolution provided new farming practices which led to buckwheat's decline; petroleum-based fertilizers boots cereal crops but stifle buckwheat. That's because buckwheat is a healthy crop being that it is disease and pest-tolerant and does not need herbicides or other synthetic fertilizers. The crop is also a valuable tool on the farm known as "green manure" where the process turns mature buckwheat plants back into the soil to bring fertility to previously unplanted cropland. Buckwheat is a great "smother" and cover crop to deny weeds and prevent erosion. It is quick maturing (ready to harvest in only 10-12 weeks) which means more food in less time using less resources. A power crop but also burgeoning with zinc, copper, manganese and boasting the label of "complete protein" meaning it contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce. Perfect for vegans, perfect for the planet! Facts derived from https://foodprint.org/real-food/buckwheat/.
1/2 red onion (sliced thinly)
1/2 bag frozen edamame (thawed)
1 yellow bell pepper (sliced and halved)
1 cup matchstick (or shredded) carrot
1 red bell pepper (sliced and halved)
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
1 lime (juiced)
3 tbsp sesame seeds (plus more for garnish if desired)
1 package soba noodles
Garnishes: 1 avocado (sliced), sesame seeds and chopped cilantro
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
2-3 garlic cloves (chopped)
1/2 inch piece (1/8 of an inch thick) fresh ginger (peeled and chopped)
1 lime (juiced)
3 tbsp sriracha sauce
Set pot of salted water over medium-high heat to boil; once boiling, add soba noodles and cook for ~7-9 minutes (or until done). Once done, drain and rinse with cold water.
While noodles are cooking, chop, slice or shred all ingredients (except Peanut-Ginger Sauce) and place into a large bowl - toss until combined.
Add noodles (once done) to your vegetables in the large bowl.
Place all ingredients for the Peanut-Ginger Sauce into a personal blender and blitz until smooth (add water if too thick; 1 tbsp at a time).
Pour sauce over the noodles and then combine to ensure all noodles and vegetables are coated in the sauce.
Serve in bowls topped with the sliced avocado, extra cilantro and sesame seeds as desired.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do (did - cause it's gone now!); I'd love to hear from you.
With love and hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie