I love hitting up the patio to grill. Nothing tastes more summertime than something that’s been given the char treatment — especially when it comes to your fave proteins and veggies. But here in North Carolina, some days are just too damn hot. Too hot to fire up the grill, too hot to heat up the oven, and almost too hot to eat… but we *have* to eat.
For this reason, I think it’s super important to have a few go-to recipes that will cool you down while also being substantial and nourishing for your bod.
This soba noodle salad does just that; this soba noodle salad is LIFE.
I’ve enjoyed tuna salad sandwiches my entire life. (Does that make me weird?) But growing up, it was the mayo that reeled me in. The creamier, the better. (Does that make me weirder?)
Disastrously, mayo has become a “sometimes” thing these days because in my 30s, my metabolic rate isn’t quite like it was in my teens; I can no longer eat 6 oz of cheese with crackers or run a train on a nacho platter at 11pm. (I mean, I want to, but you know… repercussions.)
But thanks to healthy gems like avocado and Greek yogurt, I’ve been able to recreate the creaminess I covet sans guilt. Plus, finding substitutions has also compelled me to play around with recipes. Little did I know, way back when, that a tuna sandwich could be much more than a jumble of mayo and scallions. There are umpteen ways to jazz up this good stuff, and this Greek spin is one of my faves.
This wholesome and refreshing dish is exactly what I needed after roadtrippin’ to the North a few weeks ago.
I have a love/hate relationship with traveling.
I discovered this in my early twenties when I landed a job in the music industry working as an editorial assistant for a publishing company that issued a handful of music magazines. Within the first year, I went from hardly escaping my small Canadian hometown to jetting through the US from NYC to San Fran. I felt so alive in these new places! Well, for the first day or two. But with transient travel comes cramming too many things into a small timeframe and that, my friends, siphons the life out of me.
With my husband and I living in NC and our families being dispersed between PA and Canada, this is a regular part of life now: overwhelming short-lived trips full of company, a lot of energy, and a mass amount of food. (Gotta mow down enough of those hometown faves while we’re there and while we can.)
To say that I needed this healthful protein-packed plate of goodness when I got home would be an understatement. I’ve eaten this three times in the last week and a half.
There are very few things in life that are better on a hot day than a cool serving of zaru soba.
This recipe brings me to the last installment of the Japan segment of my East Series (What!) which is pretty damn exciting. The next segment I’ll be featuring is China, where I’ll be exploring some delish Chinese recipes.
But first, let’s talk about this nourishing noodle dish.
A lot of East and Southeast asian dishes call it like it is when it comes to names, and Zaru Soba is no exception. A zaru is a bamboo tray or basket used to drain the noodles in the preparation and presentation for this dish; soba, of course, is the type of noodle. Soba translates to buckwheat, but it’s most commonly used in reference to soba noodles in Western cultures.
Despite the fact that most mainstream supermarkets carry soba noodles in their “International” aisle, I highly recommend hitting up your local Asian markets instead. You’ll get the best quality of soba noodle there, and if you can get your hands one soba noodles that are 80 per cent buckwheat (hachiwari soba), do it. Not only are these noodles more delicious, but they also pack a nourishing punch.
Here I am, at 4 p.m. on a Tuesday, sipping at a hefty glass of Pinot Noir while trying to shake off the last few days. Not that this is strange for me; I come from a home where 4 p.m. is better known as wine o’clock. It’s that time between a long day and a night of who knows what to decompress, loosen up, and reset. But for the past few days it’s been an excuse to numb the pain, because I don’t think there is any “resetting” after putting your beloved pet down — and much too soon, no thanks to a sudden seizure and an undetected heart condition.
I was not prepared for that.
I’m gutted, heartbroken, and trying to keep myself distracted with this *lifts laptop* and this *lifts wine glass*.
Work and wine. Wine and work.
(Don’t worry, I’m a lightweight. I’m good after two glasses.)
I know that grieving takes time, and I have to allow myself that time. But I have a personal rule in life: after two-three days of letting myself be a useless pile of ice-cream eating sadness, I must bounce back; I HAVE to bounce back.
And the past two days have been hella productive as a result.
I’m as excited for warm weather as everyone else, and this dish reflects my enthusiasm for spring, fresh farmer’s market produce, and eating your feelings with things that aren’t ice cream.