Soba Noodle Salad {with Kale, Brussels Sprouts & Tofu}

 

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

These days, as most days since Noah arrived, getting things done takes much longer than usual.  Whether it be cleaning the kitchen (which is a NEVER-ending task), getting all the “fun” tasks around the house done or making dinner.  Or lunch.  And quite honestly I’ve just about given up on breakfast.  I thought the daily routine might get get a little easier as he got older, however a crawling, almost-walking, insanely curious toddler is a force to be reckoned with.  Yes, the day-to-day has gotten easier but simultaneously more difficult at the same time, if that even makes sense.

I can now plan activities and get things accomplished during his nap times as those are the precious couple hours I have to myself.  But when he’s awake…it’s a whole other story.  Which brings me to this soba noodle salad.  I had planned on making this for dinner earlier in the week and thought it would come together in a cinch.  That day I was prepping the ingredients while attempting to entertain a cranky toddler who wouldn’t nap all afternoon, so we ended up eating cereal at 8pm.

I am certainly not trying to deter you from making this dish, because whether it’s eaten hot or cold, it’s is delicious and worth the effort.  What I am saying is that the ingredients can be prepped ahead of time and then assembled the next day, which is what I did.  Now I have this salad for those days where I actually get to eat a lunch.


 

soba noodle salad {with kale, brussels sprouts & tofu}

A few quick notes:  If you plan on prepping this dish before actually eating it, I would cook everything but the soba noodles.  They only take about 4-6 minutes and tossing the veggies in with the warm noodles and sauce is pretty darn tasty.  Also, the recipe calls for Furikake, which is a Japanese seasoning that is simple enough to make at home.  I’ve included a link for more info as well as the recipe.  Let me just say, it really, really good. Finally, the dish can certainly be made vegan just by swapping out the honey for agave in the sauce.

 

Dressing

(makes about 1 cup)

  • 3 tbs low-sodium soy sauce
  • 5 tbs toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced, white & light green parts only

Salad

(serves 4-6)

  • 6 oz kale, removed from stems and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 10 oz quartered brussels sprouts
  • 3-4 medium carrots, julienned or grated
  • 1 package extra-firm tofu
  • 2 bundles dried soba noodles
  • Furikake (optional)

In a small bowl, or jar, mix together soy sauce, 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey and scallions.  Whisk together or shake until fully combined.  Let sauce marry while preparing the other ingredients.  It could also be prepared a day or two ahead of time.

Preheat oven to 400Β°.  Place block of tofu on a plate and lay a paper towel over the top.  Place a heavy object (like a cookbook) on top to squeeze out the extra moisture.  {It’s best if this could be done 30 minutes or up to an hour before cooking}.  Cut the tofu into Β½” cubes and toss with a tablespoon of the toasted sesame oil and a pinch of salt.  Roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your tofu.  Be sure to turn halfway through to sear both sides.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Toss the brussels sprouts with a tablespoon of the sesame oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Roast for about 20 minutes, until the tops of the leaves have browned and crisped up.  Remove from oven and set aside.

**I placed both brussels sprouts and tofu in a gallon bag with the sesame oil and salt shook them together to speed up the prep.  I then roasted both of them on the same sheet pan, however the sprouts only took about 20 minutes or so.  I took them off and placed the tofu back in the oven for another 10 minutes because I like my tofu crispy.**

Steam or blanch the kale until fully wilted.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Cook soba noodles according to package and set aside.

Combine soba noodles, kale, brussels sprouts and carrots in a large bowl and toss with the soy-sesame mixture.  To serve, divide into bowls, top with crispy tofu and Furikake if using.

 

 

 

 

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