Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Soba Noodle Tofu Salad Bowl with Ginger and Lime Dressing- gluten free

How many of the ingredients can you spot?
The great thing about soba noodles is how well they soak up a dressing and become deliciously full of flavours. I'd been meaning to make a salad with them for a long time but was just waiting for the final pieces of inspiration... and then I decided that now would be the perfect time; we are between Summer and Autumn this week- cool mornings, darker evenings and the last of Summer's bounty to harvest. Salads still appeal, but there is a need for something a little more substantial, and for warming spices like ginger. Into this salad went some bargain peaches, home grown courgettes and kale and the last of our fresh mint and basil. Use grilled tempeh instead of tofu, add some minced chilli to the dressing or substitute any kind of noodle you like; by all means embellish it with a dollop of sriracha if that's how you roll, but believe us: this salad is tasty enough without. 

Serves 3-4 as a main meal:
50ml any good oil- we used extra virgin olive
50ml tamari sauce (it's important to use tamari instead of soy if you are gluten or wheat intolerant)
50ml agave nectar; I know this seems a lot, but you want some sweetness in the mix to offset the salty spiciness
2 tsps grated fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp compound hing (optional, but adds some pungency)
1/2 cup (1 cup = 250ml) crushed/ broken roasted and salted peanuts; I used Himalayan pink salt with mine
fresh coconut shavings (optional)
lime wedges
170g (uncooked weight) 100% buckwheat soba noodles
1/2 large avocado, diced
2 peaches, diced
1 tab sesame seeds
1 tab chopped fresh mint and basil leaves
1/2 a loosely-packed cup chopped fresh coriander leaf
about 65g raw veggies: think carrot, courgette and pepper matchsticks, shredded kale, mung sprouts,etc.
6-8 cubes of tofu per per serving; about one packet- or pressed tofu made with  l soya milk

  • Start by whisking the dressing ingredients together in a bowl; this gives time for the flavours to blend together.
  • Now prepare the nuts and tofu- I used grilled our tofu cubes in a little oil, but you could just marinate it in the dressing if you don't want to grill it
  • Chop the veggies and set aside.
  • Now cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet; be careful, as soba noodles can get very sticky unless you treat them right. When they are soft, drain and rinse them in cold water straight away.
  • Mix everything together in a large bowl. If possible, let it sit awhile so the noodles and tofu can absorb the dressing.
  • Add the garnishes to each bowl just before serving.

If you liked the look of this main meal salad, check out our Yogi Veg Bowl which combines quinoa, tofu, raw veggies and red pepper dressing:

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Plum Chutney with Tamarind

Making jams and chutneys is one of the great pleasures of late Summer/ early Autumn
This year there have been lots of plums; but it seems like there is a very short window in which to pick and use them before they turn mushy and the bugs and wasps move in. Fortunately for us, our lovely neighbours had more plums than they knew what to do with so they gave us lots. We made this tangy chutney and there was enough to give them a jar too.

2kg ripe plums
2 tabs cold-pressed sunflower oil
250ml agave
1/2 cup soft light brown sugar
3 tsps Himalayan pink salt
2 tabs powdered ginger
2" of cinnamon stick
2 tps compound hing
1 tsp tamarind concentrate
1 large dried bayleaf
6 whole cloves
  • Wash, stone and halve the plums and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a sturdy, shallow pan and add the hing, ginger, bayleaf, cloves and cinnamon. Stir briefly.
  • Add the plums and simmer.
  • When they are just beginning to break down, add the salt, agave, sugar and tamarind. 
  • Cook until reduced to a chutney-like consistency (this doesn't take too long).
  • When the chutney is cooked, removed the cloves, cinnamon and bayleaf before bottling in sterilised jars. Keeps for at least two weeks in the fridge.
What fruits grow abundantly where you live? Do you ever swap produce with your neighbours?