Soba soba soba.

Soba. Soba Soba.

Piles of delicious noodles.
Warm broth.
Vegetables infused with toasted sesame flavour.
Chewy lemony tofu.

In other words, comfort in a bowl.
I can count on one hand the number of times I have eaten noodles in the last few years.

It's sad, because I was in Japan where Udon and Soba were a plenty.
But, it was hard to find 100% buckwheat noodles...most places use a mix of wheat/buckwheat noodles in soba, and udon, while insanely delicious, is made with wheat flour. I did indulge a few times, and loved every bite, but it was very infrequent.

Well, I found all buckwheat noodles here. And it's plenty cold right now (Winter seems to have forgotten that it missed it's chance...March is not time to start blizzarding and freezing). And on a Friday, simple meals are much appreciated. So here it is:

Sesame Veggie Soba Bowl

Ingredients (for 2 big servings):
* 2 bundles of soba noodles (usually they come pacakged with each serving wrapped in a little paper band).
* 6 cups water
* few pinches of sea salt
*2 Tbsp kuzu or arrowroot powder (for a slight thickening)
*1 Tbsp sesame oil
*1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
*1 head of broccoli in small pieces (including the stem)
* 2 smallish carrots, in thin rounds
*2" of daikon, in thin half moons
*half a package of firm pressed tofu (2 servings), cut into pieces and marinated in lemon juice, shoyu, and a few drops sesame oil for at least an hour if possible
* grated or minced ginger to your preference, or about 1Tbsp ginger juice
*1T or more shoyu or tamari (your preference).
1. Boil water. Add salt, then noodles. Boil according to pkg (mine said for 6 mins).
2. Scoop out noodles into a colander, and rinse with cold water. Let noodles drain.  Keep the noodle water.
3. Mix kuzu/arrowroot powder with a tiny bit of water, stirring until lumps are gone.
4. Add kuzu and ginger juice to noodle water and stir occasionally, letting it come back to boil, then simmer.
6.  Meanwhile, sautΓ© veggies in sesame oils with a lid on. If they become dry, add a teeny tiny bit of water.
6. When veggies are 80% cooked (just about soft), add them to the broth. Shake the condensation from the lid into the noodle pot. Trust me on this one---it's very flavourful.
7.  Add shoyu or tamari to the broth, to taste. Let simmer for at least 5 minutes.
8.  Meanwhile, saute tofu in pan until browned a bit on each side, adding water/oil if needed.
9. Put noodles into the bottom of 2 bowls.
10.. Once the tofu's browned, add it to the veggies and broth. Simmer for ~3 mins.
11. Scoop veggies and tofu into each bowl, and then pour the broth over top.
One of the most satisfying meals I've eaten in ages.

P.S. Recommended eating utensils are chopsticks. Slurp and pour the broth into your mouth straight from the bowl.
How do you like your noodles?

Sweet treats.

A sweet treat for my sweetie and I to enjoy on Valentine's day:

Did you know you can cut strawberries to look like hearts? really super easy :)

For our evening indulgence, I made 
Brownies with Tofu Whipping Cream
They are mega-delicious, and are made with brown rice and almond flour.
I made a few substitutions/changes to her recipe, to make them a bit more macrobiotic friendly:
* Instead of earth balance, I used 1/4c. vegetable oil 
   (I used 2Tbsp olive oil, 1Tbsp sunflower oil, 1Tbsp walnut oil)
*I also added 3Tbsp applesauce
*I replaced the sugar with maple syrup granules
*I used 1tsp baking powder instead of soda, because I only had alkalized cocoa available
*I toasted the walnuts first
*I used unsweetened baking chocolate, plus a few dark chocolate squares cut up (I think 70%).

To up the macrobiotic friendly factor even more, you could replace cocoa powder with carob powder, and use grain-sweetened chocolate. Let me know if you try!

I served ours up with some quick: 
Tofu Whip
*1 package of lite silken tofu
*2Tbsp maple syrup
Blended with an immersion blender until very smooth.
Keep in the fridge for a few hours to firm up.
*At many of the macro-restaurants I visited in Japan, this was served with desserts, I simply guessed the proportions and ingredients, and it turned out just fine!
These brownies are best made the day before you want to eat them. They get really dense after sitting awhile. Store them in a glass container. I put mine in the fridge.

There are far worse things in the world, than waking up to brownies in the fridge.
I saved a few, and brought the rest for some yogi-friends to devour. They gobbled them right up and pronounced them swoon-worthy :)
This was the first time I have used maple syrup granules, because, let's face it: they aren't cheap.
I got these ones from iHerb.
They were just superb, as was iHerb, as always :)
$5 off your first order with code ROP008.
By FAR the cheapest place to get products like seasonings, sweeteners, etc.
What's your favourite brownie recipe?
Have you made macrobiotic or vegan brownies?

Stir fry.

I haven't just been eating cake around here.
Although, believe me, I'd like to.
I've been enjoying regular meals, including brown rice, some sort of veggies, 
and sometimes beans.
I've also been really loving stir frys.
My quick go to version is:
1-2 t sesame oil
lots of fresh minced ginger
throw in some carrots and daikon.
let them cook for a bit.
then add in a whole whack of chopped different fresh greens or cabbage
pour in a bit of shoyu diluted with some water
then add in some broccoli
But occasionally I add in tofu.
I found this super firm delicious tofu in the store the other day. I'm pretty sure it's locally made, and really fresh. It's almost as thought it's pre-pressed.
This time, I added in some toasted sesame oil too, and sauteed the tofu in with the rest of the veggies.
Delicious, and super fast.
Do you like stirfrys?
They have become my super fast regular meal. I eat them at least twice a week.

What protein do you put in them?
Sometimes I add in beans, or even some shrimp that I saute with lemon and cayenne on the side.

What do you use for flavour? Spices?
I pretty much always put in fresh minced ginger. 
Toasted sesame oil gives a great flavour too. Also, I often use shoyu. 
Sometimes I use black pepper or cayenne pepper too.