After the sugar rush and inevitable crash that were my Brown Sugar Peach Muffins last weekend (delicious but dangerous!), I went into the week wanting nothing but healthy, happy foods. I had a strange mixture of veggies from an earlier grocery store excursion that I wanted to use up and the idea of a simple noodle bowl came to mind. I have been loving soba/udon noodles lately! They cook so quickly and take on the taste of whatever you toss in with them. I'm still trying to avoid any aggressive flavors (spicy, onions, garlic, etc) due to el acido refluxo, so sesame seemed like a natural fit. I kept seasoning each component until I put them all together and voila! A yummy and super nutritious dinner was born! I always know I really like a meal I've made when I can eat the leftovers for lunch two days in a row and still be excited about it.
I was introduced to the magic root veggie known as "daikon" a couple months ago when I made the recipe for Braised Daikon from "The Kind Diet". I had never eaten it before and I was totally blown away! Daikon looks like a giant white carrot and when it's raw it tastes like radish. But when you cook it, it becomes sweet and almost tangy. It's totally delicious on it's own or incorporated into a meal. Daikon is also well-known for its detoxifying properties. It can help clear up colds, aid in digestion, and is even a hangover remedy.
Johnny really seemed to like this dinner even though it contained the dreaded cooked greens! He actually confessed to me last night that he's starting to like them. Hahaha I win again!
Sesame Soba Noodles with Daikon and Veggies
1 kabocha or butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1" cubes
1/2 bag of peeled baby carrots (organic!)
2 tbsps toasted sesame seed oil
1 tbsp shoyu (or soy sauce or tamari)
1 tbsp sesame seeds or gomasio
1 large daikon, skinned and cut into 1/2" thick rounds
water to cover
1/4 cup mirin
1 tsp shoyu (or soy sauce or tamari)
1 large bunch collard greens, ribs removed and sliced into ribbons
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tsp (or soy sauce or tamari)
1 package buckwheat soba noodles or noodle of your choice
Begin by placing shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and covering with very warm water. Set aside and let soak for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large glass baking dish, toss the squash and carrots with the sesame seed oil, shoyu, and sesame seeds. Cover loosely with foil and cook for 40-45 minutes or until very tender. You can remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of cooking to brown the veggies a bit.
Placed your daikon rounds into a large skillet and cover almost completely with water. Add the mirin and shoyu and stir. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Continue simmering for about 30 minutes, turning once or twice, until all the liquid is absorbed. If the liquid is taking too long to absorb, remove the lid and allow it to evaporate.
In a large soup pot, toss your collard greens with a bit of water and shoyu. Cook covered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just about tender (about 10 minutes). Take the soaked shiitake mushrooms and remove the hard stems and discard. Cut the mushrooms into smaller pieces then toss in with the greens. Continuing cooking for another five minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
Rinse out the soup pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil and add the soba noodles. Cook according to package instructions (4-6 minutes is the norm). Drain and return to the pot. Drizzle a bit of toasted sesame seed oil and some shoyu over the top and sprinkle in some sesame seeds. Toss together.
Divide the noodles between four bowls then top with all the veggies. (I cut my daikon rounds into fourths when they were done cooking.)