Still about a year ago, I used to never eat noodles. Rice noodles, egg noodles, glass noodles, wheat noodles…I thought they all were unhealthy and full of additives, excess calories and unnecessary carbohydrates. And no fiber at all! And that is most often the truth if you get noodles in a (fast food) restaurant or even worse, buy “instant noodles” with a sauce or spice mixture included for cooking from the supermarket. However, I have learned that healthier options exist in the noodle range as well that can be not only delicious but quite nutritious also. Just remember to always check the ingredients and nutritional information from the package. Because there are brown rice noodles and wholewheat noodles, gluten free buckwheat soba noodles and even noodles that are made of only beans for the ultimate health nut. My most recent favourite are the organic 100% buckwheat soba noodles, marketed as a fiber-full and mineral-rich option. Although soba noodles cannot compete with wholegrain pasta made of spelt or rye in their fiber content, they are rich in magnesium and contain a good amount of protein as well as significantly less carbohydrates than the traditional white rice or wheat noodle. Most importantly, soba noodles have an extremely rich an delicious nutty taste that I absolutely love. Buckwheat is not a grain so it is suitable for a gluten free diet as well.
I have experimented with several veggie combinations to have with my soba noodles – below I will give you the recipe for what I have found out to be the absolute best combination, my “standard Soba bowl”. This balanced bowl combines soba noodles with carotenoid, fiber and vitamin packed veggies such as sweet potatoes, purple cabbage, baby spinach and broccoli and adds a bunch of extra protein from edamame beans and the egg. In case you are concerned of the cholesterol from the egg yolk or looking for a vegan a option, you could substitute for example avocado for the egg. If you don’t have any problems with cholesterol levels, a couple of eggs per week are in my opinion an excellent protein source and besides, the egg goes very well with this noodle bowl.
The standard Soba bowl with peanut dressing
What you will need:
a large handful of baby spinach
1 serving of soba noodles (100% buckwheat noodles)
1 small sweet potato
1/5 of a medium broccoli head
a small handful of shredded purple cabbage
1 1/2 dl frozen edamame beans
1 egg + vinegar for poaching the egg
How to do it?
- Heat up three full casseroles of water until boiling.
- While the water is heating up, wash your baby spinach, cabbage and broccoli. Scrub your sweet potato or even peel it if you wish.
- Cut the sweet potato into small cubes and steam it until soft. Cut also your broccoli and steam that one as well. I use a Lékué steam case – 3 minutes for the sweet potato and 1min 15sec for the broccoli. You could alternatively boil the veggies.
- Once the water in your casseroles is boiling, cook the soba noodles according to package instructions (around 5-6 minutes) then rinse them in cold water and drain. Cook also your edamame beans (around 5 minutes) then rinse them in cold water and drain.
- In the meanwhile, shred your purple cabbage into thin slices.
- Once you have all your ingredients except the egg ready, arrange them in your bowl.
- Finally, to poach your egg, splash some vinegar into your casserole full of boiling water, reduce the heat and drop the egg in the slowly boiling water (you can first crack the egg into a glass and only then pour it into the water). Cook for 4 minutes and 30 seconds, then carefully remove the egg and place it on top of your noodle bowl. You can alternatively soft boil your egg if poaching feels difficult.
- Garnish the soba bowl with your preferred extras; probiotic sauerkraut and protein-packed sprouts are my favourites. Serve with peanut dressing & enjoy!
What you will need:
1/2tbsp peanut butter
1tsp lemon juice
1tsp brown rice vinegar
1tsp tamari soy sauce
How to do it?
Mix all your ingredients together in a cup until you have a smooth sauce. Add a few drops of water to thin if needed. Serve with your soba bowl or sautéed veggies.