Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Asian Sensation

I've been going hiking up in the mountains on the weekends before going to the local farmers market.  I love the farmers market.  I was up hiking around the other weekend and saw this drawing on the water tower thing up there.  I thought it was pretty funny.

While at the farmers market I picked up some tasty veggies.  Among which was this enormous zucchini.  It was the size of a baby's leg!  I was looking for some fun ideas for the veggies I purchased and came across Chef Chloe's blog.  She had some fun Asian inspired meals that looked tasty and I wanted to try.

First up, the Garlic Sesame Soba Noodles.  I made tweaks to this recipe, like I do to most recipes these days.

Garlic Sesame Soba Noodles
- 8oz of soba noodles
- 2 tbsp oil
- 6oz mixed mushrooms (I used shiitake, portabello, oyster, lions mane, etc.)
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- a few shakes of the red chili flakes
- 3 large green onions, sliced thinly
- sesame seeds to garnish

Make the soba noodles according to the package.  While they're going, saute the mushrooms in the oil until tender.  Add the garlic and saute for a minute until fragrant.  Add the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili flakes.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for 3 minutes.  Take the drained, cooked noodles and add into the pan and remove pan from heat.  Mix the noodles until coated.  Enjoy!

This was a really easy and tasty meal.  Next time I make it I'll add some veggies to it like broccoli.

I've never had Soba noodles before and they were very yummy.  I'll have to incorporate them into more meals.  Soba isn't a wheat noodle, which is nice as well.  They're made out of buckwheat flour.

Speaking of new and fabulous things, I recently made almond butter for the first time!  I tried making it before and messed up in the critical step, you always have to keep going!!  To make almond butter I took about two cups of frozen almonds and toasted them in my toaster oven for 20 minutes.  This was primarily to get them thawed and to release some of the water.  I let them cool completely.

Once cooled, I placed them all in the food processor and hit ON.  I stopped the machine a few times to scrape down the sides, but that's all there is to it.  The critical part is making sure you keep going.  The almonds go from a crumbly form, to sand, to kind of clumpy sand (for a while), before the oils get released and the creamy butter forms.  The whole process takes about 15 minutes or so in a food processor.  I also added a bit of honey into mine (not vegan, I know).  Very tasty.  I can't wait to try it with other types of nuts!

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