Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how cooking everyday has become so natural. Because yes, I love cooking, it’s therapeutic and fun for me, and that’s a huge part of it. But it wasn’t always that way. There was a long time after I first became gluten-free when I ate a lot of pre-packaged foods or simply not enough food at all. I didn’t have a great relationship with food, especially after it made me feel so sick for so long, and consequently so restricted in my options.
I eventually realized that I could spend my time complaining about food, about having Celiac disease. Or I could do something about it. So I started making my own gluten-free muffins and overnight oats–both traditions I still keep up with to stay fueled throughout the week. I eventually graduated to green smoothies, sweet potatoes, and kale salads. Once I discovered the farmer’s market, it unlocked even more freedom in food. I could be creative and experimental. Most importantly, I could combine the simplest ingredients to make something spectacular. I felt empowered, in control, and nourished for the first time in a long time.
Meals like these soba noodles were like that. They brought me out of my comfort zone and into a more beautiful, expansive life. Because, yes, it’s just food. But I can tell you firsthand how much food has an impact on your soul. After all, we eat at least 3 times a day. We share meals with the most cherished people in our lives, so it’s hard to break bread when you can’t, you know, eat bread. Many of our biggest moments in life are celebrated with food. And making it a priority again made a huge difference to me.
So I encourage you to discover what kinds of foods you love and start there. Maybe it’s pasta- here and here are a few recipes. Maybe you want to start simple, with a pre-made breakfast. Or maybe you’re excited to experiment with seasonal vegetables. Whatever way, start small, find joy and pleasure in cooking and preparing a meal that makes you feel nourished. And go from there.
Today, I’ve got another simple, quick, and delicious weekday meal idea for you. One that we have made on more than one occasion. It’s simple, packed with veggies, creaminess, and flavor. Plus noodles. You really can’t go wrong. The inspiration for these creamy vegan cashew soba noodles came from a pack of brown rice ramen purchased at Costco. I was so excited to make ramen after all the years without gluten-free options, but honestly, I wasn’t all that impressed with the end product. But importantly, I WAS impressed by the noodles themselves. They taste just like the real thing. They’re not fragile–like many gluten-free noodles–and they soak up all the flavors they’re exposed to. So I cooked some up, combined them with all my favorite veggies, and made a creamy vegan dressing to top. We ate the whole batch that night.
So yes, amazing. The noodles are made by Lotus Foods, and I can’t recommend them enough. For our recipe, I used snap peas, edamame, cilantro, and spiralized carrots. Use any veggies you love though, broccoli or mushrooms would be a great addition! I really like my choices, they gave this dish a wonderful pop of color and a nice crunch.
As far as dressing, I started with cashew butter and combined it with tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), chili garlic sauce for spice, lime juice, ginger, and sesame oil. On point. SO GOOD. Like I would definitely eat it just plain. Or as a dressing for any old salad. Or topping a sweet potato. Mmm-mmm. But its perfect for this noodle salad because it coats everything evenly and generously, giving it lots of flavor and creaminess. Sweet, salty, and spicy.
Mix it all together
Aside from all that, we also love this recipe because it’s simple. It takes only 20 minutes to whip up. Meaning it’s easy to throw together when you get home from work, and even easier if you have a helper. It’s vegan & gluten-free, full of vegetables, and plant based protein. It’s nutritious, filling, and nourishing. Even better, it’s good both warm and cold. Enjoy it warm for dinner, and pack the cold leftovers the next day for lunch. Kid-friendly, omnivore approved. I promise you will love it.
Start this week with a soba noodle salad. Make it Meatless Monday perhaps. And be proud of yourself for every small step.
- 2 "cakes" brown rice ramen (~4 cups cooked noodles- can use soba, brown rice, ramen, etc.)
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 4 carrots, spiralized or julienned (or simply chopped)
- 1 cup edamame, cooked
- 1 cup snap peas
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- ¼ c cashew butter (almond or peanut butter also work)
- 1 Tbsp Tamari(gluten-free soy sauce, regular soy sauce, or coconut aminos work too)
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (this is spicy-leave out if you don't like spice)
- ¼ cup lime juice (~1 lime), squeezed
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp hot water
- Cook your noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cool water.
- Meanwhile, chop your veggies and combine in a bowl.
- Mix your dressing by placing all ingredients in a blender. Add more water if needed to thin.
- Mix everything together in a bowl. Serve warm or cold.
Keeps in the fridge up to 5 days.
Best when shared:)