“To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.” ~Buddha
I've always been hardwired for the healthy lifestyle. I know it's difficult for some to follow this path as they shine in other ways. It's just always been natural for me to gravitate in this direction. Don't get me wrong though, I've eaten my share of fast foods in my lifetime and still indulge in french fries, potato chips and various other not so healthy choices from time to time. It's just simply that I truly enjoy the good clean foods, the way they taste and the way they make me feel. But I also want to point out that even some healthy foods if over indulged in on a regular basis can cause problems. So as the old saying goes... moderation is key. It is my hope that you all find the recipes within this site to keep you inspired and eating good clean foods for the most part!
A healthy lifestyle also includes keeping your stress levels down. That is something I've worked on throughout my life. My life my seem a bit dull to most, but it suits me very well at this point in time. I choose to keep my stress levels to a minimum. With mistakes I've made in the past, I do my best to leave them there and pick up the pieces as best I can while moving forward. I have personally experienced what stress can do to the body, and it can be devastating! I now pick and choose carefully what I let into my life, letting go of the unnecessary baggage. I like the quote by Jonatan Martensson...
"Feelings are much like waves, you can't stop them from coming but we can choose which ones to surf"...
I am much wiser with this perspective! We are only human and can only do so much...but what we can do is pay attention to the foods we eat and the thoughts we indulge in. And get plenty of rest in between!
So today I share with you this lovely soba noodle dish with tofu and vegetables. Tofu is one of those plant based foods that should be eaten in moderation. It is not something that you want to eat on a daily basis. And if you do, keep it in very small portions. But for this dish we are going to enjoy a good dose of this marinated tofu. I find this meal to fulfill many senses. The basil and mint work together well here. Sometimes you get a bite of mint, another time a bite of basil and every now and then you'll get the flavor sensation of both. But by all means use one or the other if you only can find one. The marinade is so good and will make the plain tasting tofu come to life. Paired all together with the soba noodles and sautéed vegetables and this is completely healthy, satisfying and stress free meal.
Soba Noodles with Tofu, Broccoli & Carrots
Ingredients (serves 3)
- soba noodles (about 8 oz)
- 10 oz. extra firm tofu (I used Wildwood), cubed or sliced
- handful broccoli florets
- 2 carrots, sliced diagonally
- 2 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
- small handful mint leaves
- small handful basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil, for sauteing
- white & black sesame seeds for garnish, optional
- a few fresh basil & mint leaves for garnish, optional
- 1/4 cup tamari, soy sauce or bragg's aminos
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch knob ginger, grated or minced
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- a dash or two of sriracha, optional
In a medium size shallow dish, combine the ingredients of the marinade.
Next prepare your tofu. Let me start by saying that I don't drain my tofu when I use extra firm but if you feel that yours is holding a lot of water, you may like to press your tofu between the ends of a double folded dish towel. Either use the palms of your hands or lay on a hard flat surface and set a heavy book on top for a few minutes. Slice or cube your tofu, however you like best. Place tofu in the marinade and let set for at least 20 minutes, flipping every so often. The tofu is meant to be served at room temp straight from the marinade. Feel free to warm the tofu by adding it to the skillet while sauteing the veggies.
In a medium size pot filled 2/3 of the way with water (or salted water if you wish), bring water to a boil, add desired amount of soba noodles, lower heat to medium high and cook noodles, uncovered, for 4 minutes. When done drain, rinse and set aside.
In a medium size pan/skillet, heat sesame oil over medium heat, add the carrots and broccoli (and tofu if you would like it warmed), cook for about 3 minutes. Carefully add in a large spoonful tablespoon of the marinade along with the mint and basil and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes. I prefer my vegetables to be al dente and will remove from heat as soon as they brighten in color. Feel free to cook a little longer if you wish.
Serve soba noodles in individual dishes with marinated tofu, sauteed carrots, broccoli and herbs. Top with marinade, scallions, sesame seeds and additional fresh herbs.
This can be served warm or cooled. I ate this after taking the photos, it was on the cool side but still absolutely delicious!