Cool salads are my go-to meals during the summer months. I’m on holidays and don’t feel like spending much time hidden away in the kitchen, and besides, no one feels like eating large, heavy meals in the heat. With smaller portion sizes it is important that each bowl is packed with health-giving nutrients.
Soba literally means “buckwheat” in Japanese and is also the name of the thin noodles made from buckwheat flour. They are versatile, nutty and make a great gluten free option, as long as they do not contain wheat flour. The health benefits of including buckwheat into your diet are numerous and you can read more over here in a previous post.
This recipe also contains Umeboshi vinegar (it can be substituted but worth the investment). Umeboshi plums are considered the king of alkaline foods, highly respected in Japan for their remarkable medicinal properties in balancing the body and helping with indigestion. It can be used in any salads, just drizzle a small amount of Umeboshi vinegar over some olive oil– it’s salty so start with only a little and taste from there.
Seaweed is known as an ancient super food and I include some Nori in this recipe to prop up the nutritional values. Seaweed draws an abundance of minerals from the sea. It is high in iodine, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins C and A, protein, Vitamins B, fibre and, alpha linoleic acid, EPA, and so much more. There are many varieties and it is worth experimenting to find ways of including more sea vegetables into your diet on a regular basis.
When making this salad be sure to create a complete meal. Combine seasonal vegetables with your preferred choice of protein. Good options include pan-fried tofu, grilled fish or a poached egg. My children prefer a boiled egg on the side (not pictured).
Here is my variation….
Summer soba salad
- 2 bundles organic soba noodles (if gluten is an issue check that the ingredients do not include wheat flour)
- coconut oil for cooking
- 2 medium carrots julienned
- 2 cups shredded kale (remove stem first)
- 1/4 small white shredded cabbage
- 1 bunch chopped broccolini
- 2 small raw Lebanese cucumbers julienned
- 2 sheets Nori to garnish
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Umeboshi vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- pinch sea salt
- lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
In a small jar combine salad dressing ingredients and shake to combine. Allow dressing to sit and infuse.
Cook soba noodles in boiling water according to packet directions. Drain and blanche in cold water to avoid over cooking. Drain.
Lightly sauté cabbage, kale, carrots and broccolini in coconut oil until tender.
Heat a wok or non stick pan with a little coconut oil and lightly saute cabbage, kale, carrots and broccolini.
Combine the raw cucumber, cooked vegetables and soba noodles in a bowl and drizzle with dressing.
Divide into 4 bowls and top with your choice of protein.
Use scissors to cut Nori sheets into thin strips and garnish.