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simple, salty, sweet + nutty broccoli soba

simple, salty, sweet + nutty broccoli soba // the first messsimple, salty, sweet + nutty broccoli soba // the first messnoodles // the first messThe Extra Virgin Kitchen by Susan Jane White
I find it really hard to eat full-stop healthy sometimes, but most especially this time of year. No garden, no sunshine to lure you outside for an off-the-cuff adventure, constant carb-y hankerings seem to fortify us against the cold (proof: there was a bathtub-sized vat of kale, celery root, chili + cauliflower mac ‘n’ cheese for staff meal the other night), the anxiousness over whether spring will ever come… It’s the season of staying cozy and holding tight, and it seems far from over up in these parts. What to eat is more often answered with reasons of comfort than thoughts of lightness.

I haven’t been strictly vegan for a while (maybe we can talk about that soon?), I love salty snacks, treats with coffee, and I sincerely enjoy a piece of not-even-remotely whole grain sourdough often. All of that and some hot chocolate, you know just in case, has been thoroughly woven into the movements of life lately. It feels good deep down in certain ways that don’t really tick the boxes for wellness inspiration boards on Pinterest (which is fine because frankly #fitspo is a little scary for me). And while I’m happy (so happy) in a general life/place-in-the-universe sense… most of my jeans are tight as eff right about now.

So when The Extra Virgin Kitchen arrived in the post, the whole aura about it felt so timely. The pictures are green, gorgeous, and full of beautiful warm weather evening light. More importantly, Susan offers loads of inspiration in the realm of food and wellness. She has so many interesting and new ideas for superfoods, grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. There’s lucuma fudge, beetroot ketchup, spirulina shots, buckwheat crepes with pine nut ricotta, badass breakfast bars (best title eveeeer), harissa quinoa with lemon-roasted fennel… lots of inspiration to help anyone be a little more creative and mindful in the kitchen. All of the recipes are gluten, dairy, and sugar free too (there’s some meat and fish in the mix FYI). I think flipping through this beaut might have been the spark I needed to dust off my juicer? Whatever the case, the inclination towards fresh juices, vegetables in general, plant-y proteins, and proper hydration has definitely been stronger lately.

This recipe from the salads & suppers section had me intrigued in its outright simplicity. I knew it had to be one of those things that was way more than the sum of its parts because why else would she call it “snazzy broccoli and soba noodles”? Snazzy! Some chopped brazil nuts (selenium yea yea) are stirred into a salty-awesome mix of sesame oil, tamari, garlic etc. I added a couple little things just for fun because I had them around (lime juice, ginger, tiny splash of maple syrup). It was just a little stir and pour-over kind of move and holy jeez. So good. Suspiciously good for the amount of effort really. This one is for all the peeps who don’t think they have enough time to eat well for themselves, because YOU KNOW you don’t have time to feel like shit either. Give yourself the power in a cool 15 minutes :)

simple, salty, sweet + nutty broccoli soba // the first messsimple, salty, sweet + nutty broccoli soba // the first messsimple, salty, sweet + nutty broccoli soba // the first messsimple, salty, sweet + nutty broccoli soba // the first mess
simple, salty, sweet + nutty broccoli soba
lightly adapted from Susan Jane White’s The Extra Virgin Kitchen
serves: 2-3
notes: This recipe is so versatile: use any steamed/roasted/grilled/raw vegetables you like, noodles of whatever persuasion you prefer. But the sauce! Please keep the sauce :)

soba:
2-3 portions of soba noodles (I like a 1:1, sometimes 1:2, noodle + veg ratio, but make as much as you prefer)
1/2-1 full bunch of broccoli, cut into florets (save the stalks for green juice or maybe some pesto?)

sauce:
1-2 garlic cloves, grated on a rasp
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled + grated on a rasp
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
splash of maple syrup/brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp light miso
hot toasted sesame oil to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of cayenne or chili flakes
juice of 1/2 a lime
4-5 brazil nuts, chopped + divided

Cook the soba noodles according to package directions. This usually takes anywhere from 8-10 minutes once your water’s boiling. Drain them and rinse with cold water.

While the noodles are cooking, in a small bowl whisk/stir together the grated garlic, ginger, tamari, maple syrup/brown rice syrup, miso, hot toasted sesame oil, olive oil, cayenne, lime juice and chopped brazil nuts. Add a little fresh ground black pepper if you want. Set aside.

Steam the broccoli to a point you find enjoyable. I like mine still sorta raw-ish, so once the water’s simmering in the pot, that steamer basket hangs out for about 3-4 minutes.

Divide the noodles and broccoli among bowls, drizzle the sauce on top, sprinkle the tops with some extra chopped brazil nuts if you like and serve.

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Claire (Eat Well. Party Hard.)13/03/2014 - 4:39 am

Two words: that. gif.

Skye13/03/2014 - 5:31 am

You’re photos are always so beautiful – how do you do it?!
I’m endlessly trying to be healthy too. And then failing miserably when someone offers me a slice of cake. But recipes like this certainly help to inspire me to be more conscious of what I eat…

Kathryn13/03/2014 - 5:39 am

I’ve seen a couple of people talking about this book recently and, like you, it feels pretty timely to me. I’m so bored about obsessing about what I eat and I’m so ready to embrace a more simple + happier outlook. Sometimes that will involve carbs + chocolate and other times it will involve broccoli and soba noodles. That’s what balance is all about right? Love this + your pics which are so full of beauty and life.

Natalye13/03/2014 - 6:02 am

Looks amazingly good! I have some broccoli in the fridge waiting to be used. Might just have to try this out! Thanks for sharing.

Lisa @ Simple Pairings13/03/2014 - 7:09 am

What a beautiful dish! I have yet to try soba noodles, but I really should one of these days. I’ve been seeing them everywhere! This looks so yummy – love the sauce recipe.

lynsey13/03/2014 - 8:36 am

This is the best “This one is for all the peeps who don’t think they have enough time to eat well for themselves, because YOU KNOW you don’t have time to feel like shit either” – we all only have 24 hours…why not feel awesome? great post. xo

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan13/03/2014 - 8:50 am

Those noodles and veggies, perfect!

Christine13/03/2014 - 9:58 am

I haven’t heard of this book, but it looks right up my alley and I think I’ll add it to my wishlist :) Your pictures look beautiful and this sounds really delicious!

la domestique13/03/2014 - 10:27 am

OMG I’m talkin about Extra Virgin Kitchen over on la domestique too! Love that book and had great fun at her cookery demo in Dublin last night. You’ve made the broccoli soba look irresistible!

Lauren13/03/2014 - 10:45 am

This looks great AND I have most of these ingredients in my kitchen already. Looks like I’m going to have a new favorite weeknight meal…
Thanks!
-Lauren at http://www.lakeshorelady.com

Emma13/03/2014 - 10:58 am

What an easy, tasty-looking dish. I’m not familiar with that book but the recipes you listed sound right up my street.
Spring has finally sprung here but I’m still clinging on to winter comfort foods…

michelle13/03/2014 - 11:02 am

Amazing! Just the kind of simple meal that I love. Question: what nut would be an ideal substitute for a brazil nut in a pinch?

Also, thanks for sharing that article about #fitspo. I hope more people reconsider those kinds of messages.

Ashley13/03/2014 - 11:46 am

Just beautiful. And, that sauce!!! I’ve definitely been overdoing it with the carbs lately. Whoops. ;)

jen13/03/2014 - 11:46 am

Assuming you got this book from the publisher/author, did they provide more info on North America distribution that you could include in the post?

Looks like a wonderful book I’d like to buy but I see it listed for $82 US, and only from third party sellers, which seems crazy….

cheri13/03/2014 - 11:49 am

Look’s like this is a great cookbook, love soba noodles, broccoli and most any kind of nut garnish on top. Yum!

Laura Wright13/03/2014 - 12:05 pm

Hi Jen!,
The publisher included a link to Book Depository, which seems to have it at a more reasonable price!: http://www.bookdepository.com/Extra-Virgin-Kitchen-Susan-Jane-White/9780717159338
-L

Laura Wright13/03/2014 - 12:07 pm

Michelle,
Almost any chopped up nut or seed would be appropes I think. Peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds or almonds (or a mix!) would all be so great.
-L

dederka13/03/2014 - 1:54 pm

i love the photos! i love soba, i love broccoli, i love brasil nuts, looks like a have a winner in the whats for dinner everyday contest
all the best!

Sini | my blue&white kitchen13/03/2014 - 3:59 pm

I’ve been obsessed with soba noodles lately, so this dish basically calls my name. Definitely going to make this soon! Thanks, for being such a constant source of inspiration!

Jessica DeMarra13/03/2014 - 10:49 pm

Your photography is so brilliant and vivid. The way you present this dish makes my mouth water over something so simple as broccoli and noodles.

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)14/03/2014 - 1:44 am

Soba noodles are such a simple joy. My son will rarely eat pasta but soba noodles always go down a treat. Adding this recipe to my meal plan!

Jo14/03/2014 - 11:31 am

This looks so delicious can’t wait to try it! Although I’m tempted to just make the sauce and use it for dipping bread in!

M14/03/2014 - 7:49 pm

Just wondering if you tried the sauce with miso? It’s in one of the photos!

Laura Wright14/03/2014 - 8:39 pm

M, I toootally forgot to add that to the recipe! Oops. Fixed it :)
-L

Chelsea // The Naked Fig15/03/2014 - 10:44 pm

This looks so delicious and simple to make. I must remember this one next time I’m feeling run down and uninspired. That book looks fantastic. What a beauty she is. Thank you for sharing!

Gwyneth17/03/2014 - 11:11 am

I just learned how to make my own soba noodles, so I am definitely trying this out. Thanks so much!

Kris17/03/2014 - 3:17 pm

Girl, I totally get this. I could have written this post myself, especially (unfortunately) the part about that my jeans are effing tight! :) You have no idea how nice it it know that I’m not alone. I’ve gotta get my hands on this book now, too!

Katie @ Produce on Parade17/03/2014 - 3:50 pm

Haha, omg this post had me cracking up…and relating. Those fitspo images are terrifying on some many different levels. Not gonna lie, I run at least four times a week and do yoga at least twice a week but it’s mostly for a mind release, to fight stress and curb illness. I do it because it makes me happy, not because if I don’t do it it will make me upset! I’ve never understood that! Being vegan makes me very happy too! :) Loved this post. Now off to eat a chocolate cherry cookie, yum!

Weekend Reading, 3.17.1417/03/2014 - 5:55 pm

[…] love a recipe with a descriptive title. What’s more evocative than Laura’s simple, salty, sweet, nutty broccoli soba […]

[…] Avant je détestais le brocolis. Mais maintenant j’ai envie d’en manger à toutes les sa… […]

jade18/03/2014 - 8:22 pm

this is EXACTLY what I feel like today. and i have all the ingredients already on hand! very excited – the amazing recipes just keep coming laura! sheesh!!

Evan19/03/2014 - 9:48 am

Made this last night–simple, quick, delicious. I found the sauce incredibly salty for some reason–not sure if it was the type of miso I used. I added a little extra olive oil to balance it out and it was just fine. Thank you for the recipe, and for the tip about the book! I look forward to checking it out.

Hilary19/03/2014 - 3:54 pm

“This one is for all the peeps who don’t think they have enough time to eat well for themselves, because YOU KNOW you don’t have time to feel like shit either”

Pure Genius.

Thanks for the spark of inspiration:)

WorldlyPost19/03/2014 - 11:08 pm

Oh my goodness! I could not agree more with the desire to reach for a comforting slice of toast or a slice pot pie for a cold evening or some gooey mashed potatoes! Spring is around the corner though….even though it seems like longer! :)

Thanks for the recipe!

Poutine80twenty25/03/2014 - 12:12 am

[…] richer, more satiating foods still maintains a stronghold on my appetite. I related a lot to Laura’s post about still having a need for comforting, fortifying carbs, and other heavy foods throughout this […]

Brandon26/03/2014 - 10:14 am

I made this the other night and it was fantastic. 5 out of 5. So simple and so delicious. The only thing I may change is to add tofu next time to give it a bit more protein, but other than that it was perfection. Thanks so much for the fantastic recipe.

SLJ27/03/2014 - 6:26 pm

This was so simple to make, yet so wonderfully satisfying. I will add tofu next time too, but it’s lovely the way it is as well. Thanks for the recipe and the gorgeous photos.

[…] simple, salty, sweet and nutty broccoli soba, The First Mess: I’ve been getting a lot of broccoli in my Abel & Cole vegetable box of […]

Michelle Duong27/04/2014 - 11:44 pm

I just made this for lunch. It was deliciously tasty but also light. Yum! Thanks for the recipe and I’m loving your blog

Patty09/06/2014 - 11:06 pm

YUM! Just made this. Quick, easy, super tasty. Thank you!

[…] Make it a topping for a salad dressed with something like this. […]

[…] Simple, Salty, Sweet + Nutty Broccoli Soba from The First Mess […]

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