When people hear that I develop recipes for a living, I think most of them assume that eating at our house is like a delicious and varied restaurant—with a new recipe being tested at every single meal.
Not so much.
As much as I’d like to say I’m that adventurous in the kitchen, I have to be honest, my day-to-day menus are actually kinda boring.
Just like everyone else, we have a handful of our tried-and-true dishes that we rely on week after week. A few days a month, I devote to developing, tweaking and testing new recipes for you guys and my clients, but the rest of the time, I’m sticking with my favorites. And mostly, my favorites are quick, easy, simple and healthy recipes. There are a few dishes that you’ll almost always find the ingredients to whip up in my pantry, and this recipe for cold sesame soba noodles is one of them.
These noodles are so incredibly simple to make (they take about 15 minutes to put together start to finish), and they are absolutely delicious served cold, making them a fabulous candidate for food prepping.
I tend to make a double batch over the weekend, and then we eat on the noodles all week long. They hold up really well in lunches, and don’t need to be chilled or warmed, so they make for a pretty flexible (and tasty) midday meal. If you happen to run into me while I’m out running errands, more times than not, I’ll have a stainless steel lunch container of these noodles stashed in my purse. I don’t leave the house without food.
Soba noodles are a type of Japanese noodle, and if you’ve never worked with them before, I highly suggest you give them a shot. They’re made with buckwheat flour and 100% whole grain (you can also find some that have white flour in them, though, so be sure to check out the ingredients if you’re gluten-free). Unlike some whole grain pastas that can be gritty, soba noodles have a really great taste and smooth texture, perfect for noodle soups and noodle salads.
You can find soba noodles in the international foods section of most grocery stores—even our rinky-dink small town market sells them. But if you can’t seem to get your hands on them for some reason, you can sub in spaghetti and get similar results.
The flavor of these noodles is addictingly mild. Which sounds strange, I know. But they are one of those foods that with the first bite you think, “Yeah, that’s pretty good.” And then you take another bite. And another. And another. And before you know it, the entire bowl is gone, and all you can think about is how that was the most delicious bowl of food you’ve ever had. These noodles sneak up on you. I’ve actually caught my husband in the act of sneaking forkfuls of these noodles from the fridge in the middle of the night like a kid sneaking a cookie out of the cookie jar. They’re that addicting.
Whole grains, healthy fats, vegetarian protein, tons of vitamins and minerals—these noodles are a nutritional powerhouse. I’m definitely not immune to the appeal of a freshly-minted new year, and with the clean slate of a new calendar year, I want to bring in the fresh, simple dishes that I know will make me feel my best. And these noodles fit that bill!