Inside AIA Insurance Company
This recipe is an excerpt from my healthy living column in Inside AIA- an insurance company publication, encouraging people to live healthfully while still eating deliciously.
Eating whole grains is one of the simplest ways to change your diet and dramatically bolster your health. By simply replacing the processed white flour and grains you already eat with healthy, nutrient rich whole grains, you can protect your body from heart disease, type two diabetes, and numerous forms of cancer. Whole grains also promote a healthy colon and digestive system, and lower the overall risk of obesity. They are a great source of complex carbohydrates, are naturally low in fat, and also contain important trace vitamins and minerals. In an effort to eat whole grains, avoid any refined or processed grains, and chose wholesome options like quinoa, buckwheat, whole oats, brown rice, bulgur, millet, wild rice, and 100% whole wheat flour.
Buckwheat is a particularly healthy whole grain and can be easily incorporated into your diet. When cooked, buckwheat becomes tender and nutty, making it the perfect backdrop for strong flavors. It contains essential amino acids making it a good vegetarian source of protein, fiber and minerals. The magnesium in buckwheat helps relax muscles and lower blood pressure, and the copper and manganese battle off cancer and other disease-causing substances. Buckwheat is also gluten-free, so it’s a great option for those with celiac disease or those who are sensitive to gluten. Buckwheat is most commonly found in soba noodles, which cook up quickly and make for a healthy and satisfying meal. This buckwheat soba noodle salad below makes a great light lunch, or the perfect side to grilled fish for dinner. It also travels well, making it a great option for work or travel.
Soba Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce
- 1 (16 oz) package of buckwheat/ soba noodles
- 1 cup kale or spinach, de-stemmed and chopped
- 1 cup carrots, cut into strips or grated
- 1 small bunch of spring onions or scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cooked edamame
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
- 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 1/8 cup rice vinegar
- 1/8 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 2 T honey or brown rice syrup
- 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup warm water, to thin the sauce
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Boil the noodles per package instructions.
- In the last two minutes of cooking add the kale or spinach to the boiling water and noodles.
- Drain noodles and kale, run under cold water for about a minute to stop the cooking, and set aside in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the peanut butter, garlic, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, honey and chili sauce or cayenne pepper. Thin slowly with warm water, depending on the consistency you want.
- Gently toss the noodles, kale, carrots, spring onions and edamame with a big splash of the sauce. Add more sauce a little at a time, until the salad is dressed how you like it, reserving any extra dressing for another use (it’s great over white fish).
- Season to taste with black pepper and sea salt if needed, and serve warm or at room temperature.