Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad

Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad | Lattes & Leggings

Lattes & Leggings is moving to a new home at the end of the month. A new space with more creative freedom which means I’m leaving WordPress. To my email followers, you’ll continue to receive posts by email so no worries there. To my 6k+ WordPress followers, you’ll no longer see new posts in your newsfeed. I hope you’ll continue reading via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. Your comments really bring this space to life and hope we can continue on this cooking journey together. I know it’s been pretty quiet around here. I’ve written less and less over the past several months. It’s been a rough first half of the year personally, but now that I’m getting back into the swing of things, I hope to write more and share more recipes with you. Enough about that. Let’s talk about soba noodles!

savoy cabbage

I have to admit, I cook mostly with Mediterranean and Italian ingredients, but this is one of my favorite salads to make for lunch. Savoy cabbage technically is a winter vegetable, but I love it for its texture and ability to hold up well to a dressing…even sitting two to three days in the fridge. The savoy cabbage’s green leafy texture is similar to tuscan kale. I love kale, but I cannot eat it raw. The raw flavor is not as delicious as a lightly sauteed version with garlic and olive oil. However, raw savoy cabbage is mild in taste and coats the ginger dressing nicely. I also love savoy cabbage for its nutrition. It’s rich in potassium, vitamin A, C, and fiber. Lately I’ve been incorporating fresh minced ginger into veggie sautees to help with B’s high cholesterol.

soba, scallions, ginger
cabbage, peppers, cucumbers
soba salad

The rest of the salad is spring-like with cucumbers, carrots, and scallions which add crunch and freshness. As for the soba noodles, I use a 100% buckwheat kind for a wheat-free, gluten-free option. The almond butter adds body to the dressing while the lime provides a punch of acidity and cayenne adds a hint of heat (depending how much you add). It’s a great salad to have in the fridge to pack for a work lunch or for a warm day as summer approaches. I toss everything in a giant stainless steel bowl and cover the leftovers with saran wrap to keep it crisp for a few days in the fridge. This salad is a good start to getting back into the groove of the things.

Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad | Lattes & Leggings

Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad
loosely adapted from Giada’s Feel Good Food

serves 4 to 6

1 pound savoy cabbage, cored and shredded
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 cup shelled edamame
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup toasted slivered or sliced almonds
4 ounces soba noodles (100% buckwheat)
3 tablespoons black sesame seeds

5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
5 tablespoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon honey
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
pinch of cayenne pepper

In an extra large bowl, add the cabbage, peppers, cucumber, carrots, edamame, scallions, and almonds.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In a blender, add the soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, almond butter, honey, ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth.

Add the noodles to the salad. Pour the dressing over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature or cold. Leftovers will hold up well in the fridge for a few days in a stainless steel bowl.

Lemon Farro with White Beans and Broccoli

Lemon Farro with White Beans and Broccoli | Lattes & Leggings

When I first started finding my way in the kitchen six years ago, I had no clue how to cook vegetables. My pantry was stocked with canned goods, and that was about it. Very little fresh produce sitting in the fridge. Sauteeing fresh vegetables was one of the first cooking techniques I learned thanks to Giada’s Everyday Italian cookbook which taught me the basics of Italian cooking. The first saute I made was a broccoli and green beans saute seasoned with garlic and chile flakes. Simple ingredients, but yet so flavorful. It became a nightly side for dinner, and I never bought another canned vegetable after that.

broccoli and white beans

This farro dish represents all of these same flavors and even more with the salty pecorino and brightness from the lemon. Farro is my go to substitute for pasta because it’s nutty and has a chewy texture. I look at this dish as an amped up version of my usual nightly dinner side. With the addition of creamy white beans, it’s a vegetarian one bowl dinner.

Lemon Farro with White Beans and Broccoli | Lattes & Leggings

Lemon Farro with White Beans and Broccoli
adapted from Weeknights with Giada

If you’re not a fan of spice, omit or use less red pepper flakes.

serves 4 to 6

1 cup farro
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound broccoli, cut into florets
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
kosher salt and black pepper
1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon honey
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water and the farro to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until tender. Drain and transfer the farro to a large serving bowl.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the broccoli, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan, scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the liquid is reduced in half and broccoli is crisp-tender. Add the beans and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until warmed through. Transfer the broccoli mixture to the bowl with the farro. Add the pecorino.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the chives. Pour the dressing over the farro and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Salad | Lattes & Leggings

Hello Spring! It’s been awhile, and oh how I’ve missed you. You can stay all year round if you’d like. It’s been a brutal winter. It’s been months since I’ve seen a farmer’s market outside my kitchen window. I can see asparagus and peas on the horizon. Until then, we have black beans and quinoa dressed in lime, honey, and warm scents of cumin.

serrano chile
Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Salad | Lattes & Leggings

The serrano chile kicks up the spice factor, and the red onion enhances that. However, I left the onion as optional because raw onion isn’t for everyone. The pepitas aka pumpkin seeds provide a nice crunchy contrast to the beans and avocado. The feta rounds out the flavors from its salty bite. I have to admit, I’m not a cilantro fan, but I imagine that it would be just as lovely as parsley.

Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Salad | Lattes & Leggings

Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

serves 4

1 cup quinoa
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 serrano chile, seeded and finely diced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup finely diced red onion (optional)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup toasted pepitas
1 avocado, peeled and chopped

In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa, give it a quick stir, and cover with a tight fitted lid. Simmer for 15 minutes over low heat. Turn off the heat and allow the quinoa to steam covered for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a spoon. All of the water should have absorbed. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the beans.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, cumin, serrano chile, and olive oil. Season with salt. Pour the dressing over the warm quinoa and beans. Toss to coat.

Add the feta, onion, parsley, pepitas, and avocado. Toss to coat. Season with salt to taste and serve. For any leftovers, bring to room temperature before serving.