It’s time to pull things back to the other side of the spectrum. The holidays are wrapping up, and I’ll be honest, I indulged some. It wasn’t crazy, but it definitely hasn’t been my usual meals or snacks. I’ve had food that I know I only enjoy once or twice a year, so I let any judge-y voices yammering in my head get blocked out by just being in a moment.
So now it’s time to swing back to the meals that keep me going all year long, not just this time of year. That means veggies, veggies, veggies. And some noodles. Because who doesn’t love a noodle (says the Asian 😉 )?
I love noodles bowls. They’re a quick way to pull together a meal and can work with or without broth. This bowl has more of a California fusion spin on it, and that’s what I love about noodle bowls; you can get away with so many things! To pull it back to veggie land, I made a bowl packed with veggies and tofu.
Noodle bowls can also be a great way to clean out your fridge. Got a lone carrot, pepper, or half a bunch of scallions hanging around in your crisper? Put em in the bowl! Feel free to swap out the tofu for another meat alternative, like tempeh, or add meat if you feel the need.
Whatever you toss in or swap out, here’s to the holidays (they were delicious) and coming back to balance.
A new Nutrition DL will be starting in the New Year! If there is a seasonal ingredient or pantry staple you’d like to learn more about, please let me know at hello (at) small-eats.com or send me a message on Twitter.
Want more Swiss Chard dishes from this series? You can find them here:
Nutrition DL: Swiss Chard
White Bean Swiss Chard Soup
Mini Crustless Swiss Chard Quiche
Swiss Chard Rice with Delicata Squash
This recipe is part of a series called Nutrition DL. Nutrition DL gives you the download on seasonal fruits, vegetables, or pantry staples. Once you learn about the basics of the featured ingredient, I share a four recipes over four weeks to inspire and feed you with this great seasonal food. Check out other foods I’ve covered here.
- 2 bundles of soba noodles, cooked and drained
- 1 block of extra firm tofu
- 1-2 tsp shichimi togarashi
- 1 bunch of Swiss Chard, leaves and stems separated, about half of stems reserved
- 1 small to medium bell pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced into strips
- 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks by a knife, peeler, or mandolin
- 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, destemmed and sliced
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- salt, to taste
- olive oil for sauteeing
- 3-4 tbsp miso (I used shiro, or white miso. Any will do.)
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- dash of water
- dash of soy sauce
Drain your tofu from it's package. Wrap the block in paper towels and place between two plates. Put a heavy cookbook or liter juice bottle on top and put in a secure spot on your countertop (my juice bottle has been known to slide off, good thing it's not glass!). Let tofu drain for 5-10 minutes.
On your cutting board, fold a chard leaf in a half lengthwise. Carefully cut the stem off of the leaves and put into one bowl and put the now two leaves into another. Repeat with all of your leaves.
Once complete, assemble small stacks of leaves on the cutting board and cut the leaves in half lengthwise. If you have smaller chard leaves, skip this step. Cut the leaves in half-inch strips width wise. Repeat with remaining leaves.
Go through your chard stems and discard any broken or overly damaged stems. I usually keep 6-8 stems to use in my recipes. Cut off and discard the top, narrow parts of the stem and rough edges at the bottom, about a quarter to half-inch in. Chop chard stems and place back in bowl.
Heat up a sauté pan to medium heat with a few teaspoons of olive oil. Once hot, cook down the chard leaves until wilted, about 3-6 minutes. Place leaves in a bowl. Add more oil, if needed, and sauté the chard stems until softer, about 4-6 minutes. Put into a separate bowl, add more oil, if needed, and add shiitakes into the pan and sauté quickly for 2-3 minutes. Put in a different small bowl and drizzle a small amount of soy sauce on top and mix.
Unwrap tofu and cut into 1/2" cubes. Clean out your sauté pan and reheat with fresh oil. Once hot, add tofu cubes and cook for 7-10 minutes, occasionally flipping the cubes and making sure they don't stick too much (some will, and that's okay). Once done, remove from heat, season with shichimi togarashi and mix around.
To make miso dressing, combine all ingredients and stir until miso is dissolved and a smooth dressing forms. Add more water or sesame oil for a smoother consistency.
Time to assemble! Put noodles in your bowl (reheat if they're cold), then top with all vegetable and tofu ingredients. Garnish with sesame seeds and drizzle with miso dressing.