salad

15 minutes healthy noodle recipe - Spicy Asparagus Soba Stir Fry

I am a noodle person.  Maybe this is why it doesn’t bother me for living in Italy.  I also live real close to this organic supermarket called NaturaSí.  The shop sells practically everything you could possibly think of and most products are Fairtrade certified.  This is Italy’s largest supermarket chain specializing in the sales of organic food items while fully respecting the sustainability parameters.  The pricing is indeed slightly higher but I think it is justified by the high quality and authenticity of the products.  For those who practice a sustainable living in Italy, NaturaSí is certainly the ideal choice. 

What came to surprise me is that NaturaSí actually carries a lot of Japanese food produce.  So whenever I get a little homesick and long for fusion meals,  I can just pop by there to get some soba or rice noodles. 

Here are my extremely easy noodle recipe ideas for the busy bees! 

Spicy Asparagus Soba Stir Fry

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: less than 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 lb fresh asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces, julienned the stalk parts and leave the heads

1 garlic, finely chopped

1 stalk spring onion, finely chopped

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

1/2 chili, finely chopped

1 radish, slivered *optional

1 tbsp mirin

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp sesame seeds

200g soba or mei fun (rice noodle)

sesame oil or extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Cook soba according to its packaging label.  After soba is cooked, rinse with cold water and drain well.  Set aside.

2) Preheat a saucepan with 2-3 tbsp oil on medium-low heat, cook chopped garlic, spring onion, chilli, and ginger 1-2 minutes.  

3) Stir in asparagus and mirin.  Cook 1-2 minutes.  

4) Add water and soy sauce, put a lid on and let the vegetables cook 3-5 minutes.  

5) Add soba and mix well.  Season if necessary.  Heat off. 

6) Garnish with some sesame seeds, radish, chopped spring onion, and a drizzle of sesame oil before serving.  

Spicy Asparagus Soba Stir Fry

Stir Fry Veggies & Rice Noodle -- Here is the mei fun (rice noodle) version stir fry.  The steps are pretty much the same as the one before except I used zucchini instead of asparagus.   

Cold Veggies Soba - another extremely easy soba salad I like to make for cooling the steamy hot summer.  

Ingredients for dressing:

1/4 soy sauce

1/3 water

1 tsp minced garlic 

1 tsp chopped spring onion

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tbsp mirin

1/2 chili, seeded, finely chopped

1/4 lemon or 1/2 lime juice and zest

2-3 tbsp sesame oil 

extra-virgin olive oil

Tabbouleh Quinoa Salad & A Sneak Peek of "lil sweet things"

Blogging is hard, I said it once and I'll say it again.  This is definitely not something easy that I got myself into.  In the beginning, I was just thinking to share my recipes with others especially those who live in HK.  I wanted to show that it is possible to practice an accessible and affordable vegetarian lifestyle in this ultra-densed city.  And then one thing leads to another, I am now developing vegetarian recipes and shooting for some clients on the side.  

Honestly, I'm a little embarrassed to take up such role.  That's because I've never studied photography nor culinary before.  I'm just strolling along with my personal passion and interest.  I am indeed grateful for the wonderful opportunities.  Not everyone is given such privilege to do what he/she loves and be able to get paid a little on the side.  I should embrace every chance I get and learn to improve in every aspect of this whole blogosphere as I go along.  I know it isn't easy but it's got to start somewhere, right?

This past weekend, I helped photograph a dear friend's delicious cookies and cupcakes - lil sweet things.  lil sweet things is a local online cake shop and workshop run by Lillian Leung.  Lillian was one of the co-founders who helped me launched ms food division in the early days.  She was in charge of the dessert part.  Recently, she has started her own online cake shop, catering, and cooking classes.  Her workshop is ideal for people of all ages who love pretty sweets.  I had so much fun shooting her beautiful cakes this past weekend.  I would do it again if I am given more time before the Green Monday's trip.  Oh yeah, I just got appointed to help photograph Green Monday's Milan trip next week.  I'm so excited and nervous at the same time.  I hope my photos would turn out ok.  Fingers crossed.  

So let me share some of my favorite images from last weekend's shoot and follow by this delicious and healthy tabbouleh quinoa salad I made today.  :) 

Ciao~

Those buttery cookies don't just look pretty, they taste superb, too.  

Aren't they pretty?  Red velvet n' cream cheese cupcakes

red velvet & cream cheese cupcakes made by lil sweet things

red velvet & cream cheese cupcakes made by lil sweet things

red velvet & cream cheese cupcakes made by lil sweet things

Little surprises from these piñata cookies, my niece felt in love with them instantly! 

piñata cookies made by lil sweet things 

Today's healthy lunch - tabbouleh quinoa salad 

tabbouleh quinoa salad 

Servings: 2 persons (as a side salad) or 1 person (as a meal) 

Preparation Time: 10 - 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 bowl cooked quinoa

1 bunch fresh parsley

100g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 handful roasted almonds, finely chopped

1 small cucumber, chopped into small bits

1 bowl fresh arugula

For the dressing: 

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon zest and juice

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped

Instructions: 

1) Mix the cooked quinoa, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, almonds, and parsley with dressing in a large bowl.  

2) Add arugula and a twist of fresh lemon juice before serving.  

tabbouleh quinoa salad 

tabbouleh quinoa salad 

crispy tofu and soba salad with spicy miso-lime dressing

This is another no-brainer salad recipe.  It might take a bit of time for preparing the crispy tofu BUT it's all worth it.  This is the kind of salad that any meat lovers would appreciate because it is just so tasty.  The steps are simple and let me go straight to its recipe.  

Stay warm everyone!  

Cindy xx

Crispy Tofu & Soba Salad with Spicy Miso-Lime Dressing

Servings: 2 small bowls for 2 persons or 1 large bowl for 1 very hungry person 

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: less than 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

100g cooked soba, rinsed with cold water and drained

1/2 carrot, julienned 

50-80g extra-firm tofu, cubed

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 whisked egg

1-2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp paprika

1 large bowl mixed greens

1 handful chopped spring onions

1 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Miso dressing ingredients:

2-3 tbsp white miso paste

1/4 cup water

1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 green and 1/2 red chili, finely chopped

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 fresh lime zest and juice

1-2 tbsp honey

1-2 tsp sesame oil

Instructions: 

 1) Mix breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and paprika in a regular size bowl.  Season.  Mix well.  

2) Whisk an egg in another bowl, coat the tofu with egg first then follow by coating with breadcrumbs.  Set aside. 

3) Preheat a frying pan with oil on medium-low heat, cook the tofu for 1-2 minutes then turn to the other side and cook for 1 minute.  (Make sure you don’t burn the tofu.  If your oil is too hot, then reduce your heat) 

4) For the dressing, mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  

5) Get a large bowl, add the mixed greens, carrots, and soba noodles.  Mix well.  

7) Place your crispy tofu on top of the salad and garnish with some chopped spring onions and coriander(optional).

8) Serve with a twist of lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and the spicy miso-lime dressing on the side.

Crispy Tofu & Soba Salad with Spicy Miso-Lime Dressing