I wanted to start the year off with an easy, everyday recipe. This soba noodle bowl is a favorite weeknight meal and full of earthy satisfying flavors balanced with lots of bright crunchy toppings. It is fairly quick to come together but also extremely adaptable to whatever ingredients you may have on hand. Because of this adaptability, it’s something we make often whatever the season (believe it or not, its not all cheese and cakes here at Cottage Farm). Brown rice or quinoa could be substituted for the soba – kale or spinach for the rapini – tofu or egg for the tempeh. This bowl is good hot or cold too so it’s not time dependent. And now, with the little one, I often make it up in stages (cooking a few extra greens the night before etc) then just assemble everything. It lends itself to all sorts of combinations. The unifying element is the sesame dressing – I came across it in a recipe by Heidi Swanson from one of her brilliant cookbooks and now use it so often – I’ve lightly adapted her version and use it here as both marinade and dressing.
The pickled red cabbage is another kitchen staple, a jar is nearly always going in the fridge. Slice the red cabbage thinly in whatever amount and cover with a mixture of half white vinegar, half warm water plus a tablespoon or two each of sugar and teaspoon or so of salt to taste. I let it sit at least an hour before using. Whatever isn’t used, goes into a jar along with the brine and keeps for about a week in the fridge
I love to top out these buddha bowls with all sorts of seeds, nuts, finely sliced green onions, micro greens, spicy radish – really any of the goodies that happen to be at hand – as I said, this bowl is highly adaptable
If available, I’m partial to the 100% buckwheat noodles and their dense nutty flavor. The noodles that include a wheat blend don’t really have the same flavor or texture. A note on cooking the buckwheat noodles – watch them very carefully as they go gluey very easily. Typically I cook them a minute or so less than the packet instructions. Be sure to rinse them under cool water – using your fingers to sort of scrub away the starch.
Vegetarian Buddha Bowl
- 100% buckwheat soba noodles, cooked according to the package instructions
- 1 package organic tempeh
- 1 small bunch rapini
- 3 cups shiitake mushroom caps
- pickled red cabbage (see notes above)
- 3/4 cup micro greens, sprouts or pea shoots, lightly packed
- 3 green onions, green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoon black sesame seeds for garnish
- 2 Tablespoons shoyu
- 1 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
pre-heat oven to 400
on the stove top, place a large pot of boiling water
to make the dressing – pour the shoyu, toasted sesame oil and olive oil into a jar with a tight fitting lid, wrap in a dish towel and shake vigerously until well combined
brush tempeh generously on each side with the dressing and place in the oven to bake about 10 minutes, turning over halfway through
remove woody stems from mushrooms, place caps on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Bake along with the tempeh about 7 minutes until browned
trim ends of the rapini and cut into 2 inch sections, leaving the florettes whole. Drop the rapini into the pan of boiling water for 3 minutes or until just softened. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Return the water to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package directions (see note above) You can also cook soba in a separate pan if desired.
place a portion of the noodles in the bottom of each bowl – divide portions of the tempeh, rapini and mushrooms between the two bowls. Drizzle each with a tablespoon or so of the remaining dressing. then top each bowl, as desired with the pickled cabbage, green onions, micro greens and a sprinkle of sesame seeds