Edamame & Mint Sesame Soba Noodles + My Near & Far Cookbook Review

A quick and very easy sesame soba recipe featuring fresh mint, raw almonds, and protein-packed edamame with a hint of smokiness, crisp lemon, and pepper. Adapted from the cookbook Near & Far.

Edamame & Mint Sesame Soba Noodles + My Near & Far Cookbook Review - Produce On Parade - A quick and very easy sesame soba recipe featuring fresh mint, raw almonds, and protein-packed edamame with a hint of smokiness, crisp lemon, and pepper. Adapted from the cookbook Near & Far.

Hey there. It's Katie. I know it's been a long time since I've made an appearance over here but things have been straight-up crazy busy 'round these parts. When people exasperatedly drone on about how busy they are and how stressful their lives are, my heart secretly smiles inside knowing that I don't have or want a life like that. Who truly does?! It's seems as if being busy is an honor badge that showcases how demonstrably important you are and that infact, yes, your life is very important indeed.

If it was not so important as it obviously is, then I'd have any time to read, or relax, or cook, or go for walks. Did you hear? I'm so busy I don't even have time to read. Reading is such a luxury. You're so lucky, I can't even pick up a book what with everything that I have to be doing. My life is very important, indeed. People depend on me, the world depends on me. The bags under my eyes are my proof. Pity me. 

That's not me. I freaking enjoy leisure and revel in its nothingness. I would rather be doing nothing than something. I'd rather be home, on a slow walk, curled up reading, or baking, or cooking. I actively seek out ways to reduce my stress level and try not to feel bad about doing what most people consider "nothing". Society encourages always doing something. The more somethings you can fit into one day, the better. You are American and if you aren't stressed to the gills with a full daybook, your life is worthless. 

Unfortunately, my life has been stressful lately. And very busy. It's exciting stuff and Todd and I are exceptionally grateful for our good fortune...but between you and me? I hate it. If one more bastardly little "agenda" or "event" sneaks it's way onto my calendar (yes I have one of those now) and imprints itself to it, unremovable as much as I try to scrub it away...I'll lose it. So, for now, I'm trying to keep everything corralled and under control. I think I'm doing a pretty good job as a Stress Cowgirl. Besides the occasional rant. Thank you, for allowing my rant. I am now done. 

Edamame & Mint Sesame Soba Noodles + My Near & Far Cookbook Review - Produce On Parade - A quick and very easy sesame soba recipe featuring fresh mint, raw almonds, and protein-packed edamame with a hint of smokiness, crisp lemon, and pepper. Adapted from the cookbook Near & Far.

Okay, now that you have heard my excellent excuse for abandoning you (I also left the state for awhile) it's time for a cookbook review. Huzzah! I've also included a super quick and easy recipe (because, you know) that I've adapted from said cookbook, Near & Far by Heidi Swanson.

Because I received a black and white, paperback, advance uncorrected proof to review I cannot qualify the appearance or feel of the book. I can tell you that this vegetarian cookbook is filled with recipes inspired by Heidi's travels all across the world. Inspired by various cultures and cuisine, her recipes transport the home chef and invite you to join her in her worldly adventures. If only we could be so lucky to actually accompany her! This is the next best thing. 

I found her recipes to be surprisingly simple (which was appreciated) and inspired by whole-foods. This got me excited. However, after flipping through the book I found many recipes to be a little too fluffy for my more utilitarian flair regarding recipes. I am, if nothing else, all things practical when it comes down to it.

Edamame & Mint Sesame Soba Noodles + My Near & Far Cookbook Review - Produce On Parade - A quick and very easy sesame soba recipe featuring fresh mint, raw almonds, and protein-packed edamame with a hint of smokiness, crisp lemon, and pepper. Adapted from the cookbook Near & Far.

Take the recipe Lucques in Grapefruit Juice. Olives soaked in grapefruit juice is just something I would never consider bothering to make. I'll just take those olives straight from the jar! Wine-Washed Arugula begs to be a "recipe", with no actual measurements to be found at all! Arugula, wine, and olive oil. I confess this is not a recipe I would be super pleased to discover in cookbook worth $30. The recipe for Miso Oat Porridge is a recipe for plain oats with 1-3 tbsp of miso paste mixed in...no joke. I wish some of the recipes were a bit a bit more fleshed out, more well-rounded.

Am I being nit-picky? Perhaps I was so excited for this book and so eagerly anticipated its recipes that I decidedly set myself up for disappointment...but I suspect not. Many of the recipes included ingredients I'd never heard of or are unavailable to me in Alaska. Yet, this was to be expected. Bottom-line: this book didn't thrill me as I dreamed it would.

Edamame & Mint Sesame Soba Noodles + My Near & Far Cookbook Review - Produce On Parade - A quick and very easy sesame soba recipe featuring fresh mint, raw almonds, and protein-packed edamame with a hint of smokiness, crisp lemon, and pepper. Adapted from the cookbook Near & Far.

Use this mixed review as you will, but for me, I foresee that this cookbook won't make an appearance too often in my kitchen. However, the recipe below is quite good. It was actually for a spread, which I turned into a noodle dish per Heidi's recommendation to pair it with soba noodles (I realize this doesn't make a lot of sense). I doubled the garlic and added my own amount of lemon juice. I also included liquid smoke. Who just has smoked almonds lying around anyway? I thought sesame seeds would make a lovely garnish as well. It was the perfect meal to use up all of my fresh mint on the porch before the frost claimed it. 

Learn more about Heidi and pre-order Near & Far, available September 15th.

Edamame & Mint Sesame Soba Noodles + My Near & Far Cookbook Review - Produce On Parade - A quick and very easy sesame soba recipe featuring fresh mint, raw almonds, and protein-packed edamame with a hint of smokiness, crisp lemon, and pepper. Adapted from the cookbook Near & Far.

Edamame & Mint Sesame Soba Noodles

Recipe by Kathleen Henry @ Produce On Parade

A quick and very easy sesame soba recipe featuring fresh mint, raw almonds, and protein-packed edamame with a hint of smokiness, crisp lemon, and pepper. Adapted from the cookbook Near & Far.

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups shelled edamame
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • splash of liquid smoke, to taste
  • dash of kosher salt
  • dash of fresh ground black pepper
  • 9 oz soba noodles, dry
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • sprinkling of sesame seeds, for garnish

Cooking Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the soba noodles.
  2. In a food processor, combine the edamame through the black pepper. Pulse until the pieces are no bigger than a pencil eraser. Transfer half of the mixture into a large serving bowl. Pulse the remaining mixture about 6 more times. Add to this mixture to serving bowl as well.
  3. Boil the noodles for 3 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and add to the serving bowl along with the drained noodles and the sesame oil.
  4. Toss well to combine and garnish with sesame seeds.
Edamame & Mint Sesame Soba Noodles + My Near & Far Cookbook Review - Produce On Parade - A quick and very easy sesame soba recipe featuring fresh mint, raw almonds, and protein-packed edamame with a hint of smokiness, crisp lemon, and pepper. Adapted from the cookbook Near & Far.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

*DISCLAIMER*  PRODUCE ON PARADE IS A PERSONAL BLOG WRITTEN AND EDITED BY MYSELF ONLY, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. MY REVIEWS ARE COMPLETELY BASED ON MY OWN OPINION OF THE PRODUCT REVIEWED. THESE PRODUCTS WERE SUPPLIED TO ME AS GIFTS TO TEST AND REVIEW. OTHERWISE, IF I MENTION A COMPANY BY NAME AND THERE IS NO DISCLAIMER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST, I AM MERELY WRITING ABOUT SOMETHING I LIKE, PURCHASE AND/OR USE. THE FACT THAT I DO RECEIVE A PRODUCT AS A GIFT TO TEST AND REVIEW, WILL NEVER POSITIVELY INFLUENCE THE CONTENT MADE IN THIS POST.

Lemony Chard Soba Noodles

These soba noodles are dressed in a zingy lemon sauce, tangled with wilted chard and beet greens and studded with sour and salty capers. A perfectly light, spring-time meal that’s ready in a flash.

Produce On Parade - Lemony Chard Soba Noodles - These soba noodles are dressed in a zingy lemon sauce, tangled with wilted chard and beet greens and studded with sour and salty capers. A perfectly light, spring-time meal that’s ready in a flash.

Wow, it's been a long time! I confess to feeling like a piece of me is lacking without the usual frequent posts to Produce On Parade. I'll try to be better. I wish I could tell you the same ol' story of how the cookbook and our home construction have been taking up most of my time, but it wouldn't be entirely true. The house is in a sort of lull while we tackle the valley that is our driveway and with only a couple more recipes to go for the cookbook...I'm finding it very difficult to pick the last, lucky ones. 

Quiet people have the loudest minds.
— Stephen Hawking

To me, the calm before the storm is certainly worse than the storm itself. Being in a perpetual state of unknowing is by far my greatest menace in life, and a big source of suffocating anxiety. I've been trying to be gentle with myself and welcome a wee bit of senioritis and willful adjournment with a 10 mile backpacking trip, and bingeing on audiobooks during long runs and walks.  I'm so glad I have been! Check out Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook for some awesome Alaskan backcountry photos. 

This week, I've found it really difficult to muster on and conclude the last remaining recipes for the cookbook due mostly to a very strange reason...the weather.  It's been in the high 80's all week! Too hot to sleep, too hot to be outside, and certainly much too blistering to turn on the oven! Yesterday Todd joked with wide eyes, "I'll crush you if you turn on the oven." Now I can finally understand those oven-related gripes from those in The Lower 48. Rarely do we have such a problem up here in Alaska. I generally welcome any opportunity to fire up the oven; leaving the door ajar after cooking has ceased to help warm the house. Not this week. 

Produce On Parade - Lemony Chard Soba Noodles - These soba noodles are dressed in a zingy lemon sauce, tangled with wilted chard and beet greens and studded with sour and salty capers. A perfectly light, spring-time meal that’s ready in a flash.

Lemony Chard Soba Noodles

Recipe by Katie @ Produce On Parade

This is a wonderful dish if you’re looking for a departure from the usual peanut butter laden soba noodle bowls! These soba noodles are dressed in a zingy lemon sauce, tangled with wilted chard and beet greens and studded with sour and salty capers. A perfectly light, spring-time meal that’s ready in a flash. - NOTES - If you don’t have beet greens, any other leafy green vegetable such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens, or simply additional chard will work beautifully. This is an exceptionally lemon-intense dish. If you’d like, start with only 2 tbsp (30 ml) of lemon juice to lessen the intensity and if you like, add more. I like incorporate the chard stems into my dishes, but discard them if you wish. Dijon or regular yellow mustard can be swapped for the stone-ground mustard.

Ingredients

  • Greens -
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 2 (10 g) garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch (200 g) fresh chard, chopped
  • 1 bunch (53 g) beet greens (or other leafy greens), chopped (see note)
  • Dressing -
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • juice from 1 large lemon, about ¼ cup (60 ml) (see note)
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) stone-ground mustard (see note)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • ---
  • 6 oz (180 g) soba noodles, dry
  • 2 tbsp (34 g) capers

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low. Add the garlic and saute a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add in the chard and beet greens. Stir uncovered for about 3 minutes until the greens have wilted slightly, you may have to add them in batches if the pan cannot accommodate all the greens at one time. Once they have wilted slightly, cover and allow to cook over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, until completely wilted.
  3. While the greens cook, bring a pot of water to a boil for the noodles. Soba noodles only need 4 minutes to cook, so wait to add them when there’s only a few minutes left on the greens.
  4. Add all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. When the greens are wilted and the dressing is ready, add the noodles to the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Next, drain the noodles and add them to the greens. Stir in the capers and the dressing, using tongs to incorporate all the ingredients evenly.
  6. Serve warm.
Produce On Parade - Lemony Chard Soba Noodles - These soba noodles are dressed in a zingy lemon sauce, tangled with wilted chard and beet greens and studded with sour and salty capers. A perfectly light, spring-time meal that’s ready in a flash.

Information For The Day

I really needed a good laugh and this guy delivered. You need to watch this hilarious vegan rap and brighten your day!!

Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles

My body will not be a tomb for other creatures.
— Leonardo da Vinci

Soon, Todd and I will be departing to the states for a wedding. This translates to a mishmash of catch-all dishes forged together with the idea of using up any food items that could potentially fall victim to neglect and rot while we're gone. I'm also on a self-inflicted store embargo, per pre-departure protocol. The days spent before a trip are always woeful, due to my particular affection for the grocery store...and food in general.

Instead of just roasting random, forgotten, lurking vegetables to make Buddha bowls, I decided to make a proper dish. There were two specific food items in our fridge that had been...somewhat forsaken. Tofu and broccoli. It's funny, I always have these two guys on hand (I like to sort of stash them away), because I use them so often that I know I'll need them for a recipe eventually. 

Produce On Parade - Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles

Alas, from time to time this can equate to limpy wimpy carrots, yellowing broccoli, and seriously questionable, rather funky-smelling tofu. Luckily, I got to them before that. Well, not the tofu. The tofu was kind of past it's prime, but I used it anyway. And the carrots had seen better days.

Produce On Parade - Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles
Produce On Parade - Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles

Hey, I'm not sick so there's that! Waste not want not, is what my Grandma always says. But honestly, don't be like me. Use legit, happy carrots, broccoli, and tofu. 

Produce On Parade - Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles

I also have an epic bounty of herbs right now. Our Alaskan summer thus far has been alternating blisteringly hot weather, with a hearty dousing of rain. My plants are loooving it. Oh yea, and take a gander at that strawberry. I've been pining to eat that little bastard for a month! Note to self: Buy more than one strawberry plant next spring. I might get four strawberries, if I'm lucky.

Produce On Parade - Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles
Produce On Parade - Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles
Produce On Parade - Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles
Produce On Parade - Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles
Produce On Parade - Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles

This is an especially fitting dish to introduce to picky vegetable haters, tofu skeptics, and boring, bland food conformers. An Asian teriyaki sauce coats sauteed broccoli and carrots, baked tofu, and soba noodles. Garden-fresh mint lends green, vibrant, earthy notes. This is an easy noodle dish that will impress and satisfy...and maybe even rescue some insipid veggies (or tofu) from your fridge!


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Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles
Asian teriyaki sauce coats sauteed broccoli and carrots, baked tofu, and soba noodles. Garden-fresh mint lends green, vibrant, earthy notes. This is an easy dish that will impress and satisfy.
Ingredients
  • 2 small broccoli heads, chopped florets only
  • 7 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 20 oz. extra firm tofu, diced
  • 1/4 cup liquid amino acids or soy sauce
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. finger ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  • dash crushed red pepper
  • 6-9 oz soba noodles, dry
  • handful fresh mint, chopped
  • sprinkling sesame seeds, for garnish
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Chop the broccoli and carrots.Heat the sesame oil in a large rimmed saucepan over medium-low. Add the broccoli and carrots. Saute about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, pat the tofu dry and dice. Scatter evenly on a baking sheet and roast at 400 F for 30 minutes. Whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the mint and sesame seeds. Pour over the vegetables and continue to saute for about 5 minutes. Then cover, reduce to low and cook for about 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Remove from heat. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the noodles. Add the soba noodles and boil for 4 minutes. Then strain and stir into the vegetables. When the tofu is done, stir into the vegetables along with the fresh mint. Serve hot, topped with additional fresh mint and sesame seeds.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6
Produce On Parade - Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles
Produce On Parade - Teriyaki Mint Soba Noodles

German Word of The Day

Mint --> Minze (mins-eh)

Good Deed of The Day

From The Simpsons

From The Simpsons

Did you read this New York Times article about the depression and anxiety of zoo animals? "Scientists often say that we don't know what animals feel because they can't speak to us...But the thing is, they are reporting their inner states. We're just not listening."

 I've always hated zoos. Please don't support zoos.