The world offers us so many fabulous foods to take home and prepare we could easily make something different for dinner every night of the year. But in truth, we often fall back on our simplest old favorites. And that’s just fine, especially during this busy time of year when it can feel like such a chore to cook a meal, or even shop for ingredients.

Here’s one of our go-to week night dinner ideas we rely on in and around the big holiday meals: Soba or Japanese buckwheat noodles. They cook quickly, deliver 11 grams of protein per serving, and are delicious warm or cold.

Think of them as your latest canvas and dress them up with whatever you have on hand: cooked chicken or shrimp, leftover seafood, baked tofu, salad greens, canned, drained beans, leftover sliced, roasted vegetables. Or sauté up some veggies – matchstick carrots or thinly sliced red, yellow, and orange peppers go nicely – and toss those in before serving.  Sometimes we pull mixed veggies or peas or edamame out of the freezer, put them in a bowl, cover them with a little boiling water, drain them, and mix them into the cooked noodles.  How easy is that? You can find soba noodles at your grocery store, check in the ethnic section. Keep a few boxes in your pantry and you’re good to go, anytime.

Ten Minute Supper #19: Soba Noodles
We grabbed the bok choy for this version, but you can add other salad or cooked greens, veggies (seaweed!), or leftovers, too.

Serves 6

¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce or soy replacement
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 12-ounce package Japanese buckwheat soba noodles
2 heads baby bok choy, thinly sliced
1-2 tablespoons white and/or black sesame seeds

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and maple syrup in a large bowl and whisk to blend.

Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring several times, for about 5-6 minutes, until the noodles are slightly tender, but not mushy. (Start sampling them at 5 minutes by pulling one out and biting into it.)

Drain and immediately rinse in cold water. Add the noodles to the bowl with the dressing.

Toss, add the bok choy, toss again, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.


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