Saturday, August 13, 2011

strength & courage

...are the things my mother taught me. She was the strongest and most courageous person I have ever known; she was as strong and courageous in death as she was in life. I will forever be inspired by her. 

I hesitated to write about this here, but cole's kitch has always been a reflection of what's going on in my life at the moment, so excluding such a major life event didn't seem right. At the same time, words can't do justice to what an incredible mother I've had the good fortune of having or the immensity of the loss I am feeling now. So rather than try, I'll end this post with a pic of my beautiful mother, Debra Ann Keefer.

Monday, August 1, 2011

cold soba noodle salad with pork and green beans

Soba noodles have been a hit lately. My new challenge is creating varied dishes with them that are nutritious, with some flavor, but not too much flavor (it's a fine line!). Luckily, soba noodles are quite versatile, so this hasn't been too difficult of a challenge to date.

The weather this weekend was fantastic: it finally felt like summer in Seattle. This meant something cold was in order. There was a tasty dish I used to make with pork, green beans, and peanuts: this combination was my inspiration for the following dish.

Play with the dressing. You can dial up or dial down any of the ingredients to change the flavor profile. I was going for a little peanuty with balanced salt and sweet but overall pretty mellow. Possible additions if you're looking for more kick would be garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. Diced red bell peppers would be a nice addition to the salad if you're interested in incorporating more veggies (and color!).

If you have any favorite soba noodle recipes, please send them my way.

As for my noodle salad, here's what I did:

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Pork & Green Beans
Serves 4

3 Tbsp. rice milk or water
2 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp. all natural peanut butter*
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. agave
the juice of 1 lime
*It's all natural if the only ingredient is peanuts. Salt is ok, too, but you may want to slightly reduce the tamari: taste to decide.

3 oz. soba noodles
1 Tbsp. refined coconut oil
3/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces (also slice in half lengthwise if fat)
1/2 lb. pork, thinly sliced and cut into 1" pieces
2 carrots, cut into 1" long matchsticks
2 green onions, sliced (white & green parts)

Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Cook soba noodles according to directions. Drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside.

Heat coconut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Cook green beans, stirring occasionally, until bright green and crisp-tender. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.

Add pork to wok. Stir fry until browned on the outside and cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix noodles, green beans, pork, carrots, and green onions together with dressing. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Serve topped with peanuts.

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