Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cold Soba-Noodle Salad with Chicken, Peppers, and Cucumber


So this is the antithesis to the recipe I posted yesterday!  I felt so bad about that one, I feel obligated to give you a week's worth of healthy alternatives!!  Plus it's that time of year....you know, when you can't find a parking place at your gym and everyone is on their three week veggies and grains kick.

If that's you this will fit nicely into your little plan.  I made this for lunch today after perusing the website for a Martha Stewart's venture, Whole Living and we cannot stop eating it.   The soba noodles have a nice subtle nutty flavor and pair fabulously with the crunch veggies and chicken....rotisserie, by the way, which makes this convenient, as well.  I put this together in under 20 minutes.

And let's talk about those noodles for a minute.  According to Livestrong.com,


Soba noodles are a Japanese pasta made from buckwheat.  About the size of spaghetti, soba noodles can be served hot or cold and are traditionally eaten in Japan to celebrate New Year's Eve, according to HealthHokkaido. You can purchase dried soba noodles at gourmet grocery stores and oriental markets. Since the noodles are made from healthy buckwheat, soba noodles have many nutritional benefits.


Cardiovascular Benefits

The World's Healthiest Foods claims that a diet rich in buckwheat, the grain used to make soba noodles, can contribute to your cardiovascular health by lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Buckwheat is high in flavonoids, antioxidants that protect your levels of good cholesterol from free radicals. The buckwheat used to make soba noodles also contains magnesium, a mineral that works to lower your blood pressure and improve your blood flow.


So there you go......nutritional powerhouse!   Plus it's gluten-free if that's a concern.


Here's the recipe:


Cold Soba-Noodle Salad with Chicken, Peppers, and Cucumber
Martha Steward Living Multimedia
Serves 4


Ingredients:
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles) (Check the Japanese section at your market.  I found mine at Fresh Market)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges, for serving
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), sliced thin
1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1 English cucumber, peeled, balved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed, meat shredded (about 4 cups)  (I had 1/2 a chicken left in fridge from earlier in week and used that.  I think it was enough chicken)


Directions:
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until al dente; drain, and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.


In a large bowl, whisk together oils, lime juice, and vinegar, season dressing with salt and pepper to taste.


Add bell peppers, basil, cucumber, chicken, and noodles to bowl; toss with dressing.  Serve with lime wedges.

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