In a digital age where endless information, advice, and opinions are literally a tap, click or swipe away, it can be tricky to sort through all of the input. This couldn’t be truer than with the topic of diet and nutrition. And while expert opinions can vary widely and even be completely contradicting, there seems to be one common thread that unites everything: we need to be eating plants, and lots of them.
Plant-based cuisine is enjoying a huge hay day right now, and the health of people, animals, and our very planet are all benefitting from the trend. Like all forms of cuisine, the key to making a plant-based dish ultra-enjoyable is ensuring that our taste buds are met with plenty of flavor. No one will want to stick with healthy eating if everything tastes bland. But lucky for us, if we utilize fresh, whole, real ingredients, nature has already provided tons of incredible flavor, our job is to simply harness what is already there, combining things to create a real synergy of taste and texture. And nothing adds flavor like a good, thoughtfully formulated sauce.
Sauces are key to making plant-based foods ‘pop’! Whether it’s a big raw salad, grilled, baked, or lightly steamed veggies, sauces and seasonings are key.
This is where nut butter comes in, and why they are a true pantry essential on aplant-basedd path. Creamy, stone ground, raw nut butters make the perfect base for a variety of sauces and dressings that can be whipped together in a flash. This recipe combines buckwheat soba noodles with fresh, lightly sautéed vegetables; delicious on their own, yes, but knock-your-socks-off-good when combined with the sauce.
This Spicy-Sweet Chipotle Lime Sprouted Almond Sauce is creamy, rich, and chock full of the delicious Thai-inspired flavors of chili, lime, almond, sesame and ginger. The veggies you include are totally up to you – customize it to suite your own taste buds, what’s currently fresh and in season, or what you have in your fridge that needs to be used up.
Buckwheat Soba Salad with Spicy-Sweet Chipotle Lime Sprouted Almond Sauce
Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad
- 1/2 pack of buckwheat soba noodles (unlike the name suggests, buckwheat does nor contain wheat not gluten, in fact, it’s not even a grain! Buckwheat is actually a fruit-seed.)
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
- 1/2 red or orange bell pepper, sliced
- 2 large leaves curly kale
- 1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs coconut oil
- 1/2 Tbs raw or toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tb coconut amigos
- A dash of nama shoyu, braggs liquid aminos, or tamari
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Garnish: sesame seeds, hemp seeds and your favorite herbs (try fresh mint and/or cilantro!)
1. Wash and peel butternut squash. Chop into bite sized pieces and toss with several tsp coconut or avocado oil. Roast squash for 45 minutes at 425F.
2. Cook buckwheat noodles according to instructions on package
3. Prep veggies for sauté by washing and slicing them up.
4. Heat 1 Tbs coconut oil in a large wok with minced ginger and garlic. Once oil is hot, add prepped veggies and continue to sauté. Add a splash of coconut aminos, a dash of shoyu, and a drizzle of sesame oil. Continue to cook to sauté until desired texture is reached.
5. Once noodles are done, drain and flash rinse with cool water.
6. In a large bowl, combine cooked noodles with sautéed veggies.
7. Plate and drizzle with sauce (recipe is below!). Enjoy!
Spicy-Sweet Chipotle Lime Sprouted Almond Sauce
- 1/4 cup stone ground sprouted almond butter
- 2 tsp raw or toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp nama shoyu or tamari
- 1 tsp grade B maple syrup
- 1 tsp fresh ginger juice, or you can use finely chopped peeled ginger root
- 1/4 tsp smoky chipotle spice
- Optional 1 small clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup water, or thin to desired consistency
1. Mix ingredients in a bowl or jar. Add water to desired consistency. 1/4 cup was the perfect amount to create a rich sauce perfect for drizzling over this dish. Leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, but it will become thicker as oils solidify.
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