Creamy shiitake mushroom soba noodles with purple-sprouting broccoli is my new food love ♥
Here the weather is cold and hot and wet and dry all at once. The sun is shining between spells of May showers and a cold wind. I need food that will warm me up, keep me going, comfort me and fill me with vital nutrients and life. And that will lift my heart as I make it, and excite me too with its culinary adventure. Cue purple sprouting broccoli, shiitake mushrooms and buckwheat soba noodles in a new dish that I concocted in a storm of inspiration having never creamed mushrooms before. I am totally in love with it. Even Dan is, he gave it 10/10 and he is highly suspicious of creamed food, creamed mushrooms being at the top of this list of suspects. It is totally Yum and I could eat it hot, cold, for breakfast, lunch and dinner… oh yeh, I did…
Now that I am giving up bread for a while, in an attempt to lose weight mostly and because I have a tendency to turn to bread too much when fruit and vegetables are the best foods for me, I have been having real pangs and finding it hard, heightened by ‘the time of the month’, which seems to be my perpetual hormonal state. I even fell off the wagon for the first time in a year or more and had bought gluten-free bread with rice flour, potato and sugar in it (which was soooo good). I ate far too much of it as toast and tahini watching the Eurovision Song Contest (which was ace this year, v funny!) and have been feeling worse for wear ever since, a reminder exactly why I am cutting these foods out, which is a good thing to have every now and again I think, and also good to test the current effects of foods as things can change. I used to pretty much live off tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, chile, paprika, soya, bread and pasta. Pasta and tomato sauce was my greatest food love. I loved to cook it, to share and eat it, but never felt good afterwards it just wasn’t the right food for me. Now I have had to discover a whole new culinary world, and that is what I am doing! There really is a whole world of food out there, and just so much to learn! The food I eat now is so nurturing, so varied, so thrilling, with many new things to discover. People naturally see my diet as restricted, but even though in so many ways that is true, I have never been less restricted in my life, it’s wonderful!
I FEEL FREE!
Soba noodles are the supreme queen of noodles. I am a H U G E fan of them (I told you, I need to diet…). 100% buckwheat, gluten and grain free. Anytime I see them in my local health food shop I buy every pack and stockpile them, only there never seems to be many left in the cupboard… They’re light, wholesome and delicious, with the most gorgeous springy texture. They are my spaghetti, only better more nutritious, more versatile easier to digest. Why do people eat white pasta, especially the cheap stuff (oh yeh, it’s so cheap). And it’s comforting too I know. But the thing is to find other foods that can fulfill the same role that are also healthy. White pasta has no nutritional value what so ever and leaves you feeling stuffed and bloated and yuck and all too soon hungry again, or it did me anyway. I’m so glad my white pasta days are long gone and that all I eat is food that gives my body what it needs and leaves me feeling great.
You can’t not feel lifted by the beauty of purple-sprouting broccoli they are a delight, a gift. They’re wonderful, to look at, to eat, packed with vital brassica goodness and they make you feel good! I like mine so crunchy they’re basically raw, just blanched. Dan likes his tender. I think crunchier is better with noodles, but you can cook them as you like. If you cook the broccoli separately to the noodles (I usually put them in together as a short-cut) the beautiful purple water is potent and makes a great part of a soup, green lentil gravy, or stew. Or you can just drink it, or mix it with a green juice.
Shiitake mushrooms are super amazing food, powerfully anti-inflammatory and full of protein and goodness, they are immune boosting and health-giving. We buy ours dried from a Chinese Supermarket and rehydrate, which is cheaper, but you can buy them fresh or grow your own (watch this space I am going to do this!!). I’ve also used chestnut mushrooms, I blend them up raw with the cream into a thick and delicious sauce that sticks to the noodles. White miso adds its beautiful creamy sweet flavour and probiotic goodness, boosting gut health and your immune system too. All in all, with the addition of garlic, this is a super-immune-boosting dish! Have with broccoli, or asparagus, and green beans when they come will be wonderful too, and give yourself everything you need. The comfort, the flavour, the texture, the goodness and the energy ♥
- 4 bundles buckwheat noodles
- 1 large onion
- 1 large broccoli floret/ bunch of purple sprouting
- 1/2 cup of peas
- 1 large garlic clove
- 3/4 tin coconut cream - solid best
- 2 heaped tbsp white miso
- 2 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast, optional but really good
- 6 shiitake mushrooms (rehydrated if from dried)
- 6 medium chestnut mushrooms, or other variety
- 2 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 2 heaped tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
- 2 tbsp mild coconut oil, other mild oil
Saute the medium/finely chopped onion with the salt and oil on a low heat with the lid on for 15 mins till browning and sweet, stirring a few times to make sure they don't catch.
Blend the mushrooms, garlic and cream until smooth, add to the cooked onions with the black pepper, nutritional yeast if using, and stir frequently so as not to burn for 10 mins or so.
While the sauce cooks, cook the noodles following package instructions - usually to add to boiling water, simmer for 5 mins or so and rinse in cold water. I add the broccoli and peas to the noodle water and cook them all together, but you can do them separately if you prefer, they need only 5 mins also. I like to stick the broccoli end in the water and push the head in only for a minute to keep it crunchy and packed with flavour and goodness but it is very good tender too.
Add the miso and mix the sauce, noodles and veg together gently. Serve piping hot.
I’ve been listening to… Cream ‘I Feel Free’