Attractive Soba Noodle & Tofu
1 bag Japanese soba noodles
1 block regular tofu, firm drained and pressed
5- 10 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 carrot, peeled
1 beet, peeled
1 bunch spinach well washe'd and trimmed
juice from 1 lemon
2 green onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, well washe'd and trimmed
handful roasted peanuts
olive oil (at least 1/2 cup, maybe more)
Seasoned rice vinegar (at least 1/8 cup. maybe more)
A beautiful, easy to prepare dish! First, cut into desired shapes and marinate the pressed tofu overnight in: 6 crushed garlic cloves, apple cider vinegar and salt to taste. **See the Best Sunday Stroganoff recipe on this website for more tofu marinade tips and ideas**
Fry the marinated tofu over medium heat in about 5 TBS of olive oil. Let it fry on each side for at least 5 minutes to get a nice golden crust. When done, remove and drain on a paper towel.
Meanwhile: shred the carrot and beet using the largest holes on a box cheese grater. its best to rinse the grater in between the veggies so as not to transfer any colors or flavors.
Next, make the sauce: put stemmed cilantro, chopped green onion, peanuts, rice vinegar, and olive oil in a food processor and whirl on high until everything is blended. Check for taste and adjust seasonings as desired. You can easily control the consistency of the sauce by adding more or less oil.
Now boil the noodles according to package instructions.
While the noodles boil: prepare the spinach by adding 3 or more cloves crushed garlic, a dash of olive oil and lemon juice to a large pot and heating. Then add the spinach, cover and cook over high heat for about 3 minutes (just enough to wilt the spinach and retain its fresh color- too long and you'll wind up with the yucky brown spinach, much feared in childhood).
Now assemble the Ingredients (use vegan versions): First, layer the fried tofu along one side and the bottom a medium sized bowl. Pile in the spinach to cover the bottom of the bowl and over some of the tofu. Now make a mound of carrots and another of beets off to one side of the bowl. Now fill in the rest with noodles. Top with the bright green cilantro sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame or flax seed or chopped peanuts.
Lovely enough to serve on Mothers Day, but filling enough to satisfy even the most hearty appetite.