I love this time of year! The days are long and filled with sunshine. After a rough winter, this month has been entirely rejuvenating. Today, I’m bringing you a refreshing dinner recipe from Phoebe Lapine’s new book, The Wellness Project. It’s an ideal option for warm summer evenings.
This dish starts with soba noodles, which are tossed with zucchini noodles (“zoodles,” if you will) and a delicious, savory almond butter sauce. I wouldn’t have thought to top this concoction with quick-pickled cucumber and radish, but they’re perfect—crisp, colorful and tart.
You may know Phoebe from her blog, Feed Me Phoebe. In her new book, she walks us through her year-long experiment to regain her health, from drinking more water and less alcohol, to gut health and physical therapy. Each chapter concludes with actionable tips based on her experiences.
Phoebe has Hashimoto’s, a thyroid disorder, but the book is entirely relatable to anyone who has struggled with chronic health issues or is craving a voice of reason in the wellness sphere. The book is an easy and informative read, and I love Phoebe’s frank, conversational writing style. She shares her encounters with crazy naturopaths and her switch to natural skincare products, but my favorite part was when she writes about the benefits of dog ownership.
Dogs are, no surprise, excellent “rewilding” agents. Meaning that all the dirt and “environmental detritus” they bring inside actually “increase the immunity of their families by maximizing their exposure to all matters of microbial diversity. In fact, children who grow up with furry friends have far fewer instances of allergies and asthma than their dog-less peers.” That, my friends, is reason no. 45 for why everyone needs a dog.
Almond-Sesame Soba Zoodles with Quick-Pickled Veggies
- Prep Time: 24 mins
- Cook Time: 6 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Asian
These soba noodles are lightened up with zoodles (zucchini noodles). Toss with peanut sauce and top with colorful quick-pickled cucumbers and radishes for a refreshing spring/summer dinner. If you plan on having leftovers, store the zucchini noodles separately and toss together just before serving. Recipe yields 4 moderate servings or 2 large.
- 8 ounces soba noodles
- 1 bunch of radishes (about 6 medium), cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 large cucumber (about 1 pound), cut into ½-inch cubes
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
- ½ cup unsalted almond butter
- 1 small garlic clove, pressed or minced
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup water, more as necessary
- 2 large zucchini (about 1 pound), spiralized into thin noodles
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, preferably black, for garnish
- Sriracha or chili-garlic sauce, for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the soba noodles until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse the noodles with cool water until they are room temperature, shaking out all the excess water. Transfer the noodles to a large serving bowl and set aside.
- While the noodles are cooking, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the radishes, cucumber, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Let the veggies marinate for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.
- (Phoebe did this step in a food processor but I opted to whisk together by hand.) In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine the almond butter, garlic, lime juice, tamari, honey, sesame oil and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk until blended, then add ¼ cup water and blend again. If necessary, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the consistency of peanut sauce.
- Pour the sauce into the mixing bowl with the soba noodles. Add the zucchini noodles and toss until everything is well coated. Divide among serving bowls, top with quick-pickled veggies, and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
- Serve room temperature or cold, with your favorite Asian hot sauce on the side.
Recipe minimally adapted from The Wellness Project by Phoebe Lapine.
Make it vegan: Substitute maple syrup for the honey.
Make it gluten free: Use gluten-free 100% buckwheat soba noodles (Phoebe recommends King Soba) and gluten-free tamari instead of regular soy sauce.
Make it paleo: Phoebe suggests omitting the soba noodles and doubling the amount of zucchini noodles.
If you don’t have a spiralizer: You can also turn zucchini into “noodles” with a julienne peeler (they just won’t be as curly and voluminous) or with a regular peeler, to make zucchini “ribbons.” Or, double the amount of soba noodles and skip the zucchini altogether. Here’s my favorite spiralizer, designed by Ali of Inspiralized.