Archive of ‘soba’ category

Sesame Seed Lovin’

Finally, my ode to sesame seeds! But first – Tanya (, and I launched a new blog site!  It’s called Healthy Yum. It’s similar to some communities that are already out there, but ours is dedicated to health. You can submit photos from blogs, comment on them, vote on them, subscribe to a newsletter (with healthy ideas and recipes), and gaze at lovely healthy food photos all day long.


Okay, back to mr. sesame… I my quest to get more healthy fats, I’ve fallen in love with sesame seeds.  I’ve been putting them on everything – breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert.  I wake up to sesame seeds in my PBU (peanut butter + chocolate milk blend) oat bran.

12 sesame oat bran

I make salads of shredded chayote, dressing, and sesame seeds.

15 sesame chayote

I make salads of broccoli slaw (finally found it! It’s delicious), dressing, and sesame seeds.

14 sesame broccoli slaw

The dressing I’ve been using is by Bolthouse Farms – it’s an Olive Oil Vinaigrette – Tropical Mango flavor.  Delicious.

bolthouse vinaigrette

You didn’t think I would forget kabocha, did you?  Of course not – it’s even better with my new favorite seed.

16 sesame kabocha

Bobby loves sesame seeds too.  This was our breakfast on Sunday – Bobby’s was umeboshi soba noodles, some meat and onions, and lots of sesame seeds.  Mine was miso soup (+ sesame seeds) and peanut butter oat bran (+ sesame seeds).

13 weekend lunch

I did a little research (thanks, Wikipedia! you’re not good enough for my old college professors, but you’re good enough for me!).  Sesame seeds are rich in manganese, copper, and calcium.  They also have vitamin B1 and vitamin E. They contain lignans (which have anti-cancer and antioxidant qualities).  Awesome!

Don’t forget to check out Healthy Yum!

(P.S. Yesterday I did a yoga handstand.  It’s about time.  I’ve been practicing it for a month! I tapped against the wall after about 5 seconds though.)

Celebration Dinner & A cute lunch

Thank you so so much for the amazing response to yesterday’s announcement.  I am overwhelmed. Details – not sure when or where.  Depends on where we’re living in a few months!  Honeymoon – Hawaii, Caribbean cruise, the Bahamas… somewhere warm.  The food – lots of awesome Japanese and Asian stuff, macrobiotic dishes, and crazy cool Maggie food.  I don’t think I could have a wedding without kabocha.  I will definitely be updating as I figure out more.

Last night we decided to go out to celebrate.  Of course we went to our favorite Thai restaurant, Blue Mango.  This is the only restaurant I ever go to anymore – I know that their food is awesome and they have tons of options.  We went all out and got three dishes to share.  First up, the Combo Fried Rice – with prawn, chicken, pork, tomato, onion and egg.  I had a little bit of this; Bobby had most of it.

10 combo fried rice

Next was the Bamboo stir-fry (vegan unless you get it with chicken) – with cashew, baby corn, straw mushroom and onion.  We got it with chicken.  We pretty much split this exactly.

08 bamboo stirfry

And lastly, the Mushroom Mountain stir-fry (vegan) – soft tofu, baby corn, bamboo, straw mushroom and bean sprout stir-fried with a bit of green curry paste. Sesame seed are sprinkled on for a beautiful finish.  I had most of this and Bobby had a little bit.  I wish they’d put more sesame seeds.

09 mushroom mountain

We just about cleaned all the plates (brought home a few pieces of chicken that I stuck in Bobby’s lunch today).

I decided to practice being wifey and make Bobby a bento lunch.  I did Soba Noodles with Umeboshi Dressing (macrobiotic), topped with sauteed onions, a hot dog, and leftover chicken. I sliced up a peach as well, and there’s an unpictured hotdog bun (with smart balance).  He also has an arsenal of snacks like milk chocolate, crackers, and sembe (Japanese cracker things).  The cutest part though is the 2 carrot hearts that I made and put on top of the noodles.  Very bento-ey :)

11 bobby's lunch

Here’s another thing I’ve been putting in Bobby’s lunches that he loves… Ants on a log!  You all had this when you were little, right?  Celery + peanut butter (PB&Co’s Mighty Maple here) + raisins = ants on a log.  We had a long and rather inappropriate discussion about names that would be better than “ants on a log”, but I’ll spare you the details (which mostly revolved around “poo”).

07 ants on a log

I’m off to do some yoga.  Though I can’t seem to stop staring at my ring finger when I’m in downward dog and doing chaturangas.  I might get a strange crick in my neck if I keep this up!  Speaking of yoga, I have done about 40 minutes a day for the last week… and that’s about it, for exercise.  I haven’t even been walking much.  But I feel great. Here’s my exercise log.

Today’s question: what’s your favorite childhood food? I think mine would have to be the breakfasts that my dad made on the weekends. Pancakes, waffles, and French toast.  Pancakes were every Saturday and Sundays alternated between waffles and French toast.

Mom’s first day :)

My mom has only been to California (I live in Sunnyvale) once before – when we drove across the country last February (which was my first time here too).  We’re trying to enjoy our limited time (she leaves on Tuesday) so we’re doing lots of mother-daughter things… like shopping.

After our delicious bowls of green oat bran, we hit the stores.  We went to Santana Row and the mall.  We hit up Lupicia (a tea shop) where Mom got a bunch of delicious tea (one was rum raisin flavored!).  We also went to Bath & Body Works for a big sale.  We both got candles and other goodies for 75% off.  We wandered a bit more, then went to The Container Store (love!  her first time), Lucy, Lululemon, Anthropologie, and Vera Bradley.  Didn’t get much… but towards the end we were getting hungry and just wanted to go home.


I decided to treat her to another one of my favorite recipes – Soba Noodles with Umeboshi Dressing and Sauteed Onions.  It was her first time having soba noodles and she loved them.  Delicious.  We cooked up a huge onion to put on top.  Mom drizzled a little bit of honey on hers, but said she probably didn’t need it after all.  She just really likes the Wildflower Honey that I have.

After lunch we were ready for more shopping, so we trekked out to Target (OJ for Bobby, rice for Bobby, and long & lean tanks for me and mom), Trader Joe’s (her first time), and Han Kook (my favorite Korean grocery).  We didn’t get a chance to make seitan (soon though) and settled for Hugh Jass salads for dinner.  And a steamed kabocha (the whole thing) for me.  Mom had a bite, and said it tasted like a sweet potato.  I’ll make her eat more tomorrow.  There were some other random snacks during the day too, and lovely lightly sweetened tea samples at the mall.

We didn’t technically work out today (well, I had 20 minutes of yoga this morning) but I think all of the walking probably equates to at least what I normally do.  And if it doesn’t, who cares!  I’m having fun with the momma.

We had so much fun today. I really missed my mom a ton.  I’m happier right now than I have been in a long time.  I’m realizing how important family is to me (now I sound like NJ housewife – but then again, I am a Jersey girl) and I think it’s going to majorly affect some big decisions that are going to come up in the nearish future.  Mom is sleeping now (she was still up before 6am this morning even though she didn’t get to bed until about 2am), and I think I’m gonna go make some more kabocha.  Or eat some blueberries.  Or sit on my butt and do more crossword puzzles and watch trashy late night TV while waiting for Bobby to get home (poor boy has to work late again).  Or all of them.  Yes, definitely all.  Mmmm… kabocha.

Do you live near your family?  Do you see them often?  If you live far away, do you miss them?  How do you deal with it?

Japanese Dinner for Decluttering

I made a very cool and very Japanese/Macrobiotic dinner last night in an attempt to declutter my kitchen and use up pantry items.


I started with this Soba Noodle & Umeboshi Dressing recipe that I’ve been obsessed with, but I had to make a few adjustments.  This was soba noodles topped with julienned burdock and carrot (frozen).  I had a few shirataki noodles for bulk, but it was mostly soba.


Then I made miso soup for each of us (from a packet, but again… trying to use up pantry items).


And I also grilled some frozen Rex Sole that I’d gotten at the Korean grocery a few weeks ago.  The sole was actually really delicious (I ate my whole piece plus part of Bobby’s – he’s not really a whitefish person) and now I want to buy more of it.  So that was a fail at pantry cleaning (unless I resist the temptation to buy more).


I’ve actually managed to use up some other pantry items – I made chocolate/raisin/sunflower seed/oatmeal cookies for bobby (oatmeal raisin is his favorite) with the rest of my instant oatmeal (it’s sweetened, and I just can’t deal with that much sugar… I tried), nuts that I never eat, and raisins and chocolate that have been waiting to be cooked.  He took them to work with him so they’ll probably disappear soon.  I also sent him in to work with a big bag of granola bars so he’s going to try to have them for snacks.  I’m totally over bars, and have been for a while.  Just not my thing.

The point of cleaning out the pantry is to use up all those things that I bought at one point and then discovered that I didn’t really like, or didn’t like as much as I thought I had.  I’m making good progress I think.  By the end of the month a decent amount of the excess food will be used up.

I just found out what my summer schedule is going to look like – I’ve decided to teach full-time for a few months instead of taking classes at community college.  I’ll be teaching summer classes for SAT prep, Algebra 2, and Trigonometry.  Fun!  I hope it will be :)

My mom comes tomorrow night!  I can’t wait to make her eat green oatmeal and kabocha.  Have you ever made your parents try something that they thought was kind of crazy?

What a bag of crap!

There is a point to this post.

Have you heard of  It’s a website that sells a new item every day at a low price.  Today’s item is a 2-pack of fire extinguishers for $9.99.  It’s been more exciting in the past – Roombas (cool vacuums), mp3 players, etc…  It’s not something I’d normally be interested in, but occasionally they sell these things called “bags of crap“.  A “bag of crap” is a way for them to clear out their warehouse and make some money off of it.  You buy 3 “bags of crap” at $1 each plus $5 shipping, so you pay $8 and agree to receive and not complain about whatever they decide to send you.  Sometimes you get broken electronics; other times you get huge HDTVs.  Sometimes you get bags of air.  It’s a crapshoot.

Bobby’s bags of crap arrived on Saturday, but we weren’t home so I had to pick them up at the post office yesterday.  He had high hopes and I was worried that it would just be clutter.  There was some clutter (a random piece of a computer, purple “space sand”, etc…), but we also got this new set of knives that perfectly matches our black and steel kitchen.


It’s an Arcosteel 5-piece knife set.  Not super-nice, but definitely made the $8 bags of crap worth it.  The knives are heavy; they’re very sharp too.  I’m having lots of fun chopping (they’re still not as nice as my ceramic knives though). In the bag was also an infrared thermometer – what do you use this for?

We also got this awesome cat-condo.  Hehe.


After I trekked to the post office to get the bags of crap (I walked 1.4 miles there and back – 2.8 total – for my exercise), I made lunch using pantry items (dried shiitakes, soba noodles).  I used this recipe but subbed in mushrooms instead of onions.  It wasn’t nearly as good and I used way too many mushrooms.  At least the mushrooms are almost gone.  I think they’re over a year old.


Today and yesterday I did yoga in the morning – Tom Morley’s buns & thighs yoga from exercise tv (~20 minutes).  I think I’m going to try to get in my yoga in the morning from now on.  It’s easier that way.

And I have an announcement – my mom is coming!!  She gets in late next Tuesday (1 week!) and is staying for a week.  I’m so excited and happy.  I can’t wait to hang out with her, and talk, and do yoga together, and all the other fun things that we love to do.  She’s going to stay in our guest room so I really have to declutter in the next week.  Good thing that’s one of my June goals.

I have *a ton* of stuff to do today (blog-related, tutoring-related, school-related, career-related, errands, chores, gah!)  How long is your to-do list right now?  Mine seems insane and almost too much (but when it’s all written down it’s so much easier to tackle).

BSI: Corn Bitelettes

This is a fun, easy, CORN-y recipe that I made up for this week’s BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient)…  I’m trying to use up some orange juice that’s in the fridge, so I incorporated that as well.  It adds a really subtle sweetness that is mandatory for all good cornbread.  And the bitelettes are just too cute.

Corn Bitelettes with a Hint of Orange


Ingredients (makes 27 bites)

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran (or flour)
  • 1/4 cup oat bran (or flour)
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients (olive oil, egg whites, OJ).  Mix together the dry ingredients (corn meal, wheat bran, oat bran, baking powder, salt).  Mix them together.  Add the corn! and mix well.
  3. Drop tablespoons of batter into mini-muffin cups.
  4. Bake for 18-19 minutes at 425F.


Enjoy! I wish I had thought to put cheese on them.  That would have been perfect.  These are delicious and corny and oh-so-yum.  I hope you try them :)  Since I forgot to put cheese on top, slathered on some fresh whipped butter.  It was great.

Delicious Soba with Onions & Umeboshi (Macrobiotic)

One of the only type of noodles that I love is soba noodles.  They’re Japanese buckwheat noodles and they’re delicious.  I like them cool/room temperature, and one of my favorite ways to eat them is Zaru Soba.  Bobby introduced them to me because his mom (an amazing cook/eater) loves them.

One Japanese food that I usually dislike is umeboshi (pickled plums).  They’re bitter and tart, and they ruined a salad that I once made (evil!).  I actually discovered these before I tried macrobiotics (again because of Bobby’s mom), but never really wanted to like them until I bought some myself and had to use them up.


But, I found a way to eat umeboshi plums that’s delicious!  If you puree them in a dressing they’re wonderful.

Delicious Soba with Onions & Umeboshi (Macrobiotic)


Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 3 servings soba noodles
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced up
  • 6 garlic cloves (I’m a garlic lover… you don’t have to use this many), crushed and minced
  • a few teaspoons olive oil
  • optional; not macrobiotic (Bobby had this; I didn’t): leftover meat sauteed in sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chili powder; I used a hot dog and some leftover rotisserie chicken (he loved it)

Dressing (this will keep for a few days; you’ll probably have extra)

  • 2-3 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3 umeboshi plums (or 1 tablespoon umeboshi paste)
  • 2ish tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
  • juice from 1/4 lemon (1-2 tablespoons?)


  1. To make the dressing – toast the sesame seeds.  Heat a skillet/saute pan to high heat, and shake the seeds until they start to brown and smell delicious.  Put them in a food processor and pulse a few times.  (Alternatively, you could crush them with a mortar and pestle.)  Add the plums, shoyu, and lemon juice.  Blend some more.


    The dressing will actually be kind of thick, not watery.  I was originally going to add a sweetener, but it didn’t need it.

  2. Prep the soba noodles.  Boil water (unsalted) and add the noodles.  Reduce to a simmer (not a rolling boil as you would with pasta) and cook for 7-8 minutes.  Rinse immediately with cold water.  Continue to rinse until the noodles are smooth and the floury smell goes away (otherwise they get gummy as they cool).  Let the noodles cool.  (I used two different brands to use up one box which is why they’re different colors.)
  3. 13-soba-noodles

  4. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet/saute pan.  Add the garlic; saute for 1 minute.  Add the onions and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. 14-sauteed-onions-garlic

  6. Top the cold soba noodles with the onions and lots of dressing.

I had one serving and Bobby had 2; I added shirataki noodles to mine and he added meat to his.  The soba noodles were better than the shiratakis (never thought I would say that).  Inspiration for this recipe comes from Just Hungry.

Check out Shelby’s Neon Green Oats – she followed my recipe!

Don’t forget about the BSI – corn! (I need to get on this.  Don’t worry Sophia, I’m making something!)

Happy Friday!  I’m seeing Up! with Bobby tonight.  Have you seen it?  Good?