Growing up, we always ate very nutritious foods but never really ate beets. When I was in my mid twenties, my friend's mother (who is a GREAT cook, she had a very successful catering business for years and years) served roasted beets at a family dinner, and I immediately fell in love and was hooked. I still use her recipe for roasted beets; I always have some in the fridge (and just this year started growing my own!). I am so glad that I love them so much, because they are one of the best foods you could eat; they boost immunity, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, cleanse and detoxify your liver, among many other benefits (read more about the health benefits of beets here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-beets). In this salad, I grated and lightly steamed them and then tossed them with earthy soba noodles, roasted eggplant, sweet, fresh yellow bells and a tangy bright sesame ginger vinaigrette. The beets give this noodle salad a gorgeous pink hue and the taste result is a vibrant, fiber and nutrient packed meal that is also vegan. To your health!
SESAME SOBA NOODLES WITH BEETS & EGGPLANT
Prep time: about an hour
2 small eggplants, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup tamari
2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sriracha (to taste if you prefer less heat)
1 large red beet, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
1 yellow bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
3 large green onions, whites and light green parts, thinly sliced
1 inch piece ginger, grated
4 ounces soba noodles
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1) On a large cutting board or cookie sheet, place the eggplant slices in a single layer. Sprinkle lightly and evenly with the salt and let sit for ten minutes to draw out some of their moisture. Blot with a paper towel, flip the slices over, and repeat. Place the eggplant in a zip top plastic bag. Combine and whisk together the next 6 ingredients (vinegar-honey) in a measuring cup; pour over the eggplant. Marinate for about an hour, turning occasionally to coat the eggplant thoroughly. Remove the eggplant from the bag and reserve a shy 3/4 cup of the marinade. Whisk the sriacha into the reserved marinade.
2) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the eggplant in a single layer on parchment lined baking sheets, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between the pieces so the eggplants do not steam in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes per side, until soft and a bit brown. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and cut into quarters.
3) Place the eggplant, bell peppers, green onions, and ginger in a large bowl (see note on photo below re: ginger). Steam the grated beets in a steamer basket over medium-low heat for three minutes and then add to the bowl with the fresh veggies. Cook the soba noodles and add to the bowl with the veggies. While the soba noodles are still hot (this is important because hot noodles absorb dressing better) pour the reserved marinade over the whole salad, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and toss to combine. Let sit for about 5 minutes for the dressing to absorb, toss again, and serve immediately.
Hi. I'm Claudia. I'm a food obsessed, nature loving, fitness fanatic and happy gal living in the Pacific Northwest. I've been eating and cooking healthy foods for most of my life, and I'm so excited to share my passion for it with you!