I want to be making pies and testing side dishes but the reality of running a small business is one of constant hustle. And mostly I enjoy the hustle because I know you all want to be nourished everyday, feel good, and enjoy flavorful food without breaking the bank.
Sometimes my busiest days (when the pizza shop on the corner seems best, which it sometimes is!) are when I land on something noteworthy. When I feel pressed by work and family demands and budget constraints, I know you know the feeling. However, most of you don’t spend your busy days thinking about and working with food. Since I do, short-cuts and flavor combinations are top of mind and I get to share them with you and short-circuit some of that practice-makes-perfect time for you!
This recipe uses a couple of tricks:
- cooking broccoli (or whatever veg you have) in the same pot of boiling water as the noodles (sequentially, although you can certainly time it to do them together as well)
- making a quick marinade for the tofu and then adding peanut butter and water to it to make the sauce
For lots and lots of tricks and recipes you should subscribe! Or if you need more ideas for Thanksgiving sides or pies the Seasonal Recipe Collection has you covered (I’ve created tags Thanksgiving Side and Dessert to organize them all neatly for you). Use the discount code THANKS for access to the site for just $3.99/month.
Soba Noodles with Broccoli, Tofu and Peanut Sauce
While I have several similar dishes on this site this combination really works well AND is a good template–different noodles, different sauce, different veg. To make this sauce I add peanut butter and water to some of the marinade for the tofu. It streamlines things a bit and gives the dish variety without too extra much effort.
- substitute ramen, rice noodles or spaghetti
- substitute any cooked/roasted vegetable you’d like such as cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, kohlrabi, summer squash, green beans, snap peas, etc.
- substitute this Chili Tahini sauce
- Substitute leftover chicken or other meat for the tofu (no need to bake, just toss with a little of the marinade)
- Pan-fry the tofu instead of baking it, especially if you’re in a rush
6 ounces soba noodles (or other noodles, see variations)
1 block (usually about 8 ounces) firm tofu, briefly pressed between plates to remove some of the liquid, then cut into cubes
1 large stalk broccoli, stems peeled and then cut into small chunks and florets cut fairly small as well for about 5-6 cups
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper (optional)
2 teaspoons ginger, grated on a microplane or very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated on microplane
Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons sugar or other sweetener, more to taste
1/2 the above marinade
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
3-4 tablespoons water (or however much you need for just pourable consistency)
Hot sauce for serving
Preheat oven to 400
Mix together all ingredients for the marinade. Put the tofu cubes in a baking dish and gently toss with just shy of half the marinade, making sure they’re in one layer. Bake tofu for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the noodles to the pot and cook according to package instructions. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water and set aside in a bowl. Toss the noodles with about 1 tablespoon of the marinade and the scallions and cilantro.
To the remaining marinade, stir in the peanut butter and water until you have a good consistency. Taste and add soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and or/sugar as needed.
Assemble the noodles, broccoli and tofu on a platter or mix together in a large bowl and serve with the peanut sauce.