Laura Leigh Bean
Illustration, Visual Branding + Design
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Life and Soba Noodles

Life. Oh man. So crazy!

In the last 4 months I:

Went to Alaska (hey there bears)
Quit my job
Went to Europe (hey there gelato)
Started an awesome new job

So, yeah. Life! Crazy indeed.

I'm not busy-complaining. (<< Read that!) I am one lucky lady and I know it. Just... makin' excuses for neglecting the blog.

(Seriously, how do you ladies with children and jobs and husbands and pets do this? I bow down. My plant died yesterday, I am hopeless.)

I am DETERMINED to write about Europe because it was beyond awesome and I want a written record of all of the fun details... but until then, I present you with...


Lame? Totally, I know. But guys, I gained 5 pounds in Europe, and I can't even call it vacation weight anymore. I made my brother pretzel crust brownies the other day. Then I had to physically drag myself downstairs to give the extras I couldn't fit in the box to the doorman so the little Italian fat kid that now lives inside me wouldn't win and eat them all at once.

So yep, we're getting vegan here.

But I promise, it's good too!

Soba Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Spicy Peanut Dressing

Make this first to marinate for a bit while you're chopping and boiling, and make it to taste! Here's how I did it, but make it spicier/saltier/sweeter to your own preferences. Whisk these ingredients together with a fork until its very smooth, like the consistency of salad dressing:

  • 1/2 C peanut butter
  • 1/4 C rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tb toasted sesame oil
  • 3 Tb reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tb sriracha sauce
  • 2 Tb honey
  • 1 Tb warm water

Noodles and Vegetable Salad

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 4 C spinach (roughly!)
  • 4 stalks green onion (again... roughly!)
  • 1 8 oz package of soba noodles*
  • pinch of sesame seeds
  1. Wash your veggies! 
  2. Julienne cucumber, red and yellow peppers 
  3. Dice green onions (the green AND white parts) into very small pieces
  4. Put all of your spinach into a colander over the sink
  5. Cook your soba noodles - boil them for about 3 minutes and then pour them over the spinach in the colander to flash steam/boil the spinach
  6. Shake the spinach and noodles to get rid of all excess water, and then refrigerate for 30 minutes or so until the noodles and spinach are relatively cool
  7. Add the chopped vegetables and spicy peanut dressing to the bowl of noodles and spinach and mix everything up really well to combine
  8. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (totally unnecessary, just fun!) and enjoy!
*Soba noodles sound really exotic but aren't that hard to find or love. You'll probably find them with the other Asian foods in your local grocery store... I got mine at Dominick's! They're noodles made out of buckwheat flour -- lots of protein, whole grain and a really great nutty flavor.