June 03, 2009

6.2.09 | fresh & easy sesame shitake noodle salad

i absolutely hate super markets!! i've certainly been spoiled by the affordability of trader joe's, the selection at whole foods and the variety of produce at so-cal farmer's markets. on the rare occasion that i make my way into a major supermarket i'm reminded of how over processed and overpriced everything is....especially all vegetarian products which usually cost an arm and a leg. but sadly, trader joe's doesn't carry everything and sometimes all natural, organic or raw from whole foods simply isn't in the budget.....in comes fresh & easy. the concept of fresh & easy markets is high-quality products at affordable prices. basically select major food brands and items found at most grocery stores at great discounts. they also have their own brand of food products, but i find it's not as reliable as trader joe's. still i'm glad to have a fresh & easy in my neighborhood and was happy to spend my tuesday afternoon perusing the aisles with my mom.

i picked up some pantry staples (spices, cornstarch and condiments), a couple complete noodle meals in a box that were on sale for $1.25 and i was out the door for less than $10.00...major score! of course, homemade meals from scratch are always better, tastier and certainly healthier....but you can't beat 6 servings of noodles for $1.25!! I'm talkin vegan, complete "gourmet" dishes with no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors...not cup-a-noodle! think convenience...think recession!

i decided to try the sesame shitake noodle salad for dinner and made 1/3 of the package, which yielded about 2 servings.

buckwheat soba noodle salad...a blend of sesame, shitake mushrooms, soy sauce, red chili flakes, miso and edamame.

the noodles were easy to make and delicious! the dehydrated veggies (i know i know!) were a bit tough, but i think next time i'll just leave them cooking in the sauce a bit longer. a 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil and 30 minutes in the fridge and cold soba noodle salad was ready.

you could easily use this as a base and add some tofu, chopped scallions or other fresh veggies to make it a more complete meal. the whole box would make a great and easy dish for a summer bbq.

now for the nutritional breakdown..1 serving has 268 calories, 8g of fat (1 g of saturated fat), no cholesterol, 665mg of sodium, 43g of carbs (3.5g of sugar, 3.5g of fiber), 7g of protein. I reduced the sesame oil to less than half of what the instructions called for which probably cut a significant amount of the listed fat from the dish, but didn't compromise on taste.

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