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Soba and Zumba

I seriously can’t even decide which to start with. You would think considering that this was a food blog the answer would be pretty obvious, but… That means you have yet to experience the awesome and amazing wonders of Zumba… And regardless of how much this pains me I’m going to ask you to please stop reading, and get up, and go to a class now. (This page will be waiting for you when you get home!).

Well, since the only ones of you left reading have experienced the fantastical world of zumba before I have to ask…Why has NOONE ever told me to go before!?

So basically, Wednesday night was my first time going to Zumba ever. Let’s compare some texts to my friends before and after…

Before: Just heading to some ‘Zumba Party’ thing with my mum and her friends now… Should be a laugh! It’s like some kind of dance class right?

*Insert one and a half hours of jumping around, laughing, shaking, attempting to dance, jiggling things that I didn’t know I could jiggle, kind-of-dancing, salsaing, hip-hoping, body-rolling, pretending-I-can-dance, laughing really hard*

After: OHMYGOD WHY WAS THAT SO COOL.

True story. And if you haven’t ever tried it and you’re still reading this… I’m not kidding, go, go, go, no excuses. I should reiterate the “with my mum and her friends” part up there, i.e. if they, and I, for that matter, can do it… No excuses.

And need I mention it’s like going to the gym for five hours, seriously.

Sidenote: For those of you who have no idea what I’m going on about… Check it out.

Moving on! Soba soba soba time. I love soba.

Fact-of-the-day: I was born in Tokyo, and even though I left when I was three, I kind of have an affinity for many things Japanese. (I’m not Japanese though)

I actually never discovered soba till way more recently though. Usually, I just eat it prepared with the regular soba sauce which it’s traditionally eaten with (I’ve never actually tried to find it in Philadelphia though…) sometimes adding shitake mushrooms and some sesame seeds. Personally, I prefer buckwheat soba (the brown one) to cha soba (the green one). Soba is really easy to cook too, just boil some water and cook for 3-5 minutes, and bam, quick snack. However, this can also get a little boring after a while and it isn’t much of a meal so I thought about changing it up a bit, and it turned out pretty great!

Sesame Soba with Edamame and Carrots

This actually turned out really good! I kind of winged it with the sauce measurements but it really turned out nicely, I even prefer it to the actual soba sauce! And of course, it was super simple.

So here’s what you need:

3-4 oz Buckwheat soba

1 tablespoon Sesame seeds

1 1/2 cup Edamame (same thing as soy beans, shelled frozen ones work well)

1 Carrot chopped/sliced

Sauce:

2-3 tablespoons Soy sauce (I used the light version)

1 tablespoon White vinegar

1 tablespoon Lemon juice

1 teaspoon Honey

And here’s what you do:

  1. Boil some water, add the soba and a minute or two later add the edamame, cook to the instructions on the soba packet. Most packs will say somewhere between 3-5 minutes, just taste to make sure its not uncooked but you don’t want it squishy either. Drain, then rinse under cold water. Put it into the fridge to cool.
  2. Peel, chop/slice the carrot and add to the noodles.
  3. Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice and honey together in a small bowl.
  4. Pour over the noodle mixture, mix, sprinkle sesame seeds over the top.

Tada! What could be easier?

Tip: I think if you wanted to add some corn this would be great too!

Safe Summer Quinoa Salad

Safe? Why safe? Why not scintillating? Or scrumptious? Or another over-hyped adjective, starting with s for alliterative effect, eliciting connotations of a mind-blowing gustatory experience? Why would my first post sound so… sound?

Because, this is college. (Actually, thats a lie, school only starts in two weeks I just thought I’d start now…) But, this is me. Kitchen novice/noob/whatever-you-like, whose track record of general coordination and spatial awareness related incidents would give reason to never allow me near a spatula, let alone things with sharp edges. Point being, if I can throw a bunch of things together so that the result can acceptably pass as a meal… and actually tastes (shock, horror) good, then seriously, your seven-year-old brother/sister/cat could do it.

Doesn't look too bad, right?

So here’s what you need:

1 cup dry quinoa

1 red bell pepper (capsicum)

1 yellow bell pepper (capsicum)

1/2 green bell pepper (capsicum)

1 cucumber (those long skinny ones if you can find them, not too watery more crunchy)

2 oz red cherry tomatoes

2 oz yellow cherry tomatoes

Sidenote: So. Just faced my first problem. I grew up with the metric system… so I actually have no idea what an ounce looks like. As you might be able to tell, the above measurements can basically be varied to whatever floats your boat… Maybe you want more of a vegetable salad with some quinoa? Or more of a quinoa salad with some vegetables? Or more green and less red? I basically added half a small box of each kind of tomato…

Tip: Try pickles! This may sound really strange, but seriously. Just 1 will do.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 squeezed lemon

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste.

You can also add a couple fresh or dry basil leaves, which I didn’t have, but why not?

And here’s what you do:

Add about 1.5-2 cups water to a pot and add the quinoa to it. Bring to a boil and keep the lid on for 20 mins. You might want to check the directions on the packet but this is pretty much standard. When it’s done, pour through a mesh strainer/sieve, put it into a bowl and pop it in the fridge to cool off.

  1. While that’s going on, wash and dry your vegetables. Then dice the peppers, cucumbers and pickle into little pieces. Slice the tomatoes in half. Add everything to a bowl and put it aside.
  2. In a little bowl I mixed the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt and pepper. People don’t usually add lemon juice and vinegar but I added that at the end because it was missing something.
  3. Take out the quinoa when its chilled for a bit, mix it with the vegetables, and drizzle the dressing over it. I added more salt and pepper at the end for some flavour. Mix, mix, fluff, fluff. Bam.
  4. Quinoa keeps great in the fridge, and I actually found that it tasted even better the next day. A cup makes about 2 big meal sized servings or 4 side servings to go with a main perhaps. Or maybe 3 smaller meals for a light lunch?

There’s plenty of other things to do with quinoa that I def plan on trying later but hey… first post, just playing it safe.

Afterthought: I do plan on uploading more pictures with each post… but unfortunately that only ocurred to me after the cooking part…