Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Macro-Zen Bowl

New Year's morning our elderly/bored/early bird neighbor woke us up by banging on our door at the crack of dawn. By this I mean, constant knocking while the beagle was howling (screeching) like a mad woman. An unknown creature interrupting Eleanor's dog-dreams and beagle-beauty-sleep is never a good thing. Tom (aka morning-monster) loudly asked/wondered if I had maybe lost my mind because I accidentally parked in the neighbor's perpetually empty parking spot. I came home late from working a busy New Year's Eve shift at the psychiatric hospital. The neighbor has no car. He never goes anywhere. There are plenty of parking spaces. I hollered about how unromantic my life was at that very moment. How Tom should realize that romance is important and that maybe he should remember a time when we first met. These were strange suggestions from a sleep-deprived woman. Needless to say, Tom was annoyed by them. He stormed out of house to move our car. He came in and said he was sorry he wasn't romantic but he was pissed off (insert curse words here). Crazytown! We both simmered in our anger for a while. Then we had coffee-talk. We apologized. We decided to take a walk on the beach. We laughed and ate long-life noodles for lunch. That's the real-life way we celebrated the New Year. 

Some seniors monitor their unused parking spaces and others really know how to enjoy life.  An eleven year old white lab likes to swim in the ocean as if it were June. She happily jumps in the waves. The rest of her furry, cocoon-crowd buddies mosey along on the shore. Ellie, our beagle, is her usual beach-bonkers-self.

Leaving the neighbor issues behind, I begin the new year in splendid solitude. I pray for all those I've hurt (both intentionally and unintentionally) and for those who have hurt me. I learned this prayer from a very old and very wise man. It took a while to warm up to this devotion. I had to pray for the grace to mean it. The prayer is now a gentle way of letting go of the past and starting fresh. Very slowly, like a jagged rock made smooth by the ebb and flow of the ocean, its mysteries soften and shape my heart.

Let's get to the recipe...

Real soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour. They're revered in Japan and served on New Year's Eve in hopes for a long life. The Japanese like to eat cold soba noodles with an unfussy dipping sauce to savor their nutty taste. I've created a base recipe here that you can riff on any way you like. It's easy to customize. In keeping with the Japanese tradition, they're meant to be served cold.   

Instead of edamame, you can use this recipe as the base for many other macrobiotic ingredients such as kale, butternut squash, brussel sprouts, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, sprouts, cucumber, cabbage, green peas, tofu, etc.    

Some sliced avocado is nice here too. If you'd like to add more protein my Sesame Salmon  or my Chili Garlic Salmon is good served with it. A splash of Sriracha, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, fresh lime juice and some grated ginger are great too. You get the idea. Take this recipe and make it your own.     
This uncomplicated, healing bowl of soba is deepened with toasted sesame and tamari. Keep this therapeutic meal in mind when you're in the mood for a quick detoxifying bowl of tangly noodles.   


Macro-Zen Bowl Recipe 

Makes 4-5 Cups 

Some Notes:

Real soba noodles are gluten free. Always read labels. Some soba noodles are a combination of wheat and buckwheat. I use both kinds since gluten is not a problem for me. But pure buckwheat soba noodles are my favorite.

Click HERE to read about the difference between tamari and regular soy sauce.

If you like Asian noodle recipes,  my Soba Noodle Soup With Mushrooms and Snow Peas and my Easy Asian Noodle Soup With Bok Choy are also good choices. Click on the Recipe Index at the top of the blog for all my Asian noodle recipes. 


  • 8 ounces of soba noodles
  • 2-3 scallions, diced
  • 6-8 ounces of frozen edamame (shelled soybeans) 
  • 1 tablespoon of Tamari or to your taste
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, divided 
  • 2 tablespoons of well stirred tahini paste 
  • 1 tablespoon of oil such as corn or light sesame    
  • 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil or Asian sesame oil, pus a few drops more for drizzling
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional) 
  • Drizzle of sriracha to serve (optional)  


Cook the edamame with the soba noodles. Follow the package directions for the soba noodles, being careful not to overcook. Rinse the edamame and noodles in cold water and drain well. Toss them with the tamari, tahini, the corn oil and the toasted sesame oil. Stir in most of the scallions, saving some for serving. Set aside.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet on medium heat until golden brown. Toss one tablespoon of the toasted sesame seeds with the reserved soba noodles. Serve the soba noodles with the reserved scallions, the rest of the sesame seeds, a few drops of toasted sesame oil and a pinch of sea salt.     

Bon Appetit and Blessings! 
xx ~ Jilly

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