It's been over 100 degrees here along the Jersey shore for what seems like forever. Don't get me wrong I love a good heat wave but 110 degrees seems a bit insane! Last week our family decided to brave the heat and spend the day at a waterpark in Seaside Heights. Although the kids had a blast, my husband and I thought we would melt right into the pavement.
On days when it's just too hot to spend endless hours in the kitchen, I always turn to some classic meals like soba noodles with broccoli and chili lime cashews. Noodle dishes are great in the summer because they can be whipped up in a flash and are so delicious eaten cold. The kids love them too because they're fun and taste great paired with their favorite vegetables, like broccoli.
I use soba noodles for this recipe because they have a unique, rich nutty flavor (they're soooo not boring). Soba noodles are usually made with a combination of buckwheat and wheat making them higher in fiber than regular old spaghetti. The brand I used were also made with wild yam (shh! the kids had no idea and totally loved them). If you follow a gluten-free diet, you can find gluten-free varieties of soba noodles made with brown rice, pure buckwheat or quinoa, for example.
Roasting some cashews with spices (like the chili powder and lime zest I used for this recipe) is a great way to add depth and flavor without having to do very much work. While the nuts are roasting you can whip up the soy ginger dressing. By making your own dressing, you get to control sodium content of your meal and feel good knowing you're using healthy, fresh ingredients!
My favorite thing about this dish is that the broccoli and noodles are cooked together (a trick I learned years ago watching endless Food Network episodes) in the same pot. That means less mess to clean up! I'm always up for that!
*If you'd like to eat this dish cold, simply prepare and then refrigerate without the cashews, then add them in before you're ready to serve!
Broccoli and Soba Noodles with Roasted Chili Lime Cashews and Soy Ginger Dressing
- 12 oz. soba noodles about a package and a half
- 1 large head of broccoli cut into florets
- 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- zest and juice from ½ lime + use the other half for garnish
- ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
- 1 & ½ tablespoon sesame seeds
- red pepper flakes *optional
- Preheat a small toaster oven (or regular oven) to 350 F.
- Make the dressing by whisking together in a small bowl the oil, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and agave and set aside.
- Boil water and cook noodles according to package instructions, adding the broccoli florets to the water about 2-3 minutes before the noodles are done. *be cautious not to overcook the noodles
- While the noodles are cooking toss the cashews with the chili powder and lime zest.
- Roast in the oven and until golden and aromatic about 5-6 minutes.
- Drain noodles and broccoli and transfer to a platter.
- Toss the sauce with the noodles and broccoli, then top with sesame seeds, roasted cashews and some extra lime zest and red pepper flakes*.
- Serve with lime wedges.