Before moving to Toronto was even an option, its popular vegetarian restaurant Juice for Life was already on my radar screen. I'm a complete sucker for cookbooks that are put out by restaurants, so when I came across Fresh at Home on Amazon a couple of years ago, I quickly snatched it up. Since then, this has become my go-to cookbook for salads, rice bowls, and noodle dishes - I really can't say enough positive things about it (for a complete review, click here).
I later picked up the original Juice for Life cookbook, which is more focused on juice, but also contains some more yummy rice bowl and noodle recipes. I was hooked - when we decided to move, I was sure that Fresh was going to be my favorite restaurant in our new home.
Sadly, this isn't the case. While the eat-in experience at Fresh is far from bad, the cramped, noisy atmosphere definitely takes away from the great food. Also, it's tough to shell out 17 bucks after tax and tip for a rice bowl, when you have the exact recipe sitting right at home (and fewer elbows to contend with at your own kitchen table). For these reasons, I tend to stick to the cookbooks when I need a Fresh fix.
I made the noodle dish pictured above the other night, slightly adapting a recipe from Juice for Life. It turned out great, with a little heat added using the Ming Room hot sauce I bought a while back. This recipe makes enough for two.
1/2 cup cashew pieces
4 cups cooked soba noodles
1 batch green dressing (see below)
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 cup grated carrots
1. toast the cashews in a 350 degree oven until they begin to brown
2. heat the soba noodles, cashews, and green dressing in a pan over medium heat until heated through (about 5 minutes)
3. steam the broccoli separately in a vegetable steamer or shallow pan of water
4. divide the noodles onto 2 plates or shallow bowls. arrange the broccoli around the perimeters, and pile the grated carrots on top
5. dig in!
2 large cloves garlic
2 tsp. peeled and chopped ginger root
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp powdered wasabi
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp sambal oelek (or Ming Room hot sauce)
1. throw the garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, cilantro, and water into a food processor or blender. process until smooth.
2. add remaining ingredients with the processor still running. remove when completely liquefied.