One of the best things about working with food is the notion that there are unlimited things to try and experiment with in the food world and that I’m never going to run out of new colours to paint with in the kitchen. Like ever. It totally rocks my world!
Here are a few new-to-me discoveries, which may be old news to some of you, but I’m pretty stoked about them :)
– Shichimi Togarashi is a Japanese spice blend that is commonly made up of chilli flakes, sansho pepper (A Japanese peppercorn related to sichuan), citrus zest, sesame seeds, poppy and/or hemp seeds, wasabi, and nori. Can anyone tell me why it’s taken me almost 32 years on this planet to discover this? This is the blend that I used but it’s also widely available on Amazon. I’m excited about making my own blend!
– Arugula micro greens. Yup! They taste just like arugula. But they’re wispy and delicate. I now know what I’m doing with all that arugula seed that I saved last year, because there was no way that I was ever going to plant/eat that much arugula. I’m planning to experiment with all sorts of funky microgreens when I get my grow lights up for seed starting next month!
– My new Blendtec Mini Twister Jar. I didn’t realize how crazy useful this thing is. I bought a used one for $30 and am obsessed with making small batches of alllll the creamy dressings. No more 85867 jars of leftover dressings in the fridge that I’ll eat tomorrow. No, tomorrow. Ummm, tomorrow. Ugh…
– Black rice noodles. I bought them by accident, thinking they were soba noodles, and I gotta say… they’re kinda better :) All that glorious black rice flavour (you’ve had black rice, right?) in noodle form. Yes please!
Today’s recipe is all about my new discoveries, hanging out together, in a super satisfying winter bowl. Enjoy!
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- ~1 Tbsp. miso paste (adjust, to taste, based on your miso)
- juice and zest of 1 juicy lemon (~ 2 Tbsp. of juice)
- 1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar or maple syrup
- 1/3 cup of water
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 a buttercup squash, cleaned and sliced (or the equivalent of your favourite squash)
- sesame oil + salt, for roasting
- 1 package of black rice noodles (~1/2 lb dry), cooked according to package instructions
- tamari and sesame oil to season the noodles
- 1 sliced avocado
- 2 hard (or soft) boiled eggs, peeled and halved
- 1/2 cup arugula microgreens
- shichimi togarashi, to taste
- Start by roasting the squash. Preheat the oven to 425°F and toss the slices with a few good pinches of salt and a drizzle of sesame oil, just enough to coat the slices.
- Arrange the slices on a large parchment-lined cookie sheet and roast for about 20 - 25 minutes, until the slices are cooked through and starting to brown around the edges.
- While the squash is cooking, prepare the noodles, dressing, and all the other ingredients.
- To make the dressing, combine all the dressing ingredients in a small high speed blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth. See note below for alternative blending suggestions.
- When the noodles are ready and rinsed, return them to the pot and toss with a few splashes of tamari/soy sauce and a drizzle of sesame oil. Taste a noodle and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- When the squash is ready, distribute the noodles between bowls (2 - 4 servings depending on serving size) and arrange the squash and remaining ingredients on top.
- Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with shichimi togarashi. See note for leftover advice.
Dressing: If you're not using a high-speed blender, the dressing may be a little gritty. Replacing the sesame seeds (which are hard to break down) with more hemp seeds or a few teaspoons of tahini may help and shouldn't impact the flavour too much. If you prefer whisking to blending, Cookie + Kate's Creamy Tahini Dressing would probably be nice here as well.
Leftovers: My suggestion is that you keep all the ingredients stored separately, then gently reheat the squash (optional) and assemble the bowls right before serving.