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from Real Simple Magazine, May 2010

5 oz spaghetti, cooked according to package directions and rinsed under cold water
1 carrot, shredded
1 Kirby cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 oz firm tofu, cubed
1/4 c roasted cashews, chopped
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Toss all of the ingredients together and divide the salad between 2 containers. Refrigerate for up to 1 day in advance to make brown-bag lunch of the month.

Hello super easy dinner! Hello HUGE dinner. This light yet well-rounded salad would be perfect for a warm day, but I couldn’t wait for one of those to come along to make this. I was really impressed by the dressing- it was light and perfect and not too citrus- or sesame-laden. I used a regular cucumber (which is apparently larger than a Kirby, a pickling cucumber), and subbed in some jarred roasted red peppers for the carrots, and was so pleased with the outcome! I had to toast some raw cashews too, which were really really good. I also made the dressing in a separate little dish before tossing it into the salad- I wanted even distribution of all that tastiness. Can’t let someone else hog all the salt, right? This would be a fun salad to try all sorts of veggies with. Next time I’m bringing in chopped green onions or maybe some red chili flakes. I could eat this every night, and Mike seemed to enjoy it too…

from O Magazine, January 2010

2 tbsp canola or olive oil
2 leeks (white part only), split, rinsed, and sliced
2 cloves garlic (I used 4, as we love garlic around here)
1 medium bunch chard (I used cabbage, as the store didn’t have chard)
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4 oz buckwheat (soba) noodles
1 c edamame
1/2 c miso
2 scallions, finely sliced

Set a large pot over medium-low heat. Add oil and heat for 1 minute. Add leeks and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, while preparing chard (or cabbage). Remove stalks and ribs from chard; set leaves aside. Coursely chop stalks and ribs, and add to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add 2 1/2 quarts water to pot. Increase heat, and bring to a boil. Add carrots, then reduce heat to simmer. Continue simmering until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Add buckwheat noodles, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes (do not cook in soup pot because they will soak up too much broth). Drain with a colander and run under cold water; set aside.

Coursely chop reserved chard leaves, and add to soup along with edamame. Cook until just wilted, then quickly increase heat and bring liquid to a boil. Remove 1 cup boiling liquid and swirl into a bowl with miso; set aside.

Add noodles, and whisk miso mixture into soup. Serve immediately: divide soup among bowls, and garnish with scallions. Serves 6-8.

This was pretty tasty! My husband suggested that mushrooms and tofu be added to it. This healthy soup would be a superior alternative to chicken noodle soup when feeling sickie, or just anytime. I might add more noodles next time, as I’m a noodle freak!

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