I feel spoiled with Anya’s cookbook last week, and now Gena’s beautiful cookbook this week too! It is called Power Plates, and let me tell you, you’ll feel powerful after giving it a flip. Gena is a food blogger, recipe developer, and nutritionist. You probably know about her beautiful blog, The Full Helping, and maybe even own her previous cookbook, Food52 Vegan – a total “vegan beginners” staple (which I covered years ago in a blog post here). She is such an incredibly kind and caring person, and over the years of growing our relationship online I can say that anyone who knows Gena feels very lucky to. She is a real, down to earth beam of sunshine. I always walk away from our conversations (and her blog posts) feeling grounded and thankful. When it comes to recipes, Gena is all about balance and feeling nourished (physically and emotionally). She takes the ‘complicated’ out of preparing vegan meals.
Power Plates truly is an extension of Gena’s passion and talents. The book features one hundred one-dish vegan meals that are balanced, nourishing, and powerful. They are uncomplicated and everything you want to eat right this minute. These recipes are perfect for everyday meals. She uses basic ingredients you can find at a traditional market, and shows how to really round-out your bowls with plenty of healthy carbohydrates, fats, protein, and fiber. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are covered in her book, with the emphasis being on savory recipes. I’m dying to try her savory Mediterranean oats, mushroom miso barely soup, golden rice bowls, sushi bowls, and baked millet polenta with spicy red lentil marinara. Each dish uses such unique flavors, I do not believe ‘boring’ is in Gena’s vocabulary ;).
The salad recipe featured in today’s post stood out to me right away (Scott and I are such suckers for soba noodles). I love this dish because it uses winter produce but looks like it’s from summer! I like to eat bright and fresh all year long, and love how the crispy carrot ribbons and shredded cabbage go with the noodles and sauce. You can add edamame, or crispy tofu, or leave them both out and just amp up the veggies. The green onions and cilantro add flavor in a pinch, but this salad is also wonderful without – so make it as fancy or simple as you’d like. What I love most is Gena’s recipe for the sauce – it’s bursting with citrus! Orange juice for sweetness, lime juice for tang, ginger and garlic to make it exciting, tahini for creaminess, and plenty of tamari for the salty vibe too. It’s perfectly balanced, just like everything she makes.
Also worth noting is how great this meal packs for lunch at school, the office, traveling, etc. We always make double or triple the recipe and store individual servings of the soba noodle salad in glass containers for easy to grab luches during the week (with the sauce stored in a smaller container on the side). We used soba noodles here made from a mixture of buckwheat and whole wheat flours. If you use the 100% buckwheat variety they do tend to stick together a bit when stored – but still taste just as amazing.
To celebrate the release of Gena’s cookbook, I have a GIVEAWAY for you. Yay! Enter to win a copy of Gena’s beautiful cookbook, Power Plates, by leaving a comment below stating who you wish you could share a ‘power plate’ with by next Wednesday, February 14th. (What a nice little Valentines Day surprise it will be!) Wishing you nourishing days ahead with lots of smiles and hugs from me to you – xo.
This recipe is being republished from the cookbook, Power Plates, with permission of Gena. See more of her beautiful work on her blog, The Full Helping. As well as daily inspiration on her Instagram, @thefullhelping.
SESAME CITRUS SOBA SALAD
Makes 4 servings of salad, and about 1 cup (240 ML) of dressing.
8 ounces (225 g) soba noodles
3 carrots, grated or cut into matchsticks
1 1⁄2 cups (105 g) shredded red cabbage
1 1⁄2 cups (225 g) shelled edamame, steamed
2 scallions, green parts only, chopped
1⁄2 cup (20 g) chopped fresh cilantro
1⁄3 cup (85 g) almond butter or tahini
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
6 tablespoons (90 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1⁄2 tablespoons tamari
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
1 tablespoon minced or finely grated ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
cubed baked tofu, sriracha sauce, chopped scallions, red pepper flakes
To make the salad, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the soba noodles, then adjust the heat to maintain a low boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are just softening to al dente. Add the edamame and boil for another 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water.
Put the carrots, cabbage, scallions, and cilantro in a large bowl.
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended.
To assemble the salad, add the soba and edamame to the vegetables and toss gently. Then pour in the dressing and toss again until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Serve at room temperature, with toppings of choice.
NOTES: We left out the edamame and added pan-crisped tofu to our bowls. This also made two servings of salad for us instead of four (we eat a lot) with extra dressing. I also left out the sesame oil in the dressing and it was totally fantastic, so if you don’t have any on hand no worries!
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ORDER “POWER PLATES” HERE