Reality Bites

 Nothing like two weeks in Hawaii to leave you with massive post-holiday apathy.  The jet lag, the lack of shave ice, the extra holiday baggage around my thighs.....Getting out of bed for pre-dawn workouts when I need them most has been nigh impossible.  Where did all the rainbows go?

Sophie has been a big help, a willing dinner and a movie partner (the Monterey and Sherlock Holmes), an independent cookie maker (lemon cookies--her first solo baking project when I was out riding the other day), and generally all-around inspirational.  Her New Year's Resolution is to journal every night.

When I decided to make soba for dinner she said, "Aren't those the gray noodles?" 

Why, yes, they are.  Not pretty but tasty.  I tossed them with some carrot ginger dressing and diced broccoli stems.  Traditionally they are served with a dipping broth, often with some horseradish. The raw diced broccoli added a nice bite  both  texturally and taste-wise.

Gray and Orange Soba

dressing

2 large carrots, peeled

1 TBS grated ginger

3 scallions, white and green parts

1 TBS sugar

2 TBS rice wine vinegar

1 clementine, peeled (and seeded if necessary)

Place all in blender and puree til smooth.  Thin with a little water if necessary.

Cook soba noodles as directed (I used two bundles) and drain/rinse.  Toss with dressing and diced broccoli, tofu, or what have you.

 I made grey soup to go with it.  Actually this is a roast garlic/tomato/zucchini soup.  Another beauty.

Roasted Veg Soup

4 plum tomatoes, halved

1 head garlic--slice off top but leave intact

2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1" thick rounds

olive oil

vegetable stock

salt/pepper

Combine vegetables and garlic in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and roast in 375F oven till softened and browned--about 45 minutes.  The garlic takes awhile so if your veg are beginning to get too brown remove them and continue cooking til garlic is soft/brown.  Place veg into blender, squeeze roast garlic into blender and add vegetable stock to desired consistency.  Salt and pepper to taste.  I added a splash of white balsamic vinegar and swirled some pesto into my bowl.  Garnish with shaved parmesan.

 7 layer dip.  Pretty on the outside.....I made this for a friend's graduation/pre-deployment to Afghanistan party.  Serve with tortilla chips, and a healthy dose of HTFU.