It has been a year since I last saw her. Her face is easily recalled yet appears in my mind’s eye like a photograph, unmoving, resistant to the 8760 hours that have passed. A day’s struggles, a sleepless night, an argument, a good laugh. Tears? All leaving their subtle marks on her face. But. I see her still, captured in a time and place that is no longer relevant to who she is now. You think 8760 hours don’t leave a mark? You are mistaken. Thumb through photographs of loved ones. You will see. Every year, good or awful, stamps their face leaving lovely little lines crisscrossing this way and that. One story to another.
“Lets do something together we love.” She requests via text. I look over at my running shoes, a small hole already developing above the left big toe.
[Miles upon miles of an attempted escape. No such luck. She understands. She lives with the same beast, gently breathing on her neck, quietly reminding her of the solitary run she craves. Needs, really. We come from a long line of solitary women.]
“Ok, pick a race.” I reply.
[Two women, same blood, running together while the icy ocean air puffs up our lungs, sends oxygen to our capillaries, reaches our thick pulmonary veins and enters our hearts. The feeling of flight briefly releasing us from all that grounds our minds, our bodies to this earth.]
Five weeks from now I will see her beautiful face again, lines appearing where none existed a year ago revealing a life of every days, small moments I know little about. Yet, I can imagine. And when, a few days later, she returns home to her husband and two boys, I’ll carry her new face with me. And wonder about her lovely, little lines, the stories we didn’t get to because time gallops along. She is gone.
Soba Noodle Salad with Tahini Sauce
Soba noodles, a creamy tahini dressing and tons of vegetables make this a perfect marathon training meal. Enjoy!
recipe adapted from Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky
Ingredients for noodle salad:
1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
2 peppers ( I used 1 red and 1 orange), seeded, sliced thin
half of an English cucumber, sliced thin
3 rainbow carrots, grated
jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, sliced thin
2 packages of soba buckwheat noodles
2 cups shredded chicken ( I bought a rotisserie chicken to make it easier.)
2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced ( I didn’t use them but I think it will be a great addition.)
sea salt and pepper to taste
Tahini sauce (see recipe below)
**Cut vegetables, make sauce and shred chicken before proceeding.**
First add ice and water to a medium-sized bowl. Set aside. Next, add water to large pot, add a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add broccoli to the boiling water and cook for two minutes. Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon and place in ice water to stop cooking. After a few minutes, drain the broccoli and set aside.
Bring the same pot of water back to a boil and add the soba noodles. Cook according to package directions. Drain the noodles. Run cold water over them. Drain. Add noodles to a large salad bowl. Toss with sesame oil and soy sauce. Set aside.
Arrange all of your vegetables including the green onions and cilantro on a serving platter. Place shredded chicken in a bowl. Gently warm tahini sauce over low heat. Transfer sauce to a small bowl. Place bowl of noodles, chicken, plate of veggies and tahini sauce on the table and allow your guests to create their own soba noodle salads. Be sure to have sea salt and pepper available! Enjoy!
**Makes excellent leftovers!**
recipe adapted from Run Fast, Eat Slow
makes 2 1/2 cups
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup light roasted tahini (unsalted creamy peanut butter could be substituted for tahini)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon raw sugar
good squeeze of honey
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more if you want it spicier)
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lemon
kosher salt and pepper to taste
Over medium-high heat warm olive oil. Add the onion and salt. Cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add coconut milk, tahini, soy sauce, honey, raw sugar and red pepper flakes. Bring to a low boil and whisk constantly until the sauce is smooth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 10-15 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender) blend the sauce until smooth. Add lemon and lime juice. Stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with soba noodle salad.
**The sauce will last refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.**
5 Healthy Soba Noodle Links
If it still feels like winter where you live cozy up with Dolly and Oatmeal’s turmeric miso soup with shiitake, turnips and soba noodles.
Looking for a healthy and quick weeknight meal? Head to A Beautiful Mess for their sweet and spicy soba noodles with shrimp.
FoodieCrush’s soba noodles with sriracha meatballs is on my must make list. Mouth watering.
Ribboned eggs meet sesame soba noodles in Smitten Kitchen’s can’t miss recipe. Curious? Head here for the recipe.
It is officially spring in just a couple of weeks so why not celebrate with Food 52’s cold sesame noodle and fava bean salad. Yum!