May is Celiac Awareness month!
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine when the diet contains gluten. Gluten is the natural protein in wheat that makes dough elastic. People who have Celiac disease have gastrointestinal symptoms and possible intestinal damage, which may lead to poor absorption of nutrients from food. There are dozens of symptoms such as abdominal bloating and pain, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, and fatigue.
I was watching the “Air” episode of a Netflix documentary called “Cooked” last night, and it addresses the question that has me perplexed since the beginning of this ‘gluten-free’ trend. Humans have consumed bread for thousands of years…Why is that same bread suddenly harmful? The documentary discusses how bread production has shifted away from the “slow fermentation” process that breaks down the peptides of gluten, asserting that this could be what’s making it difficult for people to digest bread. Plus, if you look at the ingredients list on the back of a typical loaf of bread, there are dozens of ingredients where bread was traditionally made with only a few.
I don’t think there’s a definitive conclusion to show why Celiac disease has suddenly increased in America (approximately 1% of the population is affected). It may be genetics, it may be the bread ingredient issue, or it may have something to do with gut bacteria. But these are all theories. For now, we can all take away that we need to make an effort to eat cleaner.
Now on to the recipe!
What better month to make these easy and healthy gluten-free soba noodles?
Soba noodles are Japanese noodles made with buckwheat flour. Buckwheat is not a grain but is made from the seed of a plant related to greens like rhubarb.
I’ve made these noodles several times but no matter what, the soba noodles seem to break (since they’re 100% buckwheat). So, these noodles aren’t necessarily something I’d serve to guests, but we enjoy them for a quick, healthy, gluten-free lunch.
Find out why I was suddenly interested in Celiac Disease here!
Stir-Fried Soba Noodles with Vegetables - Gluten Free
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free oyster sauce optional
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or regular salt or more to taste
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- 3/4 inch ginger crushed
- 1 small green chili pepper (I use Serrano) thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 8 ounces (227 grams) 100% whole buckwheat soba noodles
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame you will cook these with the soba noodles
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 2 eggs hard boiled
- 5 ounces (41 grams) fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced or chopped
- 1/2 cup baby carrots sliced
- juice of 1/4 of a lime
Combine stock, soy sauce, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Stir well. Combine garlic, ginger, green chili and red pepper flakes in another bowl and set aside.
In a large pot, cook the soba noodles according to package directions. Add the edamame to the same pot. Be sure not to overcook the noodles as they do break more easily. Drain and toss with the 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil.
Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, green chili and red pepper mixture. Stir-fry for about 5 seconds and add the sliced baby carrots and shiitake mushrooms. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the edamame, the noodles, and the stock mixture. Reduce heat to medium and mix, stirring only as necessary. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with lime juice. Serve with a wedge of lime and hard-boiled eggs.
Inspired by this New York Times recipe.