Posts tagged healthy
Perfect Picnic Dinner | Soba Noodle Salad
Ali Hedin | Soba Noodle Salad

Every spring I make a salad like this at least once a week. We have three kids on three different baseball teams that each play at least two games a week - sometimes three games a week! It means we don’t eat dinner at home all spring. If we do eat dinner at home, it’s at 4:30pm or at 9pm. None of those options seem great.

A few year ago I started packing a picnic basket with dinner for the family. My Ultimate BLT sandwiches came out of that era - and now another option. We stopped eating bread a few years ago and it can make picnicking really challenging. Most picnic food is sandwiches (because that’s what’s easy) or it’s a “light salad” that doesn’t really hit the spot.

This last year I focused in on creating something that was filling, full of protein, and had enough vegetables to count as “full of vegetables.” This salad has been the perfect solution. I usually make it with the soba noodles but you can swap out rice noodles or just spaghetti if that’s what you have on hand.

Ali Hedin | Soba Noodle Salad
Ali Hedin | Soba Noodle Salad


serves 4


Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package instructions



Chop the cilantro and green onions and shred the carrot.



Drain the noodles – saving some of the water - and reserve them in the strainer.

In the hot pan, combine the tahini, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, sriracha, and ¼ cup of pasta water.  Whisk the sauce then toss the noodles into the pan.  If they appear dry, add more pasta water.



Add the vegetables, bean sprouts, and shredded chicken (or tofu) and serve immediately.  

2 bundles soba noodles

¼ cup tahini

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs rice vinegar

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 tbs fresh ginger, grated

½ tsp sriracha

1 carrot, shredded

3 green onions, greens & whites chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 cup bean sprouts

2 cups shredded chicken

Ali Hedin | Soba Noodle Salad
Spring Minestrone Soup | 20 minutes to a fresh spring dinner
Ali Hedin | Spring Minestrone Soup

When I was a kid, we ate minestrone soup at every family gathering because my aunt made it for every birthday party. She made that and spinach dip. The spinach dip that’s made from frozen spinach and vegetable soup mix. I just made it for St. Patrick’s Day and it was as epic as I remembered as a child.

I’ve made the minestrone in my book - the real original minestrone that my aunt used to make. And I made a version with winter vegetables in the app and you can find the recipe here.

This version is for spring. It’s a celebration of everything at the farmer’s market right now. A celebration of everything that arrives in the CSA box this week. It’s perfect for those spring nights that are a little cool but you’re still looking forward to summer.

Ali Hedin | Spring Minestrone Soup
Ali Hedin | Spring Minestrone Soup

The brilliant part of this soup is that it cooks in literally 20 minutes. Once the veggies are softened and a little crispy, it takes a few minutes to bring to a boil, then the tiny little orzo pasta cooks in minutes. Like three. Literally, it cooks so fast.

Ali Hedin | Spring Minestrone Soup


serves 4


Chop all vegetables into basically bite sized pieces and cook in a stock pot with olive oil until a little brown on the edges.  Season with salt.  



Pour in garbanzo beans and stock and bring to a boil.  Season with oregano and basil.  



Add asparagus and pasta to the pot and cook 3 minutes until the pasta is done.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.



Serve with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

1 zucchini, about 1 cup chopped

1 fennel bulb, sliced

1 leek, whites sliced thin

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 bunch asparagus

2 cups green beans, chopped

2 tbs olive oil

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 can garbanzo beans

4 cups vegetable stock

1 cup orzo

2 tbs fresh basil

¼ cup parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper

Ali Hedin | Spring Minestrone Soup