Hi, there. We’re back from vacation. Is it just me or is the Sunday night/Monday morning post vacation just the WORST?! Ugh. Talk about being bummed out. I’m just starting to feel like my old self again today. Getting back into the routine…
We had such a great week last week. We took Kieran on our first family vacation to Ocean City, NJ, and he LOVED the beach and ocean. He was literally walking straight into the crashing waves (with help, of course). He may have ingested some sand, too, but that was to be expected. Seeing the kids on the boardwalk every evening was also fun. They had looks of total bewilderment pretty much the whole time.
Overall, we had a relaxing week with friends and their babies, which definitely leveled the playing field for everyone. I think it was less stressful to have three babies in one house, rather than being the only people with a baby to tend to. Nap time and evenings were left open for the adults to sit back on the deck overlooking the boardwalk, sip a few cocktails, and recount memories and share tons of laughs.
Our week, unfortunately, was cut slightly short by sickness. We ended up driving home a day early to take Kieran to the doctor. He struggles with eczema (which has become an around-the-clock battle for his parents), and the new environment led to a bacterial skin infection. Boo. Not fun. A few sleepless nights and a few antibiotic doses later, he’s finally on the mend. Thank goodness.
We’re still not letting that damper the overall experience, though! It was a great week.
Now that we’re getting back into the swing of real life, we’re also getting back to our normal eating habits. Fried oreos, boardwalk fries, pizza, funnel cake, ice cream cones, and fried lobster tail sandwiches are not in our usual repertoire. Every time we picked up one of these goodies, we’d look at each other and simply say “vacation.” Haha. Similar mindset to that of “calories don’t count on weekends.”
It was glorious.
Needless to say, we’re in a little bit of detox mode this week. Nothing crazy. Just upping our greens and cutting back on the fried oreos. Totally reasonable.
One of my go-to weeknight meals when we’re trying to get back on track is something involving soba noodles. Have you tried them? They’re fabulous…and super good for you. I usually toss them in a spicy-salty sauce and top with whatever I have on hand. Chicken, beef, greens, poached eggs…or in this case, buttery avocado.
This soba noodle dish has no meat in it, and yet, it’s completely filling and satisfying. You won’t miss the meat at all. There is so much FLAVOR happening here. The sauce is made up of just a few of my favorite things: ginger, peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, and chile sauce. Topped off with chopped scallions, toasted sesame seeds, and thick wedges of avocado…it’s pretty much flavor and texture perfection. Bonus: it’s quick and easy to throw together! Double bonus: it only gets better the more it sits, which means multiple meals in one!
Slurpy noodles coated in an addictive sweet spice and topped with crunchy veg and buttery avocado. It’s comfort food without the guilt.
Which means you can eat fried oreos and funnel cake afterward with reckless abandon.
1 8-oz package soba noodles
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup snap peas
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar (or more, to taste)
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons garlic-chile sauce (or more, to taste)
4 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 avocados, sliced and tossed with lime juice
Extra lime wedges, for serving
Cook the soba noodles in boiling water until el dente, according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the canola oil in a skillet until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for a couple minutes. Add in the carrots and snap peas and cook for 5 minutes more until the veggies are all crisp-tender. Remove from heat.
In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, peanut butter, garlic-chile sauce, scallions, and half of the sesame seeds. Add the noodles and veggies to the bowl and toss to combine. Transfer the noodles to serving bowls and top with the remaining sesame seeds and diced avocado. Serve with lime wedges.
This can be served immediately, chilled, or at room temperature. I find that it tastes even better cold out of the fridge the next day.