Soba noodles are a Japanese pasta made from buckwheat, which reportedly helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels due to its flavonoids, antioxidants that protect your good cholesterol from free radicals. Buckwheat also contains magnesium, a mineral that lowers blood pressure and improves blood circulation. These nutty, toothsome noodles provide a high-fiber, high-protein, gluten-free alternative to traditional pastas.
Also native to Asia, shiitake mushrooms boost the immune system, and have been used in Eastern cultures for thousands of years as a medicinal aide. Research conducted on animals show these woodsy, meaty fungi possess anti-tumor, cholesterol-lowering, virus-inhibiting effects; however, clinical studies should be conducted to confirm these effects on humans.
Soba and shiitake pair beautifully with lean slices of steak to create a high-iron, high-protein, fiber-filled meal that's both comforting and beneficial for your heart.
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1 pound dried soba noodles
1/2 pound flank steak, sliced*
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and sliced
2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
3 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp canola oil
sprinkle of salt
sprinkle of white pepper, optional
chili-garlic sauce, optional, for serving
*Cook's tip: Put the steak in the freezer for 15 minutes before slicing; this makes it easier to handle. Slice the steak in half length-wise (across the grain), then cut into strips (about 1/4-inch thick and 2 inches long).
Heat 1 tsp canola oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to brown. Add sliced steak, salt and white pepper (if using) and stir-fry for 5 minutes, or until steak is cooked and lightly browned. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, whisk tahini, soy sauce, rice-wine vinegar and 2 tbsp sesame oil. Set aside.
Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles, and combine noodles with sauce. Add steak and mushrooms, drizzle remaining sesame oil over noodles, and mix well.
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