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Vegan lunches can -- and should -- be a lot more interesting than bare salads or carrot sticks and hummus. New Veganism columnist Gena Hamshaw will be sharing inspiration for midday meals that stave off both hunger and boredom.
Today: How to build an easy soba noodle salad with texture and spice.
Most of us are not strangers to soba noodle salads. But buckwheat-based soba noodles can be part of an easy vegan lunch if you boil a single portion (2 to 4 ounces) and mix them with vegetables, tofu or tempeh, and beans. In the bowl you see above, I combined cooked soba noodles with crispy roasted broccoli, avocado, and spicy toasted chickpeas. If you like, you can cook a few portions of soba noodles ahead of time, and then store them for lunches through the week.
Soba noodles are a good foundation, but what gives this dish its crunch and flavor is the toasted chickpeas, one of my favorite vegan staples. To make them, simply heat your oven to 375° F. Toss two cups of cooked chickpeas with some olive oil, plus whatever herbs and spices you like. To make the spicy chickpeas, I tossed them in chili powder, cayenne, and smoked paprika, and roasted the broccoli at the same time. Once all the components were assembled, a little avocado brought everything together.