The Time-Crunched Athlete’s Lunchbox: Soba Noodles with Almond-Miso Dressing

By Jim Rutberg, CTS Pro Coach and co-author of "The Time-Crunched Cyclist" and "The Time-Crunched Triathlete"

The recipe below was provided by Adam Kelinson, author of "The Athlete's Plate". I met Adam at The Endurance Sports Expo in Philadelphia because we were both authors with Velopress and because we were giving presentations/seminars on our respective subjects during the Expo. Adam's a very accomplished athlete and chef, and he's been gracious enough to share some of his recipes. My wife and I have made more than a dozen of the recipes in "The Athlete's Plate", including the one described below. My wife is a pescatarian (basically a vegan who eats fish) and distance runner, and she found this recipe to filling and satisfying. I, on the other hand, haven't outright stopped eating any category of food but have dramatically reduced my consumption of red meat, poultry, and dairy products. I'm often less-than-enthused by vegan meals but this one tasted great, particularly because it was rich.

With two small kids at home, time is always of the essence when it comes to eating. This recipe sounds complex, but the whole thing can be done in the time it takes to boil water and cook the noodles. And if you make Soba Noodles for dinner one night and make extra, all you have to do is prepare the sauce and put it over extra noodles and you have a perfect lunch for the next day. And that's exactly what we do. We make a large pot of Soba noodles for dinner with the family and make sure there's enough left over for lunches the following day. Then it's just a matter of making the sauce, which only takes a few minutes.

I must point out, however, that this meal is very high in sodium. The Soba Noodles contain a lot of sodium by themselves, and Miso Paste is also very salty. Personally, I'm not concerned with higher-sodium meals every once in a while, especially during high-volume and high-intensity training periods in hot weather. But if you're actively trying to stick to a low-sodium diet, substituting a more traditional spaghetti noodle will dramatically reduce the sodium content of this meal.

Here's how to make this as a stand-alone recipe:

Bring a pot of water to boil, and cook 16 ounces of Soba Noodles according to the instructions on the package.

At the same time, combine the following ingredients in a blender:

2 heaping Tbs Almond Butter
1 Tbs Miso Paste (South River is Adam's favorite brand)
½ Tbs Raw Honey
1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbs Lime Juice
1 Tbs Toasted Sesame Oil (Bija is my favorite brand)
1 Tbs Cilantro, chopped (can substitute parsley)
Sea Salt (you may not need much, since Miso Paste is quite salty)
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (optional)

Blend together until smooth. It may require a tsp or two of water to get to the consistency you like.

As an option: just before the soba noodles are done add 1 cup of broccoli florets and cook remaining 30 seconds till noodles are done. Drain together.

Calories: 483
Carbohydrate: 91g
Protein: 18g
Fat: 9g
Sat Fat: 1g
Sodium: 1100mg (mostly from the soba noodles and the miso
Fiber: 1g