Cold Soba Noodles and Quick Pickled Cucumbers

Toronto’s going through one hell of a heat wave this week and it also just happens to be the week right after our air conditioner breaks! YAY…

This means that I’m extremely hesitant to use any form of heat to cook and I’d really rather keep the stove to a minimum.

Cold sandwiches can get boring really easily, so how about some cold soba noodles?

Soba NoodlesIt’s super easy to make, so delicious and actually pretty healthy for you! Compared to common spaghetti, soba (aka buckwheat) noodles are about as nutrient-dense but with different vitamin and mineral levels and a third less calories. (See: USDA’s nutrient database sheets for spaghetti and soba noodles.)

I even made my own soba sauce! Even though I couldn’t find any dashi, bonito or kombu, I improvised with some mirin, dark soya sauce and white wine vinegar. (I know, I should’ve used rice wine vinegar, but I didn’t realize I ran out until I actually got home!)

Soba Noodles

It’s seriously so refreshing after a long, hot summer day! Even though the soba sauce is typically used for dipping, I just love drenching my noodles in it.

I paired it with some quick pickled cucumbers that I also kind of improvised but it’s a pretty simple, sweet pickling solution.

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

Cold Soba Noodles + Dipping Sauce

Takes: 15 minutes
Makes: 2 servings

2 bunches of soba noodles (about 190g)
1L water

1/4 cup medium or dark soya sauce
2-3 tbsp mirin
1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar (can and should sub for rice wine vinegar)
1 tsp sesame seeds
Water, to dilute to taste

Mix sauce ingredients and set aside

Bring water to a boil and cook the soba noodles for 6-7 minutes, until soft. Rinse with cold water 2-3 times.

Serve cold or at room temperature with dipping sauce on the side. Slurp loudly.

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

Takes: 40 minutes, minimum
Makes: About a cup

1 field cucumber, cut into slices
1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp white wine vinegar (can sub for rice wine vinegar)
1 tsp chili flakes
Water, to dilute to taste

Stir all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Cover and set aside for at least half an hour. Serve as needed.

Refrigerate covered. It can probably stay for about a week before it gets too soggy.

What’s your favourite cold meal for the summer?

xoxo,

B.elle

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Weekly Fitness Update #3

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend! I know I’m stuffed from all the ham I had… Somehow, I managed to get everything done!

Here’s last week’s running results:

Oct 7 – 5km @ 6’04” avg pace, 30:26
Oct 9 – 2km @ 6’25” avg pace, 12:53
Oct 10 – 10km @ 6’30” avg pace, 1:05:07

The 5km run was awesome! I felt pretty good afterwards and totally pleased that I managed to break my goal!

Obviously, the 7km run was a bit different… I decided that I wanted to run at the track before going grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. It turned out that the local high school had a football game booked there for 6pm and I arrived at around 5pm.

Normally, it wouldn’t be an issue, but there was a sound guy setting up his gear on the track and then the home team started showing up on the field and moved the benches onto the track too… Not to mention that it was super windy with gusts in the range of 45km/hr!

So, I figured I’d just cut my losses and get out of the way.

Rock Climbing

Top Rope – I did quite a few 5.8 routes at Rock Oasis on October 11th, but they were on the auto-belays so it definitely wasn’t as fun. They were challenging, but I didn’t quite get a chance to try a 5.9 before getting too tired.

Bouldering – At Rock Oasis, I focused a lot of on the V0 routes and managed to do a handful of them, which felt relatively easy! The overhanging routes were a lot harder, but I think I’m starting to learn how to take my time and properly judge how to grab a hold and use ALL of my body to get to the next grip.

I felt pretty good the next day (ie., not sore), so I went to the Hub Climbing Gym in Markham to check out the facilities. It’s mostly bouldering, so I tackled a bunch of V1 routes that also included some that were on overhangs! I got through a few of them, but I quickly got tired so I went back to V0’s.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how I met last week’s goals, except for the fact that I’m about 5km short of my weekly mileage…

I’m feeling kind of sick today with symptoms of nausea, weakness, and a dry throat so I’m not sure if I’ll even try to run that much this week. Plus, I have some work in Mississauga later this week that may drain me further, so I’ll aim to get my mileage in without any time restraints.

This week’s running goals:

Oct 14 – 5km
Oct 16 – 7km
Oct 18 – 10km

This week’s parkour goals:

Oct 17 – Just to get to the gym and move around! Balancing is one of the top priorities, but I’m finding that it’s harder for me to get to the gym when I know I’d be facing the absurd traffic on the Gardiner. Ughhhhh.

I’m actually feeling worse now so I’m going to sleep and hope I feel better tomorrow… good night!

xoxo,

B.elle

New Goals, New Outlook

Hey everyone!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you might have been able to tell that I’ve been drifting away from beauty and I’m getting more into running and fitness. It’s not that makeup and cosmetics is bad, but I’ve pretty much found my perfect set of makeup to use and it’s taking forever to use them up!

You also might have noticed that I have a lot more posts about running than I do about parkour. I’m still in love with parkour and I do intend to stay in it, but I’ve found myself thinking about it more as a cross-training exercise rather than my main sport.

I’m not completely sure why I like running more than parkour, but I’ve thought of a few reasons:

– The parkour gym is quite far from me
– I can almost literally run anywhere I want
– Running has more quantifiable data
– Athlete demographics are less specific in running

What I mean by the last point is that the majority of parkour artists are young men who started free running in their early teens. I started parkour in my late 20s, so I’m a bit out of parkour’s current prime demographics. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s simply the fact that I can relate more to the running community than the parkour community.

Oh, well. It’s not like I’ll stop climbing on stuff that I shouldn’t!

I’ve just received the green light from my physio to start fully training again, so I’ll be posting about my progress to run a sub-hour 10K at the Oasis Zoo Run!

Until next time, dear readers!

B.elle