It’s been a whirlwind of a week, or two weeks, or the whole month, or the last few months…?
I’ve found it easy to forget that moving across the country can be hard. I got used to blaming my tiredness, stress, or general disarray on other things in my life. But the truth is that since we moved from Montreal to Vancouver four months ago, I have had almost constant change and upheaval until this past week. We moved to Vancouver with no plan and high aspirations. I had this vision of my life here – that I would constantly be climbing mountains, baking bread, taking photos, and meeting tons of people. After 23 years of living in a world that has never consisted solely of recreational activities, I’m not sure why I thought this would be the case. Reality hit a little hard and I realized I was in a gorgeous city, full of ample opportunity, and I knew basically no one. It sucked a little, to say the least. Not that I haven’t been hiking, baking, and meeting some people, it just wasn’t the fantasy fairyland I had imagined.
Anyways, this is where things brighten up! Today is the Virtual Pumpkin Party and I feel so grateful to be included in this vibrant community of foodies and bloggers. Before I started Spice & Sprout, I read a lot of food blogs. I always envied the sense of community and supportiveness that other bloggers talked about within this online space, but I had never experienced it. As I grew my blog and posted more often, I started talking to other bloggers and even began referring to them as friends. And then I moved here and I met Sophie and Emily, and I realized that the online community translated so completely and fluidly into real life relationships. I also met Haley when I visited NYC, and these slowly cultivated Instagram based friendships came to life. It is so super cool. It also made me feel less alone in a city that I didn’t know, and for that I am forever grateful.
So, here we are! The party is hosted by Sara from Cake over Steak, and consists of around 100 different bloggers and recipes. For the full list check out her Virtual Pumpkin Party page and gaze longingly at the gorgeous photographs of all of those autumnal cozy pumpkin based goodies. xx
At first, I was going to make a sweet recipe. I thought about some kind of almond butter pumpkin chocolate cups. It still sounds good to me, but I just wasn’t feeling it when I got to the kitchen. It’s been rainy and grey over here (as per usual I am told) so a soupy noodley situation seemed most fitting.
The tofu is glazed in a spicy miso pumpkin marinade and sits atop a bowl of noodles with a rich, mushroom pumpkin broth. I added ginger and garlic for that extra aromatic flavour and used soba noodles for a sturdy base.
In my mind this is best enjoyed on a rainy evening, book in hand, or someone to laugh with. It’s not a fancy meal, but simple, sturdy, good food. A steamy bowl of soup and a good friend can get you through the gloomiest grey days of winter. <3
Miso Pumpkin Glazed Tofu Noodle Bowls
*I just moved into a new apartment and realized after I made this recipe that my oven calibration is completely off. In the recipe I say to bake the tofu at 400 for 40 minutes. I think my oven runs very cool, so I would start checking the tofu at 20 minutes and go from there. Once I figure out the oven situation (which must be ASAP) I will update this! xx
- 3 tbsp pumpkin purée
- 1 tbsp miso
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp sriracha
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced or microplaned
- 200g extra firm tofu (half a package)
Noodles & Broth
- 90g soba noodles
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- half an onion, julienned
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- inch of ginger, minced
- 2 cups mushroom broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt (to taste)
- topping: sliced green onions
In a small bowl whisk together the tofu glaze ingredients. Slice the tofu into 1 inch cubes and place in a large ziplock bag or a small flat container (like a tupperware). Pour the glaze over the tofu and let sit for 30 minutes (or longer) to marinate, flipping halfway through. You should have a tbsp or so of glaze leftover, reserve this for later.
While the tofu is marinating, preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay the tofu out so that each piece is touching the parchment paper (see above photo). Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, flipping each piece of tofu over at the halfway mark.*
While the tofu is baking, make the broth and noodles. Fill a small pot with water and bring to a boil. Add in the soba noodles and cook for 4 minutes until soft, then drain. Place the same pot back on the stove (you can give it a quick rinse if you want) and heat over medium-low heat. Add 1 tsp sesame oil. Once hot, add in the julienned onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Toss in the minced ginger and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add in the leftover glaze from the tofu and cook for another minute or so. Add in the mushroom broth, pumpkin purée, and the salt. Bring to an almost boil and then remove from heat.
To serve, place half the noodles in each bowl. Ladle the broth over the noodles and then top with the baked tofu. Sprinkle some sliced green onions on top and serve hot. Enjoy!