October Unprocessed: The Latter Half

Squash and mushroom soup, topped with Greek yogurt.

Well, I slacked off on photographing the last two weeks of October Unprocessed. Work was busy, evenings have been busier, and photographing and blogging have not been my primary concerns. But it’s Halloween Night, we’re watching Shaun of the Dead and passing out candy, I’m gearing up for the NaNoWriMo kickoff event (yes, I said I wasn’t going to focus on fiction, but NaNo is infectious), and now seemed like a good time to write a blog post.

Avocado tacos with honey and sea salt.

Here are a few observations about my second year as opposed to my first year:

  • I relied on my slow cooker a lot the last two weeks. Bean-based dishes can cook on low for the entire workday, and be perfect when we get home.
  • Whereas last year was a sort of consciousness-raising event for me, in terms of realizing just how much food was processed, this year was one for experimentation with recipes. I delved into some neglected cookbooks and tried some great new recipes. I played with bread recipes, seeing how loaves calling for white flour would work with whole-wheat flour. I played around and had fun.
  • I noticed how much garlic, olive oil, and olives we consume on a regular basis.
  • I’m now obsessed with Greek yogurt. It’s a standard side in my lunch bag, usually mixed with some crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Yes, to be completely unprocessed is a challenge. But it’s worth it.


And now, to make up for my lack of food posts this month, I will share my recipe for Soba Noodle Salad.


  • 8 oz dried soba noodles (if you don’t use wheat, rice noodles work great as well)
  • 1 lb medium, firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 1 container of mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Rice vinegar


  • Slice up the tofu. Lay it out in a baking pan. Douse with rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil until a marinade surrounds the tofu (I honestly have no idea how much I add).
  • Marinate tofu for several hours (anywhere from 3-8; my marinating time varies based on my schedule)
  • Preserving the remaining marinade, fry marinated tofu, roughly 3 minutes per side. I use sesame oil again.
  • Slice the mushrooms and put them into the pan with the leftover marinade. If the marinade doesn’t appear sufficient, refresh the sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
  • Marinate for at least 2 hours (I prefer 4).
  • Cook the noodles at least 90 minutes before serving time. After they cook, put them in the fridge to chill.
  • Just before serving, add mushrooms to the noodles. Chop up tofu and scallions, and add them as well. If the salad looks too dry for your taste, add the last of the marinade.



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