Smokey Tofu Soba Noodles and The Slightly Less Ice Cream Diet™

It’s true: the less clothing you wear, the easier it is to hula hoop.

In case you are wondering, I don’t mean the rattling, lightweight toy hoops that make you jiggle your body madly to keep them aloft. I mean real, adult-sized hoops covered in colorful tapes that spin more slowly so you can hoop for hours and learn tricks. (Available soon through our site CloudNine Hoops, by the way).

Anyway, bare midriff, thighs, shoulders make the hoop cling to my body as I’m whirling it in my backyard and learning new moves. I’ve been practicing/playing a whole lot lately, getting ready to teach some classes, maybe do some performances, and so I’ve been showing more skin than usual, particularly my belly. Even though I’m mostly hidden from public view in the woods, I keep confronting my scantily clad self, causing me to consider (horrors!) a diet.

I am not advocating vanity dieting. Just admitting to it. Here’s my rationalization: hoop dancing, like other kinds of dance performance, is not just about what you do with your body (and the hoop) but what your body looks like doing it. Okay, this justification may be blamed for a whole lot of eating disorders, but never fear: I’m practicing Extreme Moderation®.

Instead of cutting out certain foods, counting calories, or measuring portions, I’ve decided to eat until I’m a tad less full at dinner, pay attention to my snacks, eat more fresh fruits and veggies, and put slightly less ice cream into my bowl for dessert. Ta-da! Diet, Kitchsplosion style! Week 1: already, I think my belly is protruding slightly less.

So this week’s recipe is a tasty lunch or dinner which is satisfying but light and healthy, in case you too would like to try the Slightly Less Ice Cream Diet™.

Sauce & Marinade

  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 TBS sesame oil
  • 2 TBS chili garlic sauce (or 1 TBS Sriracha sauce)
  • 2 tsp agave nectar or 1 TBS sugar
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (2 cloves, if you’re a garlic fan)
  • 1/2 cup water

Noodles and Toppings

  • 12 oz dried soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles) cooked according to package directions and immediately rinsed in cold water until room temperature. Sprinkle a little sesame oil on them to keep from sticking.
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into sticks
  • a handful of peapods, cut length-wise
  • 3 green onions, sliced into disks and a few strands of green
  • 1 block smoked tofu (marinate first in sauce)
  • 1/2 cup sliced shitake mushrooms (If dried, rehydrate by soaking in (boiling) hot water for 20 minutes or so and then squeeze out the excess water (careful–hot!) and toss slices into the marinade for a few minutes. If fresh, saute until slightly soft in some of the marinade.
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into small sticks
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish
  1. Stir together marinade/sauce ingredients.
  2. Marinate tofu for as long as you can wait (an hour? overnight?), reserving the sauce before smoking the tofu
  3. Cook the pasta and prep the toppings.
  4. Toss the pasta with the sauce and arrange toppings.


  1. I’ve always wanted to learn how to hula hoop, and I’ve never been able to master it: I love that you teach, perform, and dance with them! It’s such a graceful and elegant way of moving your body (and looks like fun, to boot).

    Also funny: I’m essentially making this exact same dinner tonight! I decided it while out jogging this morning, so it’s apropos to come home to your blog post about it. Soba noodles & smoky tofu are a perfect combo — I especially love this served as a cold “salad.”

  2. So cool that we’re on the same page! Have you tried an adult sized, heavier hoop? With these hoops, I have taught a number of friends who swore they couldn’t do it–in five minutes! One foot in front of the other, give the hoop a good spin around your waist, and rock forward and back. Ta da!

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