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Vegetable Noodle Lo Mein

vegetable noodle lo mein

I think vegetable noodles — of all kinds — are the new kale. Remember last year when kale was everywhere and in everything in every form? This year it’s veggie noodles. There are sweet potato noodles, zucchini noodles, squash noodles, beet noodles, carrot noodles and every other type of vegetable noodles you can imagine. To me, this is a great development. I can’t even look at a pasta recipe without mentally replacing the pasta with some type of veggie noodle or faux pasta. And I LOVE pasta… so my grain-free self is very happy. And, this vegetable noodle lo mein is the perfect recipe to try out your favorite type of veggie noodle. You can even mix it up and use a few different kinds here.

Confession time. My all-time favorite thing to do when I’m home alone for dinner is to order way too much Chinese food, sit on the floor, and eat it in front of the TV. I don’t mean I order a few too many containers. I mean I surround myself with a ton of white containers. I dig in with chopsticks — plates are forbidden — and I chow down.

And then I feel disgusting.

And bloated.

And a little sick.

But, wow, do the noodles and egg foo young taste so good going down…

But only on those rare occasions when I forget how sick I get from it, do I allow myself take-out Chinese food.

But — and this is a big but — I can cook myself Chinese food whenever I want, and feel just fine. And, let me just say, that this vegetable noodle lo mein tastes better than take-out. And there’s no bloating or nausea or self-loathing afterwards. Okay… so now I’m just being dramatic… I don’t think I’ve ever hated myself because I ate something I shouldn’t have… haha.

Anyway, I have to thank Michele at Paleo Running Momma for posting her awesome recipe for this type of lo mein, because her’s looked and sounded so amazing, that I just had to make it too!

When I am in full recipe creation mode, I peruse lots and lots of sources — yes this is how I get my jollies… Anyway, here’s a more traditional lo mein recipe from Jen Reviews.  I find that some of my clients  like to look at a traditional recipe, and then healthy-it-up a bit for their specific needs. If this is you, go for it, and don’t be shy about asking me any questions in the comments below.

And, if you want to try another great vegetable noodle recipe, try my Zoodles With Creamy Avocado Pesto.

vegetable noodle lo meinvegetable noodle lo mein

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this vegetable noodle lo mein:

Butternut squash is more than just a delicious vegetable; it’s really good for you. It’s a good fever reducer, it can lessen stomach pain and it can be a comfort during pregnancy when the baby feels like she’s doing acrobatics. It’s also rich in carotenoids and Vitamin B6. This means it’s good for your heart and can help lower bad cholesterol. And, because butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body, it benefits almost everyone. I used some butternut squash noodles in this lo mein.

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around. I used shiitakes in this recipe. Shiitake mushrooms are probably the variety of mushroom that I use most. I love the way they taste and they help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These shrooms also promote healing and have been found to fight tumors. In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are often fed to a patient who has just had surgery to help the healing process.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Ginger is also a Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Ginger is also great for some digestive issues. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

In Eastern medicine, bok choy is used to quench thirst, aid digestion, prevent constipation and treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber. And there are only 20 calories in one cup of Bok Choy. So, it’s good for you, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes good.

In Chinese medicine, lamb is known to be the most warming meat. We recommend it for a lot of ailments caused by cold conditions. It’s great for some arthritic conditions, weakness, and back pain. Lamb also helps with insufficient lactation and impotence. I happened to have some leftover cooked lamb (from a doggie-bag in my fridge), so I cut it up and added it here. Feel free to add whatever you have in your fridge!

Coconut Aminos is used as a substitute for soy sauce. This simple ingredient is vegan, gluten-free, and it’s good for your heart, aids in weight loss, and helps strengthen your immune system.

vegetable noodle lo mein

Vegetable Noodle Lo Mein
Author: 
Recipe type: Asian, Chinese, paleo, whole30, vegetable noodles
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Paleo Running Momma
Serves: 6
 
The next time you are in the mood for Chinese take-out, try this recipe. It tastes better than any take-out, it's grain-free, healing, and you will love it!
Ingredients
  • For Pork:
  • 2 boneless pork chops, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar (I buy this one)
  • 1 Tbs coconut aminos
  • 6 oz butternut squash noodles
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • ½ lb cooked lamb steak, sliced thin (optional -- you can use whatever leftovers are floating around in your fridge)
  • 3.5 oz shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • a big fistful of spiralized carrots (or any other vegetable noodle you like)
  • 4 oz pea pods
  • ½ lb fettuccine (I used a grain-free almond fettuccine), cooked al dente
  • For Sauce:
  • ⅔ cup coconut aminos (you can buy this one)
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil (here's one)
  • 2 tsp tapioca flour (I like this kind)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine the sesame oil, vinegar, and aminos in a small dish. Add the pork and set aside to marinate.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the squash noodles out on it.
  4. Drizzle these noodles with 1-Tbs olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until they are just a bit softened, but not mushy.
  6. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat and add 1-Tbs olive oil.
  7. Remove the pork from the marinade and it it to the pan and stir until browned on all sides -- this will be fast.
  8. With a slotted spoon, remove the pork to a plate.
  9. Make the sauce by whisking all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
  10. To the pan, add the mushrooms, bell pepper, bok choy, garlic, ginger, carrots, scallions, and pea pods. Stir continuously until the veggies are softened a bit, but not overcooked. Stir in the sauce and continue stirring until it's hot and a bit thickened.
  11. Stir in the butternut squash noodles, lamb (or any other cooked leftover meat you are using), and the cooked and drained fettuccine into the veggies. Stir over low heat just until everything is warm.
  12. Enjoy!

vegetable noodle lo mein

Buckwheat Ramen Soup

buckwheat ramen soup

What is it about ramen that makes it so good that I will eat it even on a hot summer day? I mean, usually, if you told me I was going to have hot soup for dinner in August, I’d run the other way. But not with ramen. It’s just so good! And this buckwheat ramen soup is one of my all-time favorite recipes.

I like to eat grain-free whenever possible. I also love pasta and noodles of all kinds. Now, I could make this soup using all different types of vegetable noodles, like zucchini, carrot, parsnip, etc. This recipe from feedfeed is awesome if you want to give the veggie noodle ramen a try. The buckwheat ramen noodles that are available in stores now are amazing, so I say give this a try! It’s close to real, authentic ramen noodles.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, buckwheat (despite its name) is not a grain, it’s a seed. So, it’s like hitting the jackpot with these packaged noodles.

The other day, my niece was coming over for dinner. I didn’t give this dinner any thought at all during the day. Then, all of a sudden, at about 4pm, I realized I better make sure I have the ingredients to make something. Anything edible would do. I looked in my pantry, and saw a package of buckwheat ramen noodles. And, I have to tell you that even though it’s hot here in New York in August, nobody complained — it was the perfect dinner.

I served the hot bowls of ramen with cold old-fashioned tomato sandwiches. Can I just say, this was an amazing dinner. So, I’m telling you that you have to make this buckwheat ramen soup. And soon. Don’t wait til winter.

And, if you want another great summer noodle dish, try my recipe for Szechuan Zoodles.

buckwheat ramen soup

There are a bunch of great healing ingredients in this buckwheat ramen soup:

Buckwheat is great to eat if you have diarrhea. It also helps lower blood pressure, stops some types of sweating, and has a good amount of vitamin E. It also contains antioxidants that can help fight cancer and heart disease. Buckwheat is a seed, not a grain, so no inflammation here!

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Ginger is also great for some digestive issues. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

In Eastern medicine, bok choy is used to quench thirst, aid digestion, prevent constipation and treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber. And there are only 20 calories in one cup of Bok Choy. So, it’s good for you, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes good.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people. I used a hot pepper sauce in this recipe (Sriracha) and I added some sliced jalapeños at the end — do whatever makes you happy!

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

buckwheat ramen soup

Buckwheat Ramen Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, ramen, lunch, dinner, main course
Cuisine: Asian, vegetarian, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, healthy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Buckwheat ramen noodles are genius! This ramen soup has everything you want, but none of the usual grains or gluten. This is comfort in a bowl... and so healthy!
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, boiled for 5 minutes, then cooled in ice water for awhile, then peeled and cut in half
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 Tbs yellow miso
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • ½ tsp sriracha sauce
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbs white vinegar
  • 1 large head of bok choy, cut into ½-inch wide strips
  • 3 Tbs liquid aminos
  • 1 cup shredded or spiralized carrots
  • 3 buckwheat ramen noodle cakes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional garnish)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  2. Saute about 5 minutes, or until the onions start to brown.
  3. Add the garlic, miso, and ginger. Cook, stirring about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the sriracha and cook for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the vinegar, and use it to deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the broth, bok choy, carrots, and aminos.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the bok choy is slightly tender, about 15 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and add the buckwheat ramen noodles, poking them with a fork or tongs to break them up. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the noodles are al dente (about 4 minutes). NOTE: Do not overcook these noodles, or they may become gummy!
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top each bowl with 2 egg halves and a few slices of jalapeños.
  10. Enjoy!

buckwheat ramen soup

Simple Baby Bok Choy

This simple baby bok choy is the perfect side dish for everything!

simple baby bok choy

I get yelled at all of the time for not sharing some of my simplest recipes. Okay, yelled may be a bit strong. I get questioned a lot as to why I don’t share some of my simplest recipes.

I’m always so mindful of not talking down to people. I mean, there are just so many things that I don’t do well and I would hate it if someone made me feel bad about those things. So, I don’t post some of my easiest recipes because I never want anyone to feel that I think they are not on the ball.

Anyway, enough rambling… here’s how I make my simple bok choy. And I make it a lot. It’s one of my favorite vegetables. This simple baby bok choy goes so well with so many things. And you can spruce it up any way you like. I love to cover it with sesame seeds. Or sometimes I will drizzle a little toasted sesame oil on it. Or, sometimes I like to pick it up with my hands and dip it in spicy mayo. (I know, it sounds a bit off, but it’s really good!)

Here’s a recipe of mine for Chili With Bok Choy... you’re gonna love it!

simple baby bok choysimple baby bok choy

This really is the perfect simple, healthy side dish:

In Eastern medicine, bok choy is used to quench thirst, aid digestion, prevent constipation and treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber. And there are only 20 calories in one cup of Bok Choy. So, it’s good for you, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes good.

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

I am a big fan of replacing regular table salt with sea salt. Sea salt is not processed very much, allowing the minerals (and there are many) to remain in a state in which the human body can easily process them. Salt actually can help with various skin conditions, is good for your teeth, helps with some painful eye condition and can help stave off muscle cramps. It helps with digestion and it lessens the effects of food poisoning. Salt is actually a Chinese herb called Mang Xiao and is used to treat constipation and eye conditions.

Simple Baby Bok Choy
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetables, side dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Japanese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Just plain bok choy. It's simple and it's deliciously healthy!
Ingredients
  • One huge bag of baby bok choy.
  • 10 quarter-sized slices of fresh peeled ginger
  • sea salt
  • optional toppings: sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, spicy mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Add about 1-inch of water to a large pot. Add lots of sea salt and bring it to a boil.
  2. Drop in the bok choy and the ginger.
  3. Give it a stir to make sure it's all wet.
  4. Cover the pot and lower the heat a bit.
  5. Let cook a few minutes, then uncover and stir it up.
  6. Check your bok choy after a few minutes, because as soon as it's how you like it, shut off the heat and drain the pot.
  7. Make sure not to overcook this delicate vegetable!
  8. Top with sesame seeds or drizzle a bit of toasted sesame oil on top and sprinkle more salt as you see fit.
  9. Me, I'm dipping mine in spicy mayo...
  10. Enjoy!

simple baby bok choy

Pork Chili With Bok Choy

This pork chili with bok choy has a great traditional chili taste will some awesome added extra healing ingredients!

pork chili with bok choy

Chili is awesome. It’s warming and delicious and there are about a bazillion different ways to make it. Yes, a bazillion.

I love to open the fridge and put whatever catches my eye into my chili pot.

Right now we are in the process of moving, so sometimes it’s challenging to cook dinner, because half of my things are in the new place and half are in the old place. Sometimes when I start cooking dinner, I forget what’s where and I end up using kitchen tools that really don’t work for the job I need. But chili makes it easy… one pot… no special tools.

There are white chilis and red chilis and hot ones and mild ones. There are meaty versions and veggie versions. There are ones that are sweet and ones that are tangy. OK, now my mouth is watering and my mind is already coming up with another pot I have to make. Soon.

And, it just so happens to be football season now. There’s no better tradition than a big pot of chili for the upcoming playoffs and Superbowl…

When I created this chili I looked in my crisper drawer and saw a few heads of beautiful fresh bok choy. Yes, I know, bok choy is not a traditional chili ingredient, but I figured what the heck, let’s try it.  And the combination of bok choy with pork is just perfect. I’m telling you, this amazing veg is perfect in this meaty chili. I decided not to put any beans in this pot so the bok choy would stand out more, but feel free to add beans if you’re in that kind of mood.  If you’re in the mood to try another really unique but amazing chili, try my Sweet Potato Chili With Goji Berries next time.

pork chili with bok choy

I bet you didn’t know chili could be so healthy, but here are the stats for this one:

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

In Eastern medicine, bok choy is used to quench thirst, aid digestion, prevent constipation and treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber. And there are only 20 calories in one cup of Bok Choy. So, it’s good for you, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes good.

Bone broth is filled with bone marrow and essential fatty acids — these things promote optimal brain health. It also contains glycine, which is an amino acid that helps with memory, concentration, stress, and focus.  You can make your own bone broth, but you don’t have to anymore. Bone broth is now available in tons of markets. (See the recipe below for the awesome ready-made bone broth I used in this soup recipe.) It’s sold in boxes just like chicken or vegetable broth. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation and strengthen the bones. It’s also great for your skin, hair, and nails. This is a great thing to use for a quick soup base, or to just sip on during the day. Sometimes I’ll have a hot cup of bone broth first thing in the morning for a quick healing pick me up.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. And feel free to add more chili powders or spicier ones if you’re a spice-a-holic. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use green pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

I also added some raw Chinese Herbs to the pot. My favorite thing about cooking things like soups, stews and chilis, is that it’s a great vehicle for my Chinese herbs because they get lots of time to infuse their healing capabilities into my food. I added Huang Qi (Astragalus) and Shan Yao (Chinese Yam) for energy.

pork chili with bok choy

Pork Chili With Bok Choy
Author: 
Recipe type: chili
Cuisine: mexican, american
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This is a great bowl of healthy chili. It's spicy and refreshing at the same time. The bok choy is an amazing addition! Touchdown!
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb ground pork
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece of a hot pepper, minced (I used an Anaheim chili)
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 28-oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth (This is a good organic one)
  • 2 medium heads of bok choy, sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • raw Chinese herbs (I used Shan Yao and Huang Qi) (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the pork and saute until most of the pink color is gone.
  3. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, garlic, hot pepper, salt and pepper to taste, chili powders, cumin, and turmeric. Stir until the meat is coated with the spices and continue cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the can of tomatoes and the chicken broth. Add raw Chinese herbs if using. Bring to a boil. Add the bok choy, cover the pot, and cook 20 minutes. Then, uncover and cook an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chili is the consistency you like.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with avocado.
  6. Enjoy!