Posts

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

Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale

These lamb meatballs with herbs and kale are incredibly delicious and satisfying!

lamb meatballs (finished in pan)-9346

Who doesn’t love a good meatball? I mean, you can’t be unhappy while eating a meatball, right? I’ve kind of become a little obsessed with them… I’ve been making them out of beef, chicken, pork, veggies… and they’ve all been good. But these lamb meatballs… these are great. They are grain-free and paleo, they are healthy, and they have a slight Greek feel to them. And the tomato sauce is so aromatic and amazing (don’t tell my husband that I hid olives in the sauce…)

A few weeks ago I went to The Meatball Shop. It’s a restaurant that pretty much serves meatball everything. I ordered “The Kitchen Sink”.  I got to choose they type of meat or veg I wanted my meatballs to be made from and which type of sauce I wanted. I got three big balls served on top of vegetables and salad, smothered in sauce. Can I tell you, I was in heaven.  Anyway, that kind of inspired me to create some meatball dishes that didn’t need to be on top of pasta or in a sandwich. These delicious Greek meatballs are filled with kale and scallions and hemp seeds and almond flour. I know, it sounds a little weird, but trust me and try them. You will not be disappointed.

lamb meatballs (raw on tray)-9323

So, let’s get to why these are so good for you:

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. By combining the lamb with all of the warming spices in this dish, you get a great winter-warming meal.

Kale is everywhere these days. I kind of got a little tired of just eating it in salads, so I now use it inside of different dishes, like here inside these meatballs. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. I bought this kale already shredded and washed. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (me… I don’t really mind them if the kale is cooked). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Scallions, if you know me, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion (Cong Bai) is considered an herb. With autumn coming, I implore you to always keep scallions on hand in your refrigerator so that you can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second you feel 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. And, they give these meatballs a great flavor.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

I used some almond meal in these meatballs. In Asian medicine, we eat nuts because they are good for the brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

I add Chinese herbs to everything I can. This time I added Chen Pi (dried tangerine peel) to the sauce. Tangerines are good for nausea, chest tightness, excess mucus, and some stomach pains. Dried tangerine peels are a Chinese herb (Chen Pi). At any given time, if you look on my kitchen counter, you will see a bowl filled with sun-dried tangerine peels. I make tea out of them, and I grind them up for some recipes. For this recipe, I simply dropped the whole dried rind into the sauce and let it work its magic.

lamb meatballs (ball on fork closeup)-9401

I sprinkled some pomegranate seeds on top of the meatballs before I served them. Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence…. And they look like little jewels…
Pomegranate seeds on parchement closeup-

 

Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15 meatballs
 
These lamb meatballs are grain-free and paleo friendly. They are filled with kale, scallions, hemp seeds and more amazing ingredients! And the tomato sauce is slightly Greek tasting... so good!
Ingredients
  • For meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • ¼ cup finely minced kale
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 12 grinds of black pepper (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbs almond meal
  • For sauce:
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar
  • 10 oil-cured, pitted black olives, chopped
  • Optional Chinese herb: Chen Pi (dried tangerine rind)
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl. Get in there with your hands and mush up just until mixed together.
  3. Form the meat mixture into balls (I made mine like big golf balls and I got 15 balls out of it)
  4. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake the balls for 10 minutes, then carefully flip them over and bak an additional 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven.
  7. For the sauce:
  8. Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  9. Lay some of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish or ovenproof skillet. Arrange the meatballs on top of the sauce.
  10. Bake in the oven until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and drizzle the pomegranate molasses on top and sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds.
  12. Enjoy!