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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

Dumpling Meatballs

dumpling meatballs

I love all meatballs. For some reason, anything that can be made into a ball just tastes good to me. I remember when my kids were young, I would get them to eat foods by making them bitesize and sticking a toothpick into each one so they could easily grab whatever it was. And, that’s my favorite way to eat these meatball…  I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So, when I saw a great recipe from Nom Nom Paleo for a meatball I hadn’t yet experimented with, I just had to try it. So, thank you Michelle… these dumpling meatballs are awesome!

For those of you who know me, you know that for the month of October, I changed up my diet and I ate plant-based. I learned so much, and I enjoyed so much of that experience. Staying away from animal proteins forced me to be so much more creative with my plant-based meals, and now I love those meals even more.

But, now it’s November. And, while I do intend top stay probably about 80% plant-based, I was looking to cook up a very different type of meal. These dumpling meatballs are made with a combination of shrimp and pork. So, haha, my first non plant-based meal had both seafood and meat in it. You’d think it might be a shock to my system, but you’d be wrong… these were awesome.

Oh, and the reason they are called dumpling meatballs, is because they taste like the inside of the steamed dumplings you get at Chinese restaurants. Yum.

And, they are grain free and dairy free. And have so many healing ingredients. Win-win for me.

For another great healthy meatball recipe, try my Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs.

dumpling meatballsdumpling meatballs

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in these dumpling meatballs:

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 dried shiitakes in this recipe. Shiitakes 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.

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.

Many of my friends used to stay away from shrimp because they were afraid that eating them raised cholesterol levels. Now, research shows that shrimp actually can lower triglycerides because they are rich in Omega-3s. And, they are high in protein and low in calories, so really, they are a pretty good thing. In Chinese medicine, shrimp are actually recommended as a food to promote longevity because they nourish the kidneys, and in Chinese medicine, the kidneys are the key to life. Shrimp are great to boost libido, lessen some lower back pain and weakness, and they can help new moms with lactation.

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.

Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…

dumpling meatballs

Dumpling Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, Asian, Chinese, paleo, whole30
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Nom Nom Paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These meatballs taste like the insides of Chinese dumplings! And there's a bunch of healing ingredients in them!
Ingredients
  • ¼ oz dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in water for about 30 mins, then stems discarded and caps finely chopped
  • ½ lb cleaned raw shrimp, finely chopped
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbs coconut aminos (or substitute liquid aminos or soy sauce)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp lemon grass paste (I used a lemongrass paste with chili sauce, so option here to mix in some spicy hot sauce or chili peppers)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and smush it all up with your hands.
  4. Form the mixture into largish balls (I made 15 balls).
  5. Place the balls onto the lined baking tray and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  6. Eat with pasta or on top of salad, or my favorite way -- on top of a big bowl of steamed fresh greens.
  7. Enjoy!

dumpling meatballs

Paleo Turkey Meatballs

Did you know that turkey can boost your energy…
paleo turkey meatballs

I’m of the belief that any meatball is a good meatball. It’s kind of like any pizza is a good pizza. There’s just something about food in the form of a bite-size round ball that makes it taste awesome. But, not every ball is a healthy ball. And if you are a paleo eater, it’s sometimes hard to find a meatball with great taste and great texture. Enter… these paleo turkey meatballs.

Im my house, meatballs are not reserved just for a plate of pasta. Although, I do love my grain-free pasta… But, my absolute fav way to eat them is atop a huge bowl of steaming veggies. My current obsession is a bowl of garlicky broccoli rabe topped with meatballs. I think I just drooled a little bit onto my computer as I’m typing.

Usually I like my balls with my homemade tomato sauce. But, since these are turkey balls, I thought I’d just go with the Thanksgiving theme and I made a pot of paleo gravy. This was awesome. (I will be posting that recipe soon.) Meatballs are so versatile… what’s not to like? You’ve gotta love a food that multi-tasks well.

These paleo turkey meatballs are amazing! Really! I mean it! They have the texture of old-fashioned delicious meatballs. And, the taste is terrific. When I was testing this recipe I made it several different ways and this one’s the winner. It has pancetta in it to up the taste even more. OMG, when I tell you that these are better than breadcrumb-laden beef meatballs, you just have to believe me…

Also, try my recipe for Vietnamese Meatballs.

paleo turkey meatballspaleo turkey meatballs

These meatballs have some great nutritional benefits:

Turkey is a healthy meat. Make sure you buy organic turkey for the highest nutritional benefits. Recent research has shown turkey helps lower the risk of pancreatic cancer; however I did read some research that suggests that if you eat the skin along with the meat, some of this value is reduced, so don’t eat too much skin — this recipe uses ground turkey so it has no skin involved… Turkey also has a great protein-to-fat ratio, so it keeps you feeling full with less potential for weight gain. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and selenium. And, in Chinese medicine, turkey is thought of as a qi-booster, so it can be good for low energy levels.

Pork (this recipe uses pancetta) 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.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. 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!

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.

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes (like this one) with tapioca flour — it works as a great substitute in a lot of recipes that would otherwise include breadcrumbs.

paleo turkey meatballs

Paleo Turkey Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, turkey, pork, main course, Italian
Cuisine: paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These meatballs are better than any breadcrumb-laden balls you've had. They are healthy, taste amazing, and are easy! Try eating them on top of a bowl of steaming broccoli rabe instead of pasta... yum!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 med onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, cut into thirds
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh parsley
  • 2 oz finely diced pancetta
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Season the turkey with salt and pepper and place it in a large bowl.
  3. Put the onion and the carrot into a food processor and pulse until really finely minced/grated (alternatively you can do this by hand).
  4. Add the carrot mixture to the turkey in the bowl.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl.
  6. Mush it all up with your hands until combined.
  7. Form the mixture into balls the size of golf balls.
  8. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake 15 minutes, then flip the balls over.
  10. Bake an additional 7 minutes, or until cooked through.
  11. Remove from oven and enjoy!

paleo turkey meatballs

Butternut Squash Sausage Frittata

Butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body… so if you are suffering from achy joints, here’s your excuse to eat more of this awesome fall wonder! Some of my best menopause-friendly recipes are made with butternut squash… it’s amazing!

butternut squash sausage frittata

Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite meals. Truth be told, I love dinner for breakfast too… But, this butternut squash sausage frittata is definitely breakfast food that’s awesome for dinner. Hmmm, now that I think about it, it’s also dinner food that’s great for breakfast… yikes, what the heck am I talking about?

Anyway, the other night my family requested bagels and lots of bagel-accessories for dinner. Anyone who knows me knows that the only bagels I have in my house are grain-free bagels. Let me assure you that grain-free bagels are not what my family was requesting. So, I went around the corner, bought fresh-out-of-the-oven whole-grain everything bagels. These things were as big as my head. And they smelled so good. I just knew if I ate them I’d regret it later, so I bought extra lox for myself and I came home and made this frittata. And it was so good!

I filled this casserole-y, egg-y dish with breakfast sausages, bacon, butternut squash, spinach, vegan cheese, peppers, and scallions. This was such a treat for me. Better than bagels. And nowadays it’s easy to find bacon and sausage that are organic and nitrate-free, so I’m a happy camper.

Did I mention that fall is my favorite season?  Yeah, I know that thought is really a disconnect, not really a smooth segue at all. But butternut squash is everywhere this season! So, I put a lot of it in this butternut squash sausage frittata…

For another eggs-in-the-oven type of dish, try my Baked Eggs With Sausage And Kale.

butternut squash sausage frittata

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this butternut squash sausage frittata:

I am a big proponent of eating the whole egg. So many of the nutrients and the taste are in the yolk; I’ll never understand separating nature’s perfect food. Eggs help with many types of dryness in the body. If you have a dry cough or a frog-in-your-throat, try eating some eggs. They have also been shown to help women with various conditions during and after pregnancy. Some people consider eggs to be a superfood. They contain a large amount of vitamins A and B and are a great source of protein. Eggs sometimes get a bad rap because of cholesterol, but it’s been shown that in 70% of people, eggs do not raise cholesterol, so don’t assume they are bad for you. Buy organic eggs and you are really doing the right thing.

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.

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 used pork bacon and sausage in this recipe, but I’ve made it before using vegan substitutes and it tastes awesome that way too… so whatever makes you happy…

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.

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.

It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

butternut squash sausage frittata

Butternut Squash & Sausage Frittata
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, casserole, eggs
Cuisine: paleo, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
This frittata is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And, it can be made in advance! I've made it with lots of meat and I've made it vegan... the choice is yours!
Ingredients
  • ½ lb bacon (use pork, turkey, or vegan), sliced and cooked until done
  • 6 breakfast sausage patties (use pork, turkey, or vegan), cooked and chopped
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • ½ lb butternut squash, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 10 eggs, beaten
  • 4 slices cheese (I used vegan American cheese), diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 370°F.
  2. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the bell pepper, scallion, and squash to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring often, until the butternut squash is just tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach, and stir until it starts to wilt.
  6. Pour the contents of the pan into a large bowl.
  7. Let cool a few minutes.
  8. Stir in the eggs and cheese.
  9. Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish (I used a 9-inch round glass dish).
  10. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
  11. Cut into 6 or 8 pieces.
  12. Enjoy!

butternut squash sausage frittata

Vietnamese Meatball Bowls

These Vietnamese Meatball Bowls are deliciously Asian flavored… they will make you smile!

Vietnamese meatball bowls

Almost all meatballs are awesome. But these meatballs are extra awesome. They are made with pork and infused with some traditional Vietnamese flavors. They are bit-sized, juicy, mouth watering, amazingly flavorful meatballs. (I do realize how over the top that sounds, but I’m sticking with it…)

Almost all food tastes better when it’s turned into a “bowl”. If you haven’t yet jumped on the bowl bandwagon, don’t wait even another minute. A “bowl” is a complete meal served in… a bowl! It’s extra special because you get so many great flavors together in one place. And they are so easy to customize to reflect your own particular tastes.

One of my favorite food bloggers, Lindsay at Pinch Of Yum, posted her awesome recipe for Banh Mi Bowls With Lemongrass Meatballs. I found that recipe so inspiring that I created this recipe for Vietnamese Meatball Bowls.

This bowl has it all. It’s got deliciously moist pork meatballs. The meatballs are on top of spiced cauliflower rice. And crispy pea pods. And a few different kinds of peppers. And fresh aromatic herbs. It’s got so much flavor. And it’s grain-free and dairy-free. It’s paleo and Whole30 friendly. And, it’s easy to make. And it tastes great as leftovers the next day. Is that enough? I’m getting hungry again just writing this.

If you are looking for another great meatball recipe, try my Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale recipe.

Vietnamese meatball bowlsVietnamese meatball bowls

Here are some of the great ingredients in this Vietnamese Meatball Bowls:

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.

Lemongrass is great for lots of digestive issues; it can help with stomach pains and vomiting. It’s also good to include lemongrass in your diet when you have a cold and it’s been known to help people with arthritic joint pain.

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….

I use cauliflower for breads, crusts, rice… everything. It can be used in so many forms… and, it’s really good for you. In Chinese medicine we use it to aid in digestion and help with constipation. It contains a healthy amount of Vitamin B, Vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids and can help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cauliflower also helps the body with detoxification. So, as far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier.

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.

Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…

Mint is a Chinese herb called Bo He. It’s one of the best things to fight a cold, sore throat, or fever and it’s good for some abdominal pains too.

Vietnamese meatball bowls

Vietnamese Meatball Bowls
Author: 
Recipe type: bowl, meatballs, cauliflower rice
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from: Pinch Of Yum
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Moist and flavorful pork meatballs sit atop spiced cauliflower rice and are surrounded by crisp snow peas and peppers.
Ingredients
  • For meatballs:
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 Tbs lemongrass paste (or you can buy a jar of sliced lemongrass and mince it up really fine)
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbs sriracha
  • 1 Tbs liquid aminos (or substitute soy sauce or fish sauce)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • For rice:
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice (buy it already riced or place one head of cauliflower florets in your food processor and pulse it just until it's like rice)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • For the bowls:
  • fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped (I like about 2 Tbs for each bowl)
  • fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (I like about 1 Tbs for each bowl)
  • pappadew peppers, sliced (as many as you like)
  • fresh pea pods or snap peas (as much as you like), briefly sauteed or steamed (they should still be crisp)
  • 1 hot red pepper, sliced (or more if you like things spicy)
  • 2 limes, zested and cut into wedges
  • 1 jar of pickled vegetables (I used pickled ginger carrots, but there are so many awesome varieties available).
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mush it all together with your hands and form into small balls. Place the balls on the tray, so that they are not touching each other.
  4. Place the tray in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Place the cauliflower rice in a pot with the turmeric, salt and pepper, and broth. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the rice is just softened a bit.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, divide the cauliflower rice among the bowls. Top with meatballs and surround with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Enjoy!

Vietnamese meatball bowls

Hot And Sour Soup

Once you make this homemade hot and sour soup, you won’t want take-out again!

Hot And Sour Soup-0852

It’s freezing here in New York. I’m not complaining, because the winter has been so mild, but the mild weather did stop me from making as many pots of hot soup as I usually do. This hot and sour soup made me realize how much I miss having a big pot of healing warming soup in the fridge at all times!

When I was a kid I remember getting hot and sour soup from the Chinese restaurant and we used to top it with those deliciously fried Chinese crispy noodles… does anyone else remember this? I’m so out of the take-out food loop now that I don’t even know if you still get those little waxy bags of crunchy noodles… But, this soup recipe is so good that it doesn’t need the noodles. Really. I did, however, put little dots of sriracha in mine at the end because it looks pretty and made it extra awesome.

The beauty of hot and sour soup is that you can make it as spicy or as mild as you like. Did you know that the spice comes from black pepper? I remember being surprised at that the first time I made it… but this makes it even easier to prepare and to shop for.  You can customize it with whatever mushrooms you like (I rehydrated some dried shiitakes) and whatever seaweed you like (if any).  I added pork to this pot, but feel free to use chicken or if you are vegan, use tofu.

So, this week we kept this pot of comforting, warming, spicy soup in a big pot in the fridge for 4 days. We ate a lot of it. Like, an embarrassing amount. But it’s so good. And it’s so light and healthy. And it just makes you feel good. And, I also remembered another thing that happens here when there’s a pot of soup in the fridge all week. Today I went to take the pot out, got my bowl and spoon ready, opened the lid, and saw about 1/4 cup of soup left in the bottom of the pot. It’s like leaving one sheet of toilet tissue in the bathroom… ugh!!!! So disappointing, but so typical!

If you want to jump on the soup bandwagon, you should definitely also make a pot of my Butternut Squash And Apple Soup.

Hot And Sour Soup (rehydrated shiitakes)-0831

Here’s some of the great things in this soup:

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. 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.

I like to use some type of seaweed in my hot and sour soup. I used nori in this pot because it’s what I had on hand, but feel free to use whatever type you like. Seaweed is good for your thyroid gland and your lymphatic system. If you have swelling in your body or you are retaining water, seaweed is great because it acts as a diuretic. In the olden days, seaweed was fed to people to get rid of goiters and tuberculosis.

Bamboo shoots actually make you feel better if you have overeaten and are feeling full and bloated or if you have diarrhea. And, if you have a hangover, reach for the bamboo shoots because they will help you feel better faster. This vegetable can also act as a diuretic, so if you have edema, this would be good for you.

Black pepper is a Chinese herb (Hu Jiao). It helps relieve vomiting and food poisoning.

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.

Hot And Sour Soup

Hot And Sour Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Recipe adapted fromthekitchn.com. This is better than take-out. It's delicious, healthy, and so incredibly warming!
Ingredients
  • 1 oz dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in a bowl of hot water for about 20 minutes (be sure to save the soaking liquid to add to the soup)
  • 1 qt chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs liquid aminos (or soy sauce) (you can buy aminos here)
  • ⅓ lb pork cutlet, sliced into thin strips (or use tofu for a vegan version)
  • 5 oz can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp (or more to taste) ground black pepper
  • 7 Tbs white vinegar
  • 3 Tbs cornstarch whisked together with 4 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs nori krinkles (or substitute another type of seaweed) (you can get them here)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Optional toppings: extra nori, drizzle of sriracha
Instructions
  1. Soak the mushrooms in a small bowl of water. Drain them and reserve the soaking liquid. Slice the shrooms.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the chicken broth, aminos, and sea salt.
  3. When it comes to a boil, add the mushroom soaking liquid, pork strips, nori, and bamboo shoots.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the vinegar and black pepper.
  6. Bring to a full boil, and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Continue stirring until the soup begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the egg -- stir continuously until it looks like egg drop soup.
  8. Ladle into bowls and top with additional nori and sriracha if desired.
  9. Enjoy!

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.

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 broth
  • 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!