Monday, June 10, 2013

Fake-Out Take-Out Veggie Lo Mein

Back to the grind... At least I got to work from home today, which feels sort of like an extended weekend with an exceptionally long "to do" list and 4 more days to rally!

Confession: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Chinese food, especially Vegetable Lo Mein. I'm convinced Alex was born with a natural aversion to any and everything Asian flavored, which becomes problematic since I love everything from lo mein to sushi so we better start figurin' somethin' out over here!

Even before I became a vegetarian, that was a must-have on my plate whether at a upscale Asian infused restaurant or Asian Ciao at the airport or in the mall. However, even when you think something as simple as noodles, veggies and soy sauce couldn't be that bad for you, I checked all my favorite restaurants and to-go places for their nutritional information on veggie lo mein, and each dish was loaded with sodium (common in Asian cuisine, but can be monitored), but also loaded with saturated fats. Not to mention, most vegetable lo meins are made with beef broth (gee, no wonder I feel like crap a couple hours later and into the next day.... DUR Katie!)....... Moral of the story, you can never truly tell as a vegetarian until you ask or look it up yourself.

For something I crave so often, I knew I needed to tamper with a new recipe of my own.... Here's what I came up with, and lots to spare for my next day craving!

Vegetable Lo Mein

In the line up:
-8 ounces (1/2 pound) angel hair pasta
-15 ounce package of frozen stir fry vegetable (if the one you choose doesn't have water chestnuts, buy an extra can and add with the fresh veggies -- a great and needed crunch to the dish!)
-1/4 red pepper, thinly sliced
-1/4 green pepper, thinly sliced
-3 green onions, thinly sliced
-2 Tablespoons garlic
-2 Tabelspoons canola oil (Smart Balance has a great canola oil with all the good fats)
-1 Tablespoon grated ginger
-1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
-1 teaspoon (or less) Siracha hot chili sauce (VERY HOT, little goes a long way)
-1 Tablespoon sesame oil
-1 teaspoon "House of Tsang" Szechuan Spicy Stir-Fry Sauce (something I had on hand so it's optional, just gives it a thicker sauce)

Coach's Orders:
Heat the canola oil on high heat in a wok or large non-stick skillet. Add the frozen vegetables, peppers, green onions, garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, start heating up some water to boil for the angel hair pasta. Once it comes to a boil, cook for merely 2-3 minutes then drain.

After the veggies are tender and cooked, add the soy sauce, Siracha and stir-fry sauce (if using). Add the angel hair pasta to veggie mixture and the sesame oil. Serve immediately and top with some raw sliced green onions for an even extra crunch. YUMMMM. A drooling success :)

A heaping plate of delicious Asian infused noodles and veggies.... Yes, PUH-lease.  I had Ale'x serving considering his long noodle + Asian flavor aversion, so another score for moi :) Perfectly light, salty, a crunch from the veggies and a freshness from the ingredients you can't get from take-out my friends!

What's your guilty pleasure take out? Mexican, Chinese, Thai...?

90% of the time, mine is Chinese, but Mexican definitely kicks in at odd times after I'd had something really yummy, but gets old much fast when my beloved cravings for Chinese food returns! 

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