Meatless Monday: Asian Vegetarian Stir Fry With Whole Grain Rice Noodles
As the smooth sounds of Ray LaMontagne boomed from the computer speakers, the sweet smell of the honey and soy sauce spread throughout the small kitchen. Do you ever listen to music while you cook? While baking, I love to dance around to Kat Edmonson or Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. The sweet sounds of music pair well with the heavenly smells that come from of the oven and stove-top.
Bok choy, sliced portabellas, crisp water chestnuts, and orange bell pepper strips steamed in my enamel-coated cast iron pan. As the ribs of the chopped bok choy softened in the pot, I added a variety of spices and the sweet liquid that would soon also cover the whole grain rice noodles. This dish promised a variety of textures and flavors that played into one another flawlessly. My fiancee and our upstairs neighbor even approved of the meatless dish. I know that Eric (my fiancee) really likes something I’ve made when he asks to take leftovers of it for lunch. This versatile dish was also quick to cook, which was nice after coming home from a long day of work. A simple and delicious recipe is always welcome in my kitchen (versatile is always great too – like for this dish you can add in the veggies of your choice).
This was my first time making a stir fry. Now that I have the general ingredients and know-how, I know I will be making many more of these Asian-influenced and noodle-based dinners. I also recently came across another stir fry recipe by greenbeekitchen, which included a myriad of brightly colored vegetables set atop whole-grain rice. That stir fry recipe is on my list to try next! Do you have any favorite stir fry recipes?
Ingredients for Asian Vegetarian Stir Fry with Rice Noodles:
*Adapted from www.food.com
*Serves 6 (easily)
1 tbsp + 2 tsp of sesame oil (the tablespoon is for the pan, and the 2 teaspoons are for the rice noodles after they are cooked to lock in the moisture)
1 portabella mushroom, thinly sliced
1 head of bok choy, roughly chopped into 1 1/2 inch strips
1/2 of an orange bell pepper, sliced thin
1 small can of drained and sliced water chestnuts
1/4 tsp of pepper and red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp of garlic powder, freshly grated ginger, and sesame seeds
2 tbsp of honey (for a vegan option use molasses instead – I just happened to have honey and used that in the interest of saving money while grocery shopping)
2 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce
1 package of whole grain rice noodles
1/2 a cup of scallions, chopped (about 3 scallions chopped)
sprouts and sesame seeds to top the dish
1- Slice the portabella mushroom, bok choy, and bell pepper while you heat the 2 tbsp of sesame oil in a pan. Add those veggies and the drained water chestnuts to the pan when the oil is heated. Then add the spices, grated ginger, and sesame seeds. Stir and let the veggies soften for about five minutes.
2- Meanwhile heat a good amount of boiling water. Set your rice noodles in a bowl delicately (trying not to break any of them). When the water is boiled add it to the bowl with the rice noodles. Cover the bowl and let the noodles sit for about four minutes. I tested mine with a fork and could tell they were done at that point.
3- In a bowl, whisk together the honey and soy sauce. Then add it to the pot with the veggies. Mix well and then let it sit for about another minute before adding the rice noodles. After adding the rice noodles, add the extra sesame oil. At that point I stirred the mixture and added the scallions.
4- Top with sesame seeds and fresh organic sprouts.
I was more than happy with this lightly sweet, yet filling vegetable-based dish. Let me know what you think!