For me, Chinese cuisine is right up there with Italian and Mexican! I don’t even want to know how they make those amazing sauces they slather on their noodles and meats. I’ve never had the opportunity to visit China, but I’d love to go – not only for the food (they eat everything!), but for the architecture, the history, and the culture. In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for Travel & Leisure magazine and the Inspiralized kitchen.
My favorite Chinese dish has to be lo-mein. Besides pizza, this is the only food that tastes better cold. After a brutal week, there’s nothing much more enjoyable than plopping down on the couch, ordering lo-mein and leaving leftovers in the fridge for lunch the next day. I promise my life is more exciting than that depiction, but – yum!
Unfortunately, I tend to limit my noodle intake for the sake of my waistline. It’s easy to polish off a large container! Thankfully, I’ve got a solution: Inspiralize! Yes, that’s right – although I haven’t featured one on here yet, the spiralizer is perfect for making noodle dishes. Just make sure you always peel your vegetables before spiralizing them to create that soft and slimy noodle texture. With this recipe, I’ve used yellow squash instead of zucchini, I like the texture and color better – it reminds me more of the real deal.
The calorie and carb savings here say it all: 1 cup of lo-mein noodles can cost you about 310 calories, whereas 1 cup of spiralized vegetable pasta costs you a measly 40-45 calories. To capitalize on this, I spiralized 3 yellow squashes instead of 2 – I wanted to really enjoy this!
And hey, you can always buy takeout containers and eat these noodles with chopsticks. You won’t notice the difference…. except afterwards, when your tummy still feels flat!
Inspiralized Vegetable Lo-Mein
Serving Size: 2
Time to prepare: 10 minutes
Time to cook: 15 minutes
- 3 large yellow squashes, Spiralized into thin spaghetti noodles
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 3 tsp garlic, minced
- 1.5 tsp ginger, minced
- 2 cups of broccoli florets
- 10 snap peas
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch strips
- 1/2 cup of cooked edamame
- 2 heads of baby bok choy, white ends removed
- 3/4 cup chopped carrots, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
- 1.5-2 tsp sesame seeds, for garnish
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
For the sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth, low-sodium
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp corn starch*
*This is optional, completely. Corn starch is flavorless, it simply thickens sauces – however, it adds extra calories (in this recipe, about 35 calories extra per serving). Corn starch isn’t unhealthy necessarily, it just doesn’t add much nutritional value to your body, it’s strictly for thickening of sauces/baking. Plus, it’s a processed food, so if you’re into clean eating (like me!), leave it out. Keep in mind, I’m not a nutritionist, this is just based on my own food knowledge and personal beliefs! I’m leaving it on the ingredient list in case you want to treat yourself and really get that gooey lo-mein sauce.
Place a medium saucepan on high heat, filled with enough water to cover the broccoli and carrots. Once boiling, add in the broccoli and carrots and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until broccoli and carrots begins to soften but cannot be easily forked. Pour vegetables into a colander, pat dry and set aside.
Next, combine all ingredients for the sauce and whisk together until cornstarch dissolves. Set aside.
Put a large skillet over medium heat and pour in canola oil. Once oil heats, add in red bell peppers. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add in the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, water chestnuts, snap peas, carrots, broccoli and season with salt and pepper.
Cook for about 3 minutes and then add in squash noodles, bok choy, edamame and the sauce prepared earlier. Cook until squash noodles are covered with sauce and soften, about 3 minutes.
Once finished, plate onto dishes and garnish with sesame seeds. If you’re chopstick savvy, enjoy with chopsticks and really get the whole experience. But, if you’re like me and… well, NOT so dexterous – dig in with a fork!