Monday, January 17, 2011

Vegetable Lo Mein

I love Chinese Food.  I used to eat it all the time.  I have been trying to watch the budget a little more lately and so have been trying to make some of my favorite things at home.  I have definitely mastered the fried rice, dumplings, egg rolls and some other items, but what I would really like to make is the vegetable lo mein.  I'm not sure what it is about it that makes me so happy or it so delicious, but do I love it!  The vegetables mixed with the pasta and all that soy sauce - yum!  So, that was my goal tonight and although it was great and delicious, it wasn't Chinese Food lo mein.  The more the Hubby and I were discussing it, the more we decided it must be the oil coating it that makes it so flavorful - we were definitely trying to be more careful with our amount of oil added.  I added some simply seasoned tempeh to the top for some added protein and served it with lots of additional soy sauce and tons of red pepper flakes on top.  The hotter, the better!

Vegetable Lo Mein

Serves 4-6

12 oz. lo mein noodles, cooked until al dente

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced, about 1 cup
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly, about 1 cup
2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned, about 1 cup
1 cup snow peas, tough ends removed
1/2 green pepper, julienned, about 1/2 cup
1/2 red pepper, julienned, about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup broccoli florets
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
5 tablespoons tamari/shoyu
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Seasoned tempeh, tofu or seitan to serve

1.  Begin by preparing all of the vegetables.  It takes the most time, and once they are prepped, the remainder of the recipe will come together in a snap.
2.  Cook the noodles according to package directions.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  This is an essential step to prevent the noodles from leaving their starchy residue all over the vegetables.
3.  Heat the olive oil in a wok over high heat.  Add the broccoli and snow peas and cook for 2-3 minutes - these take the longest time to cook.  Add the remaining vegetables, including the garlic and ginger, stirring frequently.  They will only take a matter or minutes to cook, as you want them to still have a crunch.
4.  Add the tamari or shoyu, toasted sesame oil, black pepper and pepper flakes, tossing to coat.  Add the cooked noodles to the vegetables in the wok and toss very well, being sure the sauce and vegetables are well incorporated.
5.  Top with the seasoned tofu, tempeh or seitan and serve with additional tamari/shoyu and sesame oil on the side.  (I used seasoned tempeh in this picture, which I simmered in a mixture of garlic, ginger, onions, shoyu, bay leaves, black pepper and apple juice, then pan fried until golden.)



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