Heck Yeah It’s Healthy!

Mushrooms stand in for meat in this fresh version of a take-out favorite, Spring Vegetable Lo Mein. Asparagus and carrots give it a decidedly spring feel; and you’ll feel lighter too with only 300 calories per serving!

The recipes calls for oyster mushrooms, but the grocery store was not carrying them on their own, so we purchased a mushroom blend which included oysters. Personally, we don’t think it made any difference in taste, so don’t sweat it if you can’t find them. And as usual, I increased the quantity of each vegetable by about a third.

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Because of Russ’s commitment to eating gluten-free, we swapped out the lo mein noodles for Shirataki—noodles that are carbohydrate-free, because they are made with glucomannan starch, an indigestible dietary fiber made from the root of the konjac plant (whatever the heck that is!) They are also very low in calories, with little flavor of their own, but absorb the flavors you cook them with—perfect.

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Prepackaged wet Shirataki noodles.

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The Shiratki noodles are rinsed and drained well before the sesame oil is added.

Shirataki noodles can be found both in dry and soft “wet” forms in Asian markets, or in many local supermarkets. When purchased wet, they are packaged in liquid, which is what we used. They normally have a shelf life of up to one year.

Spring Vegetable Lo Mein is delicious on its own, but for a more filling main course, we topped ours with a piece of roasted soy-glazed salmon. Another suggestion: topping each serving with a sunny-side-up egg. Or perhaps adding a handful of chopped peanuts, which I did for my leftover lunch… Just remember, these additions will up the calorie count… And yes, we did use a healthy dose of Sriracha!

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The veggies and garlic are prepped; and the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sherry are whisked together in a small bowl.

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 9 oz. fresh Chinese lo mein egg noodles*
  • 1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbs. dry sherry
  • 2 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. asparagus (about 1-1/4 cups), trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
  • 3-1/2 oz. oyster mushrooms (about 2 cups), stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2-1/2 oz. matchstick-cut or julienned carrots (about 1 cup)
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces, white and green parts separated
  • Sriracha, for drizzling (optional)
*TIP: Chinese egg noodles are classic Asian noodles made from wheat flour, water, and egg. Springy with a slight chew, these noodles are made in thin or thick strands. Look for fresh ones in the supermarket’s produce department; be sure they contain egg and aren’t tinted with food coloring instead.

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Asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, and scallion whites are added to sizzling garlic.

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Noodles and scallion greens are added to the cooked veggies for several minutes.

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After the soy-sauce mixture is incorporated for a minute, plate the meal with or without a topper.

Directions

  1. Bring a 6-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil. Boil the noodles according to package directions until al dente. Rinse with cold water until cool, then drain well, shaking the colander to remove as much water as possible. Toss the noodles with the sesame oil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sherry.
  3. Heat the peanut or canola oil and garlic in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until the garlic sizzles, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, and scallion whites. Add 1/2 tsp. salt, and stir frequently until the asparagus is tender and bright green and the mushrooms soften, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the noodles and the scallion greens, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently until the noodles heat through, about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture, toss, and continue to cook, about 1 minute.
  6. Serve, drizzled with the Sriracha, if using (and of course we did.)

Adapted from Tony Rosenfeld of Fine Cooking

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