October Cooking Challenge: Week 1, Meal 3 – Vegetable Lo Mein

When reviewing what I had left in my fridge, I was fast forwarding to Thursday night. Thursday night in our house is brutal, I have a class to attend at 7:00pm, Ryan has swimming from 6:30-7:30pm, and April has equestrian drill team practice and usually only gets home at 7-7:30. It all converges. Plus, it is a South Shore Organics delivery day, or, as we in the biz like to call it: Anything Can (And Probably Will) Happen Thursday. Eek! So in deciding whether or not to divide what I had left into two meals or just cook it all, I opted to cook it all.

This recipe offers up A LOT of food. Enough for two meals. So my plan is to put half in the fridge, and use the left overs to make veggie noodle soup, or make low mein lettuce wraps.

img_3897Ingredients:

1lb sweet potato

1 bunch brussels sprout greens

1 bunch radishes

10oz low mein noodles

1 can chickpeas

2 sweet peppers

4 ears corn

half a lemon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

5 cloves of garlic

4 tablespoons coconut oil

6 tablespoons of soy sauce

1/2 a bunch of chopped cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

Cooks Note: I was so, so tempted to add a spoon of peanut butter at the end, I didn’t. Because I wanted to stick to the rules. I also wanted to add some fresh ginger, which I regretted not working into my budget, but the ground ginger I had in my cupboard did a really good job and after tasting it, I didn’t miss either the fresh ginger, or the peanut butter.

Step 1 – Prepare Vegetables (10 minutes)

img_3898shred the brussels sprouts leaves

cut sweet potato into stripes

cut peppers into strips

open and drain chick peas (save liquid)

cut up radishes

peel corn and cut kernels off cob

mince garlic

derobe the noodles

Step 2 – Stir Fry (10 minutes)

img_3900In a large wok or frying pan, heat all of the oil. I use coconut oil for stir fry’s because it is better than olive oil at the high heat you need to cook hot and fast.

Add garlic and peppers. I add peppers early on because my family don’t love them, and the longer the cook, the more they caramelize, the more my family likes them 😉

Add sweet potato, stir.

Add chickpeas and radishes, stir.

Add corn.

Add brussels sprout leaves, stir.

Keep stirring to make sure nothing chars, and all the veggies are well   blended.

Turn the heat way down.

Step 3 – Cook Noodles (5 minutes)

img_3901In a large pan, at least 5 quarts, cook lo mein noodles according to the instructions on the package. In my case, that meant adding them to boiling water and cooking for four minutes without salt or oil.

Drain noodles, save liquid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4 – Assembling Lo Mein (5 minutes)

img_3902Turn the heat in the pan way up.

Add the noodles.

Add the soy sauce.

Add the ground ginger.

Stir aggressively (?) enthusiastically (?) with vigor! Until well blended.

Throw cilantro on top.

Stir some more – I used a strong hard wood spatula.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

 

 

Step 6 – Plating The Food (2 minutes)

img_3904Divide in half.

Dish up one half into four bowls, and squeeze lemon over the top. Leave the other half to cool down so that it can go in the fridge for dinner tomorrow night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Analysis

Assessment: I loved this meal, it was simple and satisfying. Although my temptation was to be more heavy handed with condiments and flavorings, it was a good reminder that simple is often best, and you don’t need highfalutin sauces and add-ons to make a good, tasty, healthy meal. It was comfort food too, I ate it on the couch with the kids.

Oh, and also, spicy radishes are truly tamed with heat. Heat sedates them. They become turnips.

Total time: 30 minutes

Mess factor: one large electric frying pan, and a pan for the noodles (and again, lots of bowls. Although, I have to say, that taking a few minutes at the beginning to peel, slice, and dice, is actually starting to work for me. It makes the rest of the process really quick and easy, so I am finding cooking less stressful.)

  img_3907Waste: I saved the noodle water and chickpea juice for the stock. .

I composted the corn husks.

I saved the elastic bands for future use.

I saved the corn cobs, radish greens, pepper ends, radish ends, sweet potato peels, stems from the brussels sprout greens, and paper garlic peels for vegetable stock.

The chickpea can will be recycled, as will the bag the noodle came in.

I threw the left over lemon in a quart of water for the next days’ consumption.

 

 What’s Left Over for the Week?

4 servings of Vegetable Lo Mein

1 spaghetti squash

4 ears corn

1 bunch radishes

2lb sweet potatoes  1lb sweet potatoes

1 bunch brussel sprout leaves

1lb sweet peppers 2 sweet peppers

1lb green beans

1 fennel bulb

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

1 green leaf lettuce 1/2 a green leaf lettuce

1 bunch swiss chard

1.2lb chicken thighs from Feather Brook Farm

8oz Atwells Gold cheese from Narragansett Creamery 4oz cheese

16oz pasta sauce from Poblano Farms

1 lemon 1/2 a lemon

8oz of garlic 6oz garlic

1 bunch of cilantro 1/2 bunch cilantro

1lb pizza dough

1 can organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

10oz GMO-free lo mein egg noodles

1 can organic coconut milk

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2 thoughts on “October Cooking Challenge: Week 1, Meal 3 – Vegetable Lo Mein

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