Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Veggie Lo Mein + WINNER

This is a family favorite in our house and we have Brittany to thank for it!  There is something about this sauce that is out of this world.  Add in vegetables you love and cashews, and you have a much healthier version of your favorite Chinese take-out dish ready in your own kitchen. 

This meal is easy to put together, but after making is several times, here are some pointers!  Break the pasta in half before adding it to the water.  It's nearly impossible to evenly distribute the vegetables and sauce in the pasta if it's left long.  Also, play around with the vegetables!  I use a simple 1 lb frozen bag of stirfry veggies and I always throw in an extra cup or so of frozen peas or broccoli.  If you don't have edamame on hand, feel free to sub in chickpeas or chunks of broiled tofu. It's very versatile and flexible, like I said, it's the sauce that makes this dinner super amazing.

Veggie Lo Mein
Serves 6 (or 12 as a side)
Active time: 35 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Total time: 35 min
Serving Suggestions: This meal stands alone as a main dish, but could also be used as a side to chicken or beef

What you'll need:

  • 2 TBLS cornstarch
  • 1 TBLS vegetable base + 1 cup cold water  OR 3 bouillon cubes (or powdered version) dissolved in 1 cup water OR 3 cups vegetable broth (please note that using broth will lengthen the reduction time)
  • 1 TBLS sesame oil
  • 2  tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 TBLS brown sugar
  • 2 TBLS rice vinegar
  • 2 TBLS molasses
  • 2 TBLS honey OR agave
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce OR tamari
  • 1 lb spaghetti OR GF brown rice spaghetti
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 lb bag frozen stir fry vegetables OR 3-4 packed cups of your favorite stir fry vegetables (ideas: red bell pepper, carrots, broccoli, snow peas)  
  • 1 16oz bag shelled edamame
  • 1 cup unsalted cashew halves (rinse with warm water if you only have salted cashews)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts

What you'll do:
  • Fill a large saucepan or stockpot with water, bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together vegetable base, cold water, and cornstarch (or broth, if using) - set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, heat sesame oil and garlic over medium heat.  Once garlic is fragrant, add broth mixture & stir.
  • Add the following to the sauce: black pepper, brown sugar, rice vinegar, molasses, honey, and soy sauce.  Leave heat on medium, stir well.
  • Once the water starts boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions.  
  • Stir sauce occasionally and allow it to reduce as pasta cooks.  
  • Meanwhile, if using frozen veggies, rinse them with warm water.
  • To a large skillet add canola oil, stir fry veggies, edamame and cashews - saut√© until they reach desired tenderness, adding green onions in the last few minutes of cooking.  
  • When pasta is done cooking, drain & rinse with cold water to prevent sticking.
  • Add pasta and sauce to skillet with veggies, stir well to coat.  
  • Serve now, or refrigerate for later - may be eaten warm or cold.

And the random GIVEAWAY winner is: Darcy -- who loves her food processor. I'll be contacting you with your shipping information.

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