Healthy Stir-Fried Noodle Bowls

Featured Article, Healthy Living, Nutrition
on November 3, 2014
sesame noodles with bok choy and carrots
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If you haven’t tried the latest foodie trend – noodle bowls – you’re seriously missing out. Many restaurants are offering noodle dishes on their menus, and I’m not talking about strictly Asian-inspired places. In the grocery store, noodle “kits” are sold with the Asian ingredients, and fully prepared noodle meals are taking over the frozen food section. Problem is, you can’t always get nutritional information in restaurants, and if you read the nutrition labels on grocery store varieties, you’ll find that many are loaded with artificial ingredients, calories, fat, and salt.

Problem solved: make your own noodle bowls at home! Asian noodles are an excellent way to spruce up your weekly menu, even if you’re eating gluten-free. Check out three internationally inspired, colorful dishes using three different varieties of Asian noodles. Each dish can be a satisfying meal on its own, or, for added protein, add cooked chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu to any of the dishes.

Thai Peanut Udon Noodles with Bell Peppers

thai peanut udon noodles with bell peppers

Ingredients:

  • 14 ounces udon noodles
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 each red and green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions (typically 3 to 4 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes, until soft. Add the noodles and peanut sauce and cook for 1 minute to heat through, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Serves 4

 

Sesame Chinese Noodles with Bok Choy and Carrots

sesame noodles with bok choy

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces Chinese egg noodles (also called Chow Mein or stir-fry noodles) or thin spaghetti
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 baby bok choy or 1 regular bok choy, thinly sliced (crosswise)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 4-6 scallions, sliced crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tamari sauce
  • 1/4 cup black bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (such as sriracha)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: 

  1. Cook the egg noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs and scramble until firm. Transfer the eggs to a plate. To the same pan, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy, carrots and scallions and cook for 1 minute. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari sauce, black bean sauce, hot sauce, and sesame oil. Add the mixture to the pan with the egg noodles and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Transfer the mixture to a serving platter and top with the egg.

 Serves 4

 

Curried Rice Noodles with Broccoli and Oranges

curried rice noodles with broccoli and oranges

Ingredients:

  • 6.75-ounce package rice noodles (also called rice stick noodles)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup ponzu sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red, yellow or green curry paste (regular or hot)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:

  1. Soak the noodles according to the package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli in the microwave or in a colander over simmering water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, ponzu sauce, curry powder, and turmeric. Set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook 2 minutes, until soft. Add the broth mixture and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 minute. Add the rice noodles and broccoli and cook for 1 minute to heat through. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with orange and lime wedges on the side.

Serves 4