Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ginger Noodles with Bok Choy and Edamame

This is a recipe I came up with during my vegetarian years. (Ah yes, the vegetarian years...I remember them well!) This is a great meat-free, light dish that is super healthy and easy to make. Here's how it happened—I was looking for a pasta dish one day, but I didn't want to have that after-dinner heavy feeling. When you're a vegetarian it can be tricky to balance your diet; you don't want to eat carbs all the time, and you want to make sure to get enough protein. This was the key for me to maintain a healthy vegetarian lifestyle. I have tweaked this recipe over the years by switching to whole wheat spaghetti or sometimes I use garden veggie pasta noodles made with tomatoes, carrots and spinach, These options add extra protein to a meat-free dish, plus they're high in fiber so you'll get fuller faster. Sometimes I add grilled tofu strips with lemon grass. You can also use portobello mushrooms, which gives the dish a real "beefy" feel. If you must have meat you can always add grilled chicken or if you prefer fish, add shrimp. This is a great dish with an Asian flair that will have your friends coming back for seconds. —Jill

You'll need:
1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
1 lemon for juice and 1 tsp zest
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp ginger paste (in the tube)
5 or 6 large white or portobello mushrooms, sliced
Scallions, chopped
Bok choy, chopped (if you're not crazy about bok choy, you can substitute spinach)
Edamame beans in shell (or sesame seeds)

Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water.
While pasta is boiling (8-10 minutes; whole wheat pasta takes a little longer to cook), sauté mushrooms in a large skillet until tender. Add bok choy until the greens cook down. Add ginger paste and soy sauce.  Drain the noodles and add to the mushrooms and sauce. (If the sauce is too dry add 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water). Top with scallions, lemon zest and a few salted edamame beans (or sesame seeds).
Add a squeeze of lemon juice on top and enjoy! 

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