{Light & Flavorful “Healthified” Lo Mein}

"Healthified" Lo Mein
      First I would like to wish you all happy holidays! I hope you had a lovely time with your family or loved ones. By now, many of you must be enrolling in gyms and diet plans or making some New Year’s resolutions….but if not here is a dish that can help keep junk food cravings in balance while providing you with some nutrition.
     I love chinese food – so greasy, so savory, so comforting. However, asian flavored dishes can be “healthified” with the right adjustments since they usually have a great base to begin with. Both fried rice and lo mein are packed with vegetables, and with some fresh ginger and garlic you can easily add flavor without mounting the calories. So after all the holiday feasting that I am sure you’ve all been having… I wanted to create something both healthy and comforting. Hence I drifted towards asian cuisine. Although the first time you make this recipe it can be quite expensive (if you do not have teriyaki, soy sauce or sherry wine), these ingredients have a long shelf life and can be used in many other recipes.
     I’ve opted for whole grain linguini pasta instead of traditional chinese lo mein because it has more fiber and even some omega 3. This pasta will keep you feeling fuller longer and will help stabilize your glycemic index for a longer period of time. Most people think that only hypoglycemics or diabetics should be concerned with this but they are wrong. Obesity and diabetes have become an epidemic and a great health concern in the United States. Everyone should educate themselves and teach others who don’t have the means about nutrition. As I’ve talked about before, nutrition and lifestyle modifications are the first line treatment for many diseases like hypertension, high cholesterol, and even diabetes.
     Going back to the recipe…a trick I learned about making light sauces is adding some of the pasta water to the sauce. This water is already seasoned, plus it’s usually thicker than tap water due to the starch released from the pasta. Hope you like this!
13.05 oz whole grain linguini, (I use the Healthy Harvest brand)
1/3 of 3 bell peppers of diffent colors, chopped (alternatively use 1 cup of other chopped veggies: carrots, cabbage and broccoli pair lovely with this sauce).
1/2 medium sized red onion, chopped
1 cup green peas, (if frozen, wash them in lukewarm water first)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp sherry cooking wine
1/4 cup pasta water
1/8 tsp ground ginger
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Cook pasta according to directions. Season the water with salt and some sesame oil. When ready, drain the pasta but reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water for the sauce.

Heat the sesame oil in a large wok or nonstick pan. Set to medium-high heat. Add the onions, peas and peppers. Cook for about 5 min stirring occasionally. Now set to low heat and cover.
In a small bowl add all of the ingredients and whisk well.
When the pasta is ready and drained pour over the vegetables and add the sauce on top. Mix well over low heat for 2-3min or until the sauce is absorbed. Garnish with the seeds and mix one last time.
Yields: 4 servings
"Healthified" Lo Mein
…I love to eat vegan dishes after the Holidays as part of a detox plan from all the heavy holiday food….My body literally asks for it. . . Hope you are brave enough to try vegan dishes too… don’t be scared it doesn’t have to contain tofu, tempeh or any meat substitute. Just begin with meatless dishes, then slowly work your palate into those other meat alternatives.. .

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