After knocking the vegan lifestyle in an article last week, it seems appropriate to celebrate Meatless Monday with the best of them. Aside from certain health problems that may result from being a strict vegan without taking care of yourself – plant-based, vegetarian meals are clearly some of the most nutrient-rich available.
Those who partake in Meatless Every-day have surely sampled the exciting sauces and seasonings of Asian foods, and know their healthy potential. Stir fry is a perfect dish for incorporating all the veggies you can imagine into one place, and getting a panoply of nutrients with an equal dose of flavor. So, whether or not you exclude meat or animal products from your diet, this is a vegetable concoction for anyone to savor.
Use your own produce preferences and creativity to modify this dish to your liking, but make sure you’re getting more than just good taste: color is an important factor, as well. Getting a full spectrum in your stir fry (or any meal, for that matter) is essential to providing your body with a wide range of nutrients. Reds contain the most vitamin C, green is rich in iron, blue and purple typically contain the antioxidant anthocyanin, and black also equates to a large amount of antioxidants and minerals.
This particular recipe includes the essential seasonings for a invigorating Japanese taste bud explosion, including ginger, tahini, sesame seeds, and spicy chili sauce. Udon noodles, a natural wheat pasta high in protein, low in sugar, and moderate in dietary fiber, are the base for the veggies. Using organic edamame, you increase the protein content and add authentic Japanese flavor. Bok choy is another significant source of nutrition in the mix, containing an ample supply of vitamins A, C, K, and several B vitamins such as B1, B5, B6. The leafy green is also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium.
Shiitake mushrooms are also a must for authenticity, taste, and most of all – nutrition. Widely known as one of the most beneficial foods for promoting cardiovascular health and immune function, shiitake mushrooms also contain a significant amount of iron, several B vitamins (B2, B5, and B6), fiber, and several minerals. They also have a number of phytonutrients, which can help the body prevent disease and improve overall function.
Make this dish for four or save for later. You can also adjust the ingredient list to include artichoke, eggplant, and anything that you like or may be in season.
What You Need
- 8 oz dried udon noodles
- 2 cups shiitake mushrooms
- 5 medium-sized heads of baby bok choy
- 2 carrots (shredded)
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 1 small red onion (diced)
- 1 cup fresh edamame (or frozen and thawed)
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1/2 cup juice from 2 fresh oranges
- 3 tablespoons tamari
- 2 tablespoons spicy chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon ginger root (grated)
How to Prepare
- Bring 3 gallons of water to a boil in a large pot. Add noodles, wait for water to start boiling again, and cook for about 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Using a large frying pan or wok, cook onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add peppers and mushrooms to the wok and cook for another 5 minutes or until peppers are tender.
- Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl while peppers and mushrooms are in the pan.
- Add carrots and edamame to the pan, cooking for 1-2 minutes, adding the bok choy afterward. Cook the veggies for another couple of minutes. The bok choy leaves will begin to wilt.
- Pour sauce into the pan, stirring all ingredients to coat evenly. Cook for 1-2 minutes to warm all the contents completely, finally adding the noodles and tossing to evenly distribute.
- Move the pan off the burner and top with a scattering of sesame seeds.
1. Dianne Wenz. Veg Kitchen. Spicy Orange-Sesame Stir Fry.
2. Tracey Roizman, D.C. SF Gate. Colors of Vegetables & Their Nutrients.
3. Nutrition-and-you.com. Bok Choy Nutrition Facts.
4. WHFoods. Mushrooms, Shiitake.
Images: VegKitchen.com, Lafujimama.com.