Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pork and Broccoli Noodle Stir Fry

menumusings.com

A couple of years ago, I lost a few pounds.  It's irrelevant how many, how or why.  The point is, apparently they've been out there searching for me all this time.  Guess what?  All of a sudden, someone ratted me out and they've found me.  :/  Ughhh!  Sure, I could speculate about the calendar, my time, my stress levels, my age, etc.  But it sure won't change anything.   That's not to say I won't still make desserts and things my kids love; but if I want to feel more comfortable in my skin, it's time to buckle down and get a little more serious about eating better.  Anyone else out there feeling the same way?  

"Eating better" and having picky kids in the house is definitely a challenge shared by gazillions of parents out there.  I can feel you rolling your eyes.  That's why I'm so excited about this recipe (which I found while browsing through a Diabetes magazine).  We've made this a few times now, and my "I can NOT manage to choke down broccoli" child has loved it.  Okay, so he didn't eat the florets, but he DID find out that he was really cool with the carrot and broccoli noodles... and that was a HUGE step forward for us!  And without having actual pasta noodles in the dish, it's much lower in carbs than a "real" noodle stir fry.   *Before y'all get all excited and start messaging me, I do NOT have diabetes.  But the magazines are a wealth of information on excellent low carb recipes!  


Ingredients: (4-6 servings)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • you can opt for the reduced sodium version here
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    • or sub sriracha sauce 
  • 2 large heads broccoli with the stems
    • choose the longest stems you can find
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2-3 tsp garlic paste
    • or 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced fine 
  • 4 green onions
    • cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1- 1.25 lb lean boneless pork
    • cut into thin, bite-sized strips
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted peanuts (optional*)


Step-by-Step:
Step 1.  Let's Prep.
Prep the vegetable noodles first.  Peel the carrots first, and then using the same vegetable peeler, apply deep pressure to make these beautiful carrot ribbon noodles.  
Cut the florets from the broccoli as close as you can to the top, then peel the tough outer skin from the stem.  It's quite fibrous, so get it all.  I'm sure there are many ways to make the broccoli ribbon noodles, but we found that it was convenient to use either....  the vegetable peeler.....
or the mandoline set to the middle setting.  If you opt for the mandoline, please be aware that this is NOT a good job for the children.  This is an extremely sharp device.  But it does make the job easier and most uniform. 
So here is our pile of vegetable ribbon "noodles."  All ready to go.  
Step 2.  Let's make the sauce.  
Just dump it all together and mix it up. 
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) soy sauce

3 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 1/2 Tbsp packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Step 3.  Lets Stir Fry!
To your wok (or pan of choice), add vegetable oil over medium to medium high heat.
Add garlic paste (or minced garlic) and stir just until fragrant but do not allow to burn.
2-3 tsp garlic paste (or 2-3 large garlic cloves, finely minced)
Quickly add broccoli florets.  My strategy was to add the longest cooking vegetables first.  But even these do not take long.  I only cooked them for a couple of minutes.  *You may need to add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.  
a couple cups broccoli florets
After a couple of minutes, add in those gorgeous carrot ribbons. 
After another minute, you can add the broccoli "noodles."  The carrots and broccoli only need to cook a few minutes and they will be tender crisp.  You don't want to over cook them, or they will be mushy and lose all their texture and color.  
Remove the vegetables to a dish.
Add in the pork strips to the wok.  Allow it to get a little sear and color on all the sides first.
Then, stir fry the pork with the sauce that we made at the beginning.  
Finally, add the vegetables back into the wok.
At the end, add in the 1-inch pieces of green onion and snow peas.  They only require about two minutes to be done.  
Finish the dish with a sprinkle of chopped, roasted peanuts (which I inconveniently forgot to add for the photo).  Sorry folks.  :( 

menumusings.com
This is super yummy... AND healthy!!!!  Give it a shot.

Written Method:
Step 1.  Let's Prep.
  • Prep the vegetable noodles first.  Peel the carrots first, and then using the same vegetable peeler, apply deep pressure to make these beautiful carrot ribbon noodles.  
  • Cut the florets from the broccoli as close as you can to the top, then peel the tough outer skin from the stem.  It's quite fibrous, so get it all.  I'm sure there are many ways to make the broccoli ribbon noodles, but we found that it was convenient to use either....  the vegetable peeler.....or the mandoline set to the middle setting.  If you opt for the mandoline, please be aware that this is NOT a good job for the children.  This is an extremely sharp device.  But it does make the job easier and most uniform. 

Step 2.  Let's make the sauce.  
  • Just dump it all together and mix it up. 

Step 3.  Lets Stir Fry!
  • To your wok (or pan of choice), add vegetable oil over medium to medium high heat.
  • Add garlic paste (or minced garlic) and stir just until fragrant but do not allow to burn.
  • Quickly add broccoli florets.  We want to add the longest cooking vegetables first.  But even these do not take long.  Only cook these for a couple of minutes.  *You may need to add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.  
  • After a couple of minutes, add in those gorgeous carrot ribbons. 
  • After another minute, you can add the broccoli "noodles."  The carrots and broccoli only need to cook a few minutes and they will be tender crisp.  You don't want to over cook them, or they will be mushy and lose all their texture and color.  
  • Remove the vegetables to a dish.
  • Add in the pork strips to the wok.  Allow it to get a little sear and color on all the sides first.
  • Then, stir fry the pork with the sauce that we made at the beginning.  
  • Finally, add the vegetables back into the wok.
  • At the end, add in the 1-inch pieces of green onion and snow peas.  They only require about two minutes to be done.  
  • Finish the dish with a sprinkle of chopped, roasted peanuts 
Here are some healthy bonus recipes:
Classic Cobb Salad

Oatmeal Banana Smoothies

Cranberry Cherry Chicken Wrap

Thai Chicken Salad Cones/Wraps

Grilled Chicken Southwestern Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

Marinated Seared Tuna Steaks

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