Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Carb-Friendly Vegetable Lo Mein

I love eating at a Chinese restaurant and one of my favorite dishes is Vegetable Lo Mein, which is chinese noodles with the most heavenly sauce. One might think because it's a vegetarian dish with the word "vegetable" in the name that it would be a good choice. Sadly, it is high calorie, carb dense and contains a lot more noodles than vegetables. So, what's a diabetic to do? Give it up completely? Not when you can make it at home with this quick and easy recipe that tastes every bit as good! The trick is to swap out the high carb noodles for a lesser amount of a high quality, low-carb pasta and fill in with a mountain of delicious, stir fried vegetables. You can make your own sauce or use a teriyaki bottled sauce. My favorite is Stonewall Kitchen's Garlic Teriyaki Sauce which contains about the same nutritional totals as my homemade version and, when I'm in a hurry to get dinner on the table, that's what I use.

The best thing about this recipe is the amount of food per serving! This is not a skimpy portion size; you'll get a plateful of incredible, tender-crisp vegetables with a satisfying amount of pasta glazed with a delectable sauce. Feel free to add whatever vegetables your family likes best. It is out-of-this-world delicious! So, if you miss having your favorite Chinese noodle dishes, give this one a try and I think it will become one of your best loved recipes, too.

Carb-Friendly Vegetable Lo Mein
(Makes 2 servings)

1½ cups cooked reduced-carb pasta (I suggest Dreamfield's or Carba-Nada)
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups broccoli florets
2 carrots, sliced thin and cut into 2” pieces
1 small zucchini, sliced thin and cut into 2” pieces
½ small onion, cut into 1” chunks
4 stalks bok choy (white part) or 2 celery stalks, cut on the bias into ½” pieces

Sauce ingredients: (or use ¼ cup bottled teriyaki sauce*)
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1½ tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon rice wine (mirin) or sherry
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon cornstarch

1. Prepare low carb pasta according to the package directions. If not using a bottled teriyaki sauce, mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil on medium-high in a large non-stick skillet. Add carrots and celery and saute for 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. Add remaining vegetables and continue to stir fry until tender crisp. Add sauce to pan and stir constantly until mixture has thickened slightly. Remove from heat. Drain cooked pasta and add to vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per serving (½ of recipe): 234.5 calories, 39.1 g carbohydrate, 4.8 g total fat, 0.62 g saturated fat, 4.8 g fiber, 10.6 g protein

*I recommend Stonewall Kitchen Garlic Teriyaki Sauce. It has exceptional flavor and about the same nutritional information per ¼ cup as the recipe provided.

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2009

How does this recipe compare with traditional Vegetable Lo Mein? This recipe is about half the calories and significantly lower in carbohydrates and fat. For comparison, the nutritional information for the same amount of traditional lo mein is 411 calories, 64 g carbohydrate, 11 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 4 g fiber and 5 g protein.

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