I am a huge fan of pasta, but eating the variety of shapes and sizes has taken some getting used to over the years. Largely I choose either a cappellini or a short, rounded noodle. In the past, anytime I went to an Italian or Thai restaurant, I avoided all flat and wide noodles. I just felt they would actually taste differently! One day I tried pappardelle at an exquisite and warm Italian restaurant in Monterrey, California. The freshly-made noodles left me much more open-minded to try more! I then had spicy noodles at a Thai restaurant and I was completely hooked! These uniquely wide egg-based noodles leave not a thing to be desired!
Although the better part of the “no carb” craze is long gone, I think most of us know that simple carbohydrates are nothing to overdose on. Unused sugar turns to fat, and extra fat is rarely something to celebrate. When composing a meal, it is good to balance simple carbohydrates with complex ones like whole grains, and vegetables. Some have even said that vegetables should account for 50% of your food serving size, 25% for protein, and another 25% to be composed of simple carbs and fat. As the name implies, simple carbohydrates are simple for the body to break down and provide fewer healthy calories and not as long of an energy supply.
This very simplistic meal I have composed will provide all of the nutrients one needs, and all of the flavor the palate desires. Keep in mind that what makes stirfry so easy is its versatility. If you happen to not have some of the vegetables I list, use what you have. If you have special dietary needs, substitute as you find necessary.
You will need:
- 2 cups of raw baby spinach
- 1.5 cups of frozen or fresh French green beans
- 1/2 cup of frozen or fresh edamame
- Olive oil
- Minced garlic
- minced ginger
- soy sauce (light)
- Hoisin sauce
- 8 oz bag of pappardelle
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted cashews
1. Boil pasta according to directions and begin prepping vegetables to be cooked. Remember to cook pasta only to al dente and allow it to cool while you cook the vegetables.
2. In a large non-stick skillet or wok, add one tbsp of olive oil on HIGH heat. Once heated, add edamame and French green beans. Frozen, they should cook for about 5 minutes until almost tender.
French beans and edamame
3. Add 1 tsp of minced garlic, another tbsp of oil, and 2 cups of fresh spinach. Spinach wilts the fastest, so always cook this last. This should take only 2 to 3 minutes.
4. As spinach is nearly done, add 1 tsp of ginger. and 1 tbsp of the Hoisin sauce. Make sure it gets evenly distributed over the mixture.
5. When spinach is complete, turn off the heat and allow the residual heat to help the sauce combine more easily. Add cooled and rinsed pasta slowly to the mixture, meanwhile adding another tbsp of Hoisin to better coat the noodles.
5. Top with cashews and serve.
Serves approximately 4, To make this a proper vegan dish, please use egg-free noodles