It's National Noodle Month, and we're counting off the easiest and best noodle dishes there is for busy foodies who want to have something filling and delicious on their dinner tables.
Noodles, depending on its main ingredients, are generally rich in carbohydrates and protein. Though health buffs trying to lose weight are usually intimidated by noodles's calories, it all actually depends on what you cook it with.
Fresh vegetables and lean meat are the best stuff to cook noodles with, for a yummy balanced meal. For those who are extra careful about white carbs, there are whole wheat noodle options that you can try, making your noodle dish a bit more wholesome and richer in fiber.
There is a belief in Chinese culture that noodles signify long life - which explains why they don't cut off noodles when eating. Beliefs and superstitions aside, noodles paired with vegetables and lean meat can really give you a healthy, long life by giving the body the nutrients and vitamins it needs.
Here are some great Asian noodle recipes that will instantly transport your taste buds to the East. These are perfect dishes to make when your family is craving for Chinese or Thai takeout, but you'd rather a healthier version without much preservatives and MSG. Enjoy!
Japanese Shrimp Noodles (Jersey Girl Cooks)
Jersey Girl Cooks offers a great Japanese-style noodle recipe made healthy and delicious with shrimps, spinach, red pepper, peas, and wheat spaghetti. You can easily change the taste profile of this dish by simply changing the protein - substitute chicken or lean beef for shrimps to create another sumptuous dish.
"Try different veggies and see what you like. I know this dinner will be around many times while I just vary a few ingredients."
- ½ lb whole wheat spaghetti
- 2 TBS canola oil
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 TBS chopped garlic
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 9 oz fresh baby spinach
- ½ cup soy ginger dressing ( I used a low fat and low sodium one)
- 1 lb cooked shrimp, cleaned and deveined
- 2 TBS sesame seeds
- Sriracha sauce, to taste
Beef Noodle Stir Fry (Damn Delicious)
If you love beef and broccoli, then you'll certainly love this Beef Noodle Stir Fry. This dish is fairly easy to make, and will surely find its way to your family's list of favorites. Frozen udon is used in this recipe, but you can easily substitute it with whole wheat noodles or spaghetti, if you want the extra fiber.
"The easiest stir fry ever! And you can add in your favorite veggies, making this to be the perfect clean-out-the-fridge type meal!"
- 2 (7-ounce) refrigerated udon noodles, seasoning sauce packets discarded*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces beef top sirloin filet, thinly sliced across the grain
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 6 ounces broccoli florets
- 2 carrots, diced
For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
20-Minute Spicy Thai Noodle Bowls (Life Made Simple)
This is a great complete dinner meal for anyone who loves Thai food! If you're eating this with kids who may not tolerate spicy food that well, you can decrease the amount of Sriracha and eliminate crushed red pepper flakes. The next time you come across an Asian store, make sure to grab the three pantry staples needed to make this recipe - sesame oil, rice vinegar and soy sauce. A bottle of each can make several delicious Asian dishes including this one!
"Let me tell you… it doesn’t get any easier than this! Just 20 minutes start to finish and you’ve got a pot full of sweet, spicy, peanuty noodles. Mmmm."
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- ¼ c. vegetable or canola oil
- 1½ tsp. sesame oil
- 5 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. rice vinegar
- ½ tsp. Sriracha (more to taste)*
- ¼ c. peanut butter
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green onion, minced
- ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, julienned
- ⅓ c. cilantro, chopped
- ½ c. dry roasted peanuts (I used Planters), chopped and whole
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
Make cooking a lot easier and more enjoyable by using good quality silicone baking mats. Not only are silicone mats sturdy and durable. Because they're non-stick, you can also cut your clean-up time in half.