Thursday, July 21, 2011

In the Kitchen with Tom: Ginger Noodle Stir-Fry

Today I have a healthy - and filling - recipe for you.  But before I get to that, some news!

I had my surgery follow-up, and all of the biopsies came back clear.  I was very happy to hear it, so I hopped over to Facebook, where I posted that the biopsies from my surgery were back, and I was "footloose and cancer-free." What I didn't realize was that many people interpret the phrase "cancer-free" as meaning "no longer have cancer."  So just to be clear about it here - I do not have (and have never had) cancer - my surgery was to help correct my troublesome reproductive system.  I do, however, have many loved ones who have faced and beaten cancer, and I'm always awed by their strength. May we all have that kind of strength in the face of illness.

Anyway, to celebrate my bill of health... I get to swim again! Fully recovered from surgery, and able to swim to my heart's content.  It's very timely, seeing as our upcoming Supper Club 600 is taking place poolside.

I'm feeling great, and that's probably a result from the recovery, as well as the exercise I've been able to do in the last week, and the good food I've been eating.  What good food have I been eating?  Well, let me show you an example!

I think most of you know what an excellent cook my husband is.  I think he's been my secret weapon in my weight loss journey, because he's always finding new ways of throwing food together that is both healthy and tasty.  Today's recipe - Ginger Noodle Stir-Fry - is one that Tom has developed over time, inspired by dinners his mom made when he was younger.  This dish is very warming, very filling, and excellent when enjoyed a few hours before a workout.  I try not to think of food as "comforting" these days, but there's no way around it: this is excellent healthy comfort food.

The recipe's two most important ingredients are right in its name.

Ginger root is such a warm, flavorful ingredient.  Growing up, we always had powdered ginger, but I'd never seen the root before Tom introduced me to it.  If you haven't used it fresh, you're in for a treat.  You can find it in most grocery stores, and though it looks odd and bulbous, don't be afraid of it - it tastes much better than powdered ginger.  You can chop off a piece from the root, peel it, and dice it - and throw it in as if it were garlic.  (In fact, we throw it in with garlic for this recipe.)

The noodles in question are a Japanese variety called soba.  They are made from buckwheat, which is not actually a grain - it's a fruit seed!  Buckwheat can actually be enjoyed by people who are unable to process gluten.  Soba does contain carbohydrates from the starch, but it also has a large amount of soluble fiber, plus it's a source of magnesium, B1 and B2.  It's a great swap for heavier pasta in a stir fry like this.

I believe I missed listing onion in this graphic, but it's there tucked in by the pepper and garlic.

Chop the pepper and onion, then saute in a Pam-sprayed pan for about 6 minutes, or until softened.


Then peel about an inch of ginger root, and dice into fine pieces, along with the garlic. 
Add both to the pepper/onion pan, and cook for about two minutes.


Next, chop the mushrooms, and cook with the pepper/onion pan for about 5 minutes, until they begin to release liquid.


Now, chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces, and then add to the pan with everything else. 
Add a tablespoon of light soy sauce, plus a dash of chili oiland sesame oil,
and cook for another 10 minutes, until it is tender.


As you soften the cauliflower, bring a pot of water to a boil. Then add the soba noodles and boil for about 3 minutes.


Drain the noodles, and add them to the pan. Toss briefly, and then transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy!

Because this dish includes a whole head of cauliflower, you can eat a nice-sized serving and still stay moderate in calories.  I usually eat a serving of protein and a piece of fruit to fill out the meal.

I usually eat about 2 cups, so my serving is around 230 calories or so.

What is your favorite Asian dish?  Tom and I would love to try our hand at replicating it for you, so let us know!  And, as always - take care of you.


  1. Yum yum, looks yummy! My favorite is Peanut sauce on rice noodles (with chili, garlic and ginger) I am not sure if there is any way to make them reasonable.

  2. *drool* That looks so good! I love soba noodles! And now I have learned a new fact about them (and about buckwheat!)

    I hope our pool warms up. I'd love to have you and Tom over for lunch and a swim! :)