Sunday, June 17, 2012

Meatless Monday: Asian-Style Noodle Soup

I hope everyone had a nice Father's Day with their dad, husband, grandfather, brother, friend, whoever this weekend. Poor Paul has a toothache, so his wasn't as grand as it could've been. We did go to a local fair and had some fun there, so I'm glad we at least did that.

Yesterday I had a craving for this simple noodle soup and decided to have it for dinner last night. It's perfect for Meatless Monday too, and you can make it in about 30 minutes! It's similar to those packages of instant ramen noodles you can get for less than a quarter at most grocery stores, only so much better and not such "cheap" quality...(a lot less sodium too!).

New Android means new (and better) camera

Asian-Style Noodle Soup
(serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

1 8 or 10 oz. package ramen noodles
6 bunches baby bok choy
4 cups vegetable broth or 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
2 cups water 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp ginger powder or 1/2 tsp diced ginger
1/2 tsp chili paste
Diced scallions and cilantro for garnish

Bring water and broth to a boil. If using the 2 bouillon cubes, add to boiling 6 cups of water. Add bok choy and noodles and boil for 5 minutes more. Bring soup down to a simmer and add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and chili paste, if using. The chili paste is very spicy, so if you and your family are sensitive to fiery flavors, omit chili paste. If some people like spicy and some don't, you can always just add to soup after it's ready. 

Some of the brands I used




Ramen

Cooking the bok

Add more seasonings to taste if desired, then serve into bowls when ready. Top each bowl with a little scallion and/or cilantro, plus chili paste if using. I like to add extra, but like I said before, it's very spicy hot so only add a little at a time if you're not familiar with using it. Kids should enjoy the long, curly noodles in this soup. Adding extra veggies will make it even healthier.


This soup can be considered a basic base for a heartier soup filled with vegetables such as these:
  • carrots
  • snow peas
  • bamboo shoots
  • tofu
  • peppers
  • onion
You can also add meat to it, but since it's Meatless Monday I didn't include any in the list of add-ins.

Bok choy is not a vegetable I use often, but after visiting the Hong Kong Supermarket in my area recently, I picked some up (mainly so I could try this other awesome vegetarian recipe that should be the star of next week's MM post!) and then got a craving for this soup. I make it quite often when I need a Chinese-food-and-soup fix. It's just so easy to make and very satisfying.

Anyway, back to the bok. Most Americans don't use bok choy in their average meal plan, but you can find it in most Asian food markets. I highly recommend using organic if you can find it, otherwise be sure to rinse it very well and chop off the hard stem ends like in the picture below.


Bok choy is also very good for you. Like other cruciferous vegetables, bok choy can help to prevent cancer. It also contains many vitamins and nutrients, like vitamins A, C, K and folate. Yet another benefit of bok choy is its blood pressure-regulating properties due to its low sodium content.


Try it in your next stir-fry or eat it raw in a salad. Honestly, I'm not fond of it raw due to it being very bitter-tasting, but many people do like it that way; it's also supposed to be the best way to eat it, health-wise.

Now it's your turn to share your Meatless Monday recipe! Please link up any meat-free dish you'd like below. Link as many as you want! Grab a button and spread the word! Thanks for stopping by :)
 



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1 comment:

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