Easy Weeknight Stir-fry with Noodle Cake

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I joined two borrowed cooking techniques for this recipe.  In Nava Atlas’ cookbook, Vegetarian Express, she seasons tempeh for a fajita recipe with soy sauce and chili powder.  It makes a nice combination and works surprisingly well in Asian-inspired dishes.  As an alternative to the usual rice side dish, I took inspiration from a noodle cake recipe from Vegetarian Times to round out this meal.  (If you’d like to see how this recipe fits into a week of dinners from Trader Joe’s, take a peek at the menu.)

A twist on the usual stir-fry meal

Easy Weeknight Stir-fry with Noodle Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Stir-fry
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz. tempeh, cut into about 25 or 30 chunks
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ leek, cut lengthwise and then sliced into half-moons (about ½ cup)
  • 1 red pepper, cut in large dice
  • ½ cup baby carrots, cut in half
  • ½ cup cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1½ cups broccoli, cut into bite-sizes pieces
  • 3 cups snow peas, cut in half
  • ¼ cup teriyaki sauce with pineapple juice
Noodle Cake
  • 16 oz. capellini or angel hair pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
Stir-fry
  1. Heat toasted sesame oil and 2 teaspoons of olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh chunks and cook several minutes until browned on all sides.
  2. Remove from pan and sprinkle with soy sauce and chili powder. Toss to coat and set aside.
  3. Keep skillet on the stove, increase heat to medium-high and add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add leek and cook for just one minute until softened.
  4. Add red pepper and carrots next and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add cauliflower and cook for another 1 minute, then broccoli and snow peas. Cook for 1 minute more, add teriyaki sauce, cover and cook until vegetables are tender-crisp, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add tempeh to vegetables and stir until heated through.
  7. Serve with rice or noodle cake.
Noodle Cake
  1. Bring a medium pan of salted water to a boil. Add capellini or angel hair, cook according to package directions, and drain.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium-to-large skillet over medium heat. Add cooked noodles and spread evenly to cover bottom of pan. Let cook 2-4 minutes or until brown and crispy.
  3. Then, invert onto a plate and slide noodle cake back into skillet to brown the other side. Cook 2-4 minutes until crispy.
  4. Remove from pan and cut into quarters.
Notes
Nutrition Info Per Serving with Suggested Noodle Cake Accompaniment: Calories: 715 Fat: 18 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Carbohydrate: 109 g Sugar: 16 g Sodium: 472 mg Fiber: 13 g Protein: 29 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

Inspired by two cooking techniques. In Nava Atlas’ cookbook, Vegetarian Express, she seasons tempeh for a fajita recipe with soy sauce and chili powder. It makes a nice combination and works surprisingly well in Asian-inspired dishes. As an alternative to the usual rice side dish, I took inspiration from a noodle cake recipe from Vegetarian Times.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Serving size: 1.5 cups Calories: 285 Fat: 13 g Saturated fat: 2 g Carbohydrates: 27 g Sugar: 12 g Sodium: 472 mg Fiber: 9 g Protein: 15 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

Crispy noodle cake, fresh out of the skillet


Suggested accompaniment: 1/4 noodle cake

 

Easy Weeknight Stir-fry with Noodle Cake Shopping List

8 oz. Trader Joe’s (TJ’s) Organic 3-Grain Tempeh ($1.69)
2 Count TJ’s Organics Organic Washington Leeks* ($2.79)
2 Count TJ’s Red Bell Peppers* ($2.29)
12 oz. TJ’s Vegetable Medley (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots) ($2.29)
9 oz. TJ’s Snow Peas ($2.29)
20 oz. TJ’s Island Soyaki Sauce* ($3.69)
Toasted sesame oil**
Olive oil**
Reduced sodium soy sauce**
Chili powder***

Subtotal   ($15.04)

Recommended Accompaniment:

16 oz. TJ’s Italian Capellini pasta ($0.99)

 

TOTAL with Accompaniment  ($16.03)

*Will have some left after using for this meal
**Assumed to be pantry staples, but available for purchase at TJ’s if needed
***Assumed to be a pantry staple; unfortunately not available at TJ’s

 

What you’ll need on hand for this meal

Additional notes:

  • Can I trim anywhere to save calories?  I cut the noodle cake into four equal pieces which is reflected in the nutrition analysis above.  However, I realized as I was eating it that it was quite a generous portion.  To save calories, you could cut it into 6 pieces instead.  I’d still divide the veggies into just four servings.  Save the two extra “pieces” of noodle to enjoy a different way, like with marinara sauce.  Also, oil was a big contributor to calories in this recipe.  If you could get by with less, you’d knock the number down a bit.
  • This recipe just happens to be vegan.  I think sometimes people get apprehensive when they hear that a meal is vegetarian or vegan.  If you just said “we’re having stir-fry for dinner” without announcing that it was meat-free and dairy-free, people might be surprised that they’d eaten a vegan meal and actually enjoyed it.  (Of course in this case, the tempeh might give it away.)
  • Tempeh is easy to use and tasty.  Tempeh might be unfamiliar to many, but I find its firmness more appealing than tofu for folks who are just beginning to branch out with trying plant proteins.  It browns nicely and smells warm and savory while it’s cooking.

Do you find you have to be stealthy to get your family to eat better?  Or are they pretty accepting of new foods?

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