Hey, you, so what did you do this past weekend?
I struck a Billy Joel concert off my bucket list when the legendary musician performed at the Nationals Park here in DC on Saturday. I can’t remember how long I’ve been in love with Billy Joel’s music — it probably started when I watched Uptown Girl at the 1984 Grammys as a little girl, on a black-and-white television screen in my parents’ living room. I’ve waited forever to see him perform live, and it was worth every minute.
Desi and I went for long walks with Opie who actually wanted to walk, for a change, because it was quite beautiful here over the weekend and nothing like the average sticky, humid Washington summer day. Opie’s walks, we joke, are usually “sits” because he walks 10 steps, sits down for a few minutes to look around, stands up, considers which direction to walk in, and then takes another 1o steps before sitting down again. On and on this goes for another hour. But this past weekend, he was raring to go and even tried to chase a squirrel, something he hasn’t done in a long time. Way to go!
And finally, I made these amazing Stir-Fried Black Bean Noodles in Orange Sauce.
I found a box of black bean spaghetti at the store the other day. It is gluten-free and the ingredient list said, quite simply, black beans and water. And, of course, being bean-based, it is high in protein and fiber. I was sold.
The first recipe I tried are these Stir-Fry Black Bean Noodles. I was really in the mood for some Chinese and although the takeout near my home now offers delicious vegan options with seitan “chicken” and other faux meats, I wanted something cleaner and homemade.
So stir-fry it was, because I can’t think of another dish that’s faster and easier to make. So long as you have the right seasonings, you can get a great-tasting dish for very little effort. And who doesn’t love a healthy timesaver?
The black bean noodles are amazing. They taste different from your average wheat noodles and spaghetti, which is to be expected, but it is good different. And they have a slightly chewier texture which is actually perfect for stir-fry.
As always, when making a stir-fry, keep some ground rules in mind. Use a wok, of you have one, or a large saucepan with sloping sides. Set your wok on the highest heat you have available in your kitchen so the veggies cook fast but retain that wonderful bite. I actually used just a teaspoon of oil for about eight servings and the downside was that cleaning up the wok afterwards required some muscle power. But the dish itself was so good that no one missed the oil.
Because this was our whole meal, I added to the black bean spaghetti some vegan sausage that had been sitting in the refrigerator. I don’t often use faux meats, but they do add a good hit of protein when you want it. Keep in mind that most vegan sausages are wheat-based so if you used them, your final recipe would not be gluten-free. If you want a gluten-free meal, just leave out the sausage.
This recipe, with the sausage, has a whopping 33.7 grams of protein per serving. But if you were to leave out the sausage you’d save 65 calories per serving and you’d still get 26.7 grams of protein. Not bad.
Enjoy the recipe, all!
- 16 oz black bean spaghetti noodles (use another kind of noodle or spaghetti if you'd rather or if you don't get this where you live.). Break the noodles into 2-inch pieces and cook according to package directions. Breaking the noodles helps with mixing the noodles into the vegetables later, so don't skip this.
- 3 carrots, cut into strips (I like mine a little thick, but julienne them by all means)
- 3 cups of button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 vegan sausages, cut into 1-cm rings or crumbled (optional)
- 1-inch knob of ginger, minced
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- Juice of 1 orange
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp Sriracha sauce or any hot sauce
- Salt to taste
- Mix together the orange juice, maple syrup, soy sauce and Sriracha. Set aside.
- In a wok, heat the oil. Add the onions, carrots and green beans and cook, stirring all the time, until the vegetables are slightly tender but still have a bite. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for a minute.
- Add the ginger and garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the cooked noodles.
- Stir-fry for a few minutes, stirring frequently with tongs or a ladle. Add the orange-soy sauce mixture and sausage, if using. Mix well, turn off he heat, and serve hot.