I love eating vegetables. I love drinking vegetable juice. I love smoothies with vegetables. I love shopping for vegetables at the farmers market. I love growing vegetables. I FRIGGIN’ LOVE VEGETABLES! And…I’m a mom of two teenage boys who until relatively recently hated most vegetables. This seemed really unfair to me. I took it personally. And felt like I had somehow failed as a mom.
I mean, come on, this is a big part of my life and I was unable to share it with my kids. Over the years, I would talk to other moms whose kids ate vegetables and pretty much whatever was served for dinner. I’d hear things like: “I’m not a short-order cook,” or “They have to at least try a tasting portion.” Well, this never, I mean never, worked in my house. It always lead to drama at the dinner table which took all of the fun out of our family dinner. I want that time to be one where we share and laugh and connect…not a time to argue, fight or negotiate.
So I have patiently waited and hoped and hoped and waited that one day my kids would at least become a little curious about the green/orange/red/purple stuff on my plate that I have been oooohing and ahhhhhing about all these years. So it took a while. A very long while. But today, my boys are willing to try a lot of new vegetables. And, if you can believe it, this stir fry is one of their favorites meals. Take a look at all those gorgeous vegetables!!! It makes my heart sing.
I love this recipe because it’s super easy and you can use whatever you have in the refrigerator. I’ll tell you what I used, but please add or delete whatever you’d like. The noodles are actually brown rice spaghetti. I love the brand Tinkyada Pasta Joy. It’s by far my favorite gluten free noodle. On the package, it claims to have good consistent texture that is not mushy. And it’s true, the texture is perfect. You could substitute an Asian noodle here and it would work well too.
Honestly, there is not much to this. Make the pasta. Stir fry the vegetables. I like to use a wok, but a large skillet will work just fine. Make the sauce (which includes ketchup, trust me on this, it’s great). Mix it all together and you have a kid-friendly, tasty dinner in not much time at all. Really, the only thing that is time consuming is prepping and chopping the vegetables. But it’s worth it, especially when you can get everyone involved with some task. The night we made this, we were all bopping around the kitchen listening to the Dave Matthews Band. Before I know it, these guys are going to be in college and this time will be a cherished memory…one that includes veggies. 🙂
Easy Noodle Stir Fry
Serves 4 (including two teenage boys)
1 16oz package brown rice spaghetti noodles or other rice pasta
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 cups baby bok choy, chopped
1 1/2 cups snow peas
2 large carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cup cabbage mix
1 cup broccoli florets
1 red pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
6 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin
2 tsp sesame oil
4 Tbsp organic ketchup (yep, ketchup)
Make pasta according to package directions. Be sure to rinse after draining the pasta for the best consistency.
Heat a wok or large skillet to medium high. Add coconut oil. Add fresh ginger and garlic and saute briefly. Add remaining vegetables and stir fry about 10 minutes to soften.
In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for sauce. Adjust to your taste.
Pour sauce over cooked vegetables. In a large shallow bowl, combine pasta with vegetables. Top with sesame seeds, if desired (my boys do not desire this). Add a little sea salt if you’d like.
Enjoy a stress-free meal with your family.