Dinner By Default

We’ve all been there before. It’s the end of a busy day, we’re committed to eating healthier as singles now than when we were in college, we get home – and facing us are plenty of fresh vegetables but no defrosted key ingredient, which to most people means protein (hopefully fish and poultry if you’re properly controlling what you keep around the house). For many singles, this is the ideal time for an effortless call for delivery. But for those seeking to lose or control weight and who are committed to that goal, there are simple solutions, quicker than delivery, right under your nose.

It starts with eggs. Yes, eggs. Not being a nutritionist or an M.D., the debate over eggs can be a confusing one. Conduct a little research online and one finds that for every expert decrying the perils of eggs, there is another expert claiming they are fine sources of protein in moderation. “Moderation” is the key to most nutrition plans, and in my own weight loss voyage, I utilize them largely as a go-to ingredient when I’ve failed to make better plans. Even the most ovo-phobic nutritionist would probably admit that two eggs are better than a large, stuffed-crust delivery pizza.

Still, something as simple as scrambled eggs generally lacks the variety of flavor and nutrients we want to end our day with. Not to mention, on their own, a little lackluster. But as the protein in a more innovative dish, the egg can be a little protein powerhouse in a dinner that also contains plenty of other, healthful things.

Following is an easy dish that’s been a helpful part of my own regimen and which features several ingredients I have found to be filling, healthy and leave me feeling as if I have done right by myself.

We’ll call it Egg Foo Not-So-Young:

Ingredients

1 whole egg plus one additional egg white, whipped together (substitute with all egg whites if you prefer)

1 serving buckwheat soba noodles* prepared as instructed on package

¼ cup chopped onions

1 chopped garlic close

½ cup chopped bell pepper

¼ cup chopped carrot

¼ cup chopped bok choy or any other cabbage – consider a pre-chopped slaw mix as a quick substitution

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon fish sauce (available at Asian, gourmet and specialty markets and a terrific secret ingredient in countless dishes)

1 teaspoon sriracha (an Asian hot sauce with a notable depth of flavor not found in most hot sauces)

¼ teaspoon 5-spice powder

¼ cup crushed unsalted peanuts or almonds

Salt and pepper to taste (don’t forget to compensate for soy sauce and fish sauce both bringing salt to the flavor palate)

 

Preparation

1. While easy soba noodles are in prep, lightly coat bottom of wok or fry pan with a mix of Canola and peanut oil and turn heat to medium-high

2. Just before pan smokes, add all vegetables, increase hurt and stir fry while soba noodles drain. Stir fry for approx. two minutes, stirring constantly. You aren’t looking for very soft here.

3. Add soy sauce, hot sauce, 5-spice powder  and fish sauce and continue stirring to incorporate for 30 seconds.

4. Add cooked, drained soba noodles, stir to incorporate for 30 seconds, then reduce heat to medium.

5. Add whipped eggs, let set for 10 seconds, and then stir well into mixture until fully cooked. Test and add salt and pepper as needed.

6. Remove from heat, top with crushed nuts and garnish with chopped scallions if you like.

 

Yields: 1- 1 ½ servings

Cook time: Less than 10 minutes

* Buckwheat soba noodles are among many new varieties of pasta/noodles that nutritionists claim are vastly superior to standard white pastas and have a delicious, slightly nutty flavor.

 

-Michael W. Sasser is Oklahoma Magazine’s senior editor and an award-winning journalist. Neither a medical nor nutrition expert, he shares his personal weight loss journey exclusively with Oklahoma Magazine readers. Reach him at editorsr@okmag.com.



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