Kim is a holistic health coach and a toxic-free lifestyle consultant. She obtained her studies from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Quick and Easy Meal For Family of 6 for Under $15
Growing up, my siblings and I always ate together at the dinner table. Up until my teenage years, when I was quite busy with school and sporting events, I still found time to eat dinner at home. No matter what extracurricular activities or mountain-high pile of homework that we had, we always made sure that we were in the kitchen.
My brother liked to set the table, as I enjoyed watching my mother cook or help her serve the rice. My sister, on the other hand, just enjoyed eating. Large bowls of noodles were common dishes that my mother cooked, since it was cheap and filling.
Now that I look back on the efforts that my mother made, I realized how important it is to eat a family dinner together. At the time I didn't know it, but it shaped our family and created a tight bond forever, a tradition that I will carry on with my future kids.
Below you will find a quick and easy recipe for stir-fry udon noodles, a tweaked version of the original yaki udon. The ingredients are easy to throw together. This is a great family and will not put a dent in your grocery budget.
Pre-Cooked Udon Noodles Save Me a Lot of Time!
Udon Noodle Recipe: "Asian Sphagetti"
My dear friend from Chicago calls this dish "Asian spaghetti," especially when she slurps up the strand of thick Udon noodles coated with a mild sauce.
Udon noodles are originally from Japan, and are usually cooked in a soy and Mirin broth. You can now find instant pre-made packages of udon noodles sold in the supermarkets, and even Costco.
Yaki udon is a stir fried dish that is topped with some shaved bonito flakes and pickled ginger. I decided to make a different version that incorporates low fat ground turkey, shitake mushrooms, and a variety of fresh vegetables.
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I love the fact that udon noodles have a neutral flavor that allows it to play nicely with any strong-flavored dishes. It's soft, with a chewy texture similar to over cooked spaghetti. It's twice the size of ramen noodles, yet more well rounded than soba noodles.
This udon noodle recipe is so versatile! You can use any vegetables that you have in the refrigerator. Same goes with the protein of choice—ground turkey, ground beef, chicken, tofu, or even tempeh. I do recommend the shitake mushrooms since they really add a nice flavor and texture. The sprouts add a crunch, bringing the texture of the dish to another level. The udon noodle itself is simply fun to eat.
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Stir Fry Udon Noodles Recipe
- 6 individual packages of udon noodles ($6)
- 1 lb ground turkey* ($4)
- 5-6 cups of shredded vegetables of your choice** ($2)
- 2 tbsp each of soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, tamari sauce, oyster sauce ($1)
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
- 2 tbsp chili oil
- 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
- 1 tbsp of minced garlic
- 1 small white onion
- 1 cup of green onions
- 1 tbsp of organic rice vinegar
- Prepare your sauce by combining the soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, tamari sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar, chili oil, rice vinegar, and arrowroot powder. Set aside.
- Chop all of your vegetables lengthwise. You can use frozen packaged vegetables to save more time.
- Use sesame oil to heat up your wok.
- Add in garlic and white onions, sauté for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until they're soft. Optional: Add a pinch of sea salt to bring out the sweetness of the onions.
- Add in vegetables, sauté until it's soft to your liking.
- Add in udon noodles and pour in the sauce. Add the sprouts and green onions last because these cook really fast. Continue to sauté for another minute until everything is well combined.
*Protein: ground turkey, chicken, tofu, beef
**Vegetables: Shitake mushrooms, bell pepper, sprouts, cabbage, broccoli
- The arrowroot powder (or corn starch) is added to thicken up the sauce. This is completely optional. Some people don't prefer the thick sauce to cling to the noodles so they leave it out.
- The different combination of soy sauce, teriyaki, and oyster sauce gives the flavor profile more depth. However, if you don't have all the sauces available, you can leave either oyster or tamari sauce out. The dish will still taste great!
- As always, use organic sauces whenever possible to avoid added preservatives, etc.