I did it! I created chow mein with vegetable noodles.
Yes, I am proud of this one. I know a recipe is a winner if my husband eats it AND he knows I made it with spaghetti squash.
I love recreating take out favourites and turning them into lighter (just as yummy) versions of the real thing. I have done this with Greek, Mexican, and Thai foods. In fact, I did them all in one week. You can check out that adventure here.
I wasn’t sure I would be able to pull this off with Chinese food – but I DID! I DID! I DID! Ok- I am pretty excited about this one.
I texted pics of this to some of my favourite people right after I made it. Yeah….. If you are getting pictures of food texted to you, that means I really like you. And, if I am making you food, or brining it to you, that means you are stuck with me for life… sorry.
Instead of traditional noodles, I used spaghetti squash and spiralized cabbage to recreate the noodle feel, but with a fraction of the calories.
- Chow Mein Noodles – 230 calories per cup
- Shredded Cabbage – 17 calories per cup
- Spaghetti Squash – 3o calories per cup
This is actually quite a simple recipe to prep ahead. Chop your veggies, spiralize your veggies, and mix up the sauce. I think this took me less than 10 minutes. I even bought pre cut steak because I cut corners (I mean, be more efficient) wherever I can.
| Expert Tip #1 | Leave the meat and the sauce separate until cook day. I have found that letting meat sit in soy sauce base sauces makes the meat way too salty.
| Expert Tip #2 | No need to precook the squash. I microwave it when I get home from work… while the meat is cooking.
If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can chop the cabbage the old fashioned way. If you do have a spiralizer you should watch this video on how to spiralize cabbage, and you will never chop it again!
Once all the pre chopping is done on your prep day, the cook day is a breeze.
Here is how it all comes together to blow your mind with this amazing low carb dish.
Prep Ahead Low Carb Chow Mein
- 1 medium spagetti squash
- 1-2 cups of cubed steak or chicken
- 2 cups spiralized cabbage
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 can baby corn
- sesame seeds - garnish
- cashews - garnish
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 TBS sesame oil
- 2 TBS brown sugar
- 2 TBS sweet chilli sauce I use Thai Kitchen brand
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 inch ginger minced
- Spiralize the cabbage
- Chop carrots
- Chop green onion
- Chop mushrooms
- Cube beef - if you didn't buy pre cubed
- Make Sauce - mix all sauce ingredients above.
- Slice spahgetti squash lengthwise and microwave for 5-7 minutes depending on the size of your squash.
- While the squash is in the microwave, pan fry the beef for 1-2 minutes and then add about 1/4 of the sauce and let simmer while the squash cooks in the microwave.
- The sauce will thicken and caramelize a bit (because of the brown sugar and sweet chilli sauce)
- Remove beef from the pan.
- Fry all of the veggies in a a couple table spoons of oil ( except the cabbage and squash).
- Once the microwaved squash is cooled, scoop out the seeds and discard. Take a fork and pull the spaghetti squash flesh off the skin.
- Once the other veggies are cooked, add the sauce, squash and cabbage until heated. Don't overcook!
- Garnish with cashews (optional), green onions, and sesame seeds.
So, there you have it, a lightened up Chinese food option!