On even the busiest of days, you can whip up a delicious and healthy meal for your family with this Veggie Ramen Stir-Fry!
Please indulge me in a brief, work related rant. What else is new? I know. I can hear you… BUT this is relevant to this recipe. Trust me.
So, it’s the end of March, which means it’s quarter close as we call it. No amount of prep-work I did this quarter made for a smooth reporting cycle. Know why? You just can’t predict the unpredictable.
So, there I am on Friday diligently updating the remainder of the 18 spreadsheets I had to fix before we closed the quarter. Okay, let me rewind a minute. We have a system that we’ve been putting in place using Oracle Hyperion to pull data into an online dashboard and Excel using Smartview. It’s like a Google search with expense data instead of “how to spell nekkid.” Sorry, I was reading that post this morning…
Anyway, this is the first quarter where our overhead expenses are being run through this system. That’s percentage based spread out across a several hundreds of unique entities. I know. I’ve lost you. It’s okay. Before, it was a simple spreadsheet – well not simple but you get the idea – that was easily updated, viewed, etc. This Hyperion thing? I can’t see the results. I just have to trust them.
And I have to update 18…count ’em EIGHTEEN…different spreadsheets with two new formulas. All the while prepare my accounts, obligations, etc. for quarter close and the all stop – meaning nothing else can change in the system. You see where I’m headed? I had the last 6 to do on Friday. The easiest 6 ever. I mean, these six only had less than 10 entities whereas the other 12 have HUNDREDS of entities and thousands of rows.
Then it happened. “Unable to connect to the S drive.” Are you kidding me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Now of all times, the server is going to crash? Well, it’s still early. Maybe they’ll get it up and running quickly. Yeah, no. The server is up several hours later, the program that we’re all reliant on needs to be restarted. The only two people that have completed this task successfully are out of town. Yeah. No.
Needless to say, it wasn’t the most stellar quarter close for me. That’s when, on days like this, you need a recipe that’s super quick. Because you’re 1 – exhausted, 2 – cranky, and 3 – just want to put a straw in a bottle and drink your dinner. Number three is never very good. So, this recipe is for days like this one.
Have pasta? Check! Have frozen broccoli? Check! Onions, peppers, and carrots? Check, check, and check! The rest are staple pantry ingredients for us, so we always have those on hand. Actually, pasta is pretty much a pantry staple, too. And since I’m not a huge fan of the huge pastas, we always have vermicelli, angel hair, thin spaghetti – you name it! Skinny pasta is all you find casa de AKHA.
See that broccoli? And that mushroom? There’s a hint of carrot there, too. With all that color you KNOW it’s something that’s healthy and delicious. Yes, there’s sodium in the soy, but I’ve chosen the reduced sodium tamari soy. I know I’ve raved about tamari soy in the past. If you haven’t tried you really should. It has such a rich flavor that I just don’t get from regular soy; so it’s the only soy you’re going to find in my pantry. If I have the other stuff, then it means that ALL THE STORES were out tamari soy. Oh, and I hear it’s gluten free? Don’t quote me on that one.
And that, my dear readers, is one plate of delicious goodness! I was tired. I was cranky. The last thing I wanted to do was deal with some dinner recipe where I had grandiose plans of the time I had to spend in the kitchen. I forget sometimes that I’m tired when I get home. Sitting in the comfort of my living room making the menu on my laptop me forgets there’s a work me that actually has to COOK THIS STUFF when I get home from work. I really wish they’d meet. It would be an interesting conversation, I bet!
If you’re looking to serve these with some delicious egg rolls, like we usually do, turn the oven on before you walk the dog. That way it’s good and hot for you and you can cook up the egg rolls while you’re whipping up this dinner.
Is it just us? Or do all Asian style meals end with either a spring roll or egg roll? No? Just us? Then what do YOU end your meals with?
- 8 ounces uncooked ramen noodles (or thin spaghetti, angel hair, or other thin pasta)
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium, tamari soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chile paste
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1/2 cup grated carrot
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
- 14 ounces frozen broccoli, thawed
- Cook the pasta, omitting the salt and oil, until just shy of al dente.
- Combine the first seven ingredients (soy sauce through crushed red pepper) in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place a large skillet coated with cooking spray over high heat. Add the onion and garlic while the pan is heating up. When it begins to become fragrant, add the carrot, and onion. Stir fry 1 to 2 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Stir in the mushrooms and the broccoli. Continue to cooking until the mushrooms release their juices and the broccoli is heated through; about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Toss the pasta with the vegetables in the pan. Pour the sauce over the noddle mixture and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Allow the pasta to finish cooking in the pan.
- Serve garnished with green onions, sesame seeds, or some egg rolls.