Spicy Pork Noodles with Chinese Broccoli

Spicy Pork Noodles with Chinese Broccoli | ericajulson.com

So, have you ever had Chinese broccoli??

If not…. we need to talk. Because you’re missing out.

Chinese broccoli, also known as gai lan, is simply fabulous.

It looks like this:

Chinese Broccoli | ericajulson.com

And you can find it at your local farmers market or nearby Chinese market.

I particularly love this vegetable because it has nice toothsome stems, but at the same time, tender leaves and florets.

It tastes very similar to broccoli raab, with a slightly bitter edge, especially in the stems.

It stir fries quickly, and is perfect on its own with just a little oyster sauce, or added to more complex dishes, like this one 🙂

This dish was partially inspired by the dan dan noodles served at Lukshon here in LA (thanks Sang Yoon!).

Real dan dan noodles are smothered in a spicy Szechuan oil that is tongue-burningly hot. My version gets its spice from a combination of Sriracha, red pepper flakes, and hot sesame oil.

You simple stir fry up some Chinese broccoli, whisk together a quick sauce, brown some pork, & then toss everything all together.

The result: a warm spicy pot of noodles that far surpasses any takeout.

I hope you enjoy.

Noodles with Chinese Broccoli | ericajulson.com

Spicy Pork Noodles with Chinese Broccoli
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 inch bunch Chinese broccoli, chopped into 1 pieces
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1 ¼ cup chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons black bean sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 10 oz dried lo mein noodles
  • 1 cup chopped green onion
  • generous drizzle of hot sesame oil
Instructions
  1. Heat two tablespoons of peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Add the Chinese broccoli and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the stems are crisp-tender, roughly 10 to 15 minutes. When the broccoli is crisp tender, remove from the pan into a bowl and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together ½ cup chicken broth, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon Sriracha, and 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce. Whisk until combined, and set aside.
  3. Add two more tablespoons peanut oil to the pan & set over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork and sauté, breaking up with a spatula into tiny bits. Cook for roughly 10 minutes until browned.
  4. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
  5. Add the ground black pepper, black bean sauce, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, ¾ cup chicken broth, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar. Stir to combine, and cook for a few more minutes until evaporated. Turn off the heat & let the pork rest in the pan until the noodles are ready.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and add the noodles. Cook for 5 minutes (or according to package directions) until tender, & drain.

  7. Add the noodles to the pan with the pork. Add the reserved sauce from earlier, & cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened slightly. 

  8. Add the Chinese broccoli & green onion and toss to combine. Drizzle liberally with hot sesame oil & serve.

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Simple Side Salad

Simple Side Salad | ericajulson.com

I try to make it a habit to eat veggies at least 3x per day.

That could mean breakfast-lunch-dinner, or it could just be lunch & dinner with a snack or two sprinkled in.

This is important, since the typical American diet is sorely lacking in fresh produce- especially green leafy veg! Did you know that nearly 1/4th of the general American public (22.6%) doesn’t even consume veggies once per day?? At the very minimum, you should aim for 2-3 cups of vegetables each and every day.

Vegetables are truly nature’s medicine.

They provide us with powerful phytochemicals that slash our risk of developing many chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and even dementia. We co-evolved alongside plants, and our body literally requires them for good health!

One of the easiest ways to include some veg at dinner is to serve a simple side salad.

Now I’m not talking anything crazy. No need to dice a zillion vegetables or labor over a complicated dressing.

In fact, my favorite simple side salad is just that.

Simple.

It features fresh delicate baby greens tossed with a classic red wine vinaigrette.

And that’s it. No heavy vegetables or add-ins. Just lightly dressed baby greens.

And don’t be deceived. Although this salad is super simple, it’s also crazy delicious.

The homemade vinaigrette is the perfect complement to the slight bite of tender greens. The tang from the vinegar, creaminess from the Dijon, and delectable hint of garlic on the back end make this salad seriously addictive.

Try serving this Simple Side Salad alongside pasta dishes, grilled meats, or even at family gatherings. But watch out, it disappears quickly!

Favorite Simple Side Salad Recipe | ericajulson.com

Simple Side Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 oz mixed baby greens
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, garlic, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Season with fresh cracked salt & pepper to taste and whisk again until well combined.
  2. Place the baby greens in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with just enough dressing to coat. (Be careful not to over-dress or you’ll end up with a limp salad!)
  3. Serve immediately.

 

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Energy-Boosting Superfood Smoothie Bowls

Smoothie Bowl Edit

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Smoothie bowls are ALL the rage lately! #smoothiebowl has over 127,000 photos on Instagram, and #acaibowl has almost 200,000!

They can be whipped up in just a few minutes, and are refreshing and satisfying on a hot summer morning. I personally love them after a good morning sweat session. You can feel the nourishing power spreading throughout your whole body!

What is a smoothie bowl?

It’s basically an extra thick smoothie, poured into a bowl and topped with all your favorite mix-ins. You eat it with a spoon, so it’s super satisfying and feels more like a meal than your typical smoothie-in-a-glass.

Making the smoothie:

Simply whip up a thicker version of your favorite smoothie! There are a few ways to easily thicken it up:

– add a bunch of ice cubes

– use frozen fruit and/or bananas

– add a little less liquid than usual

– add protein powder or yogurt to bump up the creaminess

 

Some of my favorite smoothie combos are:

– frozen strawberries, banana, orange juice, and ice

– frozen mango, frozen blueberries, banana, yogurt, spinach, and milk

– pineapple, kiwi, cucumber, kale, avocado, and water

 

Topping with superfoods:

My favorite part about smoothie bowls is topping it with a bajillion yummy goodies.

The toppings are where you can really bump up the nutrient power of your smoothie and take things to a whole nother level.

Here are some the best options:

– Fresh sliced fruit or berries: Yes, I know, you already put fruit in your smoothie, but having solid bites of banana, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc. really makes the smoothie bowl special. It feels much more like a meal, and the fresh fruit only highlights the original flavors of the smoothie.

Seeds: Try ground flax seed to add plant-based omega-3’s, hemp hearts for a yummy nutty flavor and vegetarian complete protein, or chia seeds for omega-3’s and extra fiber.

Nuts: I love crushed walnuts in my smoothie bowls, but macadamia nuts, slivered almonds, or toasted pecans also add a great crunch. Plus, by adding healthy fats to your smoothie, your body will absorb more of the fat-soluble nutrients like carotenes from fruits and veggies and vitamin K from leafy greens.

Bee pollen: You can purchase local bee pollen from farms in your area. These little tiny yellow, orange, and purple colored balls of pollen and bee secretions are rich in protein, carbs, and antioxidants, and are a great smoothie bowl addition. Bee pollen may have anti-allergenic, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory effects. Please be aware that allergic reactions to bee pollen ingestion have been reported, so be careful if you are highly sensitive! Also talk to your doctor about possible medication interactions, as an interaction with warfarin has been suspected.

Matcha: Matcha is powdered green tea leaves. It a beautiful vibrant green color, and adds a powerful hit of polyphenols, other antioxidants, and caffeine. Bonus! Green tea extract may lower blood glucose levels in those who are borderline diabetic. Awesome!

– Goji berries: Goji berries are the new dried-fruit favorite. They’re absolutely delicious, and pack a potent antioxidant punch. Taking goji berries has even been shown to boost the effectiveness of the flu vaccine in chinese men! Again, if you have a history of food allergies, be careful when trying goji berries, as allergic reactions have been reported.

– Maca root powder: Maca is a root vegetable in the cruciferous family, and like all cruciferous veggies, contains glucosinolates, which have powerful anti-cancer effects. Traditional cultures tout its energizing and aphrodisiac effects 😉 Maca can have a strong flavor, so try it out and see what you think!

Cacao: If you want to add a chocolate punch to your smoothie, sprinkle it with cacao powder or cacao nibs. It’s filled with antioxidants to keep your body running at its prime, and tastes divinely decadent.You get the rich taste of dark chocolate without the added sugar. Yum!

– Muesli: This simple blend of rolled oats and dried fruit is a healthier alternative to granola. It has all the same yummy staple ingredients, but no added sugars. It adds bulk and fiber to your smoothie, keeping you fuller much longer.

If smoothie bowls sound exciting, but you’re pressed for time in the morning, I recommend creating smoothie packs in your freezer. Place 1 banana, some fresh or frozen berries, and greens, like spinach or kale, into a freezer bag. Freeze a few bags worth over the weekend, then just dump the contents in your blender in the morning, add a few ice cubes and some liquid, and you have an instant smoothie with almost no clean up. You can even make them in mason jars or tupperware and take them on the go if you’re short on time. Smoothie bowls are really the best!

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