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That’s right, oil-free stir fried noodles…without the fry? I love noodles, and grew up eating noodles of all kinds from pasta, to udon but stir fried noodles in particular was one of my favourite dishes. As I got older, went vegan, developed a gluten allergy and became more conscious of nutrition, it slowly became a dish that I ate less and less frequently (bummer!).
The challenge for me was finding a noodle that was both vegan and gluten-free–some noodles contain eggs, and most noodles rely on gluten for their delightful chewiness. I also wanted to turn that childhood favourite into a slightly more nutritious dish because as we know, stir fries are usually pretty greasy and not very nutrient dense.
Enter these oil-free stir fried noodles, that are quick to make, packed with veggies and protein. They’re oil-free, but full of flavour and satisfy that takeout craving.
This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, oil free and refined sugar free. It’s highly customizable and comes together easily for a quick lunch or dinner.
For the most part, the recipe is your standard stir fried noodle recipe, calling for easy swaps for the base ingredients. For example, opting for gluten-free noodles vs. regular wheat noodles. That means you can absolutely use your favourite noodles if you have no issues with gluten (you lucky duck). If you’re missing any of the veggies I used, or have preferred alternatives, you can definitely use them too.
To make this dish a little more well rounded, I added lots of vibrant veg and tempeh as my plant protein of choice. You can also opt for a high protein legume noodle substitute to add even more protein to the dish (see below), or whole edamame beans. I made this recipe twice, and tried recently with a legume pasta, which brought each serving up to 30g+ plant protein! The process is fairly simple but I’ll share a few of my handy tips for making a successfully oil-less dish. The method is a bit different in comparison with the traditional method of cooking.
Keep in mind that rice noodles tend to absorb moisture and sauces more quickly, and may also not store as well for that reason (best served fresh!). Zoodles will create more moisture when cooking, so be mindful of over-cooking them.
I should note that although we’re not cooking with oil, we still want to make sure we’re eating our healthy fats. Bonus: it helps to keep the noodles from turning into one sticky mess, so I like to add a teaspoon or two of tahini to the sauce. It’s optional, and delicious without as well, but I love adding a little bit of healthy fat to my meals! When cooking without oil, I use non-stick cookware, and non-stick kitchen gear as well. I’ll include a few more pointers in the recipe. You can also check out this handy article by One Green Planet with additional oil-free stir fry tips.
Finally, I wanted to note that this recipe is a great one to make if you’re in a mixed diet household of different dietary preferences. You can easily add and remove ingredients to personalize it. For example, my parents, who aren’t vegan, like to enjoy their stir fries with your typical proteins, but we’ll both add our own protein choices (mine being plant-based) to our noodles. It’s versatile, easy to make and much healthier than your local takeout options. Enjoy!
If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and for a chance to be featured! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too!
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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