Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Asian turkey meatballs with soba noodles

I just came back from a chilly bike ride. The first day of April has arrived and you'd never know it by the temperatures in southern Idaho. We're at least 10 degrees below normal. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself if you have stomach issues, like IBS. Admittedly, sometimes when you don't feel well, it can be difficult to do. I find that it takes my mind away from my chronic issues and most of the time, makes me feel better. Exercise doesn't cure everything but it definitely helps.

A bowl of soba (buckwheat) noodles with spicy veggies and Asian meatballs sounds like just the ticket for a cold spring day. Here's the recipe:

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Soba Noodles
(serves 3-4)

For the Meatballs
4 green onions, chopped
One-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. low-sodium, wheat-free soy sauce
2-4 tablespoons fresh finely chopped mint or cilantro
1 T. lime juice
1 pound lean ground turkey

For the Soba Noodles and Veggies
8 ounces buckwheat soba noodles (make sure you get the ones that are 100 percent buckwheat)
1/3 cup low-sodium, wheat-free soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
one-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. lime juice
1 T. agave nectar
1/2 cup or more chicken broth
2-4 T. minced fresh mint or cilantro or both
2 medium yellow squash, peeled, halved and cut into moons
2 medium zucchini, peeled, halved and cut into moons
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
6 cups bok choy, sliced (Try baby bok choy if you can find it.)
1 T. vegetable oil
Note: If you want more veggies, go ahead. They're good for you. Try some broccoli, kale or Chinese cabbage.


For the meatballs
Place in the food processor: green onions, ginger, garlic and 3 T. of soy sauce, cilantro/mint and lime juice. Pulse until finely ground. Add the meat and continue to process to combine. Roll the meat into meatballs. Brown the meatballs in a skillet with some oil. Place the meatballs in the oven on low to keep them warm while preparing the other ingredients.

For the noodles and veggies
Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Prepare the vegetables. Heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add the squash and onions, and stir fry until the vegetables are just beginning to get tender. Add the bok choy and mushrooms, and 2-4 T. of water or chicken broth, cover with a lid. Cook until the bok choy and mushrooms are tender.

To a measuring cup, add chicken broth, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, mint/cilantro and agave nectar. If you want your soba noodles more soup-like, add more chicken broth. Add to the vegetables and stir well. Cook until heated through.

To serve, place some soba noodles in a bowl, top with a generous helping of veggies in sauce, and a 3-4 meatballs. Enjoy your delicious meal!

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