Makeshift Vegetarian Lo Mein


I hate wasting leftover vegetable odds & ends, but it happens more than I’d like to admit. So today I decided to salvage some leftover coleslaw mix & aging celery and put them to good use. I found a chicken chow mein recipe from Cooking Classy & decided to adapt it based on my tastes/what I had on hand. I also wanted to make a vegetarian version, since I’ve honestly scrapped the whole keto diet trial so I can focus on more vegetarian recipes. Big switch, right?

I’ve gone back & forth for ages over whether I should go with a keto diet or a vegetarian diet. They’re not entirely mutually exclusive, but a vegetarian diet does make the whole keto thing a lot more difficult. I just don’t think keto/LCHF is for me, really. I don’t feel great when I’m eating a lot of fat. Plus, I freaking love beans & whole grains & starchier veg & fruit. And I don’t feel comfortable with such a high/frequent consumption of animal protein. Not that I give two flying flips if anyone else does it, because I strongly believe you’ve gotta do what’s right for you. I would ethically looove to be a vegetarian (or a vegan), but…beef. I can leave behind almost every other meat out there, but I have a lifelong love affair with beef.

So I’m trying to just calm down about the whole damn thing. Eat more vegetarian meals. Focus on lowering my refined carb intake. Explore other protein sources. Maybe I’ll finally become a vegetarian one day, who knows. I’m even considering trying another month without meat. We did this last year (still shocked that D agreed to join me!) and I made it two weeks before I caved in and had a burger. But “Meat-free May” has a nice ring to it & it’s a good time for fresh produce, so we’ll see. If I do, you better believe this lo mein will be on the menu.



For the noodles

8oz of thin whole-wheat spaghetti noodles (I just made a 16oz box & saved the rest for something else)
1 heaping cup thinly-sliced celery (used 3 large stalks)
4 1/2 cups shredded coleslaw mix
1 1/2 cups frozen chopped onion (you could use fresh onions, but I’m #lazy)
8oz bag of frozen shelled edamame, heated in microwave according to directions
1 heaping tsp jarred minced garlic (again, use fresh if you care that much)
olive oil, to coat the pan
sesame seeds, optional

For the Sauce

5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper

  1. Mix sauce ingredients  & set aside.
  2. Cook spaghetti according to directions & set that aside, too.
  3. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions & celery and cook until softened & somewhat translucent.
  4. Add coleslaw mix & heat until it’s slightly wilted, but still crunchy. (Unless you like it softer, then keep on cookin’.)
  5. Add garlic and heat for roughly one minute.
  6. Add edamame, spaghetti, & sauce. Toss to coat & serve.

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