– 4 miles T/M (1.5 incline, 6.0 working up to 6.4)
– Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders and Abs Circuit from Peanut Butter Fingers
I meant to run four miles last night with my running club, but when I got home, I was really tired and a little dizzy. So I decided to skip my workout and do some food shopping and cooking instead (I finally finished all my Lean Cuisines in my goal to clean out the freezer). More on that later in this post. I didn’t mind so much missing yesterday’s workout, because I got up nice and early today and got my four miles in and some quality time with the weights. Feeling great!
Klutchclub Living Social!
I wanted to mention that Klutchclub is having a deal on LivingSocial right now – $4 for a Best Of box filled with samples of cosmetics, healthy snacks, workout related stuff, etc – normally $17 a box! Shipping is an additional $8. Ashley at RatherbeRunnin’ just did a product review of a Klutchclub box (just note, the stuff you get will probably be different than what she got, since it’s different from month to month) and it looked amazing! I’ll be sure to review my box when I get it too :)
Okay, now for all that cooking I did last night… I went to Harris Teeter and picked up a ton of vegetables to make orzo, at Mike’s request, and Korean black bean sauce noodles (jja jang myun), since we had the sauce in the house. I also roasted up some leftover butternut squash and corn we had in the fridge to add to salads and the like. I was busy in the kitchen!
I’ll talk about the orzo another time, but I wanted to share another Korean recipe with you – Korean black bean sauce noodles, aka Korean spaghetti.
Korean Black Bean Sauce Noodles (Jja jang myun)
Jja jang myun is a little similar to spaghetti, which is why I called it Korean spaghetti growing up. It’s actually a Chinese dish adapted by Korean culture – I don’t know if there’s any difference in preparation, but mine is a “Korean” recipe. The noodles are round and chewy, and the sauce has a lot of vegetables with a meat base, sort of like a ragu. I think there are a number of dishes that are common across many cultures (with variations, of course), and noodles and sauce is one of them.
Unfortunately, while this is one of my favorite dishes, the restaurant versions are huge, have lots of oil and therefore aren’t very light on the calories. Luckily Jja jang myun is very easy to make at home, and you can make it lighter by reducing the oil and adding more veggies, which also makes it really filling! And it tastes just as good, I promise.
So let’s talk about the ingredients. The one ingredient that you must have and cannot substitute is black bean sauce.
There are different varieties and brands of black bean sauce sold at Asian supermarkets, and I’ve bought bad ones and good ones. In general, I like the taste/quality of the sauces in packets better than the larger plastic or glass containers of sauce.
You also need noodles. You can find these noodles in the frozen aisle of Korean supermarkets, or you can substitute spaghetti or serve the sauce over rice, quinoa, etc.
There are (were) five ropes of noodles in this package, and I find that one rope is perfect for two small servings for me and Mike! You boil these noodles for 5-7 min, drain and they’re done.
Here are the other ingredients you’ll need:
I used about 8 ozs pork cutlet, 2 medium zucchinis, 1 medium onion, and 1/3 cup of frozen peas. You can substitute any other veggies and meats here – basically whatever you like in a spaghetti sauce would probably work fine in this sauce too. You’ll also need salt and pepper, white sugar, and cornstarch.
First, get out a wok or large frying pan, and add 4 Tbs of black bean sauce, 4 Tbs of oil, and about 3 tsp of sugar. Mix and let the black bean paste fry for 3-4 min. Meanwhile, large dice your veggies and meat.
After the black bean paste has cooked for a few minutes in the oil, pour the mixture into a bowl and pour about a tablespoon of the oil back into the wok (it won’t have mixed completely with the black bean paste). Add your meat, season with salt and pepper and cook completely.
Add your veggies and season with a little more salt, and stir fry those for a few minutes too. Then add in the rest of the oil and sauce that you stir fried earlier. Stir to cover the veggies and meat in sauce, then add about a cup of water, mix to combine, and let the mixture come to a boil.
Mix 2 Tbs of cornstarch with about 2 Tbs of water (I just use the same bowl I poured the sauce into before). Mix thoroughly – no lumps! – then add the cornstarch slurry into the sauce. Stir for a few minutes and let the sauce thicken. Taste the sauce and add more sugar if you want more sweetness, or salt/ oyster sauce if you want more salty-savory.
Then, you’re done! You can serve it over noodles, rice, or maybe even quinoa. I make a lot of sauce and we just re-heat it throughout the week.
My recipe made four servings, which I calculated to be about 280 calories each. Served with 1/2 a “rope” of noodles, the total calorie comes to about 430 calories. This isn’t a diet or low-cal recipe, but it’s definitely lighter and has less oil than the restaurant version, but it’s just as tasty!
If you liked this recipe, you should check out my recipe for Korean Soft Tofu Stew as well!