Vegetable Boat

by Marjan

Last week's decadent recipe for Cake of Paradise needs to be followed up by a healthy, nutritious, high protein/low carbohydrate delicious diet! Even though my dessert recipes are not immensely sweet or saturated with butter, guilt overwhelms me as my will power failed and I had a second serving of this irresistible cake everyday! If your like me, balancing calories and sugar daily intake with a healthy light meal is a good practice. This is my secret to avoid diets and always continue to enjoy all the foods I love and crave! This was my beautiful, delicious, and satisfying repentance meal:


Today's invention is my inspired vegetable boat which allows me to eat healthy and maintain my weight following any cheat meal. Using Napa cabbage (also known as Chinese cabbage) as a carrying vessel for stir fry vegetables, serves not only as a low calorie base but also delivers richness in Vitamins A, C and other essential minerals. Any left over or favorite vegetables may be use up, however, I love the combination of shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, scallions, zucchini, tomatoes and onions wrapped in delicate cabbage. Minimal carbs, high in protein, vitamins and minerals, this lunch is the complete package!

Ingredients:
Serves 4
8 large whole Napa cabbage leaves (2 cabbage leaves per boat & person)
1 large onion; chopped
8-10 large shiitake mushrooms (to render 6 cups chopped mushrooms); chopped
4 cloves of garlic; minced
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 zucchini; chopped into small bite size pieces
3 scallions; chopped
handful of bean sprouts
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

In a wok or large frying pan over medium heat, sauté onions in 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Stir frequently, preventing onions from burning; remove onions once slightly soft from heat and transfer to bowl. In the same pan, add remaining oil and mushrooms and sauté until cooked (10 minutes) stirring frequently. Return onion to mushrooms; add garlic, zucchini and tomatoes. Stir fry for additional 10 minutes. Add bean sprouts, soy sauce, sesame oil, and black pepper to vegetables and blend in. Once zucchini is slightly tender, turn heat off. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable mix to double layered Napa cabbage (arrange Napa cabbage by placing stem part of one on top of the leafy part of the other to create a sturdy vessel/boat to carry and hold vegetables).  Sprinkle scallions and sesame on top and serve.

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