Luigi - and a few ghosts - were invited to dinner at our house last night!
I debated about posting this dinner – it’s so simple and I kind of think of it as a “duh” dinner (definition: a dinner that takes little or no planning that you just throw together with what's in your house on a given night) – but my bff encouraged me to share, so here it is. I’m actually finding it quite funny about myself that I never seem to follow a recipe the way it’s written. I always thought I did, at least the first time I make it, but so far that just hasn’t been true. But I’m still going to post recipes the way I find them and then I'll tell you where I deviate. You can choose which way you prefer. So here’s the original. I can't remember where I got it, but I'm thinking it's some website affiliated with Green Giant...
Chicken Lo Mein
2 ounces uncooked Oriental noodles*
2 tablespoons light sesame or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 pound chicken breast strips for stir-fry*
1/3 cup chopped green onions
4 cups coleslaw mix
1 bag (1 pound) Green Giant Create a Meal frozen teriyaki stir-fry meal starter
Cook and drain noodles as directed on package.
While noodles are cooking, heat oil in 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and chicken in oil 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, just until chicken is no longer pink in center.
Stir in onions, coleslaw mix and meal starter vegetables and sauce. Cover and cook 7 to 9 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are hot. Stir in noodles.* Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until noodles are well mixed.
*Ground pork for chow mein can be substituted for the chicken, and 2 ounces uncooked spaghetti can be substituted for the Oriental noodles.
After I had decided on which recipes I wanted to try this month I went through and added all the ingredients that I don’t ordinarily keep in the house to my shopping list. Onto the list went many things that were somewhat confusing to me after I got to the store where I didn't have them in the context of the recipe. I just couldn’t remember what many of the items were for. One of those items was “Oriental noodles”. Standing in the Asian section of the grocery aisle staring at the meager offerings this particular store had, I had a hard time deciding just what to buy. Here is what I finally decided on: Maifun Rice Sticks
I’ve never had them before and they looked yummy – they were. I love Chinese food, but I have never seen anything like this in a Chinese restaurant. Maybe these noodles are Japanese? Or Taiwanese, since they're made in Taiwan? After getting them home and reading through the recipe again – especially the part about substituting spaghetti noodles – I figured it meant the spaghettish noodles that usually come in lo mein. If I had remembered that while staring at the Asian food shelves I would probably have just used spaghetti noodles, but it was fun to branch out and try something new.
Another item I had great difficulty finding was the Green Giant Create a Meal Stir-Fry Starter. (Sorry Green Giant, no extra revenue coming in from me this month.) Couldn’t find any kind of stir-fry starter kit made by Green Giant, and since I’d never seen it before I didn’t know if one of the other stir-fry frozen food “kits” would have worked or not. I ended up just buying a bag of frozen vegetables and some teriyaki sauce. Worked for me.
I didn’t use sesame oil either. I bought some once but didn’t much like it, so I went with olive oil instead. And I didn’t bother with special stir-fry chicken either. Why waste the time and money when you can just cut up some chicken? (Ok, convenience. But other than that...) So I cut up some chicken and popped it into the olive oil with a little extra garlic. (Love garlic, remember.) Stirred that and cooked it while the noodles were soaking in hot water. (Instructions on the back of the package read: “To soften maifun, cover with hot water; let stand 10 minutes. Drain well. Coarsely chop, if desired. [I didn’t.] Add to soups, stews, Stir-Fry combinations or salads, as desired.” How easy is that? You don't even have to boil!) After the noodles were cooked and drained, and while the chicken was still cooking (no, it shouldn't have taken that long, I got distracted) I dumped the frozen vegetables and a bag of coleslaw mix into the pot with the hot noodles and stirred in some teriyaki sauce (to taste, of course, which is always the best way to seasoning things.) When the chicken was done I popped that in as well and just kept mixing until the veggies were warmed through. Dumped a bit of the mess into bowls and even added some chopsticks for my oldest, who thinks they’re cool.
Easy peasy and nice and healthy, not to mention tasty and satisfying. Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did.