Friday, January 9, 2015

cheater chow mein

So the holidays sure were busy, huh?  Sorry about that.  We've got a lot of birthdays mixed in with the holiday season, so things just get...well, you know the drill, I'm sure.  And we're still in the thick of it.  But I don't need to make excuses.  Back to the food, ok?  Because I've got some cool things in the works around here.  I started out my new year by jumping head first into fermentation!  More on that another day...but let me tell you, I'm loving it.

Here is something quick and easy.  I threw it together today for lunch, and though the boys hesitated a little...they cleared their plates.  We have a soy allergy in the house.  A supposed one, anyway.  See, it's positive (and highly so) on the blood tests, but he presents with no symptoms when eating soy of any kind.  Our allergist advised us to avoid it, just to see if it helped his skin any (he's also got terrible eczema) but it didn't.  We've since deduced that his eczema is related primarily to weather and emotion, not food.  That's neither here nor there...back to the soy.  So we went off of soy, but when we realized it made no difference, we reintroduced tiny amounts of soy here and there, primarily in the form of soybean oil/soy lecithin, because his diet is so limited already that cutting out all foods that contained those items really made it almost impossible to shop for him.  Still, we avoid it if we can, and choose other oils over soybean for cooking in our house.  So, while this meal isn't TOTALLY soy free (there is soybean and/or canola oil in the noodles), it's primiarly soy free.  We still stay away from soy sauce, tofu, soy flour, etc. 

This lunch was easy.  I mean, so easy.

You will need:

Vegetables (I used green cabbage, shallot, celery, carrot, mushroom, green onion)
Meat, if desired
Plum sauce, about 2 tablespoons is what I used, but just eyeball it and add to taste
Salt & Pepper
Chow Mein noodles, crispy (but you could use rice, rice noodles, or omit entirely if you desire)
Optional: sweet chili sauce, garlic chili sauce, sriracha, etc
Oil, I used about a tablespoon of olive oil just for sauteeing

I chopped a bunch of veggies and sauteed in a bit of olive oil.  I used cabbage, mushrooms, celery, carrots, shallots and green onions.  Use whatever you have on hand.  It's a stir fry over chow mein noodles, lots of room for you to play around with what you have.  I had a rotisserie chicken on hand from when my grandmother came over earlier this week (she brings a chicken, a veggie tray and oranges just about every time she comes, just for the kids), so I shredded some of the breast into the stir fry.  Use what you have on hand, use things that are about to turn, this is a very forgiving entree to make.  Once the veggies were soft and wilted in the pan, and the chicken was heated through, I added a dash of salt & pepper (how is that for technical?), and some plum sauce for flavor.  Check your labels, always.  I have yet to find a plum sauce that has soy in it, but you never know!  For mine, I also added a healthy dollop of sweet chili sauce and sriracha, but the kids were ok with just the plum sauce. 

It's not real chow mein, but it's good.  You could use rice instead of the noodles and make it gluten free, or avoid it all together and just go no carb.  I promise it'll still be great!  And best of all, even with prep time, it came together in about 20 minutes.  Now that's a great lunch!  And I won't feel so guilty, too, if I happen to give the kids popcorn for dinner tonight.  It's Friday!  Don't judge. 

[This post linked up at Sunflower Supper Club Weekend PotLuck.]

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