Vegetable Chow Mein
Stir-fried, chow mein noodles are a huge hit with our son Jake. So much so, that they are on the regular rotation of weekly menu planning (organizing ahead saves us beaucoup bucks). I know I can’t be alone in struggling to find healthy meals that appeal to our children’s taste buds. It can take some strength to stay calm when you cook a lovely meal, then your child turns their nose up to it. All I can say is hoo-wee, deep breaths all around.
Jake is a bit of a crafty character at the dinner table, so meal times are on and off like a light switch. When Jake is on, he’s on in a big way, clearing his plate until it shines, but when he’s off, all systems are down baby. My husband Toby goes into his well-crafted routine (in a friendly, yet mildly exasperated tone), “Jake, look at this beautiful food Mother has made for us. We are so lucky that she cooks such nice meals. Come on honey, please, eat your food.” Now I agree with you: This is T.M.I. in a big way for a 3 year old. What is really going on here: As much as my husband wants Jake to eat, he is also imparting to me how much he appreciates the time and energy I put into La Famiglia. So I don’t lose my mind. It works, and I love him dearly for it. Sigh.
Over the last three years of Jake’s life (which can feel long or short depending on how Motherhood is going), I have come up with some cracking meals that bring a smile to Jake’s face. There is something to that trial and error thing, I tell ya. My hope is that I can share recipes that will make your meal times a little easier.
These noodles are tasty, and the sauce is light, yet full of flavor (making it easier to sneak in the veggies). Jake also has a blast twisting the noodles with his fork in between bites. Whoop whoop, high five.
Chow Mein Noodles
3 cups fresh chow mein noodles (in the cold section at your local Asian market)
tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup onions chopped
1/2 inch piece ginger root chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 medium sized carrot chopped in small pieces
1/4 cup white cabbage chopped
1/4 cup broccoli chopped into small pieces
4 dried shiitake mushrooms soaked in hot water and sliced (reserve the soaking water for noodle sauce)
4 tablespoons shoyu soy sauce
1 teaspoon sherry
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/4 cup shitake soaking water strained
1. In a wok or pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onions and ginger, stirring frequently, for a minute. Add the garlic and cook until soft.
2. Now the recipe moves fast: Stirring quickly, add the carrots cooking for a minute, then the broccoli for a minute, and the cabbage and mushrooms for a total of 3 minutes. The vegetables should be half cooked at this point.
3. Now add the noodles and soaking water. Stir gently to break up the noodles and incorporate with the vegetables. Cover and cook until the veggies are cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.
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