Whilst we all love a treat once in a while, takeaways are too easy, and in pre-diabetes days we indulged in them way too often. Not good for our bank balance, and certainly not good for our waistline. Now I make a conscious effort to restrict them to one a month, and make sure I have simple meals available for when the takeaway-mood comes a-calling. A healthy Chicken Chow Mein recipe fakeaway is usually tastier, more fun and far less guilt-ridden (and therefore that glass of wine and scoop of ice cream later in the evening are totally acceptable). I insist on under-20-minutes to table; if I have the ingredients in the cupboards, and can serve it quicker than I can order and go collect it, then it’s good to go.
Since we started this whole Healthy Lifestyle malarky, there’s been a definite sea-change in the menu for family dinner. Whilst two of the kids are still not mad keen on salad, rice, curry or roasted veg (though they will now reluctantly eat all of the above, which is possibly one of the more astonishing changes in the house…), one thing no one ever gets enough of are noodles.
A basic Stir Fry has become a popular staple weekly option, and I vary up the simple sauces I use with it.
Obviously there are times on a Friday night, or a very tired mid-week evening when you just can’t be bothered to cook and start gazing at the takeaway menu on the board, right?
But if you’re trying to make healthier choices, step away from the takeaway menu. Chinese takeaway, for example, is not your friend. Battered sweet and sour pork with special fried rice is over 1,100 calories – well over half your daily calorie intake and can have up to 19 teaspoons of sugar if you eat all the sauce. Not to mention the amount of MSG, salt and goodness-knows-what-else is hiding inside.
Here’s one of my stock favourites; Healthy Chicken Chow Mein recipe which I came across a few years ago and which never ever fails. The basic recipe is for the whole family (and of the six of us three are perpetually-starving teen boys). If you’re making a big one it pays not to buy a ready-bag of stir fry mix, and simply buy the separate veg; just look at the bag ingredients to check what to include, but really any veg is fine. Don’t miss the beansprouts though!
If you’re looking for a supper for two, then I simply divide this recipe by 4, but for ease just use a whole bag of stir fry veg.
It does look like a long list of ingredients, but they’re all things I keep in the cupboard anyway; honestly, if you don’t often do this kind of meal, you’ll be converted by how fresh and delicious it is compared to a takeaway. Once your cupboard is stocked, you’ll always have everything you need to hand for a weekly fakeaway of your own.
So switch to a Healthy Chicken Chow Mein recipe this Bank Holiday – treat yourselves properly.
Healthy Chicken Chow Mein recipe
- Preparation time:10 minutes
- Cooking time:10 minutes
- Total time:20 minutes
- 8 tsp light soy sauce
- 8 tsp Chinese Cooking Wine (I often use sherry)
- 4 tsp Chopped Garlic
- 4 tsp Grated Ginger
- 8 chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
- 2 x 250g pack Medium Egg Noodles
- Good splash vegetable oil
- 2 carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
- 250g trimmed mangetout
- 1 bunch salad onions, trimmed and sliced
- 2 x 300g pack Vegetable and Beansprout Stir Fry
600g of sliced veg – try broccoli, peppers, baby sweetcorn, courgette, sugar snap peas, french beans, cabbage, Kale, water chestnuts – plus small bag beansprouts
- 4 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 1tbsp toasted sesame oil
- In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, wine, garlic and ginger. Add the chicken and leave to marinate for 10 minutes (if you’re organised, do this in the morning and leave to marinate all day).
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to pack instructions, drain, rinse and leave to cool.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes until browned.
- Add all veg and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the beansprouts, noodles, oyster sauce and sesame oil and toss together for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly hot. Serve immediately in large bowls.
See? SO simple. If you want to make it into a feast, I suggest you also try the Sticky Chinese Pork Stir-Fry, it’s equally delicious.
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