There’s a lot to be said about the days before school started. Looking back, everything seemed so easy, and I realize now that I might have been a bit too overconfident on my household and parenting skills.
Once the kindergartener is home, we scurry about to get homework done — I’m still in shock kindergarteners have homework — while also trying to keep the baby entertained during his fussy time, and get dinner ready so I can ensure the kids eat a full meal before bedtime creeps up on us.
I like to meal plan, but even the best plans go astray when kids are thrown into the mix. Luckily, I keep a few ideas in my back pocket, like stir fry.
We eat stir fries a lot in our house. It’s not just because my son is obsessed with his dinosaur chopsticks, though. Stir fry is one of the fastest meals we can put together, and is a great way to use up the odds and ends that might be hanging out in your veggie drawer or freezer.
Every once in a while, I like to make a change from the standard rice accompaniment and do rice noodles instead. Rice noodles cook much faster and are great for cold salads and soups as well as stir fries. Once cooked, you just toss the noodles right into the wok and cook them along with your veggies before mixing in the sauce. It’s a simple change to the weekly menu, but those little changes can do wonders for the dinner doldrums.
I try to not make this too spicy so my son will eat it, so if you like things hot you can simply add more chili sauce or serve it on the side. Baby spinach or bok choy is also an excellent addition to any stir fry.
|Stir Fried Noodles with Chicken and Snow Peas||
- 8 ounces (1 package) thin rice noodles
- 2 teaspoons neutral oil
- 1 pound chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 green pepper, cut into strips
- 2 cups snow peas
- 1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili paste
- 2 teaspoons sugar or honey
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat oil in wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken and cook until browned, 10-15 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
- Turn heat down to medium and add vegetables. Cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes.
- Add the noodles. Cook for about 5 minutes, tossing often to prevent sticking.
- Whisk together sauce ingredients and pour over noodles. Add chicken back to the pan and toss everything together (tongs are useful here) until everything is well-coated and heated through.
What’s your favorite last-minute dinner meal?