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Easy Weeknight Chicken Lo Mein with Sugar Snap Peas

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chicken lo mein

 

“When you’re weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all. I’m on your side. When times get rough, and friends just can’t be found, like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.”  

No words ever better written by Paul Simon, and sung in perfect harmony with his lifelong friend, Art Garfunkel, about having hardships. Their angelically sung song, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, is one of the most heartfelt songs ever written. I was only 3 years old when that song was written and played on transistor radios from coast to coast. I have no idea of the troubles that these two men and the loves of their lives went through, but I have long-loved this song since the very first note I heard as a small child, and have held this song close to my heart still to this day. I don’t know that any other 2 voices and their words have ever even come close to healing the heart such as these two wonderful men have done and shared for all to hear. Whether you’re down on your luck, someone has broken your heart, you’re all alone, missing someone you’ve lost, or just simply scared and troubled by the wrenches that life has suddenly thrown you, the incredible music of Paul and Art always seems to heal like none other no matter what or how big the mess is. Music just seems to have a way of speaking softly to the heart like nothing else. It soothes and heals, and lifts the spirits in ways that can’t even be described in words. It can instantly change a mood, revive a spirit, and invoke the most private and deepest of memories in a single instant.

We’ve all been under a bit of undeserved stress lately, in boats with a few holes just trying to keep afloat as best we can. So, I thought to share a very inexpensive dish that has gotten my hubby and I through tough times and put many smiles on our faces. Because, that boat of ours has a few holes right now, too. You aren’t alone. And we’ll all just get through our lives as best we can. The one thing that I’ve learned though is, that the only thing that you can count on in life… is that it’s ever-changing. Nothing ever stays the same. So when you’re on a down, it really isn’t a bad thing, because, you know that life’s roller coaster ride is going to start back uphill right around the next corner. Enjoy ALL of the days of your life, because without the bad, we really truly wouldn’t realize and appreciate the good. Besides, it seems to always be the times that we struggle that we appreciate and remember the very most. 😉 Love to all and have a most wonderful day!! 😀     

 

Simon & Garfunkel (1981 in Central Park, NY)
“Bridge Over Troubled Water”

 

 

EASY WEEKNIGHT CHICKEN LO MEIN with SUGAR SNAP PEAS

Serves 4

 

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, trim ALL fat, season both sides with salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste 

1 Tbl. canola or good olive oil

2 1/2 tsp. sesame oil, regular not dark unless preferred, divided

3 (3 oz.) pkgs. Ramen Oriental Chicken Flavor Noodles, *reserve 2 flavor packets

1 1/2 – 2 Tbl. sesame oil, to taste

2 Tbl. soy sauce

1/4 head cabbage, finely shredded (or about 4 cups or as desired)

1 dozen baby carrots, shredded, or as much as desired

1 (9 oz.) box or bag of frozen sugar snap peas, thawed but not cooked, optional

1 small can sliced water chestnuts, drained, optional

4 extra-large eggs, hard boiled and chopped, optional 

(*can sub 3-4 packed cups of shredded coleslaw mix for the cabbage and carrots)

 

Other extras you can add:

fresh sliced mushrooms, sautéed at the end when adding the noodles

baby corns

cooked broccoli

thinly sliced green onion

small can of bean sprouts, drained well

chopped peanuts or cashews

 

DIRECTIONS:

In large deep frying pan with lid, place seasoned chicken pieces into the 1 Tbl. canola or olive oil and 1 tsp. sesame oil mixed in hot pan heated over medium heat.  Cover and cook over medium to med/low heat for 25-30 minutes, turning several times, until done. Remove chicken pieces to bowl to cool a bit, covered with a sheet of paper towel or clean dish towel.  DO NOT DRAIN PAN. 

Cut chicken into bite-sizd pieces and toss with 1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil. Cover and set aside.

To frying pan of juices, add soy sauce, rest of sesame oil, cabbage, carrots, and sugar snap peas and water chestnuts if desired. Sprinkle in 1 packet of seasoning reserved from the Ramen noodle packages. Toss to mix well and sauté over med-high heat for 2 minutes or until cabbage and carrots are just crisp-tender. Set aside.  

In small stock pot, bring water to boil and cook Ramen noodles for 3 minutes. NO longer than that. Immediately drain well and rinse with warm water very well. Drain and rinse again, and then drain again very well. (*Just make sure they are thoroughly rinsed and drained.)

Toss noodles and chicken into hot frying pan over medium-high heat and sprinkle second seasoning packet evenly over all. Toss, and stir-fry, (stirring and tossing vigorously), over medium-high heat until very well combined and hot for about 2-3 minutes. Plate and top with chopped hard-boil egg if desired. Serve with additional sesame oil and soy sauce on the side. 

(*Save the third seasoning packet from Ramen noodle packages for something else such as an oriental-style coleslaw for example also using up any additional cabbage and carrots.)

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