All of the Asian flavors you love, in less than 10 minutes of time! This healthy Asian Lo Mein is weeknight fast and nourishing at the same time!
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Our school year is off and running, and I feel like we did just that for the first week…Run!
We are still getting our feet wet back into the groove of early mornings and school after a laid back summer break, so I have been perfecting some of my quicker weeknight meals.
While we don’t have a lot of extra-curricular activities after school yet with such little ones, I *do* have a brand new kindergartener getting used to full days of school (read – tired!), a toddler that has to get woken up on occasion from naps for school pick up (read – crabby!), and a 2nd grader that wants to get her project done *right now* (read – busy!). It just helps to have a dinner that doesn’t require a lot of hands on time.
I am coming up on my 1 year anniversary of having my Instant Pot and I feel like this summer we really got to know each other!
I had been using it mainly to make whole chickens and bone broth up until this summer, and boy I am really loving figuring out how to use it for more than just that. As much as I love cooking, there really are more days in the week that I need fast meals than ones that I don’t. If there is room on the birthday or Christmas list this year, an Instant Pot is definitely one I would try to fit in!
This quick Lo Mein has every flavor burst you love about Asian food in a “dump it all in” style of cooking!
I have even done the 5 minutes of veggie chopping the night before and set it in the fridge until dinner the next day so it literally can just be a “dump it all in” meal! Salty, sweet, and savory all in one bite, the kids will not only be in love with *all* the noodles, but it just plain tastes amazing! And you can feel good about getting the veggies in!
A quick note on how you can change it up and add variety!
While this is definitely a filling meal for how my family eats as it is, you can certainly add some chopped beef, chicken, or fish. I usually have leftovers topped with a fried egg the next morning and it is pretty much amazing (scrambling an egg into it would work fine too)! The veggies are pretty interchangeable as well – use whatever you have on hand. I have swapped the spinach for chopped kale if that is what I have, or used fresh broccoli instead of peas.
You can also add more bone broth and make it more of a Lo Mein soup. I have found a rich beef broth tastes so good! Also, don’t forget to pack the leftovers up in the school lunch thermos! Just add a splash of water or broth to warm it up in the morning and put it in a thermos to go! There are more details on how to temper your thermos and keep food warm for school in this post.
Fast Prep Instant Pot Vegetable Lo Mein
- 2 cups bone broth a rich beef broth works best. You can do bone broth in the Instant Pot too !
- 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
- 4-5 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 inch knob ginger peeled and grated (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes this leaves a kid friendly, mild heat - if you like more kick add more!
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 bunch green onions sliced on a bias
- 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
- 8 ounces of mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 lb gluten free pasta of choice I used the Tinkyada brand of rice noodles that our local grocer carries
- 2 cups baby spinach chopped finely
- Everything except the spinach into the Instant Pot, stir to combine and seal the lid. Be sure the valve is closed.
- Turn your IP on, press manual, and then use the (+/-) button to press the time down to 2 minutes. The Instant Pot will turn "ON" and come to pressure before it counts down the 2 minutes.
- When the 2 minutes is done, turn the Instant Pot "OFF", and set a timer for 4 minutes to let the pot naturally release some of the pressure and finish cooking the noodles through.
- After the 4 minutes, release the rest of the pressure, take the lid off, and stir in the fresh spinach to combine. There will be a little bit of liquid in the bottom that will continue to soak up into the noodles and the starch from the noodles will make it "saucy". Serve topped with sliced green onion or chopped nuts.
A note on Instant Pot cook times
This recipe gives the noodle a good, “al dente” texture in cook time for me. Not too mushy and not hard! It is just perfect! I have, however, found that sometimes when I have tried other people’s Instant Pot recipes that cook times for noodles, rice, even hard boiled eggs can vary. For instance the “6-6-6” method for hard boiled eggs leaves my eggs really overdone – I have to cook at 5 minutes on low pressure! I’m actually not sure why this is (please chime in if you know!), but keep that in mind. If you open the lid and your noodles need a bit more cook time, simply turn the saute button on and let them cook a little longer. I will try to answer your IP questions as best as I can, but please remember I am fairly new to using it myself – thank you for understanding!