Gluten Free Chicken Lo Mein

Back in the day we would often order Chinese takeout and it was such a treat.  I really miss being able to do that since being gluten free.  There are few places in our area that offer gluten free Chinese food, and cross contact is always a big concern.  I have since learned to make gluten free alternatives of our favorites, like this Lo Mein.  It is gluten free and lower in sodium than takeout, so I would call that a success.  Although a true Lo Mein would be made with egg noodles, I used Annie Chun’s Brown Rice Noodles in this recipe and they were a great stand in.  I use their noodles in many of my Asian stir fry meals.

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Ingredients:

For the Sauce:

For the Lo Mein:

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 3/4 cup carrots
  • 3/4 cup onion
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup snow peas
  • sesame oil
  • olive oil
  • coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger powder
  • 4 oz. gluten free rice noodles

Preparation:

This is one of those recipes where you need to get organized before you begin cooking.  Prep the veggies, cut the chicken into cubes and have all other ingredients lined up and ready.

Begin by whisking the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Set up a pot of salted water for the rice noodles and bring to a boil.  Heat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. sesame oil.  Cook the chicken, turning to brown on all sides.  When the chicken is almost cooked through, remove it from the pan and set aside.

Wipe the pan clean and add 1 tsp. sesame oil.  Begin cooking the carrots, peppers and snow peas for several minutes until crisp tender.  Next add the mushrooms and garlic with an additional tsp. of sesame oil.  Cook for 1 minute.

Add the rice noodles to the boiling water, and at the same time return the chicken to the skillet.  Pour half the sauce over the chicken and vegetables.

Drain the pasta after 3 minutes, add it to the skillet and top with the remaining sauce.  Toss well and stir to combine it all, cook for another minute.

Transfer to a platter and serve.

Notes ♪♫  Have you ever purchased a large piece of gingerroot for a recipe, only to use a small amount and have the rest go bad in the refrigerator?  Here’s a trick I learned this past winter, you can cut fresh ginger into smaller pieces and freeze them for later use.  It is so easy to grate gingerroot right out of the freezer.  Perfect for recipes like this one, where fresh ginger is a key flavor in the sauce.

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Spaghetti Squash Chicken Lo Mein

This Asian inspired meal checks so many of my boxes!  Healthy fresh ingredients, color, flavor, texture and of course it’s gluten free!  A nice change of pace from my usual stir fries that are made with noodles or rice, this grain free dish won’t leave you feeling stuffed!

We have spaghetti squash quite often, but usually I make an Italian dish like this  Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash.  Who knew this humble veggie could also stand in for Chinese noodles!

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ingredients:

“Lo Mein” Squash Noodles:

  • 1 small spaghetti squash
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • cooking spray

For the stir fry:

  • 12 oz. chicken breast, cubed
  • olive oil spray
  • toasted sesame oil
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms (white button or baby bella), thin sliced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, divided use

For the Sauce:

Preparation:

This is a basic preparation for spaghetti squash that you can use as a starting point for so many recipes.  First, cut the squash in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds.  Brush each side with 1 tbsp. of olive oil.  I am not salting the squash at this point, because this recipe is already heavy on sodium.  You can certainly season it if you like!

Line a baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.  Place the squash cut side down and roast for 1 hour at 400º.

Use tongs to carefully turn the squash over, and let it cool for a few minutes.

Use 2 forks to shred the spaghetti squash.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Now that we have our lo mein “noodles” we can move on with the rest of the recipe.

Mise En Place

Organization is the key to stir fry recipes!  Before you cook, be sure to have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go – “everything in its place”.  That means chopping the veggies, dicing the chicken and stirring the sauce ingredients together.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with olive oil spray and add 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. sesame oil.  Begin browning the chicken, do it in batches if needed so you don’t crowd the pan.  You want to get a little color on the outside of the chicken at this point, but it does not have to be cooked through.  We’ll finish it at the end of the recipe.

When all sides have been browned set the chicken aside in a bowl.  Add the carrots, peppers and snow peas to the skillet with 1 tsp. sesame oil.  Stir fry for several minutes until crisp tender.  Next add the mushrooms, garlic and 1/2 of the scallions along with another tsp. of sesame oil.  Cook 1 minute longer.

Now add back the chicken and toss well with the veggies.  Using tongs, add the spaghetti squash to the skillet in 1/4 cup portions so that it is well distributed.  Whisk the sauce and pour it over everything, and stir-fry one minute longer to thicken and meld the flavors.

Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the remaining scallions.

Can you guess how it tasted?  It was delicious!  And I will definitely be experimenting with spaghetti squash in more of my Asian inspired recipes!

Notes ♪♫  I am a big fan of using Coconut Aminos in place of gluten free Soy Sauce.  That’s because it has significantly less sodium, which is important in our household.  If you are not limiting salt in your diet, try using Tamari for a rich, umami flavor.

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