Sunday, September 11, 2011

Small Mountain Meals

No, this post is not about preparing meals to make while living or camping on small mountains. While that might be interesting, remember, I am in Kansas! So read on…

Lately, meal preparation has not been on the top of my list as we adjust to school routines, try to spend ample time outdoors, and, well, I just don’t feel like standing in the kitchen to chop, slice, and cook. Even my easy meals feel laborious at the end of some days.

So, finally, I felt a twinge of motivation and made a meal plan laying out the eight meals I was willing to make over the course of the next two weeks. Typically, when I make a more elaborate meal, I make enough for leftovers - two nights of eating for one night of effort. Those leftovers, along with occasional meals we have out, make up about 14 meals. I still left my easy meals on the list – meatball subs, pizza, pasta and bread, chicken quesadillas, but I added a few manageable prep-required meals. Tonight being a weekend with Mike home, I tackled one of them – my Udon Noodle Dish – which I modified from an udon noodle package years ago.

And I was rewarded for the work involved. I was able to savor a meal I had forgotten I enjoyed so much and all the boys ate it up. Elliott is typically not a child to eat a mixture of foods together, so when he cleans his bowl up, it can make one feel pretty good.

If you are interested to give this meal a try, you will find it is not that difficult in terms of preparation, but I am starting with a small mountain. Another day, a bigger mountain!

Chicken Udon Noodle Dish

Diana’s Udon Noodle Dish:

3.5 ounces udon noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium to large chicken breasts or pork fillets, thinly sliced
½ large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 to 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced using a carrot peeler (making slivers down length of carrot)
8 mushrooms, thinly sliced
salt, to taste
pepper. to taste
1 ½ to 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Cook chicken or pork with olive oil over medium heat in large skillet. When meat is done, remove to a small bowl. Add onion, and additional oil if needed, to pan, cooking for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the carrot slivers and mushrooms and cook until the vegetables are tender. If in doubt, sample a carrot or look for an orangish shade in the oil. While starting onions, boil udon noodles for five minutes or as directed on package. Drain, rinse, and set aside. Once vegetables are done, add meat and noodles back to pan. Add salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Mix well as dish is reheated. Serve immediately. If doubling recipe for leftovers, do not double soy sauce and oil. Adjust oil for amount needed to cook and soy sauce to taste.

Makes 2 good-sized adult servings.

Note: I used Hakubaku organic udon wheat noodles and modified their recipe on the back wrapper. They come in a 10.58 oz package, with three 3.5 ounce wrapped packages. Noodle amount can vary with no major consequence. Really, any of the ingredients can be altered for more or less with little consequence.


  1. Ha! We had something very similar for dinner tonight -- but I had easy prep: Paul made it!

    I am experimenting with stashing more ready-to-go meals in the freezer, like chili, and having some meats pre-cooked. I cannot, sadly, find the blog post that inspired me.

    Chicken breasts were on sale last week so I stocked up and boiled a bunch to make stock and have on-hand. Someone also suggested browning several pounds of ground beef at once, with onions and peppers, to have in the freezer for easy quesadillas or spaghetti sauce or the like.