Lo Mein often has the image of being the ordinary ho-hum choice on a Chinese restaurant menu. Typically it is a combination of oily vegetables and meat in a brown sauce mixed with cooked noodles.
In this healthy, kid-friendly version, tofu is substituted for the meat and may even fool some into thinking the dish contains chicken (well, not really, but at least it gives the appearance of chicken!). Cabbage provides lots of crunch for a beautiful texture and is a far healthier vegetable than most people realize (particularly the Napa variety). Cabbage is part of the healthy "greens" family just like kale.
This dish is very simple to make once you have all the vegetables washed and chopped because everything is stir fried at once. You can actually use any vegetables you have on hand, but the fennel gives this dish a unique flavor. You can really use as much fennel as you like, so if you purchase it, just use it all.
Try serving this with a nice chopped tomato salad.
Lo Mein Noodles 1 lb noodles of choice (I used brown rice spaghetti style pasta) 2-3 cups chopped green or Napa cabbage 1/2 Fennel bulb or more, including parts of green stalks, sliced thin 2 medium carrots, grated 1 or 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated or minced 1/2 cup onion, sliced or chopped 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 5-6 mushrooms, optional 1 lb extra firm tofu*, cubed 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce or Tamari cilantro for garnish, optional
Cook noodles according to package directions. When noodles are done, drain and return to pot. Cover to keep warm while vegetables cook. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot add all vegetables (cabbage through mushrooms) at once and stir fry 2 minutes. Add tofu and continue to stir fry 2-3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, cover pan tightly, turn heat down to medium-low and cook 5 minutes. Add veggie/soy sauce mixture to the warm noodles. Toss to combine and serve at once garnished with cilantro (if desired). Serves 4-5.
*If you have a soy allergy or just don't like tofu, try making this with a can of adzuki beans instead.