Quick, how fast can you make lo mein?

Some recipes say 15 minutes. Others stretch it out to 20. But The Kansas City Star’s Speedy Chicken Lo Mein is faster than it would take you to order it at a Chinese restaurant.

Speed things up by using frozen stir-fry blend and broccoli slaw available in the produce aisle.

Bonus points: The recipe is also healthier than most fast-food versions because we opt for low-sodium products.

The average 1 cup serving of lo mein has about 500 milligrams of sodium, according to fatsecret.com, a calorie counter app. Our version: 2 cups with 321 milligrams of sodium.

SPEEDY CHICKEN LO MEIN

Makes 4 servings (total yield of about 8 cups)

8 ounces whole-grain linguine or linguine

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

½ teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ¾-inch cubes

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup sliced button mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups frozen pepper stir-fry blend

2 cups broccoli slaw

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½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and honey; set aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is lightly browned and fully cooked. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.

Return skillet to heat. Add mushrooms. Cook, stirring, 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and hot pepper flakes and cook, stirring until any moisture the mushrooms released has evaporated.

Add pepper blend and broccoli slaw. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes. Return chicken to skillet. Pour broth and vinegar mixture over all and stir to blend well. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquids boil. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until liquids are reduced by about half and chicken is hot.

Stir in linguine and toss to combine.

Per serving: 432 calories (13 percent from fat), 6 g total fat (1 g saturated), 66 mg cholesterol, 57 g carbohydrates, 41 g protein, 321 mg sodium, 9 g dietary fiber.

Recipe developed exclusively for The Star by professional home economists Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss.

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