I used to think it was super annoying when I'd cut recipes out of magazines that said things like, "$3.05 per serving." Maybe it was because the cost of feeding a family didn't really kick in, or because I thought cooking on a budget was impossible. Now I realize there is really something to it.
It's almost always cheaper to cook at home than dine out. However, it's not always easier or as delicious. The Moosewood Pad Thai that I adapted for this dinner was cheap, easy, and so tasty that I'm going to post my adapted recipe. Plus, it cost about $2.50 per serving - for virtually the same meal I've paid $9 for at Thai takeout spots. I'm also certain this version is significantly healthier.
Here's the ingredients you need:
8 oz. rice stick noodles (Trader Joe's sells these for $2.99)
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. Sriracha, or chili paste, or garlic chili paste
2 T. lime juice
1/3 c. water
3 T. vegetable oil
8 oz. firm tofu (cut in 1/2" pieces)
1 c. diced red pepper
2 c. snow peas (remove strings)
chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, mung bean sprouts, lime wedges for garnish
Here's what you do:
- Cook the rice noodles as directed, then rinse in cold water and drain.
- Make sauce with vinegar, soy, chili, lime, and water.
- Heat and large skillet (or wok) and 1 T. oil on medium-high, add tofu and stir fry for 1 minute. Then add peppers and peas, stir fry for 2 minutes. Remove all from pan and set aside.
- Add the sauce and the rest of the oil to the pan. Stir for a few seconds, and add the noodles, tofu, and vegetables. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce is absorbed. (The sauce absorbs, I promise.)
- Transfer it to a plate and garnish with the cilantro, peanuts, bean sprouts, and lime wedges.
Save one of your old take out containers next time you dine out, and you can make it look really official when you share your leftovers. Or, like I was, you'll just be really proud of what a good duplicate of Pad Thai you made when you take it for lunch!