Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quick, Cheap & Easy Pad Thai

This is a quick and cheap way to make a version of Pad Thai. I almost always have these items on hand which makes it even better!

No meal complete without meat? Stick around after the recipe.

Pad Thai
2 servings
You will need:
  • 2 packages Maruchan ramen (doesn't matter what flavor, you won't be using the seasoning)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 T creamy peanut butter (I use Jif reduced fat)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice.
  • Zest of one lime
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp freshly chopped cilantro (optional)

In a 2 quart saucepan, boil 3 cups water. Add in the ramen noodles (don't add seasoning!). Cook for two minutes then drain. Set noodles aside. Return saucepan to stove. Over low heat, melt peanut butter, stirring constantly. You want to get it to this consistency:
Once you get it all melted and creamy stir in lime juice. Stir until well combined. Sauce will become thicker. Stir in garlic, chili powder, lime zest and red pepper flakes if desired. Add ramen back to the pan. Toss noodles until coated. Serve into bowls and top with green onion and cilantro if desired.

Need meat? grab one pound unbreaded chicken breast tenders and two eggs. Cut the tenders in half crosswise. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Cook the chicken in a bit of oil in a skillet preheated over medium-high heat, 4 or 5 minutes until browned. Stir in eggs. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until eggs are cooked. Serve in your Pad Thai!

Stove-Top Lasagna

Love lasagna, but hate how long it takes? Tired of the same old boring spaghetti? Looking for a quick delicious way to get in your veggies? Look no more! This is a dish modified from good old Betty Crocker. If you don't have the Quick & Easy cookbook (30 minutes or less), you should run out and buy it. This dish is super fast and easy. What could be better than that you say? Well, I will tell you. It only takes one pan! Hooray.
For those of you interested in a vegetarian option, you can substitute Morning Stars' new Italian Sausages.
Stove-Top Lasagna
4 to 8 servings
You will need:
  • 1 pound bulk sausage (I use hot and spicy, but you can also use Italian)
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 package (8 oz.) sliced mushrooms (I prefer baby bellas, they cook better)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups uncooked pasta (this time I used skinny lasagna noodles and broke them up. You just want something a little bit hearty. Things like elbows or shells will just break apart)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 jar (26 to 30oz.) chunky tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups Italian blend cheese or Mozzarella

Cook sausage and onions in a DEEP 12 inch skillet or a 4 quart Dutch oven over medium high heat. Stir occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink. Stir in peppers and mushrooms. Let cook until peppers start to soften and mushrooms start to cook.

Stir in remaining ingredients, except cheese. Heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Turn of heat. Stir in 1/2 cup to 1 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese.