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Delicious Homemade Pad Thaï

Amanda and I are big fans of Thaï food - I'm particularly a big fan of pad thaï, minus the excessive amount of calories (pad thaï portions in restaurants can rack up to 1500 calories!!!). In the homemade version I made last night, I'm positive that while the calorie count can be slightly high, it is nothing compared to what you'd find in a restaurant and it pretty much tastes the same as a bonus ;)

So without further ado, go ahead and try this at home:

  • Magical pad thaï sauce:
    • 1/2 cup soya sauce (if you have the reduced sodium kind, even better)
    • 1/4 cup of lime juice
    • 1/4 cup of sugar
    • 1 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • The rest:
    • 1/3 pack of flat noodles (or whatever you have on hand)
    • 10 regular sized uncooked frozen shrimps
    • 2 celery stems, diced
    • 2 smalls carrots, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 2 egg whites
    • vegetable oil

  1. Soak your frozen shrimp in cold water for about 10 minutes (long enough so that it's easy to peel the shell off).
  2. Cook the pasta according to directions on the package.
  3. Next, scramble up the egg whites in a small skillet and put aside.
  4. While all this is happening, get your pad thaï sauce mixture ready and put aside.
  5. Mince the garlic cloves and fry them up in a wok for about 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the shell from the shrimp and add to the garlic.
  7. Once the shrimp is almost cooked (almost fully pink), add the celery and carrots and cook for about 3 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, your pasta should be ready. Once it is, drain and add to the wok along with the eggs, mix well for about a minute or so.
  9. Add the magical pad thaï sauce to the mixture and mix well until everything is well coated and the peanut butter has melted.
Additional options: You can add red pepper flakes for spiciness and peanuts if you want more authenticity (by authenticity, I mean restaurant style - I'm also quite positive this is not close to what we'd get in Thaïland...). For meat-eaters, add beef or chicken & for vegetarians, add some tofu (or replace the shrimp with tofu)! :)

This dish is great because it has so many variations. Plus, it only took around half an hour to cook (including prep time) and yielded about 3 portions.



Healthy Rosé Sauce Alternative

Don't you love a nice pasta with a thick rosé sauce? I know I do. I would even be willing to say that it is my favorite pasta sauce! However, the amount of calories and fat that the usual whipping cream adds to this delicious recipe don't mesh very well with my fragile heart.

I've searched for a long time for the perfect rosé sauce that could be a little more helpful to my low-cholesterol diet when I finally ventured into the following recipe which I find turned out absolutely fantastic and filling. I'm sure there are healthier recipes out there (please do e-mail us if you have an even healthier alternative), but so far, this one will definitely work for me!

I know, doesn't look very rosé but it sure tastes like it!
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 white mushrooms, diced
  • 2 medium cans of Aylmer tomato soup (or any other tomato soup you have on hand)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp light cream cheese
  • 3 cups pasta (of your choice) 
Get it done:
  1. Start by caramelizing your onions in your olive oil in a large sauce pan.
  2. Once your onions are almost done, add the garlic and fry for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the mixture and fry for another 30 seconds to a minute.
  4. Add the two cans of tomato soup and the tomato paste. Stir well, lower heat and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. While the sauce simmers, cook your pasta according to directions on the package.
  6. Add the cream cheese to your tomato sauce and mix until the cheese has melted into the sauce - about 10 minutes. You can let simmer for another 5 minutes or so.
  7. Pour the sauce over your pasta on a plate and eat the hell out of it!


Vegetarian Inside-out Kousa

Traditional Kousa: Click Here for Image Source
Some of you may have already seen kousa - a Lebanese dish that is essentially stuffed zucchini. In an attempt to reach out to my roots again, I decided to buy zucchini on my last grocery trip. Unfortunately, when it came time to cook the deliciousness that is kousa (last night), it seemed I was lacking many of the ingredients necessary to make it what it is (mainly meat).

That's when I remembered my mom's inside out kousa dish that I absolutely LOVE! Basically, it contains all the ingredients you'd find in the traditional dish, but the zucchini is diced into the mixture instead of stuffed.

Lacking said meat, my mom and I came up with a great vegetarian alternative! Here we go:

Ingredients (yields about 6-8 regular portions):

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 medium-large zucchinis, diced
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp dry parsley
  • 4 1/3 cups water
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot, pour 1 tbsp of olive oil and lightly fry the onion (about 2 minutes).
  2. Add your diced zucchini to the pot over your onion and mix well.
  3. Cover the mixture flush with water (around 3 cups) and let boil until you can insert a fork in the zucchini with ease.
  4. Drop in your brown rice while adding 2/3 of a cup of water per cup of rice (around 1 1/3 cups). Mix well.
  5. Add in your diced tomatoes and your dry parsley. Mix well and let boil for a few minutes.
  6. In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix your garlic, 2 tbsp of olive oil and lemon juice. Once that's done, pour it in your rice mixture and mix well. Side note: This mixture can also be used as a great light and simple salad dressing! 
  7. Cover the pot and lower your heat to let the rice cook.
  8. Your dish is ready once your rice is ready. If you WANT to pile up the carbs, eat it up with whole wheat pita bread - absolutely fantastic! ;)
*Carnivorous option: Before dropping in your zucchini, cook ground beef really well (the quantity you like) , then add the zucchini and continue with following steps. In this alternative, the tomatoes are optional, and you can use dry mint instead of parsley.

*Note: The quantities for this inside-out kousa are different from regular kousa. I haven't given it a try yet but you're more than welcome to leave comments on how you'd make yours! :)



Martha Stewart FREE e-cookbook!

Once again this year, Martha Stewart gathered great cooks and is providing everyone with her free e-cookbook! All the recipes look absolutely fantastic and there are a lot more vegetarian choices this year for a meat-free holiday season!

Click here to enjoy great recipes!