Recipes

Thai basil noodles with tofu: Better than take-out

Bring on the fresh ingredients, eating all meals at home, and quitting take-out (insert tear for Thai food cravings)!

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Ah, New Year’s resolutions. We’ve all made (and broken) them, right? So this year I resolve to skip the resolutions. But I am going to boost my health. Which includes more exercise and eating as “clean” as possible.  Bring on the fresh ingredients, eating all meals at home, and quitting take-out (insert tear for Thai food cravings)! But with Chatelaine’s Thai basil noodles with tofu, we can still have take-out taste, at home.

I will admit that we rarely order take-out. But when we do, it’s always Thai (the husband, aka chef in training, has a deep love for Thai noodles). However, despite the fresh veggies that accompany many Thai take-out dishes, they also come with plenty of other stuff – like excessive oils and fat. This recipe still has some oil (3 tbsp) and sugar (1/2 cup), but it’s filled with lots of healthy ingredients, like carrots, red peppers, fresh basil, tofu, and vegetable broth.

Now the recipe does have a fairly long list of ingredients (16, to be exact), and I ended up having to read and re-read the directions multiple times because my mini-sous chef was enthusiastically playing her harmonica (thanks, Santa). But this is the kind of meal that after you’ve prepared it once, it will be easy to make again. The sauce was simple to pull together, as long as you have the ingredients on hand (eggs, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, hot garlic sauce, and fish sauce), and the rice noodles couldn’t be easier to prepare. You put them in a deep pot or bowl and cover them with boiling water for 8-10 minutes. I did leave them in for about 15 minutes, thanks to the harmonica distraction, and would recommend sticking to the recipe’s timing suggestion. The noodles weren’t super soggy, but after being mixed with the sauce and heated, they became a little softer than we like.

We ate this meal sans mini-sous chef, as she isn’t a fan of red pepper, carrot, or ketchup (yes, I have the kid who doesn’t like ketchup!), which turned out to be a good idea because it does have some heat. But it was so good, even my noodle-obsessed husband had to admit it could (easily) replace our take-out Thai. And at a fraction of the cost. So not only does our health win with this recipe, so do our wallets.

Try this recipe: Thai basil noodles with tofu