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Of all the reasons we love Asian take-out—it’s fast, inexpensive and comes in cute containers—the biggest is flavor. But even if Thai, Indian or Chinese dishes aren’t currently in your repertoire, you can whip up some of your favorite Asian dishes in the time it takes to pick up take-out. Plus, besides tasting delicious, the meal you prepare at home will be more heart-healthy, because you control the amounts of fat and sodium.
With these recipes, simple is the name of the game. Easy-to-find ingredients (available in the ethnic foods section of most supermarkets) and familiar cooking techniques are made to order for weeknight dinners. So get out the woks and pans and make some of your favorite take-out even better—by making it at home.
Spicy Peanut Noodles
Serves 6 l Vegan l 30 minutes or fewer
For milder noodles, start with 1 tsp. chile paste. If you want more spice, add a dab at a time, tasting as you go.
8 oz. linguine
1/3 cup low-fat creamy peanut butter
2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
1 to 2 tsp. chile paste with garlic
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 medium-size red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3/4 cup chopped seeded cucumber
3 green onions, sliced diagonally into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
4 lime wedges, optional
1. Cook linguine according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, combine peanut butter, 1/4 cup water, soy sauce, vinegar, chile paste and sugar in large bowl; whisk until blended. If sauce seems too thick, thin it with a little water; it should have the consistency of cream.
3. Add linguine, bell pepper, cucumber and green onions, and toss well. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
PER SERVING: 234 CAL; 9G PROT; 8G TOTAL FAT (1.5G SAT. FAT); 33G CARB; 0MG CHOL; 270MG SOD; 3G FIBER; 4G SUGARS