6 thawed chicken tenderloins, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS olive oil
3 heads of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup sliced baby carrots
12 oz. dry angel hair pasta
black sesame seeds, diced green onion, and/or smashed peanuts for garnish (optional)
For the sauce:
1 cup natural peanut butter (no salt added)
5 TBS soy sauce
5 TBS vinegar (use rice vinegar if you have it)
2-1/2 TBS coconut oil
1-1/2 TBS sesame oil
hot sauce to taste
Boil pasta, broccoli, and carrots together until cooked (7-8 minutes). Drain and toss with oil to keep from sticking, and set aside.
Toss chicken with olive oil and garlic powder, then pan fry on medium until chicken browns. Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients (except for water) in a small sauce pan, and simmer over medium-low heat. Dilute with filtered water as needed to thin the sauce.
When chicken is browned, remove from heat. Add pasta, broccoli, and carrots to the chicken in wok or skillet, and top with sauce. Toss to combine. Serve immediately for a hot noodle dish, or cool for a few hours in the fridge, as this dish is an awesome cold salad for warm summer days!
Dry angel hair pasta $0.79
Chicken tenderloins $2.99
Broccoli crowns $1.99
Baby carrots $0.99
Peanut butter: $1.99
Other pantry items: $0
Total: $8.75, feeding two hungry adults dinner, and two lunches the next day ($2.19/meal)
In the few days preceding pay day, budgets and nerves can become pretty strained, but necessity is the mother of invention, and I have become a boss at dining on literal dimes! Last week was particularly tight, and although stressful in many ways, I enjoyed taking on the challenge of creating tasty meals within the confines of my pantry. On Thursday night, my latest culinary adventure birthed a new family favorite: Turmeric Glass Noodles.
Not many families may have glass (or mung bean thread) noodles in their pantries, but as you know, I'm Asian, so I grew up around this stuff. And at $.79 for eight bunches of these delicate noodles, you betcha I stock up on 'em whenever I'm at an Asian market! Between Asian grocers, Trader Joe's, and Aldi, my budget-conscious grocery lists are always covered.
So, back to the noodles. As you may have noticed, I've been obsessed with ground turkey lately, because it's pretty lean and crazy cheap! Our local Aldi carries it for $1.99/roll (about 1 lb.), and one roll is all this recipe takes. I'm also a huge fan of Trader Joe's Cruciferous Crunch Mix, a bag of already-shredded cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts that costs around $3. All of the other ingredients are pretty usual suspects (garlic, minced onion, soy sauce, vegetable stock, turmeric, and coconut sugar), and are always in residence in my kitchen anyway, so we'll just count those as $0. When all is said and done, this dinner fed two hungry adults, with enough left over for my wife's lunch on Friday, at a total cost of $6, or $2 per meal. Yeah, baby!
I hope this easy, tasty, and cheap recipe finds its way onto the screens of people who need it.
Happy, healthy, and affordable eating!
About the Author
Sarah Ouano is a naturopathic doctor and writer. A fierce advocate for health equity and rights of the marginalized, she frequently writes about the intersection of naturopathic medicine and public health, throwing in personal anecdotes and tasty (and practical) recipes along the way.