Tag Archives: cucumber

Pork and noodles in coconut-tamarind sauce: $1.52/serving

As a frozen bag of chipotle chiles in adobo (just empty out the can into a Ziploc) is to Mexican cooking, a frozen bag of tamarind paste is to Thai cooking: indispensable. It’s extremely versatile (you can use tamarind in place of lime juice) and you can always be sure you have some on hand. Tamarind paste can be found in brick form in pretty much any Asian market, and frozen, it lasts pretty much forever. I’ve probably had the same block in my freezer for almost two years, and I’m just now getting to the last little chunk. It’s great for any kind of curry or pad Thai, desserts, and thrown-together weeknight dishes like this one that could benefit from a little sweet tanginess.

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Asian noodle salad with peanuts & mint: 90 cents/serving

I wish I could lay claim to this so-simple-it’s-genius salad, but believe it or not, it’s all Martha. I admit it’s more of a late-summer meal, especially given the cucumber, but given my aforementioned mint problem, it might be switching seasons. A word of advice: If you’re going to have leftovers, only dress one serving at a time, as the acid in the lime juice can break down the noodles and turn them mushy as they sit.

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Cucumber rolls: $1.05/serving

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I don’t like seafood. Every year I try once again to taste something “mild” that everyone claims “absolutely does not taste fishy,” and end up almost dry-heaving after feeling like I’ve trawled the harbor at low tide and taken a bite of everything that came up in the net. Tuna, fish sticks, shrimp—it’s all inedible to me. So, obviously, sushi has been and probably always will be a no-no. Having been dragged to sushi restaurants all the same, I thankfully discovered the wonder that is cucumber rolls. How on earth people could choose fish over crisp, delicious cucumber is beyond me. This is a fun, refreshing dish any time of year and quick enough to throw together on a weeknight.

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