Pad Thai, $2.28 a plate and Boozie Smoothie, $2.06 for a double

Today’s dinner recipe is made almost entirely of vegetables, just to keep the calories down so I can get away with making a pretty bomb smoothie for the drink! This smoothie is basically a meal in itself; take out the booze and you could definitely have it for breakfast (or leave the booze in and call it “brunch”).

padthaiheader

But before I get ahead with myself on the drink, let’s go back to the food. Pad thai! Who doesn’t love pad thai? I made this pad thai with spaghetti squash- and honestly, I humbly believe it’s the best use there is for spaghetti squash- but the important part of the recipe is actually the sauce. Instead of using the squash, you could use a $0.79 box of linguini (which I’ve actually done) or use (gasp) actual rice noodles. The vegetables can really be anything you like/is on sale, too. I used cubed eggplant instead of tofu or meat, carrots cut in matchsticks, and, you know, a whole bunch of other bunny food. I’m a big fan of vegetables. Especially when they’re smothered in a yummy salty/sweet/spicy sauce.

When I first made pad thai using this sauce, I was first excited by how EASY it actually is to make, and then even more excited by how gosh-darn GOOD it is. I couldn’t believe I’d never even tried to make it before, considering Thai is my go-to takeout choice. And, all of the sauce ingredients are things I almost always have on hand anyway. There’s no real reason I can’t make it as often as I throw some veggies into a jar of pasta sauce for dinner!

So, long story short, I recommend this pad thai sauce.

I also recommend making smoothies and adding booze! Booze is great. Smoothies are good. (And people are crazy). It’s win/win.

Unfortunately for my love of delicious heavy cocktails, like pina coladas and daiquris, after drinking only one I feel completely stuffed. I never understand how people can drink those things all night. The good thing, though, drinking thick cocktails does force you to “eat” a little while drinking, which will help you not get too sloppy. And if you don’t add sugar, and rely on healthy fruits to add sweetness, the vitamin C might help you avoid a hangover.

While delicious, and nutritious, and despite the fact that dinner was only vegetables, this smoothie did not escape my one and done rule for heavy cocktails (though, we still drank all 4 glasses this recipe made anyway, after my taste buds told my stomach to stop being such a whiner). That said, I still recommend it, because it was delicious. And was basically drinks and dessert combined. And because, if you’re better at layering cocktails than I am, and have cooler glasses, it could be really pretty!

padthaiplate
Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
1 eggplant
1 onion
3-5 cloves garlic
4-5 mushrooms
3 carrots
1/2 head of broccoli
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 tbsp sesame oil
Sauce (adapted from this)
1/4 cup tamari (or other soy sauce)
1-2 limes, juiced*
2-3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter*
2-4 tbsp chili garlic sauce (or hot sauce)*
1/4 cup sugar
*I used the higher level of all of the things above, however it depends on your preferences for spice, limeyness, etc. I would recommend using the lower amount for everything, and then change it as you like it. Remember, you can always put more spice, peanuts, and lime on, but you can’t take it away.
spagsquash
  1. If using spaghetti squash, bake for about 45 minutes in an oven preheated to 350F. Take out when scraping the inside of it easily pulls out strands. Let it cool, and then scrape the whole squash with a fork to make your noodles.
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  2. Chop your vegetables. I recommend the carrots in matchsticks, the eggplant cubed, garlic minced, onions diced, broccoli in long, skinny sticks, mushrooms sliced, and peppers cut thin.
    DSC_0578
  3. Start sauteing the vegetables in sesame oil. First, put in the onions for about a minute, then throw in the garlic, mushrooms, and carrots. After a minute or two, put in the eggplant. Once the eggplant is softened almost to your liking, put in the broccoli for about a minute. Finally, add the peppers at the very end.
  4. While your are sauteing the vegetables, mix together the tamari (or soy sauce), lime juice, peanut butter, chili garlic sauce and/or hot sauce, and sugar for the sauce.
  5. Add the sauce to the vegetables. Cook for another minute or so.
  6. Finally, add in your squash noodles (or other noodles), mix to combine, and cook for another minute.
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  7. Serve as is, or with extra lime and peanuts.

 

 

booziesmoothie

This recipe was inspired by this recipe

Ingredients
1 pineapple
half a pound of strawberries (sliced and frozen)
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 banana (sliced and frozen)
1/2-1 can of coconut milk***
6-12 oz of vodka**
**We used 6 oz, which gives each drink 1.5 oz of liquor (1 shot). For the second glass, we actually splashed a bit more vodka in there and you could still barely taste the liquor. Considering you will likely not be drinking more than 2 glasses of the drink, I would recommend actually using 12 oz (so each drink is a double). I calculated the calories/price as if 12 ounces were used.
***We actually used the full can, but I recommend (and calculated the calories/price) only using half a can. I’m sure it will still be creamy and delicious and you cut out a significant amount of calories and fat. I was just too lazy to find a container for the rest of the can, so in it all went.
  1. Wash and slice your strawberries and bananas. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, spread the fruit in a single layer, and put in the freezer.

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  1. Remove the peel and chop the pineapple into chunks. Freeze half for an extra cold smoothie (I did not remember to do this in time).
  2. Once the fruit is at your desired level of frozen, blend half the bananas, half the coconut milk, half the booze, and all of the strawberries and blueberries.
  3. Pour half into two glasses, and the rest in another container to drink later.
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  4. Rinse out the blender. Not really necessary to wash it completely.
  5. Put the rest of the banana, coconut milk, vodka, and the entire pineapple into the blender. You may have to slowly put chunks of pineapple in, as the smoothie blends down.
  6. Layer the smoothie on top of the strawberry by slowly pouring over a spoon.
And finally, the cost breakdown. In the spirit of full disclosure, I made educated guestimations on a few of these prices. SO SUE ME.
PadThaiTotals
And, finally, because it’s the day before Valentine’s and I’ve had a bottle of wine…I made an Instagram! Yes, I’m real hip, I know. Really “with it”. But follow me anyway!! http://instagram.com/drunkfrugalvegan/
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