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Keep a well-stocked pantry for speedy meals

(ran TP edition)

Most nights I want my meals to be fast and low in fat. One of my secrets: a well-stocked pantry.

Of course, I keep non-fat chicken stock on hand. Non-fat egg substitute is another staple I'm rarely without; it keeps a relatively long time in the refrigerator. One surprising basic ingredient in my kitchen is Chinese-style dry noodles; they come in a convenient 5-pound box, and they work in a variety of dishes, including soup.

Most of the other ingredients for this dinner can be picked up in many supermarkets and in any Chinese grocery store. For a great ending to this dinner, try a cool melon sorbet from the freezer case of your supermarket or splurge and have a Chinese almond cookie with hot jasmine tea.


Seafood Noodle Soup

Pea Shoot Salad

Melon sorbet or Chinese almond cookies

Jasmine tea


1 (49{-ounce) can non-fat chicken broth

1 pound frozen fish, shrimp and calamari balls

6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

3 baby bok choy, cut into 1-inch slices

6 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cups water

\ cup non-fat egg substitute

2 teaspoons sesame oil

\ pound Chinese-style dry noodles

Cilantro leaves

Bring chicken broth to boil in saucepan. Add fish, shrimp and calamari balls. Return to boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook about 10 minutes, until seafood balls are cooked through. Add mushrooms and bok choy and simmer few more minutes.

Blend together cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir into bubbling broth. Return to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until broth is clear and thickened, about 2 minutes. Slowly drizzle egg substitute into soup, cover, remove from heat and let stand 1 minute. Stir in sesame oil.

Cook noodles in boiling water in 3-quart saucepan 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and divide among 4 serving bowls. Spoon soup over noodles. Garnish with few cilantro leaves.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains 351 calories; 482 mg sodium; 172 mg cholesterol; 4 g fat; 39 g carbohydrates; 36 g protein; 0.56 g fiber.


8 cups pea pods

\ cup chopped basil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

\ cup seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons water


Coarsely ground Sichuan peppercorns

Rinse pea shoots under cold water and drain. Remove any tough stems. Combine basil, garlic, rice vinegar, olive oil, water, salt and Sichuan pepper to taste. Toss with pea shoots.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains 126 calories; 87 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 7 g fat; 13 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 1.76 g fiber.

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