Honey Sriracha Tofu

This sweet, spicy, and sticky honey sriracha tofu is addictively delicious! Add it to salads, bowl meals, noodles, wraps, and more.

The post Honey Sriracha Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I haven’t made tofu in a while but I can tell you one thing, I’m going to be making this Honey Sriracha Tofu a lot from here on out. These tasty little tofu cubes are pan-fried until crispy on the outside and then drenched in a sweet and spicy sriracha glaze. It’s simple but so addictive! They’re so good that I sat there eating the tofu right out of the pan, nearly polishing off the entire batch myself. 😬 Realistically, you’ll probably want to stretch this out to about four servings as part of a full meal, and I’ve got some great ideas for that below. 😉

honey sriracha tofu in a bowl with rice and cucumber
Serving suggestion: in a bowl with rice, cucumber, and sesame seeds.

What Kind of Tofu to Use

I suggest using either firm or extra-firm tofu for this recipe so that the tofu cubes hold their shape during frying. Even with firm or extra-firm tofu, you’ll want to stir gently to prevent the cubes from crumbling.

To add even more texture in your tofu, you can freeze the tofu (right in the package) and then thaw before pressing. This makes the tofu a little more dense and texturized, rather than soft and smooth.

Can I Substitute the Sriracha?

Sriracha is the main flavor in this recipe and it provides several flavor elements to the sauce like heat, acidity, garlic, and salt. You could potentially substitute it with another chili sauce, like chili garlic sauce, sambal oelek, or maybe even gochujang. But if you’re looking for a non-spicy option, it will take several ingredients to replace all the flavors contained in the sriracha. I suggest using this recipe for Pan Fried Sesame Tofu as a non-spicy alternative.

Close up of honey sriracha tofu in the skillet

Make it Vegan

To make this honey sriracha tofu vegan you only need to swap one ingredient—honey. Substitute the honey with either brown sugar or agave nectar. Brown sugar is my top choice because I love the deep flavors that the molasses in the brown sugar provides.

Use Non-Stick Cookware for Best Results

Cornstarch helps create a nice crispy coating on the tofu, but cornstarch also likes to stick to cookware. For that reason, I suggest using some type of non-stick cookware, whether that be ceramic, cast iron, or Teflon.

How to Serve Honey Sriracha Tofu

Do as I say and don’t do as I do (almost eat the entire batch straight out of the skillet). Use this honey sriracha tofu to top salads, like Crunchy Cabbage Salad or Cold Peanut Noodle Salad. Make it into a bowl meal with rice and cooling cucumbers (as pictured) and maybe some Peanut Lime Dressing. Or add it to some noodles like these Sesame Noodles with Wilted Greens or Garlic Noodles. You could even stuff it into a big tortilla with Crunchy Cabbage Salad and make it a wrap!

Honey sriracha tofu in the skillet with a spatula, ingredients on the sides
Close up of honey sriracha tofu in the skillet

Honey Sriracha Tofu

This sweet, spicy, and sticky honey sriracha tofu is addictively delicious! Add it to salads, bowl meals, wraps, and more.
Total Cost $2.64 recipe / $0.66 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Press Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 161kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu $1.79
  • 2 Tbsp sriracha $0.22
  • 2 Tbsp honey $0.24
  • 2 tsp soy sauce, divided $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.03
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.22

Instructions

  • Press the tofu for 30 minutes to remove the excess moisture. You can do this by either using a tofu press, or placing the block of tofu on a rimmed plate or tray, then topping with something flat like a cutting board and placing a heavy object on top (cast iron skillet or pot of water). After pressing for 30 minutes, pour off the extra liquid.
  • While the tofu is pressing, make the honey sriracha sauce. In a small bowl, combine the sriracha, honey, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and the crushed red pepper. Set the sauce aside.
  • Cut the pressed tofu into ½-inch cubes. Use a paper towel to lightly pat dry the tofu cubes.
  • Add the cooking oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce to a large bowl. Lightly whisk the soy sauce into the oil. Add the cubed tofu and gently stir until the tofu is coated in oil and soy sauce.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon cornstarch over the cubed tofu and gently stir. Repeat two more times, or until 3 teaspoon (1 Tablespoon) cornstarch has been added to the tofu.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium. When the skillet is hot, add the prepared tofu. The tofu will fry in the oil that is coating the cubes. Cook the tofu, stirring only occasionally, until it is brown and crispy on all sides (about 10 minutes).
  • Pour the honey sriracha sauce over the tofu and continue to stir and cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until the glaze is thick and sticky.
  • Top the honey sriracha tofu with sliced green onions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 405mg | Fiber: 1g
close up of honey sriracha tofu in a bowl with cucumber

How to Make Honey Sriracha Tofu – Step by Step Photos

Homemade tofu press with cutting boards and cast iron skillet

Drain one 14oz. block of firm or extra-firm tofu. Press the tofu for 30 minutes using either a tofu press, or a homemade press like in the photo above. To make the homemade press, place the block of tofu on a plate or rimmed baking sheet, then top with a cutting board and a heavy object, like a cast-iron skillet or pot of water.

honey sriracha sauce

While the tofu is pressing, prepare the honey sriracha sauce. Stir together 2 Tablespoons sriracha, 2 Tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper.

pressed tofu with liquid all around the dish

You can see how much more liquid came out of the block of tofu after pressing for 30 minutes. Pour off the excess liquid.

Cubed tofu on a cutting board

Cut the block of tofu into ½-inch cubes and lightly pat dry with a paper towel.

cooking oil and soy sauce in a large bowl

Add 2 Tablespoons of cooking oil and one teaspoon soy sauce to a large bowl. Whisk until they are somewhat combined, then add the cubed tofu and gently stir until the tofu is coated.

cubed tofu in the bowl with cornstarch

Add one teaspoon cornstarch to the bowl with the tofu and gently stir again. Repeat two more times until you’ve added 3 teaspoons (or one tablespoon) cornstarch and the tofu is coated.

cooked tofu cubes in a skillet

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is very hot, add the tofu. The tofu is coated in oil, so there is no need to add extra oil to the skillet. Cook the tofu, stirring occasionally, until it is golden brown and crispy on all sides.

honey sriracha sauce being poured over the tofu in the skillet

Pour the prepared honey sriracha sauce over the tofu.

finished honey sriracha tofu in the skillet garnished with sliced green onions

Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes more or until the sauce is thick and sticky. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

honey sriracha tofu in a bowl with rice, cucumber, and sesame seeds

The post Honey Sriracha Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls

These Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls feature light and airy rice noodles, cold crunchy vegetables, and a deliciously bright peanut lime dressing.

The post Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m sooooo ready for the lighter foods of spring and summer! This week I made a deliciously light and fresh noodle bowl with crispy tofu, fresh vegetables, and a simple peanut lime dressing. I’m just loving all the cold crunchy vegetables and the light and airy rice noodles in this bowl. As always, I’ve got some substitution options for these Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls below, so make sure to keep reading!

Overhead view of a peanut tofu noodle bowl on a blue background and a fork on the side

What Kind of Noodles Can I Use?

I love rice noodles for this bowl because they’re super light and they taste great cold. I used a vermicelli style rice noodle because that was what was available at the store, but a slightly wider noodle would probably work best (wider noodles tangle less).

If you don’t have rice noodles available or want a less expensive option, these bowls are very similar to my Cold Peanut Noodle Salad, which uses whole what spaghetti, so I think that could also work here.

A third option is to serve these bowls over rice in stead of noodles. Jasmine rice would be my pick!

A fourth option is to serve this like a salad over shredded cabbage or lettuce.

Can I Substitute the Tofu?

Sure! I think both chicken and shrimp would also go great in this bowl. For chicken, just cube it up and sauté in oil until cooked through. You could even toss it in a little bit of the peanut dressing, making sure to save some for the rest of the bowls. For shrimp, just make sure they’re peeled and tails removed, then sauté in oil over medium until they’re opaque and pink (this only takes a few minutes).

Are Tofu Peanut Noodle Bowls Served Hot or Cold?

I eat this bowl cold. When you make them fresh the noodles may still be slightly warm or room temperature, but they’ll be cool enough to not heat the rest of the ingredients. The tofu also cools very rapidly.

How Are the Leftovers?

These bowls hold up pretty good in the fridge! The tofu doesn’t stay crispy, like any fried food, but it’s still tasty in the bowl. You can refrigerate these bowls, with the dressing kept separately, for about 4 days.

Three peanut tofu noodle bowls in glass containers, dressing being poured over one
Overhead view of a peanut tofu noodle bowl with a black fork on the side

Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls

These Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls feature light and airy rice noodles, cold crunchy vegetables, and a deliciously bright peanut lime dressing.
Total Cost $10.40 recipe / $2.60 serving
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 53.25kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Crispy Tofu

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu $2.79
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04

Peanut Lime Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter $0.38
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.04
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.05
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice $0.50
  • 2 tsp soy sauce $0.04
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil* $0.04

Bowls

  • 8 oz. rice noodles $2.69
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 cucumber $1.49
  • 1 carrot $0.08
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro $0.40
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts $0.12

Instructions

  • Start by pressing the tofu. Remove the tofu from the package, then place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Place a cutting board, plate, or another flat object over top, then place something heavy on top of that, like a cast iron skillet or a pot of water. Let the tofu sit with the weight on top for about 30 minutes to press the excess moisture out of the tofu.
  • While the tofu is pressing, prepare the peanut lime dressing. Combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, lime juice, soy sauce and oil in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • You can also prep the vegetables while the tofu is pressing. Slice the red bell pepper, slice the cucumber into thin sticks, shred the carrot using a cheese grater, and remove the cilantro leaves from the stems (or just roughly chop them).
  • After the tofu has been pressing for about 30 minutes, pour off the excess water from the baking sheet. Transfer the pressed tofu to a cutting board, and cut the block into ½-inch cubes.
  • Place the tofu cubes in a bowl or shallow dish and sprinkle with salt and cornstarch. Gently toss the tofu cubes until they are coated in cornstarch.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu cubes and cook on each side until golden brown and crispy. Once crispy, remove them from the heat.
  • Finally, cook the rice noodles. Bring a pot of water to a full boil, then add the noodles. Boil only for about three minutes, or the recommended time on the package. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water. Let the noodles drain well.
  • To assemble the bowls, place ¼ of the noodles in the bottom of each bowl. Top with some bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, cilantro, and crispy tofu. Sprinkle some chopped peanuts over top, then drizzle with the peanut lime dressing. Enjoy!

Notes

*Any light, neutral-flavored oil will work here, like canola, peanut, sesame (not toasted), avocado, grapeseed, etc. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 53.25kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.08g | Protein: 25.35g | Fat: 38g | Sodium: 437.33mg | Fiber: 6.05g
close up side view of peanut lime dressing being drizzled over a peanut tofu noodle bowl

How to Make Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls – Step by Step Photos

A block of tofu on a baking tray with a cast iron skillet on one side, cutting board on the other side

Start by pressing the tofu. This removes the excess moisture and takes about a half hour, so start with this first. Remove the tofu from its package and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Place something flat on top, like a cutting board or plate, then place something heavy on top of that. I use a cast iron skillet, but a pot of water also works. Let it press for about a half hour. You can see in the photo above all the water that came out.

Peanut lime dressing being whisked in a bowl

While the tofu is pressing, make the peanut lime dressing. Add 3 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ½ tsp grated fresh ginger, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp soy sauce, and ¼ cup neutral oil (anything light flavored) in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Prepped vegetables on a cutting board

You should also have time to prep the vegetables while the tofu presses. Slice one red bell pepper, one cucumber (depending on the size you may only need half), grate one carrot using a cheese grater, and pull about ½ bunch cilantro leaves from the stems.

Cubed tofu being sprinkled with cornstarch

After the tofu has pressed, transfer it to a cutting board and cut it into ½-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl or shallow dish, then sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp cornstarch. Gently toss the tofu until it is coated in cornstarch.

Crispy tofu in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu and cook until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Remove the tofu from the heat.

package of rice noodles

Lastly, cook the rice noodles. I used vermicelli, but if you can find a slightly wider rice noodle that may work better because they won’t tangle as much. I used one 8 oz. package of rice noodles.

Cooked rice noodles draining in a colander

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the noodles and boil for about three minutes, or the recommended time on the package. Drain the rice noodles in a colander and rise briefly with cool water. Let them drain well.

rice noodles in a bowl topped with tofu, bell pepper, cucumber, and carrots

Now it’s time to build the bowls! Place ¼ of the rice noodles in each bowl. Top with bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, and tofu.

Finished peanut tofu noodle bowl, minus dressing

Top the bowl with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro.

Peanut lime dressing being drizzled over a peanut tofu noodle bowl

And finally, drizzle that delicious peanut lime dressing over top of the peanut tofu noodle bowls when you’re ready to eat!

Half-stirred peanut tofu noodle bowl with a fork in the center

The post Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings

Wow. Just, WOW. These Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings are just the right amount of salty, sweet, and spicy with a fresh little zing thanks to the ginger. The sticky gooey sauce is so good that you won’t even care when it gets all over your face and fingers. …but maybe keep some wet naps close […]

The post Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Wow. Just, WOW. These Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings are just the right amount of salty, sweet, and spicy with a fresh little zing thanks to the ginger. The sticky gooey sauce is so good that you won’t even care when it gets all over your face and fingers. …but maybe keep some wet naps close by. ;) 

Originally posted 8-29-2010, updated 3-8-2021

Overhead view of a bowl full of sticky ginger chicken wings

Baked Instead of Fried

Restaurant chicken wings are usually fried, but I have an irrational fear (or maybe it’s a rational fear) of deep-frying, so I make my wings in the oven. Sometimes I’ll bake the wings coated in cornstarch to get a nice crispy skin (see my Honey Mustard Wings), but this time I baked my wings right in the soy ginger sauce so the sauce would reduce and turn into a sticky glaze as the wings baked—no need for a second pot. It’s super easy and there’s no danger of fryer grease splashing or causing third-degree burns (or at least that’s what plays out in my head every time I think about deep-frying). 

What Kind of Baking Dish is Best?

I used an 8″x11″ glass casserole dish to bake my wings. I suggest glass or ceramic because they conduct heat a little more evenly than metal, which may cause the sauce to burn a bit more on the edges. If you want to double the batch, just use a larger dish, like a 9″x13″, or one that allows you to spread the chicken wings in a single layer.

What to Serve with Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings

Since these wings are so sticky sweet, I would suggest adding a vegetable-heavy side, like this Crunchy Cabbage Salad, or Sesame Cucumber Salad. And then if you want to also add a starch, try something simple like Sesame Rice or Garlic Noodles.

Close up side view of a bowl full of sticky ginger chicken wings

Overhead view of a bowl full of sticky ginger chicken wings

Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings

These sticky ginger chicken wings are sweet, spicy, and salty all in one bite. They're totally addictive and finger-licking delicious!
Total Cost $8.56 recipe / $4.28 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 2 about 6 pieces each
Calories 1129.25kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings or drummettes 6.58
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1/4 cup honey $0.66
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.12
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce $0.13
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.24
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar $0.13
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger $0.30
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the chicken wings in a glass or ceramic baking dish so that they're in a single layer. Drizzle the cooking oil over top, then toss the wings to coat in the oil. Transfer the wings to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • While the wings are baking, prepare the sticky ginger sauce. Combine the honey, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, minced garlic, and grated ginger in a bowl.
  • After the wings have baked for 15 minutes, pour the sauce over the wings, then toss to coat. Return the wings to the oven and bake for an additional 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced into a sticky glaze and deepened in color. Baking time may vary slightly, so keep an eye on the sauce toward the end of the baking time.
  • Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 1129.25kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.05g | Protein: 81.95g | Fat: 72.05g | Sodium: 1409.5mg | Fiber: 0.75g

How to Make Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings – Step By Step Photos

Raw chicken wings in a casserole dish being drizzled with cooking oil

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place 2 lbs. chicken wings and/or drummettes in a casserole dish so they’re in a single layer. Drizzle 1 Tbsp cooking oil over top and then toss to coat in the oil. Place the wings in the preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Sticky ginger sauce ingredients in a bowl

While the wings are beginning to cook, prepare the sticky ginger sauce. In a bowl, stir together ¼ cup honey, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger.

Sauce being poured over wings

After the wings have cooked for 15 minutes, pour the prepared sauce over top and stir to coat. Return the wings to the oven.

Finished sticky ginger chicken wings in the casserole dish

Continue to cook the chicken wings for about 45 minutes more, stirring every 15 minutes or so, or until the sauce has reduced into a sticky glaze and turned deep brown in color. Baking time may vary slightly, so keep an eye on the sauce toward the end of the baking time.

Finished sticky ginger chicken wings topped with sliced green onions

Top with sliced green onions, then serve! Enjoy that sticky-sweet-salty-spicy goodness!

The post Sticky Ginger Chicken Wings appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Baked Ginger Salmon

Salmon is a bit on the expensive side, but it’s a really nice “sensible splurge” to have on special occasions or when you want to treat yourself. Fish can be intimidating if you’ve never cooked it before, but I promise that this Baked Ginger Salmon is so foolproof that it’s a great beginner fish recipe. […]

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Salmon is a bit on the expensive side, but it’s a really nice “sensible splurge” to have on special occasions or when you want to treat yourself. Fish can be intimidating if you’ve never cooked it before, but I promise that this Baked Ginger Salmon is so foolproof that it’s a great beginner fish recipe. I also love this recipe for the fact that the leftovers hold up really well, so it’s a really great item for meal prep.

Originally posted 4-19-2011, updated 1-24-2021.

Baked ginger salmon on a plate with green beans and rice

Baking Time Will Vary

Salmon filets come in a variety of thicknesses, even sometimes within one fillet, you’ll have one end that is very thick while the opposite end is very thin (like the filet I used in the photos below). Thankfully, this recipe is pretty forgiving. For thicker fillets (1-2 inches thick) you’ll want to bake your salmon for about 20 minutes, for thinner fillets (½-inch or so) you’ll probably only need around 15 minutes. Since my fillet had both a thick end and a thin end, I baked for the whole 20 minutes and the thin side was still not dried out. 

To verify you’ve cooked your salmon long enough, you can use an instant read thermometer in one of your thicker pieces and make sure it has reached 145ºF.

What is Toasted Sesame Oil?

Toasted sesame oil is an important ingredient in this dish. This is an oil that is expressed from toasted sesame seeds, so it has a super deep nutty flavor. Just a little splash of this oil really adds a lot of flavor, so you don’t want to skip it. You can find toasted sesame oil in the international foods aisle of most major grocery stores. While it is not always labeled “toasted” you can tell you have toasted sesame oil by the deep brown color. Regular sesame oil (not toasted) is a light straw color, like canola oil.

What to Serve with Baked Ginger Salmon

Because this main dish is so simple, I like to keep everything in the meal super simple. Today I served my Baked Ginger Salmon with Sesame Roasted Green Beans and plain rice, but I think this salmon would also be AMAZING served over my Crunchy Cabbage Salad. You could also pair it with something simple like steamed broccoli and Sesame Rice.

Side view of baked ginger salmon on a plate with green beans and rice

 

a flaked piece of baked ginger salmon on a plate with green beans and rice

Baked Ginger Salmon

Topped with a quick sweet and savory glaze, this Baked Ginger Salmon is a fast, easy, and delicious way to prepare salmon.
Total Cost $7.87 recipe / $1.97 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 173.73kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 1 tsp soy sauce $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.02
  • 1 lb. fresh salmon $7.57

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Grate about 1 tsp fresh ginger. Combine the ginger, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil in a bowl.
  • Cut the salmon into four equal portions. Place the portioned salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil, skin side down.
  • Spread the prepared ginger glaze over the top of each piece of salmon.
  • Bake the salmon for about 20 minutes (15 minutes for thin fillets), or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 4oz. | Calories: 173.73kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.18g | Protein: 23.23g | Fat: 5.25g | Sodium: 159.75mg | Fiber: 0.03g

How to Make Baked Ginger Salmon – Step By Step Photos

grated fresh ginger on a cutting board

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Grate about 1 tsp fresh ginger. If you’re new to working with ginger, it is actually easier to grate when it’s frozen, so when I bring it home from the store I wash it up really well then just pop it into a freezer bag and store it in the freezer. That way I always have fresh ginger on hand. P.S. I never even bother to peel it anymore, I just make sure it’s washed well before freezing.

ginger glaze ingredients in a bowl

Combine the grated ginger with 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 clove of garlic (minced), 1 tsp soy sauce, and ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil.

mixed ginger glaze in the bowl with a spatula

Mix the glaze ingredients together until combined.

Salmon fillet cut into four portions on a cutting board

Cut a one pound salmon fillet into four portions. I cut the thinner end a little wider and the thicker end a little narrower to make the portions more even. If your salmon has skin and scales, you don’t need to remove it. The salmon will be baking skin down, and the salmon flesh easily comes off the skin after baking.

Glaze being spread onto salmon portions

Place the salmon portions on a baking sheet lined in parchment or foil (for easy cleanup), then spread the ginger glaze over the surface of the pieces. You can smear a little on the sides, but leave most of it on top. It will drip down the sides as it bakes.

Baked ginger salmon on the baking sheet

Bake the salmon in the fully preheated 425ºF oven for about 20 minutes (a little less if your fillets are thin), or until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 145ºF. The glaze that drips off the side of the salmon may burn on the baking sheet, but the fish and the glaze that is on the fish will not burn.

a flaked piece of baked ginger salmon on a plate with green beans and rice

Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days. Enjoy!

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Crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken

Crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken
This sweet and sour chicken recipe starts with a cornstarch and egg batter, is pan-fried, and then baked in a sweet and tangy sauce.
READ: Crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken

A white bowl of baked sweet and sour chicken with broccoli, rice, and chopsticks.

Crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken

This sweet and sour chicken recipe starts with a cornstarch and egg batter, is pan-fried, and then baked in a sweet and tangy sauce.

READ: Crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sesame Roasted Green Beans

Simply seasoned and roasted to perfection in the oven, these Sesame Roasted Green Beans are an easy and flavorful side dish.

The post Sesame Roasted Green Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Want dinner to be easy? Oven roast everything. Haha! Seriously, it’s my favorite cooking method because it’s mostly hands-off and the dry cooking environment concentrates flavors and creates delicious caramelization. I usually steam my green beans, keeping them mostly fresh, but since I already had the oven going for some salmon, I decided to try to make Sesame Roasted Green Beans instead. They were super easy, tasty, and a nice change of pace from my usual!

Sesame Roasted Green Beans on a plate, viewed from above

What Do They Taste Like?

These Sesame Roasted Green Beans are seasoned really simply with garlic, some soy sauce for umami and salt, and sesame oil and seeds for an earthy base. So they’re simple, but good. They’re definitely more savory compared to light and fresh steamed green beans, so they’re great for the winter months when meals are little cozier.

Don’t Skip the Toasted Sesame Oil

Toasted sesame oil is such a magical ingredient and I always get questions about whether or not you can substitute or skip it and my answer is an emphatic “no.” Toasted sesame oil has an extremely deep nutty flavor that just can’t be replicated with any other ingredient. You only need a small amount to totally transform an entire dish.

Where to Find Toasted Sesame Oil

Thankfully, toasted sesame oil is becoming really easy to find and a lot of store brands are beginning to make their own (thank you, ALDI and Trader Joes!). You’ll usually find it in the international foods aisle at the grocery store rather than with olive oil or cooking oils, but of course, every store is different.

It’s not always labeled as “toasted” but you’ll know it’s toasted by the color. Toasted sesame oil is a deep brown color, whereas regular, un-toasted sesame oil is a light straw color, like canola oil. Un-toasted sesame oil has a very light flavor, and won’t provide the same depth that you’ll get with toasted sesame oil.

What to Serve with Sesame Roasted Green Beans

I served my roasted green beans with baked salmon (recipe coming later this week), but it would also be great as a side for Sesame Chicken, Pork and Peanut Dragon Noodles, Sticky Ginger Soy Glazed Chicken, or Hoisin Stir Fry Bowls.

Sesame roasted green beans on a plate with salmon and rice
Sesame roasted green beans on a plate, viewed from above

Sesame Roasted Green Beans

Simply seasoned and roasted to perfection in the oven, these Sesame Roasted Green Beans are an easy and flavorful side dish.
Total Cost $2.99 recipe / $0.75 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 103.53kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. green beans $1.89
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.24
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds $0.06

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Wash the green beans and break off the stems. Mince the garlic.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired. Add the green beans, minced garlic, cooking oil, and soy sauce to the baking sheet, then toss the beans until they are evenly coated in oil, soy sauce, and minced garlic. Spread the beans out evenly on the baking sheet.
  • Roast the green beans in the fully preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes take them out of the oven, drizzle 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil and sprinkle 1 teaspoon sesame seeds over top. Give everything a good stir.
  • Return the green beans to the oven and roast for an additional 5 minutes, or until the beans are slightly browned and blistered. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 103.53kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.73g | Protein: 2.6g | Fat: 7.65g | Sodium: 226.83mg | Fiber: 3.2g
Side view of sesame roasted green beans in a shallow bowl.

How to Make Sesame Roasted Green Beans – Step by Step Photos

green beans and garlic on a baking sheet, soy sauce being drizzled over top

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Rinse one pound of green beans and snap off the stems. Mince two cloves of garlic. Place the green beans and minced garlic on a large baking sheet (line with parchment for easy cleanup, if desired). Drizzle 1 Tbsp cooking oil and 1 Tbsp soy sauce over top.

Seasoned green beans on the baking sheet

Toss the green beans until they are evenly coated in oil, soy sauce, and minced garlic. Spread the green beans out evenly over the baking sheet.

Mostly roasted green beans, sesame seeds being sprinkled on top

Roast the green beans in the fully preheated 425ºF oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take them out of the oven, drizzle 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil over top and add 1 tsp sesame seeds. Toss everything together to coat.

Toasted sesame oil bottle

This is what my toasted sesame oil looks like, by the way. You can see the deep brown color that let’s you know it’s actually toasted. It’s usually in a small bottle, since you need so little to provide a lot of flavor, but this bottle from ALDI is quite large.

Finished sesame roasted green beans on the baking sheet

After adding the sesame seeds and sesame oil, return the green beans to the oven and roast for an additional 5 minutes, or until they achieve your desired level of browning.

Close up side view of sesame roasted green beans in a shallow bowl

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower is a sticky glaze-coated cauliflower that is bursting with flavor. This Korean fried cauliflower makes a great dinner or appetizer.  This homemade soy and brown sugar sauce gives this cauliflower wings recipe incredib…

korean fried cauliflower
Sticky Sesame Cauliflower is a sticky glaze-coated cauliflower that is bursting with flavor. This Korean fried cauliflower makes a great dinner or appetizer.  This homemade soy and brown sugar sauce gives this cauliflower wings recipe incredible flavor.

Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen

This Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen is an easy way to upgrade this inexpensive convenience food. It’s super quick, filling, and can be customized a hundred ways.

The post Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Consider this a PSA rather than a recipe, because this idea is certainly not new. But if you don’t know about adding peanut butter to your instant ramen noodles, I’m here to tell you that it’s something you definitely need to try. This Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen is super quick, filling, and can be customized a hundred ways. So let me show you the basics and then you can make it your own!

Overhead view of a bowl of spicy peanut ramen in a bowl with lime wedges
Shown with lime wedges (optional, not required for full flavor)

What Kind of Peanut Butter to Use

I highly suggest using natural-style peanut butter, which means it’s just ground up peanuts and maybe a little salt, no sugar, no added oils. The peanut flavor is much stronger with this type of peanut butter than it is with the more processed and heavily sugared varieties.

If you don’t have a natural-style peanut butter available, you may need to reduce the brown sugar listed in the recipe below to make up for the sugar that is already in the peanut butter.

Can I Make it Not Spicy?

The chili garlic sauce doesn’t just add heat, it also adds garlic and acidity, which round out the sauce. So, to make a non-spicy version of this recipe you can add those ingredients individually, by making something similar to this Peanut Lime Dressing instead.

What Else Can I Add to my Peanut Butter Ramen?

You can add all sorts of proteins or vegetables to your Spicy Peanut butter Ramen to make it new and interesting every time. Here are some ideas:

  • Cooked Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Red bell pepper
  • Spinach
  • Lime
  • Baked tofu
  • Red onion
  • Shredded carrot
  • Snow peas
  • Edamame
  • Sesame seeds

Do I Need the Ramen Seasoning Packet?

The recipe below is designed to be made without the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen. If you prefer to use the seasoning packet, you will want to skip the soy sauce, which adds salt to the ramen in place of the seasoning packet.

Ramen noodles being lifted from the bowl with a fork
Ramen noodles being lifted from the bowl with a fork

Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen

Adding peanut butter to your instant ramen is an easy way to upgrade this inexpensive comfort food with more flavor and protein.
Total Cost $0.83 recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 621.8kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter $0.25
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce* $0.13
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.04
  • 1 3oz. packet instant ramen (seasoning discarded) $0.25
  • 1 green onion, sliced $0.10

Instructions

  • Combine the peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a bowl until it forms a smooth paste.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, take ¼ cup of the water and stir it into the peanut-chili paste until it forms a smooth, pourable sauce.
  • Add the ramen noodles (without seasoning packet) to the boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes, or just until the noodles are tender.
  • Drain the noodles, then return them to the pot with the heat turned off. Pour the peanut sauce over top and stir to combine. Top with sliced green onions and serve immediately.

Notes

*You can sub sriracha for the chili garlic sauce, if needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 621.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 69.2g | Protein: 17.8g | Fat: 30.3g | Sodium: 2675.4mg | Fiber: 4.9g
Overhead view of a bowl of spicy peanut butter ramen with a fork in the middle

How to Make Spicy Peanut Butter Ramen – Step by Step Photos

peanut butter and chili paste in a bowl

Begin by stirring together 2 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter, 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (or sriracha), 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp brown sugar until it forms a smooth paste.

jar of chili garlic sauce

This is what the chili garlic sauce bottle looks like, if you want to look for it in the store. You can find this in most major grocery stores, in the international aisle. If you can’t find this, you can use sriracha.

Hot water being poured into the peanut paste

Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat for the ramen. Once it starts boiling, take ¼ cup of the boiling water and stir it into the peanut-chili paste, until it forms a smooth, pourable sauce.

Dry ramen noodles being added to a pot of boiling water

Then add the instant ramen noodles (without the seasoning packet) to the boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes or just until tender.

chili peanut sauce being poured over the drained ramen noodles

Drain the cooked noodles, then return them to the pot with the heat turned off. Pour the peanut sauce over the noodles and stir to combine.

finished spicy peanut butter ramen noodles in the pot

These noodles are definitely best when served immediately, so don’t let them sit around! Top with a sliced green onion and enjoy!

Front view of a bowl of spicy peanut butter ramen noodles with a fork

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Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

Balsamic roasted mushrooms are an easy side dish or appetizer, soaked in garlic, herbs, and tangy balsamic vinegar for maximum flavor.

The post Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I first made these Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms as part of a bowl meal with Mashed potatoes and kale, but they really are so amazing that they deserve a post of their own. Whether you’re eating these as a side dish with your dinner or just digging in with a toothpick as an appetizer, they’re so good that you’ll want to make them for every occasion.

Overhead view of balsamic roasted mushrooms in a white bowl, garnished with parsley

What Kind of Mushrooms Should I Use?

I suggest using either white button mushrooms or baby bella mushrooms for this recipe (I’ve made this with both and they’re equally incredible). While it may work with other mushroom varieties, the cooking time may change depending on the size and moisture content of the mushrooms, and unfortunately, I haven’t tested other varieties to know for sure.

What to Serve with Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

As I mentioned in the introduction, these tasty little mushrooms make a great side dish, part of a bowl meal, or even an appetizer. They’re so good you will just want to eat them straight out of the bowl with a fork (or toothpick)! Originally I paired them with some kale mashed potatoes as a vegetarian bowl meal, but they’d also go great with Garlic Marinated Chicken, Honey Mustard Pork Chops, or Herb Roasted Pork Loin.

What Kind of Roasting Dish Should I Use?

I find that a ceramic or glass works best for this recipe because they transmit heat a little more slowly and evenly. Something like a thin metal baking dish may result in too much evaporation and cause the mushrooms to dry out while roasting.

Side view of balsamic roasted vegetables in a bowl
Overhead view of balsamic roasted mushrooms in a white bowl

Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

Balsamic roasted mushrooms are an easy side dish or appetizer, soaked in garlic, herbs, and tangy balsamic vinegar for maximum flavor.
Total Cost $4.24 recipe / $1.06 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 77.5kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. mushrooms* $3.38
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar $0.41
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.06
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Clean any dirt or debris from the mushrooms, then slice any large mushrooms in half (you can leave them whole if they are small).
  • Mince the garlic. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, thyme, and pepper.
  • Place the mushrooms in a ceramic or glass baking dish (choose a size that keeps the mushrooms close together, mostly in a single layer). Pour the marinade over top and stir to coat the mushrooms.
  • Roast the mushrooms for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. The mushrooms should release liquid as they roast, leaving liquid in the bottom of the dish until the last 15 minutes or so. If the dish dries up before the final 15 minutes, cover the dish with foil to prevent furhter evaporation or burning.
  • After 45 minutes of roasting, give them a final stir and then serve. (I garnished with chopped parsley for color, but this is not necessary for flavor.)

Notes

*White button or baby bella mushrooms

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 77.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.85g | Protein: 2.85g | Fat: 3.93g | Sodium: 293.93mg | Fiber: 1.55g
Close up view of a balsamic roasted mushroom on a fork with the bowl in the background

Love Balsamic Vinegar? Try these other recipes featuring balsamic vinegar:

How to Make Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms – Step by Step Photos

Sliced Mushrooms in a baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Clean 1 lb. of mushrooms and slice any larger mushrooms in half (the mushrooms I had today were all very large, so some I even cut into quarters). Place the mushrooms in a baking dish. Choose a size that will allow the mushrooms to be close together, but mostly in a single layer.

Balsamic mushroom marinade in a bowl

Mince two cloves of garlic and combine them in a bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, ½ Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, ¼ tsp dried thyme, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Marinade being poured over the mushrooms in the dish.

Pour the marinade over the mushrooms in the dish and give them a good stir.

Seasoned mushrooms in the dish before roasting

The mushrooms will absorb most of the marinade, leaving just a little in the bottom of the dish, but as the mushrooms roast they will release a lot of moisture. (The photo above is before roasting)

Mushrooms after 30 minutes of roasting

Roast the mushrooms in the preheated 400ºF oven, stirring every 15 minutes. The photo above is after 30 minutes of roasting. There should be a decent amount of liquid in the bottom of the dish at this point. If it is already dry, cover the dish with foil to prevent further evaporation and burning.

Mushrooms after 45 minutes of roasting

After 45 minutes of roasting, most of the liquid on the bottom of the dish will have evaporated.

Stirred roasted mushrooms in the dish

Give the mushrooms a stir to kind of distribute the reduced marinade over the surface of the mushrooms. And that’s it! They’re ready to serve!

Overhead view of balsamic roasted mushrooms in a bowl garnished with chopped parsley

I garnished it with chopped parsley just for some color, but this isn’t needed to flavor the mushrooms. Enjoy!

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Tomato Lentil Soup

There’s nothing quite like the smell of a pot of soup simmering away on the stove top when it’s cold and blustery outside. This tomato lentil soup is full of vegetables and herbs for a simple, flavorful, and warming winter soup.

The post Tomato Lentil Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

There’s nothing quite as comforting as a pot of soup simmering away on the stove top when it’s cold and wintry outside. The smell alone warms me from the inside out. This week I was craving a simple vegetable forward soup, so I whipped up this really easy Tomato Lentil Soup. I’ve been enjoying the leftovers for days, sometimes with a grilled cheese on the side. :)

Tomato lentil soup in the pot with bread and vegetables on the sides
Garnished with a little fresh parsley for visual appeal.

What Does Tomato Lentil Soup Taste Like?

This soup kind of tastes like a traditional vegetable soup, but with a slightly more tomato-y broth, plus a little earthiness from the lentils. It’s super hearty and comforting, which is exactly what I love about a good bowl of soup in the winter!

What Kind of Lentils Should I Use?

Lentils can be confusing, especially since there isn’t a lot of consistency in labeling in the United States. I used a basic brown lentil, which has a drab brown-olive color and cooks with about 20 minutes of simmering. Sometimes these lentils are labeled “green lentils” sometimes just “lentils” so to be sure you have the right kind, check the cooking instructions on the package. It should say to simmer for about 20 minutes, not 45 minutes.

I do not suggest using a red, orange, or yellow lentil for this soup because they break down too easily and you’ll end up with something more along the lines of a lentil porridge than a lentil soup. :) (It would probably still taste good, though!)

How are the Leftovers?

One of the reasons I love soup is because they almost always make great leftovers, and this soup is no exception. The leftovers will stay good in the fridge for about 4-5 days, or you can freeze it for longer storage. I always suggest dividing the soup into single portions just after cooking so it cools down more quickly in the refrigerator, which will give you more longevity with the leftovers. Once cooled you can transfer some to the freezer for later!

A bowl of tomato lentil sup with bread on the side
A bowl of tomato lentil sup with bread on the side

Tomato Lentil Soup

This tomato lentil soup is full of vegetables and herbs for a simple, flavorful, and warming winter soup. Makes great leftovers!
Total Cost $4.74 recipe / $0.79 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 279.58kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 3 carrots $0.42
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 russet potato (about 1 lb.) $0.60
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste $0.10
  • 2 15oz. cans stewed tomatoes $1.18
  • 1 cup brown lentils $0.67
  • ½ tsp paprika $0.10
  • ½ tsp dried basil $0.10
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 4 cups vegetable broth $0.52
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.12

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and slice the carrots (I like smaller pieces for this recipe, so I do a quarter round slice). Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and olive oil to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until the oniosn are soft. While the vegetables are cooking, peel and dice the potato into ½-inch cubes.
  • Add the tomato paste and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomato paste begins to coat the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the cubed potato, stewed tomatoes (with juices), paprika, basil, oregano, pepper, and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on top and allow the soup to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the soup simmer for about 40 minutes or until the lentils are super tender and have begun to break down slightly (this helps thicken the soup).
  • Add the soy sauce to the soup, then give it a taste and adjust the salt if needed (the total amount will depend on the salt content of your vegetable broth). Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 279.58kcal | Carbohydrates: 48.58g | Protein: 12.17g | Fat: 5.65g | Sodium: 1148.67mg | Fiber: 7.48g
Close up side view of tomato lentil soup in the pot

How to Make Tomato Lentil Soup – Step by Step Photos

Onions carrots and garlic in a soup pot

Dice one onion, mince two cloves of garlic, and slice three carrots. I like to do smaller pieces of carrot for this soup, so I cut the slices into quarter rounds. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium until the onions are soft. While the carrot and onion are sautéing, peel and dice one russet potato into ½-inch cubes.

Tomato paste added to the soup pot

Add 2 Tbsp tomato paste and continue to sauté for a few more minutes, or until the tomato paste begins to coat the bottom of the pot.

Potatoes, lentils, tomatoes, seasoning, and broth added to the pot

Add the cubed potato, two 15oz. cans of stewed tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup lentils (not cooked), ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp pepper, and 4 cups vegetable broth.

Soup in the pot before simmering

Stir everything to combine. Place a lid on top and bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the lentils are very soft and have begun to break down a bit.

Finished tomato lentil soup

After simmering the soup, stir in 2 Tbsp soy sauce. Taste the soup and adjust the salt if needed (this will depend on the salt content of your broth. I did not add any in addition to the soy sauce).

front view of a bowl full of tomato lentil soup

Serve hot with some crusty bread for dipping! (I garnished with a little parsley for color, but it’s not needed to flavor this soup.)

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