A 5-Day Asian-Inspired Meal Plan That Is Better Than Takeout

Jun 11, 2018 at 1:33 p.m. ET
Image: Mariha-kitchen/Getty Images

Once I get home from work, all I want to do is lie down, watch TV and relax. Oh, you too? Making dinner is the last thing we feel like doing at the end of the day, but when our stomachs start growling, what do we do?

Sometimes we resort to takeout — ordering sushi, Chinese food or pizza. It’s simple and easy, and it tastes good, but the downside is that it can all add up fast. Luckily for you, you can have the same takeout dishes you love without ordering out all the time. We’ve come up with five delicious, healthy and quick Asian-inspired recipes that will fuel your takeout obsession all week long.

In this meal plan, you'll make a simple peanut sauce you can use in two different dishes. You can dress up plain-Jane noodles, or you can use it as a marinade for chicken breasts. You'll also find two Asian salad recipes with super-simple dressings and hearty ingredients.

The best part is that you'll have dinner on the table in under 10 minutes. We know you like the sound of that.

The goal of this meal plan is to eat healthier when and where you can as well as to save money on dinner. With these five recipes, you’ll be doing just that.

More: How to Make Filipino Barbecue Pork Skewers — No Grill Required

Meal plan for the week

  1. Chicken in spicy peanut sauce
  2. Sesame and peanut noodles
  3. Stir-fried noodles with shrimp and vegetables
  4. Asian shrimp salad
  5. Asian salad with sesame dressing

Meal plan grocery list:

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Brown sugar
  • Peanut butter
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • White wine vinegar
  • 3 limes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sesame seeds
  • 2 (16-ounce) packages rice noodles
  • Cilantro
  • 2 cups stir-fry veggies (broccoli, bell peppers, onion, carrots, etc.)
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic cloves
  • 1-1/2 pounds shrimp
  • 1 mango
  • 2 avocados
  • Spinach
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Ginger
  • 1 grapefruit
  • Sesame tahini

If you're making dinner only for one, you can buy just one 16-ounce package of rice noodles, which will be enough for two recipes — the sesame and peanut noodle recipe as well as the stir-fried noodles with shrimp and vegetables.

More: 14 Filipino Dishes Everyone Should Know About

You will also have only one serving of peanut sauce to make for the chicken recipe and the sesame peanut noodles if you are making dinner only for yourself. Make the chicken on Monday night (use only half the peanut sauce, put it in the fridge, and on Tuesday, use it in the sesame and peanut noodle recipe).

You can also cut down on the amount of chicken that the chicken in spicy peanut sauce calls for.

Next: Chicken in spicy peanut sauce recipe

A version of this article was originally published in May 2016.

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