I LOVE Thai food. It's perhaps my favorite cuisine and almost always sounds delicious. While thumbing through my Food and Nutrition Magazine I came across a Spring-inspired homemade version of Pad Thai. As my readers know, I don't like to spend loads of time in the kitchen. But this recipe sounded easy enough plus it looked yummy and like it would make enough for leftovers.
Photo Source // Photo by Scott Payne // Food Styling by Susan Skoog
Holy crap. It was AWESOME. Like, lick the plate kind of awesome. It was developed by a fellow dietitian Alexandra Caspero. You can check out her website Delicious Knowledge for super yummy recipes. She has a really beautiful website packed with easy to follow recipes that are brimming with flavor and nutrition. Her recipes are all vegetarian and vegan which to be honest, isn't my typical go-to. But something to bear in mind if you browse her site.
So here is my latest and favorite spring time recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. If cooking up Pad Thai from scratch just feels a bit overwhelming, try ordering your favorite take-out version and add some roasted asparagus and Spring peas!
- 8 ounces flat rice noodles (brown rice preferred)
- ¼ cup low-sodium creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup (60 milliliters) hot water
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) canola oil
- ⅓ cup scallions, chopped, including white and green parts
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 8 ounces trimmed asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 large lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons / 30 milliliters juice)
- ½ cup roasted peanuts, lightly salted, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- Prepare rice noodles according to package instructions. Pour noodles into a colander and let drain.
- Meanwhile, make sauce by whisking peanut butter, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and crushed red pepper flakes in
a medium bowl.
- Slowly whisk in hot water and stir until sauce is blended. Set aside.
- In a large wok, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add scallions and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Pour in eggs and stir to scramble for about 2 minutes or until soft. Add asparagus and peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until
asparagus is tender.
- Add drained noodles and sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in lime juice.
- Transfer cooked noodles and vegetables to a large platter or bowl and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
This dish comes together quickly, so be sure to chop and prep all ingredients before cooking.
While I don't follow a strict vegetarian lifestyle, I am a huge advocate of replacing some of your animal-based food choices with plant-based ones. Eating a largely plant-based diet is associated with huge health benefits in the prevention of developing many chronic diseases as well as increasing the nutritional quality of your diet.
The Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group is an excellent resource if you are interested in articles, research, websites, books, and cookbooks on the topic of vegetarian eating.
If you are interested in eating more plant-based meals, but don't know where to start, the Meatless Mondays website is a great place to go. The rationale behind the website is that by going meatless once a week, we can radically improve our health and health of the planet. Check it out.
A couple of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks include:
- Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers
- Vegan with a Vengeance & Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Here is one of my favorite recipes that I've made lately, courtesy of Veganomicon. I made it last week and served it on a whole grain bun and couldn't wait to eat the leftovers. Delicious!
prep time: | cooking time: 35 minutes start to finish | makes 4 to 6 sammiches
From Veganomicon. Every vegan cookbook needs a sloppy joe recipe with the name changed around a bit, right? Well, this is ours. Those sloppy joes we loved as a child but made with lentils. Snobby Joe thinks he's better than all the other Joes because he doesn't have any meat.
Just a pot or two
1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (wet mustard)
4 to 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns
Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.
About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more.
Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.
Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can't wait. I like to serve these open faced, with a scoop of snobby joe on each slice of the bun.