Transformation Tuesday: Paleo Pad Thai

NutritionI LOVE food with an Asian influence. I love Chinese food, Japanese food, Thai food- all of it. But in New Hampshire it’s pretty hard to find much food of this persuasion that isn’t filled with processed grains, MSG, preservatives and all kinds of sugar. So needless to say, I’ve been craving the stuff lately!

To help me get over this craving, I decided to use my regular Transformation Tuesday series to do a little “take out, fake out,” and make over one of my all-time favorite dishes: pad thai! While my version isn’t exactly the same, it’s just as delicious and much healthier!

I used my new spiralizer to make noodles out of zucchini and summer squash, and then added some chicken, mushrooms, bean sprouts, scallions and a really yummy almond sauce (in place of the traditional peanut sauce). This would also be a great way to sneak in even more veggies!

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Here’s how to make this in your kitchen:

For the stir-fry:

  • 3 cooked chicken thighs (meat removed and shredded)*
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 zucchini and 1 summer squash (or two of each), spiralized into veggie noodles**
  • 1.5 cups baby portabella mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 oz cashew (or other nut) chopped
  • chopped cilantro (for garnish)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the sauce:

  • 5 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp ginger puree or fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 limes (1.5 limes juiced, 1/2 lime saved for garnish)

1. Begin by making the sauce, mixing all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl or liquid measuring cup (I like using those to mix my sauces because they make it easy to pour the sauce later). Whisk the ingredients until smooth and set aside.

2. Melt the coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil has melted, add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Once the mushrooms begin to soften, add in the cooked chicken and stir to combine.

3. Add the spiralized zucchini and squash to the pan and stir to combine with the other ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce into the pan and stir to coat everything with the sauce, cooking the whole mixture, stirring, until the squash is tender, about 2 minutes.

4. Turn the heat down to low, and push the stir-fry mixture to the sides of the pan, creating a blank space in the center of the pan. Add the egg into the center of the pan and scramble. Once the eggs are cooked through, mix them into the stir-fry mixture and remove the pan from the heat.

5. To serve, plate the stir-fry and top with a handful of fresh bean sprouts, about a third of the chopped cashews, the chopped scallion and the chopped cilantro. Add a slice of the lime wedge on the side and use it to squeeze some more lime juice on top of the dish.

6. Eat and enjoy! This is also great topped with some sriracha sauce.

*I used leftover cooked chicken thighs to make this dish, but if you don’t have any pre-cooked chicken, simply cut fresh, boneless chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and cook them in the coconut oil before adding in the vegetables.

**If you don’t own a spiralizer, you should! I just got one and it is the best! If you don’t have one and want to make this dish now, however, you can use a jullienne cutter or a simple veggie peeler to make your zoodles.

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Let me know if you try this recipe and how it works!

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