Happy Saturday everyone! I hope your weekend is off to a great start!
Things here are okay — I’m still sick, but I have a lot of fun stuff to look forward to next week — I’m getting a haircut, and getting new headshots taken! Yay! So excited:)
I’ve found myself missing this little girl lately:) I see so many little dogs around the city. I even saw one yesterday wearing shoes!! #crazy!
So we’re back with another archive recipe tonight…and this one is another favorite! This was my dad’s favorite meal. Tofu and all! And it’s gluten free and vegan!
Vegan Pad Thai!
Slurpy noodles smothered in a luxurious peanut sauce, and highlighted with fresh cilantro and ginger.
This dinner was a 1-2 Punch! A “K-O” for team Pad Thai! No really, this was fantastic. Spicy, sweet and sour all come together in a zesty symphony of flavors that keep you coming back for more!
Here’s what you need: (Serves 3-4)
First the tofu…
1) Tofu needs to be drained. So I take it out of the package and slice it into 8 slabs. I then place those on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and put a couple more towels on top and then put a big frying pan on top of them and press all the extra water out of the tofu.
2) While its pressing, I make the MARINADE!
2 T Tamari (GF soy sauce)
2 T water
1 tsp agave
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 T fresh ginger, grated
2 big cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp EVOO
1 green onion, sliced
3) Then I cut each slab into tiny little cubes and put all the little cubes into a bowl with the marinade and let them sit — coated — for about 15 – 20 minutes.
4) Put all the cubes onto a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil in a single layer and pour rest of marinade over. Pop in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, turning each over half way through.
This is a definitely a labor of love for your tofu, but let me tell you, it is delicious and sooo worth it. They caramelize and almost become like candy. My dad actually loved it!
2 grated garlic cloves
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 c fresh squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 T apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 T red curry paste
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/8 cup agave
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp toasted sesame oil or EVOO (we used EVOO)
Combine those in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside for later.
Then I prepared my veggies:
2 large carrots, diced
1/4 red onion, finely diced
bunch of green onions, chopped
5 button mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
At the very end, you will also add,
1/2 c frozen peas
bean sprouts ~ 3/4 cup
And garnish with:
fresh cilantro, chopped
So this meal is a bit labor intensive, but sooo worth it. There is a lot of slicing and dicing. But just put on some Kenny G, relax, and get in the “chopping zone.” :) You will thoroughly enjoy the finished product! It is important to have everything chopped, set out, and ready to go, because this meal all comes together at the very last minute.
You’ll want to try to time your brown rice noodles to finish cooking around the same time that your vegetable/sauce mixture is ready to go.
1) Start to saute the onions and carrots in a large frying pan in 2 tsp EVOO and sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.
2) After 4-5 minutes, add the mushrooms, peppers and green onions to the carrots and onions. After the mushrooms soften, add the prepared tofu, bean sprouts, edamame, and frozen peas.
3) Add the hot noodles to vegetable mix and pour in the sauce. Toss to coat.
4) Plate it up and top with cilantro and chopped peanuts!
5) DIG IN!
Just a note: The cilantro is not just for garnish–it really elevates the flavor and brings an appreciated light freshness to a deep, hearty sauce.
With it, I served incredible Mango Spring Rolls. These are so light and refreshing. Here’s how you make them:
Get a bowl of warm water. Soak your rice paper wrapper until it is pliable. Put it on a plate, and fill with 2-3 tablespoons of the shredded veggie mixture. Also include 4 mango pieces, 3 tofu cubes, and a touch a cilantro. Then, wrap it up like a burrito. The rice paper will be sticky and stay together beautifully.
Here’s the fantastic Peanut Dipping Sauce! Be warned! This is addicting stuff!!
1 T peanut butter
1 t agave
1 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
water to consistency
Mix all together and adjust to taste…add more cider if it’s too sweet.
This meal was so delightful. Lets start with the Mango Rolls. The rice paper is such a wonderful, gummy, chewy texture. And they’re filled with the bright, fresh, sweet filling of the carrots, cucumber and mango. There’s also a slight freshness from the cilantro. But what really elevates these to Outstanding is the Peanut Dipping Sauce! Oh my Gosh. It is peanutty, rich, sweet, and slightly bright from the ginger; and goes fantastically with the fresh spring rolls! It was almost like dessert!
Finally, the star of the show: the Pad Thai!! Goodness, this was just Yummy with a capital “Y.” This dish is so fun because there is just so much going on! There are so many flavors and textures! Each bite is a new adventure! First, there is just a fantastic plethora of fresh vegetables! Oh wow! And they all have such different textures! The red bell pepper and carrots are crunchy, while the mushrooms are chewy. The noodles are “slurpy” and a bit chewy, while the peas “pop” in your mouth. The edamame give it a nice bite, while the peanuts finish it with a satisfying crunch!
Finally, the numerous layers of flavor give it such an intense depth and sophistication. There’s spicy, sweet, and sour all at play on your palate! The sweetness from the peppers and carrots, paired with the spicy thai chili sauce create a layer of underlying sweet heat. Then, the slight heat from the ginger, the bright *zing* of the lime, and buttery-rich peanut butter are all tied together beautifully with the fresh cilantro. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this Thai Treat. A household favorite for sure!