Pad Thai – because I said it is

PadThai2.jpg I’ve been hesitant to post this recipe because Pad Thai is one of those dishes that people are a) very loyal to and b) very scornful about its authenticity. “Ketchup in Pad Thai is just so wrong,” I’ve heard people sneer.

Well hey… guess what. Sometimes I want a tangy, saucy, tomato-y, rice-noodle dish and simply don’t have a Thai street-food vendor handy. Anything else is indeed essentially unauthentic, and yet slurpy delicious anyway.

I made this dish with what I had on hand and was simply happily riffing in my kitchen. The next version I make will include some of the optional ingredients I list below.

So let’s make Audie’s vegan version of Pad Thai.

Ingredients

222 g rice noodles (about 8 ounces)

1 Tbsp coconut or peanut oil

1 small eggplant diced

1 red pepper cored and diced

1 small can bamboo shoots drained

12 oz firm tofu crumbled into fingertip-sized chunks

Other optional vegetables you could add: baby corn, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower

Sauce ingredients

1 cup Jufran hot banana sauce (or ketchup) divided in half

I Tbsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp soya sauce or tamari

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses or tamarind sauce

Serve garnished with bean sprouts, diced peanuts, hot sauce, lime wedges and basil leaves

Directions

Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

In a large pot or wok, heat the coconut or peanut oil. Add the crumbled tofu and heat and stir as if you were making scrambled eggs. Add ½ cup of the hot banana sauce (or ketchup) and stir to coat the tofu. Add whatever vegetables you’re using and stir fry until the vegetables are just heated through and just slightly softened (you want to keep that vegetable crunch!). Add the remaining sauce ingredients and toss everything to combine. Add the cooked rice noodles and toss everything again so the noodles are coated.

That’s it! Serve up with lime wedges, diced peanuts, basil and hot sauce.

 

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Mango coconut quinoa

MangoQuinoaSalad.jpg

This dish is so simple and easy yet tasty beyond belief. It has it all – chewy, crunchy, savoury, sweet and loaded with nutrients to fuel you through the day. It’s also one of my favourite lunches to tote to work.

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 mango – peeled and diced

1 red pepper – diced

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup fresh or frozen edamame (let the edamame thaw if you use frozen)

1/3 cup almond slivers toasted

1/3 cup diced onion (red onion makes for a prettier salad)

The zest of two limes

¼ cup balsamic vinegar*

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

MangoQuinoaSaladClose.jpgDirections

Rinse and cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water. When the quinoa is cooked, fluff it with a fork and let it cool. You can do this step ahead of time – even the day before.

Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl. I like to let the dish sit for an hour in the fridge to let the flavours blend before serving.

Makes 4 meal-size servings.

*I have a coconut balsamic vinegar that I used in this recipe. If you’re into flavoured vinegars, this is a great dish to experiment with some of the different flavours.