Saturday, July 20, 2013

For the Love of Pad Thai

 Pad Thai is one of my favorite things to make. It is so versatile and forgiving. It goes along with my advice to anyone wanting to add more plant foods into their diet..sauce. Play around with sauces. Find some you like. A good peanut sauce goes a long way to putting dinner on the table. Some ingredients I usually put in my pad thai sauce: garlic, peanut butter (when I talk about peanut butter on my blog, I mean natural peanut butter - just roasted organic peanuts, nothing else), tamari, tamarind, hot peppers of some sort or red curry paste, tomatoes and/or tomato paste, pitted dates or dried figs for sweetener, and lime juice. I have been known to add all sorts of other ingredients too, but that gets me started.
My pad thai is never the same twice. Sometimes I mix it up and don't use peanuts at all and use other nut butters. I make it tangy or spicy depending on my audience. There are are so many different rice noodles to choose from now too. I usually use brown rice noodles, but I also use red rice noodles and very rarely white rice noodles. I've seen corn rice combo noodles. They are all good. I like to make my pad thai pretty veggie heavy. The top dish has roasted white sweet potatoes and peas, the bottom one has broccoli different and colored carrots (the kids love a mixture of colors so we try to keep the local purple, yellow, and red carrots in our produce drawer when they are in season). I add tofu or tempeh (sometimes both) most of the time, but sometimes I also add chickpeas and/or seitan. Often I garnish with nuts, cashews and pistachios are my go to nuts, but if I have peanuts on hand I will use them too.

Last week we ended up having 7-9 adults (people kept dropping by, which I love!) and 9 kids for dinner. Veggie pad thai, salad (provided by one of our lovely neighbors who came for dinner), and fresh strawberries (also provided by one of the sweet diners) fed everyone easily. We used three packages of pad thai noodles, loads of veggies, and tofu. One of the kids we had over is gluten-free and pad thai is an easy to make gluten free meal.

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