Yummy Veggie Pad Thai!

I looked around for a good vegan Pad Thai recipe for what seemed like forever.  I finally took what I liked from a few different recipes and added some extras that I liked and here is the result.  It is honestly one of my favorite meals…easy, full of flavor, and tons of veggies!

NOTE: If you can find them, try to use flat brown rice noodles.  I use the Annie Chun’s brand found in the asian food section at Whole Foods Market.  Unlike regular flat rice noodles, these ones don’t tend to get as sticky and gummy as the regular ones, and they are whole grain!

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons water or vegetable stock

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced (Take a piece about the size of your thumb and try peeling it with a spoon.  It’s a lot easier and safer than using a knife.  You end up saving a lot more of the ginger too!)

1 package of baked tofu (recipe to follow)

3 green onions, sliced

2 cups broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 to 1 cup each of the following

  • shredded carrots
  • sliced celery
  • snow peas
  • bean sprouts

1 package of  flat brown rice noodles, soaked in warm water for about 10-20 min (or as directed on the package), then drained.

1/2 teaspoon chili powder (less if you like it mild, or are serving to kids)

1/2 teaspoon garlic chili sauce (optional)

1/4 cup low-sodium tamari or soy sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

3 teaspoons sweetener (agave, honey, evaporated cane juice, etc. will do)

12-15 sprigs of cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup coarsely chopped (unsalted) peanuts

Directions:

BAKED TOFU – If you are going to bake your own tofu, you can do it well ahead of time.  Just keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.  If using packaged baked tofu, then just cut it into bite-sized cubes and it’s ready to add!

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Drain tofu and wrap with 2-3 paper towels and place on a large plate. Place another plate on top and top the plate with something relatively heavy, like a can of beans.  Press the tofu for anywhere from 10 min. to 1 hour, depending upon how much time you have.
  3. Cut tofu into bite-sized pieces and place on a parchment or silicon mat lined baking sheet.  Brush or spray the tofu with tamari or soy sauce and sprinkle with  n0-salt seasoning, like Mrs. Dash (Costco has a great salt-free seasoning under their Kirkland brand too).
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, turning tofu pieces over half-way through.  Set aside.  If not using right away, wait until they are completely cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for later use.
PAD THAI
  1. Heat a dry non-stick skillet over medium low heat.  Place chopped peanuts in skillet and stir regularly.  Keep an eye on them and cook until fragrant and toasted.  Then remove from heat.
  2. Place water or stock in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble.  Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  3. Add tofu, veggies and noodles one at a time, stirring for about 1 minute before adding each additional ingredient.  This keeps the skillet from cooling down too much as the ingredients are added.
  4. Whisk the chili powder/sauce, tamari, lime juice and sweetener together in a small bowl and add to the party in the wok or skillet.  You can even just add them straight into the veggies without whisking together first.  You’ll end up with one less bowl to clean up.  
  5. Stir everything together until well combined and remove from the heat.  If your Pad Thai looks a little dry, try adding a little more water or vegetable stock.
  6. Place in bowls and garnish with plenty of toasted peanuts and cilantro.
  7. DIG IN!!!!

Great egg subsititutes for salmonella-risk-free baking

Has the recent massive egg recall left you a little uneasy about using eggs at home?  Here are a few substitutions that can be used in place of eggs in your baking (or cooking). 

FLAXSEED MEAL – full of omega 3 fatty acids, this is a great way to increase the fiber and nutrients in your baked goods, without the fat, cholesterol and salmonella risk of eggs. 

1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal per 3 Tablespoons water/per egg to be replaced – combine and set aside for a few minutes to allow the flax to absorb some of the water and thicken a bit.

EGG REPLACER (Ener-G egg replacer, or Bob’s Red Mill brand) – Many people LOVE this stuff.  It works great in some recipes (like cookies where you don’t want the little brown specks of flaxseed meal), but I’d recommend it for things requiring no more than 1 or 2 eggs.  It can leave a little bit of a chalky taste.  It also leaves things a bit dense, as opposed to light and fluffy. 

1 Tablespoon egg replacer per 3 Tablespoons water/per egg to be replaced – mix to combine.

SOY YOGURT – Adds a lot of moisture, great for cakes and the like.  Make sure you get a brand that states clearly on the label that it is made from non-GMO soybeans.  If it is organic, it’s required to be non-GMO.  GMO stands for Genetically Modified (aka genetically engineered).  There is a lot of controversy around this subject, which we’ll tackle in a future post, but for now, just try to steer clear from it if you can. 

1/4 cup soy yogurt per egg to be replaced 

SILKEN TOFU – vaccuum-packed, extra-firm Lite silken tofu works great.  Mori-Nu is a good brand. Again, look for organic or brands made with non-GMO soybean.  Make sure to blend it up really well first to make it nice and smooth and creamy.  Be sure to use less if your recipe requires several eggs (ex. if recipe asks for 4 eggs, use 3 “tofu eggs”). 

1/4 blended silken tofu per egg replaced (less if recipe requires several eggs)

BANANA – A cheap and accessible egg alternative, bananas are great egg replacers in items like pancakes, waffles and quick breads.  Be sure to use very ripe bananas (riper =sweeter).  If you have any frozen ripe bananas on hand, they work great in a pinch.  Just thaw out what you need and mash it up.  Because of the sugar content in the bananas, they tend to brown very nicely, so keep that in mind in case your finished product ends up a bit browner than you had anticipated.

1/2 banana, mashed, per egg to be replaced

There you have it 5 different alternatives to eggs to help you create delicious, nutritious and fiber-rich goodies, without the cholesterol, saturated fat or salmonella risk of eggs.  Have fun, get creative and enjoy!!