Pad Thai Veggies & Tofu or Tempeh {Surprisingly Easy & Everyone Loves this one}

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Thai food… it is so dang good and there is something about it that mystifies me…

or used to, until I figured out what makes it so secretly amazing. Oil, Peanut butter and Soy Sauce. Not the most healthful ingredients but also not the worst, and if done right I have discovered that I can tweak a Pad Thai dish leaving out the most unhealthful ingredients while managing to make it taste freaking amazing still. 

For years I would only eat Thai food out, I never even attempted to make it at home, it was just so far from what I “knew’ how to do/cook.. but in reality it isn't more difficult at all, it just uses a slightly different go-to seasoning base than what I am used to- being Mexican so basically Cumin, Paprika, onion and garlic powder. 

Thai food uses Sesame seeds, soy sauce, peanuts, chili sauce, coconut milk and tofu to muster up its rich authentically exotic flavors that Gwen and I love SO much.

The thing is that whenever I order Thai out I think, wow this is too Oily and does not have enough broccoli and veggies overall - which in the pad thai sauce are like candy! So this is where I came up with the idea to make a really loaded Pad Thai with all the veggies I could possibly squeeze in!

So let me share with you my version of Pad Thai Veggies and Tofu/Tempeh - made as deliciously healthy as possible with maximum flavor and nutrition!

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This dish is perfectly amazing without the Tofu or tempeh, but for that extra taste, texture and nutrition- the tofu or tempeh is a really good touch.

This seems like a Complicated recipe but it IS NOT.

It is just noodles, veggies and tofu if you want. Then it is Sauce mixed all in one bowl and then everything cooked quickly together. It is pretty hard to screw it up, it always turns out good no matter what I do wrong! So just GO FOR IT.

I find it very helpful to watch quick videos to give me the overview of how to make something that I have never made before, so if you have not made Pad Thai or baked tofu before, watch the short videos! (This video is without noodles, which is totally an option too, but the concept of how to make the dish is the same).

RECIPE

Serves 5-7. Time to make: 30 mins

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

PAD THAI SAUCE:

  • 5 tablespoons Peanut Butter (natural type, smooth), or almond butter, to Tahini
  • 6 tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 8 tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari or Coconut Aminos
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil (optional)

TOFU/TEMPEH + MARINADE:

  • 1 Block (600g) Extra Firm Tofu (or Tempeh)
  • 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce (optional)
  • Parchment paper to line a cookie sheet

Tofu Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari or Coconut Aminos
  • 1- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce: or use 2 teaspoons Sriracha + 1 teaspoons rice vinegar if you like spicy
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

 

VEGGIES/NOODLES:

  • 200g/ 7 oz Wide Rice Noodles
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 large carrots, ribboned with a vegetable peeler, or chopped
  • 1/2 head broccoli (about 3 cups chopped)
  • 3-4 collard greens (or chard) large stems removed, stacked and thinly sliced (about 2 packed cups)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 3 green onions, ends removed, thinly sliced.
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeds & stems removed, thinly sliced (optional, leave out for less spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari or Coconut Aminos
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup crushed peanuts - for topping
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped - for topping
  • Lime wedges for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Start by preparing the tofu if you are adding it.  Preheat oven to 400F.

I find it very helpful to watch quick videos to give me the overview of how to make something that I have never made before, so if you have not made baked tofu before, watch this quick video!

Mix the marinade ingredients together in a medium size mixing bowl that will fit the tofu/tempeh and set aside while you cut the tofu. Drain and press tofu between 2 dry clean towels to remove as much water as possible (if using tempeh this is not necessary).

Slice tofu or tempeh into desired cubes, we usually cut the block in half to make two sheets and then chop up each sheet into inch cubes.

Toss the tofu or tempeh in the marinade and line them individually on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake the tofu for 15 minutes (if tempeh bake for 10 mins) then flip each piece over and cook for another 10-15 for tofu (5 minutes for tempeh). Remove from oven and set aside.

 

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2. Add all Pad Thai sauce ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime juice for acidity, soy sauce for saltiness, red pepper flake or chili sauce for heat, or maple syrup for sweetness. Set aside.

3. Prepare rice noodles according to the instructions on the packet, but do not cook them fully as you will give them another minute or two in the wok after. After you immerse them in soaking water, lift the lid and give the noodles a good stir to prevent them from clumping together and sticking to the bottom of the pot. Give them another good stir half way through the soaking time. (You can boil them to speed the process but be sure to keep a close eye on them because they cook rapidly and you must drain them and soak them in cold water immediately after cooking to insure they do not overcook).

Once the time is up, drain the noodles and set aside. You may want to stir a little bit of sesame oil through them to prevent them from sticking together but we do not find this necessary and we usually do not use any oil at all.

 

4. Now it is time to cook the veggies in a big wok or big frying pan. Heat up the pan and add 1/4 cup water, the soy sauce and minced garlic. Cook for 2 minutes then start adding prepared veggies in the following order (leaving a minute or two between each addition): broccoli, cabbage, red pepper and carrot ribbons. Stir-fry until cooked yet still crunchy.

 

5. SAUCE IT UP - Transfer all vegetables to a big bowl and pour the sauce to the bottom of the wok. Add in drained noodles – they may have clumped together a little, but the sauce and heat of the work will separate them again. Stir to cover all noodles in sauce.

Now add all of the veggies back to the wok, and this time add the green onions, serrano pepper if you are adding it and finally the baked tofu/tempeh if you made that.

Stir to incorporate everything and heat it all to serve.

6. SERVE - Portion out servings and make sure to top with the crushed peanuts and cilantro and lime wedges if you want. DO NOT LEAVE OUT THE PEANUTS, the peanuts really make this meal authentic and really flavorful.

 

Enjoy knowing that this is a truly nourishing, high-fiber, plant-positive meal that your body will love!

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Love you guys,

Katie and Gwen


WHAT ARE WE UP TO BESIDES CREATING HEALTHY RECIPES?!?

 Find out more about Gwen's world-record 100 mile run, cancer prevention, the documentary and getting involved- all hosted by our Non-Profit: Plant-Positive.org

Find out more about Gwen's world-record 100 mile run, cancer prevention, the documentary and getting involved- all hosted by our Non-Profit: Plant-Positive.org