You want to know the secret…it’s coconut. A modern day Pad Thai with pure wholesome ingredients and natural condiments. I would have to say it’s been at at least 6 + years since I have eaten a traditional Pad Thai, loaded with low grade oil, fish/oyster sauce and sugar – those ingredients are long gone from my diet. So the time has come to re-create my own version.
Let’s talk about how Coconut plays a role in my version of a Pad Thai. A new line of favourites have made their way to the organic, raw, veggie market place. That is Coconut Secret’s Amino Acids, Vinegar and Nectar. (You can order them in Toronto HERE!) They are raw low glycemic, gluten free and highly nutritious, oh… and make your meals and recipes thrive with unique flavour. Each one has it’s own versatility and use. Coconut Aminos, can replace traditional soy sauce and even natural soy sauce like tamari. I do love tamari, but it is nice to replace it once in a while. Coconut vinegar can be used for salad dressings and sauces basically anywhere that balsamic, brown rice, apple cider vinegar or any acid would be used. Now the Nectar which has truly become one of my new favourite ingredients is amazing to naturally sweeten desserts, pancakes, sauces, dressings, stirred into yogurt or a smoothie. It is light and has a gooey texture that is slightly addicting. They can all be used individually, but I decided to use them all together in a tangy sweet and savoruy Pad Thai sauce, that is truly like no other! As you may or may not know Coconut it’s recognition as a super ingredient, as it it is loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals to find out more benefits look here.
So that takes care of the sauce…but the base of my pad was none other than one of my other favourite ingredients, kelp noodles. These can be found at several health food stores or restaurants in your local area. They come in a package and need to be soaked to be enjoyed. I took them one step further and threw them into my wok to soak up flavour and soften even more into my delicious Thai sauce. I had only ever eaten them raw before this, and now, I might just reconsider when and where I use rice noodles over kelp noodles! They are extremely light and easy to digest, they have no calories (not that I care), very little flavour and will adapt to any recipe you choose to use them with. So your options are really limitless.
Then I loaded this dish with a combination of veggies that just seemed to work. Sweet potatoes taste good in anything so those went into the pan. There always has to be some green veggies with my meal – so broccoli and kale it was for this one. I am not big on tofu and use it probably once a month if that, but when I do, it’s got to be sprouted and organic – I take no risks when it comes to Soy and GMO’s. Wildwood has a great brand that I actually enjoy. To be honest, Ryan is the one who loves tofu – so the addition was really for him. I am more of a tempeh fan Then I topped everything off with some home sprouted mung beans, loaded with fiber, enzymes, protein and just bursting with crunch -to liven up each bite!
So there you have it. The secret is out. Now I encourage you to make this and report back to me!
Veggie Pad Thai
2 tbsp coconut vinegar
5 tbsp coconut aminos
4 tbsp coconut nectar
2 tbsp almond butter
3 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, grated
2 cups of yams, cut into thin chunks
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 bunch of kale, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 block of sprouted tofu, cut into cubes (can also use tempeh)
1/2 cup sprouted mung beans
1 package of kelp noodles, rinsed and soaked in water with 1 tbsp lemon juice or 1 package of brown rice noodles
1. In a small bowl, combine the coconut vinegar, aminos and nectar, almond butter and 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil. Set aside.
2. In a wok, satuey the tofu, garlic, ginger, scallions and yams in 2 tablespoon grapeseed oil for several minutes, stirring to prevent them from sticking.
3. When yams are soft, stir in the broccoli and allow to soften.
4. Pour the sauce and the kelp noodles into the wok, stir to combine and cover for a few minutes to meld together.
5. Add in the chopped kale and allow to wilt for a few minutes, while still remaining green.
6. Gently stir the noodles into the vegetables and sauce to combine. Remove from heat and serve.
Garnish with mung bean sprouts and chopped scallions.
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Veggin’ Comfortably e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/
It’s always good to stir things up every now and then. Whether it is in a salad bowl, a pot of soup, a blender or a wok – it is easy to make a nutritious meal out of a combination of great ingredients. As simple as it is to make a stir fry, I find that often people are very intimidated to “stir” things up in their own kitchen. I often get asked by my clients or participants at workshops and even in my cooking classes – “what do I put into a stir fry? how many veggies can I use? what type of protein should I use? how do I make a “healthy” Teriyaki sauce?” These are all great questions, but it is much easier than people think to make a great stir-fry. I just tell people to just get creative and have fun! What you need to get started is a wok or a large stainless steel pan. I use stainless steel cookware for my pots, pans and woks- they are great quality, conduct the best heat, non coated and rarely get burned or have stuff stuck to them – so in essence perfect for a stir fry! Once you have that all set, get your stove top turned up to high heat, throw a little grapeseed oil or coconut oil in the pan (two great oils for high heat cooking) and start stirring. You need to be quick, small movements, always keep the veggies moving. Don’t ever let them stay in one spot for too long. You want to cook them, but just a little – a really good stir fry will have crisp, tender and colourful veggies – that are just lightly cooked. There is nothing worse then a wilted brown, dark and soggy stir fry!
What I love about making stir fry’s – is that you can get as creative as you want and just throw anything in there. You can make a different combination every time! So there really should be no stress about choosing the right vegetables. For starters it is always good to have some onions, celery and carrots, they provide a great base. Then go crazy with anything like kale, broccoli, bok choy, peppers, bean sprouts, snap peas, green beans to zucchini and even eggplant. For my delicious bowl of goodness (photo above) this week I grabbed a whole bunch of fresh veggies from my garden (kale, carrots, broccoli, snap peas) added some purple cabbage and combined them with marinated Tempeh, Spelt/Buckwheat Soba Noodles and a simple “Teriyaki” sauce (you can just make some extra sauce and use that to marinate the tempeh).
Then I topped it with homemade sprouted mung beans. This just added a little extra boost of protein and raw enzymes to my meal to keep it fresh, light and crunchy!
So next time you want to stir things up, don’t be afraid! Grab some veggies, cook up some buckwheat noodles or brown rice, top it with marinated tempeh (or tofu, organic chicken, wild fish) for a change, and you will have yourself a nutritious and satisfying dinner!
Simple Teriyaki Sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup tamari
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of chopped ginger
juice of one orange
1-2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup