Zoodle Pad Thai with Chicken

Zoodle Pad Thai

If I were to dream about Pad Thai (you know, just hypothetically...), I think it would look like this. A rainbow mess of veggie noodles and hot, savory steam rising from the pan.

I mentioned it in my Thai Basil Chicken Recipe, but I can be picky about Thai food. I want it overloaded with veggies. Zoodles are the perfect way to do that! Regular Pad Thai calls for rice noodles, and I’ve made it that way, but what I love more is this combo of zoodles with caramelized red pepper strips and bright carrots. Hello, rainbow in a skillet!

Zoodle Pad Thai

This dish is also a “throw it all in the pan” sort of meal, which is just my style. If I know we’re going to be home late, I’ll spiralize the zucchini and chop the peppers and carrots in the morning, so that in the evening all I have to do is put things in a pan before eating. First the chicken, then the carrots and peppers, and finally the zoodles—they cook virtually instantly, so you barely have to wait before digging in!

Remember to sprinkle with crushed peanuts or cashews and a drizzle of Sriracha before you take the first bite. The crunch and zing is worth it. And if you want to really flex you culinary muscles, crack and egg into the pan in the last few minutes, scrambling it a bit. 

Zoodle Pad Thai

If you like this recipe, you'll also love this Zoodle Chicken Chow Mein, with cabbage and green beans.

Zoodle Pad Thai with Chicken

Published January 18, 2018 by
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Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 8 ounces chicken, cubed
  • 1/4 cup scallions, minced 
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • For sauce:
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce 
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup 
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha (your favorite brand or homemade)
  • 2 tablespoon tahini 
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce OR if you prefer, Worcestershire sauce for a more mild fish flavor

  • For serving:
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, crushed 
  • 1 lime, slided in wedges

Directions:

  1. First, use a Spiralizer (affiliate link) to turn the zucchini into zoodles. Set zoodles aside.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a skillet or wok over medium heat. Once oil glistens, add cubed chicken, browning for about 3 minutes on each side. Check to make sure the chicken is cooked through by slicing a piece in half— meat should be white all the way through, with no visible pink. If it is cooked through, use a slotted spoon to move chicken to a plate and set aside. (If any pink is left, cook in the skillet for a few extra minutes).
  3. Add julienned carrot and sliced bell pepper to skillet, sautéing until tender. Once the carrots are tender and the peppers are starting to brown on the edges, add the chicken back into the pan, along with the zoodles, minced cilantro, and scallions.
  4. Make the sauce: add all ingredients for the sauce to a small jar. Secure lid on jar, and shake until all ingredients are combined.
  5. Pour sauce into skillet, and use tongs to move zoodles and chicken around in the pan so that everything is coated. Allow sauce to come to a simmer, and cook for 1 minute (just long enough for the zoodles to cook. I like them al dente—soft with a tiny bit of bite left- but you can cook them another minute if you prefer them extra soft).
  6. Divide amongst serving bowls and top with crushed peanuts and lime wedges.

Zoodle Pad Thai

Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

On a morning jog though Monterey, I worked not to slip on the wet cobble path beneath my feet. It had just rained, and was likely to start raining again soon, but for a moment the air hung still, albeit heavy with humidity. I was barely going fast enough to raise my respiratory rate (plus, at sea level the air is thick), but humidity made me sweat anyways. The sunrise was a blend of oranges and pinks and even purples, and I stopped to take pictures almost as much as I ran.

The humidity held down any usual street smells, and instead what I smelled was the California coast at it's purest. Eucalyptus, as I ducked through a grove of trees; Rosemary, as I jogged by California's first theater (it is hedged with rosemary bushes, each over two feet tall); Lavender, as I passed through the English garden alongside the boat house. And over it all, the unmistakable smell and sound of the ocean: salty and constant.

Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad
Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

In my head, I am calling this salad the "California Salad," because when all of the ingredients come together they paint a mirage of the west coast.

As I drove down highway 1, I saw field after field of greens. It's hard to name them all: artichokes, strawberries, and them I'm lost. These fields are a color of green that just isn't possible in the plains of Colorado, and that makes them almost hypnotizing. It's the color of fresh

A walk under a citrus tree this time of year is a rewarding experience, as the branches are heavy with fruit. Grapefruit, oranges, lemon. Across the street, I noticed an avocado tree boasting a absurd number of fruits. They were small still, and I couldn't tell if that was just a characteristic of the variety or if they still had room to grow. 

And there, near Cannery Row, was a storefront for an almond grower. They were stocked with enough oils and butters and nuts to make your heart grow. The smell of toasted nuts wafted from it's door, enough to override that salty ocean smell for a minute. 

Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

This salad is only a few of the scents and flavors you find on the west coast, but as I put it together I couldn't help but remember the ocean breeze, the rolling hills, and warm evenings. 

Funnily enough, one of my last trips to the west coast also inspired a salad, which is completely different: Seared Wasabi Crusted Tuna Salad with Ginger & Almonds.

Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

Published January 16, 2018 by
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Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 10 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 5-ounce package of baby arugula
  • 1 grapefruit (large)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almond 
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds 
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 

Directions:

  1. Place arugula in a salad bowl.
  2. Cut the peel from the grapefruit, and then use a pairing knife to cut out each wedge of fruit, leaving the pith behind. Arrange fruit pieces over arugula.
  3. Slice avocado, and arrange over arugula. Sprinkle with almonds and sesame seeds.
  4. Make vinaigrette: place olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, and salt in a jar. Seal jar with a lid, and shake to combine ingreidents. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss!

Parsnip & Apple Sauté

Parsnip & Apple Sauté

Parsnips have never been my favorite. I believe the first time I tried them I was already in my twenties, and their sweetness took me by surprise. I wanted desperately for them to taste a bit more savory, even when roasted. But there is something else I can't quite put my finger on when it comes to parsnips. Is it the Earthy tones? But I love beets, which even I admit can taste like dirt. I've heard parsnips described as "spiced," like nutmeg and cinnamon, but I can't say that's ever come to mind when I bit into one. Maybe that means my tastebuds just aren't quite on the parsnip game, but either way, there are still only a few ways I like to eat parsnips. 

  1. Cauliflower Parsnip Soup with Caramelized Onions and Apples (this is my favorite way to eat parsnips)
  2. Roasted like french fries (yes, it's true! 😳) 
  3. This. Sautéd with apples and sage and eaten like a sweet-n-savory hash

And I wouldn't even have known about the third one if it wasn't for a serendipitous day when I waked in the grocery store and there was a big table of samples from the deli. What were they serving? Latkes topped with parsnip apple sauté. And of course the latke was good (fried potatoes, duh), but I was also taken aback by how much I liked that parsnip apple sauté. And rather than trying to convince the clerk to give me five more free samples, I figured I'd come up with my own rendition.

Parsnip & Apple Sauté
Parsnip & Apple Sauté

Really I'd say this is the sort of dish you might serve as a side at dinner, next to a roast chicken, or naturally, on a latke, but I ended up eating for breakfast a few days in row, polishing off the pan every time. It's a bit like a hash, but apples don't get the same sort of crisp as potatoes might, which is why I'm calling it a "sauté." And if you're thinking the parsnips and the apples make this dish sweet, you're right... but, minced garlic, onion, sage, black pepper and a pinch of salt also go into the pan, making it over all much more complex and truly a special combination. 

Parsnips are also an ideal thing to make through out the winter. Did you know that they can be stored for six months after harvest and their flavors will remain just about the same? Apples, when stored properly, have a similar shelf life. So whether you're into eating seasonally or not, you can buy the ingredients for this dish basically throughout the entire year, and they'll still taste great. 

Parsnip & Apple Sauté

P.S. I am in love with this bowl. I happened upon it at TJ Maxx--it was the only one of it's kind- and have since found all sorts of ways to use it. I've never thought of sage as a blue color, but I love how this bowl echoes that colors of sage. 😍

Parsnip & Apple Sauté

Published January 11, 2018 by
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Serves: 3   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 4 medium parsnips
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion 
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil  
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste 

Directions:

  1. Finely dice the onion. Then, peel and dice the parsnips into 1/2 inch cubes, and dice the apple removing the core (I leave the peel on the apple, but you may peel it if you prefer).
  2. Heat coconut oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. When the oil glistens, add the onion and minced garlic to the pan, sautéing until the onion is transparent.
  3. Add the parsnips and apples to the pan, and stir. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown and the parsnips are tender.
  4. Mince the sage, and add it to the pan, along with the pepper and salt to taste. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, and then serve hot.