No Guilt Pad Thai

There’s just something about the rich flavor and vibrant colors of Pad Thai. Veggies and noodles smothered in that spicy, creamy, funky sauce. In a traditional restaurant, a plate of this is going to set you back around 1200-1500 calories- maybe more. Although it’s delicious, it’s not one you can probably afford to have on your regular menu. Until now.

I’m not promising that this will be EXACTLY like you favorite authentic Thai place, but it will definitely remind you of the flavor profile and you’ll love the variety of textures. The recipe below, as written, has 368 calories (21c/10f/42p). If you aren’t worried about calories and just want to avoid overly processed meals, you can add canned coconut milk to the chicken mixture once it’s thoroughly cooked. You can also use a different protein- anything from shrimp to beef to tofu!

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  • 1T olive or coconut oil
  • 2 lbs raw boneless, skinless chicken chicken breasts, chopped into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 whole yellow onion, chopped
  • 12 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 c tamarind paste
  • 1/2 c fish sauce
  • 1/2 c lime juice
  • 1/2 c low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 c nut butter of your choice (option, just chop a cup of nuts up and add them to the chicken dish when it’s finished cooking)
  • 4T fresh grated ginger
  • 1.5 lb of spiralized zucchini
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage shredded
  • 3 c shredded carrots
  • 9 scallions, chopped
  • 6 stalks of bok choy (about 1/2 head), chop the stalks and chiffonade the greens
  • 1 c thai basil, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add chopped onions. Cook until onions are almost translucent, then add chicken and half of the crushed garlic. After the initial searing of the chicken, turn the heat to low and cover.

In a measuring cup, combine remainder of crushed garlic, tamarind paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, nut butter (if not using chopped nuts), and grated ginger. Whisk to mix everything together. Uncover chicken and drain off about 1/2 of the liquid in the pan. Pour 1/2 of the newly mixed sauce over the chicken/onion mixture and cook on low until chicken is soft, but not falling apart. Transfer to a sealable container if you aren’t eating this right away.

Put 1/4 cup of water in a skillet and bring to a quick boil. Drop in zucchini and red cabbage. Pour remainder of sauce over this, cover and turn to medium low. Cover and check every couple minutes. You want this to cook just enough to soften the veggies, but not so they are falling apart.

Toss the bok choy, basil, scallions and carrots together. If you are breaking this into several meals, I recommend keeping the 3 mixtures separate until right before you are going to eat it. This makes 8 generous servings.

To assemble:

  1. Reheat meat and “noodle” mixtures.
  2. Create a bed with your greens mix
  3. Add the portion of the chicken mixture and noodles that you want.
  4. Toss with a fork to combine. There should be plenty of sauce from the meat and noodle mixture that you won’t need any dressing.


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