Hey, What’s Cookin’?
Pad Thai is probably Thailand’s most famous contribution to world cuisine. It is a staple in Thai homes, restaurants, and a specialty of street vendors. There are endless variations of it, but at its core it uses simple ingredients such as chicken, onions, eggs, bean sprouts, fish sauce, and herbs to create a luscious dish with simple, yet complex flavors. But how to work rice noodles into the m.e.l.t. recommended eating plan? Simply substitute roasted spaghetti squash strings for the rice noodles. You can make it m.e.l.t.-compliant without sacrificing any of the flavors. So if you’ve got a hankering for Thai food this week, try this Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai!
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Based on a recipe by Beachbody
Serves: 4, generously
- 1 medium spaghetti squash, about 3 lbs.
- 1 lb. chicken tenders or boneless, skinless thighs, cut into small chunks
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos or Bragg’s aminos
- 2 tbsp. tamarind paste (or rice wine vinegar)
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tbsp. palm sugar or honey
- 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 8 tsp. peanut oil, divided
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced into thin wedges from root to stem
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup fresh bean sprouts
- 4 medium green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro coarsely chopped
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 2 tbsp. unsalted chopped peanuts
- Lime wedges
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Wash and dry the spaghetti squash. Cut off the stem end and about 1″ off the opposite end. Stand the squash on end, and with a large, sharp knife, slice the squash in half. Scrap out the seeds from each half, and place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, then flip over and bake for another 30 minutes. Cool until squash is easy to handle, and scrape flesh into stringy noodles using a fork. Collect the squash strings in a bowl and set aside.
- Place chicken chunks into zippered plastic bag. Add the coconut aminos, shake bag to mix. Marinate for 1 hour.
- To make sauce, heat tamarind paste, fish sauce, honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add additional broth if sauce is too tart. Set aside.
- Heat a large wok (or skillet) over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. oil, swirling to cover surface of pan. Add chicken; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until chicken is lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan and place on a large platter. Set aside.
- Add 2 tsp. oil to pan. Add onions; cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion are light golden brown. Remove from pan; add to platter with chicken.
- Add 2 tsp. oil to pan; set heat to medium. Add eggs to pan but do not stir. As eggs set, lift edges, letting uncooked portion flow underneath, creating a very thin omelet. When eggs are set, cut them with your spatula. Remove eggs from pan and add to platter with chicken.
- Add remaining 2 tsp. oil to pan. Add garlic; cook, over medium heat, for 1 minute.
- Add spaghetti squash, spreading squash into a single layer; cook for 30 second, stir and make another single layer. Repeat this 3 to 6 times, cooking for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until squash is warm and golden brown.
- Add sauce; bean sprouts and green onions; mix well.
- Add chicken mixture; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until well mixed and heated through.
- Transfer to a large, pre-warmed serving platter. Sprinkle top with peanuts, cilantro, and crushed red pepper. Place lime wedges on the side. Serve the Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai immediately.
Photo by beachbody.com