Tag Archives: pad thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

14 May

I know it’s been a while since I posted – life has been pretty nuts over here. I finished my clinical, somehow managed to graduate (ha-ha), have been studying for the boards, AND have been preparing for a couple vacations. But don’t worry, I still have enough free time to concoct a delicious dinner or two a week for my ever-appreciative roommates.

A few months ago Nick’s Aunt Marianne came to visit and made a delicious Pad Thai. Between that and the increasing stack of Chinese/Thai cookbooks in our kitchen, we have developed a constant hankering for any type of asian food. We decided to make our own “alternative” pad thai, which uses spaghetti squash instead of asian noodles.

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I really thought that everyone knew what spaghetti squash was, but it recently became clear to me that it’s apparently not as common as I thought. For those of you who don’t know, when you bake this kind of squash, it pulls apart into strands (much like spaghetti). The best part is that it’s healthier than regular pasta – weighing in at around 30 calories a cup it’s a guilt-free substitution to any meal.

This is kind of a long one, so hang in with me here.

What we used:
1 spaghetti squash, whole
½ white onion, diced into big chunks
3 stalks of celery, diced into chunks (or slivered)
about 7 baby carrots, slivered
1 orange pepper, sliced thin
2 scallions, chopped
2 eggs, whisked
½ cup peanuts
olive oil

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For the sauce:
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoon peanut butter
½ lime, juiced

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Optional:
I served with chicken and shrimp, but you can easily sub out for other meats/tofu/ whatever
2 raw chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 handfuls of shrimp, de-tailed

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Alright, here we go:
Preheat the oven to 350. Using a large fork, poke some holes in the squash. Wrap it up in a wet paper towel, and microwave for five minutes – make sure that you let it sit for a while when it’s done, it’ll be super hot. Once it’s cool enough to handle, put it in the oven whole for about 10 minutes or so. (I did my microwaving before I prepped my veggies and meat, and then threw it in the oven right after my chicken hit the pan.)

Coat a large frying pan in olive oil. Turn the heat to medium and add the celery, carrots, onion, and pepper. Fry for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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While that was going, I started my sauce – using a small saucepan, I combined the fish sauce, juice of ½ a lime, and vinegar together, and brought to a high heat. (I also added some scallions into the sauce, but that’s optional). Once it was warm, I added the peanut butter and let simmer, stirring occasionally until combined. I left it on simmer while the rest of my food was cooking, which was probably about 5 or so minutes.

At this point I recommend starting whatever meat you’re gonna use – I used a medium sized frying pan, some oil, medium heat, and cooked the chicken. I heated the shrimp in my veggie pan once they were done cooking. Nothing crazy.

(Now is the time to put the squash in, if you hadn’t already)

After the veggies have been frying for about 5 minutes, push them to the sides of the frying pan (see picture). Slowly pour in the eggs, and let sit for about 30 seconds. Proceed to cook as if they were scrambled eggs with a bunch of stuff in them – stir, when the eggs are cooked the veggies are done.

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The squash will be VERY HOT. I held it with a towel during these steps – cut in half, remove the seeds with a fork, and then gently scrape the walls of the squash to pull all the stringy stuff off. I put it in the (now empty) large frying pan on HOT with some oil and fried for a minute or two, just to make them a little less tender.

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I threw some peanuts in the oven on broil and pulled out when they started to roast – just a few minutes. I then put the veggie combo (top with the scallions), chicken, shrimp, sauce, and peanuts in a separate bowl and let everyone serve themselves. Use the spaghetti squash as your noodle base and dig in!

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