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Healthy "Pad" Thai (Made with Spaghetti Squash)

September 1, 2015

So, I will be the first to admit that this is not authentic Pad Thai at all! First of all, its not even "Pad". I used spaghetti squash instead of the rice noodles you would typically find in Pad Thai. First of all, I just saved you 200-400 calories per serving... You're welcome! So why spaghetti squash? Because it has a similar texture to rice noodles. It is a little bit firmer and "chewier" than any other vegetable noodle substitutes you would consider using. No, it isn't quite as satisfying as sitting down at a Thai restaurant and devouring a 940 calorie entree at your favorite restaurant. (Yes, if you eat your whole dish, you're looking at almost 1,000 calories.) But this is still damn good. And for a "healthy" dish, the flavors are almost spot on. So take a risk and skip the extra 45 minutes of cardio you would normally have to do. Or do it anyway... Since you're the person who substituted spaghetti squash for rice noodles.
This makes "a lot"; serving size wise. If you look at it, you're going to think "holy crap this is a lot of food". But since the spaghetti squash is less filling than rice noodles, you can pile it up on your plate! So, serving size? Um... 5?
Serves 5-6

 

Ingredients:
2 large spaghetti squash
2 chicken breasts
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 bag bean sprouts (1-3 cups, depending on how much you like)
1-2 cups shredded carrots
3/4 cup cilantro
1/2- 3/4  cup chopped peanuts
1 lime
5 garlic cloves
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup fish sauce
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes, add more to taste

Instructions:
1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Halve your spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds. Cook them face down for 30 minutes. (Normally I suggest putting them in shallow water... but I want them to be a little "under cooked". Allow the spaghetti squash to cool and begin prepping your sauce.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice and brown sugar. Set it aside. 
3. Chop up your chicken (shrimp, tofu, whatever) and cook it in a large skillet/wok with a tbsp of peanut/vegetable/grapeseed oil. Add your minced garlic and cook till the chicken is done and lightly browned. (This will take approximately 5-8 minutes.)
4. Add the liquid that you had whisked together earlier to the hot pan. 
5. Take a fork, and "shred" the spaghetti squash from its walls. Just use a form to pull it away in long strokes. Add the spaghetti squash and continue to cook all of the ingredients together until the sauce is slightly absorbed by the squash, and steams down a bit of its volume. (Assume 10-15 minutes on a low setting.)
6. Add the chopped peanuts, shredded carrots and cilantro.
7. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. 
8. Plate by adding a heaping portion to your plate, topping it off with bean sprouts and and a lime wedge. 
Serve and Enjoy!

 

 

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