Who doesn’t love Pad Thai? I’m absolutely wild about it—but it’s not really a food to eat if you want to stick to a Paleo or Keto diet. However, you can still enjoy Pad Thai without the starchy noodles, by using veggie noodles instead.
I use my own ‘zoodler’ to make yellow squash noodles, but you can also use zucchini noodles, or even spaghetti squash noodles, as well as Shirataki noodles that are made from sea kelp and have a texture more like a noodle, with a bland taste that will absorb the flavors of the Pad Thai. Same great taste, but without the high glycemic, fattening effect of the rice noodles.
On a recent trip to Thailand, I had Pad Thai (with regular noodles) and it was the most delicious Pad Thai I think I have ever had! I came home and was determined to make a Paleo version, so here it is! I highly recommend making sure you get a good quality tamarind sauce or paste. You can find this in an Asian grocery store, or generally even the Asian/Thai section of your regular grocery store. Tamarind is an amazing additive. It not only gives Pad Thai and other Asian dishes their unique taste, but tamarind is known also for its medicinal properties as well.
Tamarind has a long history of being used as a natural medicine. It has been used for easing stomach discomfort, aiding in digestion, and for both diarrhea and a laxative. Tamarind is also effective for fevers, sore throats, inflammation, swollen joints, sprains, and hemorrhoids. Its sticky pulp is high in a particular type of fiber which binds to bile and helps flush out the body and detox the system.
Tamarinds high level of polyphenols show a marked anti-diabetic effect, which makes it a great additive food to help diabetes. Tamarind extract also has antimicrobial, antibacterial properties, making it excellent for wounds and healing.
Don’t forget to be generous with the veggies in this dish and top it off with a big handful of the super food cilantro!
1/2 cup Tamarind sauce (can be found in Asian grocery store if not your usual one)
1 1/2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
Pinch of coconut sugar
1 Red bell pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
2-3 minced garlic cloves
6-10 shrimp or 2-3 chicken thighs, chopped in small pieces
2 ounces tofu, cubed in 1/2″ cubes
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped (optional)
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
Red pepper flakes or sriracha sauce to taste
Combine sauce ingredients and set aside. Stir fry veggie noodles for about 3-5 minutes until done but still tender crisp,not soggy. Remove from pan, drain off excess juice, and place on a plate. (Or prepare kelp noodles according to instructions.) Pour beaten egg in hot pan and let it cook in one piece. Remove to plate.
Heat oil in pan, add garlic and saute 30 seconds. Add shrimp, chicken and/or tofu. Stir and cook for 1 minute or until cooked through, but be careful not to overcook shrimp. Add noodles and sauce, and stir fry until everything is heated through. Stir in bean sprouts. Serve on plate, topped with egg, cilantro and peanuts. Garnish with lime on the side. Serves 2-4.
You should also know that this recipe is an almost perfect low-meal snack for Diabetics, due to it’s blend of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and a reasonably low amount of sugars and carbs that impact blood sugar.