We got back from vacation late Monday afternoon, picked up the dogs and came home to a house that was 90 degrees downstairs and 99 upstairs! It took literally all night to cool off. SO HOT.
Yesterday was crazy busy. I had some school work due, needed to catch up on my internship work and clearly get us some food. Our fridge was looking bare:
And where I normally keep our fruits, bread and other veggies that don’t need refrigeration, there was nothing but a few onions and some garlic.
No worries, I made a meal plan, got to the store and fixed the problem.
So what’s on the meal plan this week? Well, last night it was a Pad Thai dish, a recipe I received from Kristina. A friend of hers made this dish a few weeks ago for a girl’s night and she said it was something simple and easy I could throw together.
Here’s a nice secret for you… Thai food (but really any type of spicy Asian dish) is Matt’s FAVORITE food in the world. He loves loves loves spicy foods and eats Thai at least once a week. I never cook it at home because I’ve never been able to get the recipes to come out the way I like them. I like my chicken to be brown and a little firm, rather than flimsy – which is usually how my chicken comes out. He also likes it as spicy as possible and prefers curry where as I want mine moderately spicy with a peanut sauce preferably.
When Matt lived in North Carolina he bought a wok and cooked a Trader Joe’s stir fry every night. I know he is super sad we don’t do the same now – so I’m always looking for a new spicy stir fry type of dish to make for him. This recipe seemed perfect!
I’m going to post my version of the recipe, but know I received the main shell of it from Kristina and just made some changes – because that’s what I do. The original version is not as spicy, is vegetarian and has more noodles. If you want that copy go beg Kristina for it. The vegetables you use here are completely at your discretion, I’m just posting what I used. Also worthy of a note, this version does not have a lot of sauce. If I was making this for myself, I would have made more sauce. Because Matt doesn’t really like peanut based sauces (which are my favorite), I compromised and didn’t make extra.
Chicken Pad Thai
Print this recipe
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 2 T canola oil, divided
- 6 ounces (3 servings) Japanese buckwheat soba noodles
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small nub ginger, peeled
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1 cup snow peas
- 4 medium radishes
- 8 baby carrots
- 1/2 cup broccoli slaw
- 1 T water
- 1 T low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 T red chili paste
- 1 T natural creamy peanut butter
- 1 T brown sugar, packed
- 1 T cider vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 3 T peanuts, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
(I know this looks like a lot of ingredients, I promise you – it’s really not)
- Cutting board and knife (2 if you are doing this quickly)
- Medium stock pot
- Wok or large skillet
- Measuring spoons
- Small bowl and whisk
- Two plates for storing ingredients
1. Fill a medium stock pot 1/2 or 3/4 with water and place over medium heat. Also place your wok over medium heat as well.
2. Start chopping chicken first into small bite size pieces. I like mine very small, but cut to your desired size. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to season.
3. If you are working alone, chop veggies and make the sauce before cooking the chicken. Mince the garlic and ginger and dice the onion, setting aside together.
4. Chop everything else into bite size pieces or julienne strips. Toss all together and set aside separately.
5. In the small bowl mix the water, soy sauce, chili paste and peanut butter together until smooth.
6. Place 1 T of oil into wok. Once it begins to ripple add your chicken and let cook. The chicken will give off juice, which you will need to drain from the wok at some point if you want the chicken to brown. Once chicken is cooked completely through (5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the pieces) remove from wok and set on a plate.
7. Wipe out wok and add 1 T of oil to wok. Once it ripples add garlic, ginger and onion mixture – cooking until onions are translucent (about 2-3 minutes)
8. Add buckwheat noodles to stock pot. Watch these because it will only take 5 minutes.
9. Add remaining veggies to wok and cook until these reach desired consistency. If you like a bite in your dish, cook for roughly 5 minutes. If you want them softer, cook for 8-10 minutes.
10. When buckwheat noodles are finished, drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process.
11. Once veggies are finished add noodles, chicken, peanut sauce mixture, 1 brown sugar and 1 T cider vinegar to pan. Mix together to combine and heat through.
12. After heated, splash with lime juice and add chopped peanuts on top for garnish.
This was really good and comes together really quickly, especially if you have someone to cook the chicken while you chop the veggies and make the sauce! It can easily be made for only 1 or a crowd of 8. It also keeps well for leftovers, so make extra!
By the end of the night we had eaten dinner, had leftovers for lunch tomorrow and I put together a casserole we can throw into the oven and just warm for dinner tonight. I also made some tabouli for quick lunches for me this week. Everything is now looking good!
Also worthy of noting – I went to the gym and exercised on the elliptical last night for the first time in 3+ months! It was SUPER weird and I almost had a panic attack at first because I was so nervous. I have to be very careful right now and start slow, as this is the first step to my injury recovery. I put heat on my hip, stretched, ellipticalled (is that a word?) for 15 minutes until I felt a small pull in my tendon, then stretched and iced. It’s a lot of work to do for just 15 minutes of exercise, but the goal is to keep this routine up and slowly increase my time. In a few weeks I should be able to power walk and hopefully in a little over a month JOG! Right now everything is super slow and without an incline, but I’ll take it!
I have two more Tampa posts coming for you guys in the next few days, so keep an eye out for those.
Do you like pad Thai? What is your take on the dish?