Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Perfect Pad Thai

No grains!  Just great flavors and crispy, savory delight!
Going out to eat grain free is a mighty challenge.  So we accept rice, and even rice noodles on occasion, just to give our kitchen slave (me) a break.  That way, we can eat gluten free, at least.  But hello!  The Keatleys over at Health Bent brilliantly have devised yet another reason to stay home and eat grain free.  Thank you, Keatleys.  Grrr. 

Really, though, Mr. Eating the Scenery and I both feel much better when we eat at home.  Eating out has a pesky tendency to give us weird headaches now.  Something to do with cheap industrial cooking oils, ubiquitous starches, flavoring agents ... who knows. 

So, about a year ago I just sighed, tossed everything crappy from our pantry, fridge and freezer, arranged my battalion of cooking gear in the most efficient configuration possible, and accepted the inevitable.  We still eat out now and then, but only at establishments that don't inflict headaches! 

This is Pad Thai at its very best.  Prepare all your ingredients ahead so you can can slam it together quickly and serve it fresh and hot.

Adapted from Health Bent

Serve over shredded raw cabbage or with raw cauliflower "rice."  Make cauliflower rice by shredding raw cauliflower with a medium shred disk in the food processor, or with a hand grater.  You can saute it lightly, but the crispy raw crunch is very good with this dish.

1/2 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons honey

1/3 cup coconut oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped ginger

1-1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
15 large raw shrimp, tails removed, and lightly salted

3 small zucchini, julienned or simply sliced into thin strips 1/4 inch wide or so
3 big handfuls fresh spinach leaves (optional)

1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/2 cup cilantro
Lime wedges


In small bowl, mix almond butter, vinegar, fish sauce, chili garlic sauce, lime juice and honey.

In large skillet, melt coconut oil over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes.  Add mushrooms and shrimp, cooking for a few minutes more or until shrimp begin to turn pink. 

Stir in sauce mixture and zucchini strips, and optional spinach, and heat through.  The Pad Thai will be looking very, very tasty.  Heat until steaming hot and shrimp are cooked through.  You'll recognize perfection when you see it.

Serve either in individual bowls or on a large serving platter, garnished with shredded carrot, toasted almonds, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Makes 3 generous servings.

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