Thai food is one of my absolute favorite things to eat. I usually don’t cook on Sundays so Drew and I love to pick it up occasionally to cap off our weekend the best way we know how – chilling on the couch 🙂 The downside- it’s not exactly healthy. For that reason, I’m working on a few Asian-inspired dishes that incorporate healthy modifications while still hitting that Asian take-out spot! Introducing recipe number one, Whole30-friendly chicken pad thai!
For the base of this recipe, I swapped out pad thai noodles for zucchini noodles. This simple swap makes a huge difference when it comes to nutrient density. Zucchini is a great source of vitamin C (one zucchini provides roughly half your daily value), metabolism-boosting B vitamins and powerful antioxidants. Zucchini is also super hydrating thanks to its high water content AND is considered a low-carbohydrate vegetable at approximately 6 grams per medium zucchini. If you don’t have a zucchini spiralizer, you need one! You can get one here. They are such a worthy investment and typically very affordable.
Another notable healthy swap is coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Soy sauce is almost always made with preservatives, MSG and GMOs. Surprisingly, soy sauce also contains gluten as the soybeans used to make soy sauce are fermented using wheat. Coconut aminos are made by fermenting the sap of a palm tree. The taste and consistency is very similar to that of soy sauce and does not taste at all like coconut. This alternative is rich in amino acids, lower in sodium and overall a much healthier option! You can buy it here or at your local grocery store. Usually, it’s merchandised next to the soy sauce and other Asian condiments. It’s a great kitchen staple and a perfect substitute for any recipe that calls for soy sauce.
Whole30 Chicken Pad Thai
- 4 medium zucchini, spiralized
- 1 cup carrots, matchstick cut
- 1 whole red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 lb chicken breast or pre-cut tenders
- 2 tbsp arrowroot flour *Note, you can often find this in the bulk section of larger stores like WF/Central Market if you'd like to avoid buying a whole bag. Also, I have used Bob's Red Mill paleo flour and worked just as well, a great multi-use flour.
- 1/3 cup green onion, chopped for garnish
- 1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish
- 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted cashews for garnish
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
Pad Thai Sauce
- 1/4 cup almond butter be sure it's a liquidy consistency
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar or sub apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
Combine all pad thai sauce ingredients and blend in a blender or using an immersion blender. Set aside.
Thinly slice the chicken breast and season with pink salt and pepper as desired, then coat evenly with arrowroot flour.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook through until lightly golden. Set aside or transfer to a plate.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a large saute pan. Add eggs and scramble. Add a little more oil and toss in your spiralized zucchini, carrots, red bell pepper and purple cabbage. Pour sauce over the veggies, mixing well to coat. Saute over low to medium heat until zucchini noodles are soft and cooked down. Add in chicken.
Garnish with green onion, cilantro, cashews and lime. Serve and enjoy!