A healthy twist on an old favorite

Alicia Colombo

Eating healthier doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor. By adding more vegetables to your meals and using a variety of spices, you cut fat and calories while still enjoying delicious meals. This month’s recipe is a healthier version of a popular Asian dish: pad Thai. Substituting the traditional rice noodles for spaghetti squash reduces 150 calories and 32 carbs per cup.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Ingredients:
1 medium-sized spaghetti squash (about 3-4 lbs.)
7 tbsp. neutral-flavored oil, such as canola or vegetable oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs
1 package (8 ozs.) firm tofu, finely diced (about 1 cup) OR thinly sliced chicken, beef, pork or shrimp
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups carrots, cut into tiny matchsticks
2 cups bean sprouts
2 bunches scallions, sliced
6-8 tbsp. Pad Thai sauce (see below)
3/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Sauce:
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
1 lime, juiced (should yield about 1 tablespoon)
2 tbs. tamarind nectar (sold in international foods section of grocery store)
1 clove garlic, minced
Optional: red pepper flake

Directions:
Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook sauce, stirring occasionally, until brown sugar is completely dissolved. It should yield about 8 tablespoons of sauce.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half with a large, sharp knife. Remove seeds and stringy guts, then brush the cut sides of the squash with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and black
pepper. Place spaghetti squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet and roast until tender and easily pierced with a knife, about 45-60 minutes.

Let the cooked spaghetti squash cool for about 5 minutes, then scrape all the flesh with a fork to resemble strands of spaghetti. Taste and season with some more salt and pepper, if needed.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large skillet over high/medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add tofu or meat and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Once hot, add red onions and cook for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Add carrots, bean sprouts, and scallions to pan and cook for 1 minute. Return the cooked tofu or meat to the pan with 6 tablespoons of sauce and stir.

Move the mixture to one side of the pan, crack the eggs and add them to the empty side. Scramble eggs with a wooden spoon and cook until just set, about 30 seconds. Combine into the Pad Thai mixture.

Add cooked spaghetti squash and gently toss everything together, then cook for 1-2 minutes. If you like- more flavor, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sauce. Serve immediately with lime wedges and chopped peanuts.

Source: Shared Appetite

Categories: Food Milestones eNews