Rainbow Pad Thai with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Big News: I recently reinstated my membership at the gym.

I also recently witnessed my soul shrivel up and die.


I mean correlation does not equal causation, but coincidence? …yes.

I wish I could run outside but something about the hard pavement gets my knee all cranky-like. I feel like everyone says they have a “knee issue”…come to think of it my whole family has knee problems. Like, it’s becoming clear to me that my ancestors weren’t the ones cunningly outrunning the saber tooth tigers.  They were the ones hiding in the bushes gorging themselves on tree nuts until the stampede had passed.

Welcome summer humidity. It took my five minutes just to pull my skinny jeans over my sticky legs this morning, my hair looks like Marge Simpson’s, and the only consolation on my 1 hour and 15 minute long traffic-infested commute home from work (4.8 miles in total, mind you) is that there is a big bowl of cold pad thai waiting in my refrigerator. Leftovers; you get me, you really, really get me.

This dish is a healthy spin on a favorite Thai classic of mine, with crunchy spiralized zucchini and carrots in place of rice noodles.  If you have never thought about getting a spiralizer, they’re cheap, and FUN. The “zoodles” are doused in a thick, creamy, rich, peanut buttery tamari ginger coconut sauce.  Oh, and I threw in a bunch of thai chilis so you know that bad boy is spicy AF. Toss cilantro, green onions, peanuts, and sauteed shitake mushrooms into the bowl and holy moly. Too. Good.


Eat the rainbow. #lovewins

Rainbow Pad Thai with Spicy Peanut Sauce

NOTE***Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients, once you have them….the dish seriously comes together in a snap. You also don’t have to add every garnish I suggest, although all the different components make it interesting and more authentic, feel free to omit if your wallet is looking at you like WTF.

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp peanut oil (veg oil works too)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-4 thai chilis, minced finely (or 1 serrano….use 1 or 2 thai chilis if not into HOT heat, 4 is more my flava)
  • 1 T fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 T chili garlic sauce (find it in the ethnic section of the market)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 T tamarind paste (this adds a little sweetness…find it in an asian market or maybe the ethnic section of the market)

For noodles and garnish:

  • 2 raw green zucchini
  • 1 raw yellow zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/4 head of purple cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 cups edamame, shelled (I used frozen)
  • handful of peanuts (for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup green onions, minced
  • sesame seeds (for sprinkling)
  • 2 limes, cut into quarter wedges
  • 2 cups shitake mushrooms (I left stems on but you’re technically just supposed to use the caps. Whatever forever)
  • 1 tsp peanut oil (veg oil works too)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Begin to make the sauce by heating a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Heat the peanut oil (1 tsp) in the pan and add the garlic.  Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened and starting to brown slightly. Add the minced thai chili and the ginger and cook for another minute.  Turn down to low.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients from the sauce list, stirring frequently, until sauce begins to thicken and bubble slightly (about 7-10 minutes).  Do not let it boil! Turn off heat and set aside.
  3. In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1 tsp of oil over medium heat.  Add in the shitake mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute for about 4-5 minutes…until shrooms get a little nice and tender-like. Set aside in a separate bowl.
  4. For the oodles of noodles, if you’ve got a spiralizer…simply spiralize the crap out of the zucchinis and carrots.  We’re on the hunt for perfect ribbons, but this is not always the case when your spiralizer costs $21.99.  Do the best you can. If you are void of this tool, you can grate these veggies or if you’re lacking a spiralizer but have all the time in the world, julienne them.
  5. Chop purple cabbage finely into thin slices and dice the bell pepper.  Toss all “zoodles” in a large bowl. Cook edamame according to package (usually takes just a few minutes of boiling or steaming) and then toss into the mixture.
  6. Give the sauce a whisk and then stir it into the bowl, mixing thoroughly.
  7. When serving, add to each individual bowl: a couple mushrooms, 1 small slice of lime, a shake of peanuts, a sprinkle of cilantro, green onion, bean sprouts, and finally….sesame seeds. Yas.

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