I know, I know. I was trying to cut down on the amount of soup I make but now that I am in full blown cookbook testing mode, I am whipping up all sorts of goodies that bring my soul joy. This week my best friend came over to take some glamorous shots of me cooking. It was natural, silly and just plain ol’ fun. I mean, who doesn’t love having their biffle in the kitchen with them and then sharing a fabulous meal afterwards. I was able to cook freely with lots of giggles and have my bestie snap a few pics of me in the process. Needless to say, I was in my zone. You can just tell my passion lives in the kitchen.
Last year at a company Christmas party potluck my beloved intern Jillian brought in this ooey gooey cheese fest hidden in layers of crunchy, doughy heaven. It was reminiscent of pizza but made me feel like I was indulging in a calzone (but not the ones from the pizza shop, I’m talking about the HUGE ones from college that were bigger than the size of my face) minus the ricotta.
There is something comforting about cheese. For the past 2 years I was completely convinced that being fully vegan (and probably being a stank b*tch about it) was the right way to go. But after some serious soul-searching and letting go of self judgment, I decided cheese is actually okay. I fully believe in the power of treats. By allowing ourselves a judgment free treat (I said “a treat” not multiple treats or a smorgasboard of treats) we are really allowing our souls to feel completely nourished. Why, you may ask? Well, simple. Our souls don’t like to be restricted. Unless you want to feel like a crazed, self judging, self loathing person, allowing yourself that small piece of chocolate, a macaron, a mani-pedi, or something that makes you feel uplifted and joyful is such a wonderful thing.
I’m in the process of packing up my entire childhood, my whole life and moving. It’s such a process because you go through a few things, reminisce on a few photos, read old love notes, and laugh at the things you thought you needed but really don’t. Isn’t it amazing how that works? You hold onto things you think you would need but you really don’t need them at all. How profound is that? As I pack and sort through the last 25 years of my life, I realize how important it is to simplify. To live simply is to live abundantly. Hashtag, just saying (#justsaying).
I am going to be honest. I have NEVER ever had Pad Thai. I don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like. I just know that it involves noodles, peanuts, limes and cilantro. Since my recent peanut allergy (literally discovered this last year when I broke out in hives from eating peanut butter- super bummer), I have avoided trying Pad Thai for my own sanity. Then, I came across a WONDERFUL recipe during one of my lunch time adventures in Barnes & Noble. I salivated the moment I read the ingredients and jumped for joy upon the mention of peanuts being optional. I adapted this version of Vegan Pad Thai from a fellow Vegan food blogger and writer of the incredible cookbook, Isa Does It (seriously, check her out- amazing recipes). Not only is this recipe incredibly simple, it will have you craving Pad Thai practically every night of the week. If I could cuddle up with a bowl of this Pad Thai and have it sing me a sweet lullaby, I would be a happy woman.
What You Need:
- 8 oz pad thai rice noodles or buckwheat soba noodles (my family loved this version- a little heartier), cooked according to package directions and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 package (or 2 if you’re incredibly hungry) of extra firm organic sprouted tofu, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
- 4 cups broccoli, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups cilantro, chopped
- 4 oz mung bean sprouts
- Lime Wedges for serving
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar (I went for dark brown for added sweetness)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons Sriracha
- 2 tablespoons mellow white miso
- 1/4 cup water
How You Make It:
- Make the tofu. After removing the tofu from the liquid, dry it off as much as possible and cut into cubes. Heat a cast iron skillet (or any skillet will do) on high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil to the skillet and add tofu immediately. Stir frequently and cook until tofu is browned and crispy. Remove from the pan, set aside.
- In the same pan, add a teaspoon of oil and half the minced garlic. Toss in the broccoli and sauté for 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside with tofu.
- In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the sauce. Mix until most of the miso has dissolved.
- Add remaining oil and garlic to a pan over medium-high heat. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and toss in half of the cilantro and all of the green onion. Stir until slightly wilted. Pour in half of the sauce and heat through.
- Add in the noodles and toss to coat. Add back tofu, broccoli, mung bean sprouts and the rest of the sauce.
- Serve immediately with lime wedges and the rest of the cilantro.
Is it sad to say that my mouth started to water after writing this?
Grab a fork or some chopsticks and slurp up this sweet and spicy goodness. Your stomach will thank you.
Peace, love and NO beef!