Let me kick this off by saying Pad Thai is one of my all time favorite meals. Traditionally it's made with rice noodles, bean sprouts, some type of meat or seafood (or heaven help us... tofu) and a to die for sauce that usually has brown sugar and a mountain of salt. Oh, and let's not forget the crushed peanuts. This meal is a paleo disaster and then some. There is absolutely nothing good that can come out of this dish.
For a while I was using it as my cheat meal. Every time we would go out for Thai food, I would order a giant portion of Pad Thai and leave nothing behind but the plate. And then it would hit me... that bloated, miserable feeling from the carb insurgency and pure sugar assault. After the initial bloat, I would get miserably tired and come down with a huge headache. Pad Thai never did this to me before starting paleo. I have since learned that this meal is the equivalent of a gastro-intestinal Hannibal Lechter. It entices you with it's charm and alure and when you least expect it, it eats your guts and leaves you reeling and clinging to life wishing you had never known the name Pad Thai (or Hannibal Lechter for that matter).
So I was at a cross roads. I knew Pad Thai was no longer a welcome dish in my meal plan, but I love the flavor and the texture so very much. There was only one option to consider. Remake Pad Thai into a paleo friendly version.
What you'll need:
1 pound of cooked large shrimp or you can use any meat you wish
1/2 a head of cabbage finely shredded (use a mandolin if you have one)
1 onion finely sliced (mandolin)
3 ribs of celery sliced on the diagonal
2 bell peppers, sliced into thin strips (use 2 different colors)
1 bunch of green onions, sliced into 2 inch pieces (separate whites from greens)
a small handful of cashews
for the sauce:
2 T. sesame oil
3 T. olive oil
1 T. chili garlic sauce (made by Huy Fong Foods available at grocery store)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 T. lime or more to taste
you may want to double this sauce if you want more intense flavor
What you do:
Start off by making a simple omelet from the eggs and shred it into thin strips. Next, heat a large saute pan with coconut oil. Add in all the veggies except for the onion greens. Saute quickly at high heat until veggies are crisp/tender. Once the veggies are done add the onion greens, shrimp and sauce and stir until shrimp are heated through. Not too long now... you want shrimp not rubber.
Place into shallow serving bowls and top with a few cashews and additional lime wedges. If you want to get all crazy you can chop some cilantro and add it over the top. It's a great flavor... I just didn't have any. This is a great dish that is Pad Thai-esque. The cabbage turns out to be quite noodlie and I can breath easy knowing that my craving is satisfied without the empty carbs, sodium explosion and sugar rush. I hope you like this as much as I do.