Happy spring! Although it's still pretty cold here in New York and it actually snowed yesterday, winter is finally behind us. I'm so ready for warmer weather, breaking out the grill, and getting our vegetable and herb garden going. Asheley is really excited that she can finally start using the bike she got for Christmas. Her new obsession is wanting to compete in triathlons (yea, I know... I don't get it either).
If you can remember way back to the beginning of January, I told you about how Asheley and I were doing this sort of food cleanse. Well the cleanse and its effects are long gone, but the spaghetti squash that was frequently consumed during those ten days stuck with us. Both the Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Red Pepper - Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Broccoli and Parmesan have made occasional appearances since then on our dinner plates.
But then my good friend Steve and I went to this little, local Thai restaurant this past weekend and that got me thinking. Pad Thai. Spaghetti Squash. Pad Thai. Spagh.... what if I can make Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai?!
In full disclosure, my first attempt didn't go so well. The sauce was weird. And I added the cooked spaghetti squash into the pan with the rest of the Pad Thai mixture too early, making it a big bowl of mush by the time the rest of the dish was done cooking. After some much needed tweaking, culinary victory was mine.
Spaghetti squash makes such a great, healthy substitute for dishes where regular pasta or other noodles are called for. Just slice one open (easier said than done, since it does have a thick skin... make sure your knife is sharp!), scoop out the seeds and guts, brush with some oil and season with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for about 45-60 minutes. Then comes the fun part: shred the flesh using a fork, creating beautiful long strands.
I should have had the red onion and garlic in this picture also. I forgot. And now it's too late, so I hope you didn't notice. But then I told you about it, so now you probably noticed.
The bean sprouts can be found in some grocery stores. Only one by me carries them. I'm sure they can be found at Asian markets as well. And do yourself a favor like I did and just get a bag of the carrots already cut up into matchsticks. Don't try to be a hero and cut up whole carrots yourself. Or be a hero. Totally your call 🙂
Everything you need for the sauce should be readily available in your normal grocery store. Fish sauce and rice vinegar are easy finds, and tamarind nectar should be by all the Goya products. If you don't have rice vinegar, I've heard that you can substitute regular distilled vinegar (although I haven't tried it).
If you have Thai chiles around, feel free to use them instead of red pepper flakes. I did not.
Definitely do not, under any circumstance, forget the wedges of lime and chopped peanuts. I know garnishes don't always scream "essential", but in this case I think they are.
Asheley doesn't have many faults. That's why I married her. But she does, unfortunately, have one that still shocks me to this day. She's not a huge fan of Thai food. Yet. I'm working on it.
With that being said, even she enjoyed this spin on the classic Pad Thai. I hope you do too 🙂