Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lean Tofu Pad Thai

Under normal circumstances, I love pad thai. There's a great restaurant pretty close to my home - PepperMint Cafe - that servings amazing pad thai (amongst other dishes). However, two things stop me from going there or any Asian restaurant more often than once or twice a year: (A) The hubs does not like most Asian food-based restaurants (unreasonable fear of too many veggies - not kidding) and (B) most of the dishes are (probably) so frickin high in sodium that I am bloating just thinking about it. In fact, an average serving of restaurant-prepared pad thai may have upwards of 1700mg of sodium per serving. Yikes! (Note: I do not have the  actual nutritional analysis of PepperMint Cafe's pad thai - this number is simply based on research and may or may not be accurate.)

However, that doesn't mean I don't get a hankering (nice word, huh?) for some stir fry every once in a while. And luckily, I have lots of recipes for different types of healthier stir fry-like dishes. Tonight's selection comes from my old love-hate friend, Clean Eating magazine - Lean Tofu Pad Thai.

Although the recipe is for TOFU pad thai, I think the hubs' head would explode if I tried to serve that to him. So instead, per the magazine's suggestion, I substituted boneless (cooked) chicken breast, cut up into little pieces. Shrimp or turkey would also work. Side note: I would be remiss if I didn't give my sous chef (the hubs) a quick shout-out as he did the actual chopping of the chicken since we were a little pressed for time tonight. And I kind of hate chopping chicken.

Lean Tofu Pad Thai
Source: Clean Eating magazine, Nov/Dec 2009

  • 8oz brown rice noodles (I used lo mein noodles)
  • 4 tbsp unsalted tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (didn't use fresh)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 egg white, whisked
  • 2 c. green cabbage, chopped (skip - didn't feel like it)
  • 1 c. bean sprouts (skip - don't like)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
  • 12 oz firm tofu, cubed (chicken)
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, minced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted peanuts, crushed (totally forgot to add - I like the peanuts on this)
  • Lime wedges for garnish (um - no)
  • Cook brown rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together tomato paste, vinegar, honey, fish sauce, lime juice and cayenne. Set aside.
  • Heat a large skilled or wok over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Mist with cooking spray. Add egg white and saute until cooked, about 2 minutes. Remove egg white and dice into small pieces.
  • In the same pan, misted again with cooking spray, saute cabbage, bean sprouts, onions and carrot over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add tofu and cook for another 2 minutes. Add cooked egg white and cilantro, sauteing for another 2 minutes. Then stir in tomato paste mixture. Add cooked noodles. Stir until completely combined and thoroughly heated, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with peanuts before serving. Add lime wedges and additional cilantro, if desired.
Yield: 8 1-cup servings
Per serving (tofu version): Calories: 220; Total fat: 4g (sat: 0); carbs: 38g; fiber: 4g; sugars: 11g; protein: 11g; sodium: 510mg; cholesterol: 0mg

We love this meal! So delish and relatively easy to prepare. The kid didn't like the noodles tonight, but thought the chicken was fabulous and asked for seconds. Both me and the hubs ate our entire servings, plus there's a ton of leftovers. Bonus? Got my pad thai fix without the sodium bloat.

Fun purple plates! The orange glob on the plate is not part of the meal, btw


  1. I have wicked chicken cutting skills! And my head would not explode at the thought of tofu pad thai, however my stomach may wretch at eating such nastiness.

  2. LOVE making Pad Thai at home!!

  3. Hah! Love how your hubs will actually COMMENT on your post. Getting mine to comment is like gold.

    Love this! Apart form the fish sauce - too high in sodium for me - everything else is a GO! Love your blog too. Such a great thing doing no repeats for an entire year. Wish I could do that in an entire week! LOL

  4. SF: Tofu is def in your future

    Susan: Would love to know your recipe!

    Christy: The hubs has no choice - he is usually sitting here when I do the blog, and I kind of, sort of, pressure him! The fish sauce is super high in sodium - maybe there are some alternatives?!