The detox continues…But my idea of a detox isn’t exactly the hardcore definition some other people might associate with the word…You know the people I’m talking about, the crazies, Gweneth Paltrow in particular comes to mind. That chick is certifiably insane. I’m pretty sure she single handedly convinced a large bunch of rather gullible people (myself being one of them for about a millisecond) that the “master cleanse” is actually a good idea. Psh. . I seriously can’t imagine any doctor that would recommend subsisting on water, cayenne pepper, honey and lemon juice for a week straight, can you?
I tried it out for about a quarter of a day thinking I’d instantaneously drop five pounds like magic. Instead I ended up with a massive headache, bad attitude and zero energy; and then counteracted the starvation by binging on fettuccine alfredo and garlic bread.
Now, my idea of a detox is to just make healthier choices, maybe swap out regular pasta for whole-wheat, cut back on dairy, up the fruit and veggies; you know eat like a normal person instead of like I’m preparing myself for an Olympic race of some sort.
Since giving up carbs isn’t really in the cards for me (can’t live without ’em), swapping out white bread or pasta for a more heart-healthy grain is one of my favorite ways to get a little health back into my system. I love coming up with healthy ways to eat my favorite pastas and comfort foods, and since this quinoa fried rice was such a hit last year, I thought the perfect succeeding dish would be quinoa pad thai, another tried and true favorite of mine.
I first tried pad thai at a dumpy, but gem of a Thai restaurant in my college town of Manhattan Kansas, which is completely shocking, since it’s not exactly known for its culinary diversity. I was immediately taken with the sweet, spicy, sour and acidic flavors; plus there were noodles and peanuts and eggs which I could live on for days anyways.
This was my frist shot at making it myself — minus the noodles, of course, and I think I did a pretty good job. I researched different pad thai sauce methods for hours, and almost all of them required some form of tamarind. I opted to go for the paste, which is a sweet/sour mixture made from tamarind pods, there really isn’t any ingredient that can replace it, so I’d suggest scoping at your local grocery stores for it; I found mine at whole foods.
To make the sauce I combined a little bit of tamarind paste, brown sugar, fish sauce, sirracha and a litle bit of water to thin everything out, and then warmed it up over a medium-low heat to melt the brown sugar; sauce ready.
Everything else comes together pretty quickly; here’s how it went:
Stir-fry garlic, carrots, cabbage, remove from pan.
Stir-fry chicken, remove from pan.
Stir-fry cooked quinoa.
Add veggies and chicken back in along with bean sprouts.
Coat in sauce; stir-fry.
Top with loads of chopped peanuts, cilantro and garnish with lime.
The sauce recipe I have here calls for quite a bit, I found that I didn’t need to use it all, but it really is a personal preference, so start with half of the sauce and add more as needed.
We loved loved LOVED this version, even Kevin, who isn’t really a big fan of quinoa or healthy things really loved it, he even claimed that he liked it better than the quinoa fried rice which I’m not sold on, I think they’re equally delicious, but these recipes are like my babies, so it’s hard to choose which is my favorite!
Sweet, sour, spicy and utterly delicious, just as I remember it the first time.
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup shredded napa cabbage
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly and divided
- 1 pound chicken sliced very thinly
- 5 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 egg
- ½ cup chopped peanuts
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Make sure to have all of your ingredients ready to go.
- In a small saucepan over a medium low heat, whisk together tamarind, brown sugar, fish sauce, water, and sriracha. Heat just until brown sugar is dissolved, set aside.
- In a large skillet or wok heat 1 teaspoon of canola oil over a high heat.
- Quickly stir-fry carrots, bean sprouts, cabbage, garlic, and half of green onions, about 1-2 minutes.Remove from pan, and set aside.
- Heat another teaspoon of oil in pan, and add chicken, stir-fry until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes, remove from pan.
- Heat another teaspoon of oil in pan, add quinoa, stir fry about 1-2 minutes. Add veggies and chicken into the quinoa.
- Add half of sauce, stir-fry until sauce has been absorbed, about 1 minute, taste to see if you need more sauce.
- Make a well in the center of the pan and scramble eggs, combine with quinoa.
- Serve with chopped peanuts, remaining green onion, cilantro and lots of fresh lime.