30-Minute Meal: Pad Thai

I’ve been craving the comfort of an Asian noodle dish for quite some time and thought I’d give-it-a-go at a plant-based Pad Thai.

This vegan Pad Thai was so easy to make and I did it in under 30-minutes!

A typical Pad Thai is made with eggs, but I opted for tofu for my protein source. And the best part? The tofu actually looks like eggs when you add a littler turmeric to it. Turmeric is an optional ingredient, so don’t feel like you have to have it to make this recipe.

The vegetables in this dish consist of red bell pepper, green onions and bean sprouts mixed with spices, herbs and citrus like garlic, cilantro and lime.

For the noodles, I used brown rice noodles because they only take 5 minutes to make and absorb flavors well.

As for a healthy fat source and an extra layer of texture, I added dry roasted peanuts. While I love that the peanuts gave the meal some crunch, I don’t know that I’ll add them to the meal the next time around…

The reason being: They are calorically dense and don’t offer much to the meal outside of texture in my personal opinion. But you do you!

In addition to the peanuts being a fat source, there’s also creamy peanut butter in this recipe to make the sauce. Instead of using a regular creamy peanut butter though, I swapped it for powdered peanut butter.

Powdered peanut butter has the same amount of protein as traditional peanut butter, but has less fat and therefore calories per serving (because it’s not mixed with oil). If you prefer to use regular peanut butter, then do a 1:1 swap for the powdered peanut butter. Also, don’t add water to the sauce.

Get this plant-based, 30-minute Pad Thai recipe below…

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 4 red bell peppers (thinly sliced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 14 oz. pack extra firm tofu
  • Turmeric (optional)
  • 3 green onions/scallions (chopped)
  • 7oz. bag bean sprouts (about 2 cups)
  • 8 oz. brown rice noodles
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts (plus more to serve; optional)
  • 1/2 cup Fresh cilantro (chopped; plus more to taste)
  • 1 lime (optional)

Asian Peanut Sauce

  • 6 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 7 1/2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Sriracha (plus more to taste)
  • 3 tbsp. powdered peanut butter (mix with 1½ tbsp. water or more to make a paste)

Directions

Press the Tofu

  1. Open the tofu package and drain the liquid. Then wrap the block of tofu in a clean towel. Place a heavy object on top the wrapped block of tofu and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. When the tofu has been pressed, use the tines of a for to pull pieces of the tofu block apart to form a scramble. Set aside.

Stir Fry, Sauce & Noodles

  1. Add 1 tbsp. oil to a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the peppers become tender.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the peanut sauce. Combine the peanut sauce ingredients in a medium mixing bowl (be sure to combine the powdered peanut butter with water prior to mixing it into the sauce). Set aside.
  3. When the peppers are tender, use a spatula to push the peppers to the side of the wok or skillet. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the scrambled tofu. Sprinkle the tofu with turmeric if desired and mix it until the tofu scramble turns the color of eggs.
  4. Add the bean sprouts, green onion, cilantro, peanuts and peanut sauce to the skillet. Combine well with the other ingredients and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, remove the pot from the heat. Stir in 8 ounces of rice noodles and let sit for about 5 minutes until tender. Once tender, drain the water.
  6. Toss the rice noodles with the Pad Thai stir fry then spritz with lime juice. Garnish with more cilantro and peanuts to serve. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Let me know in the comments!

If you’re in a time crunch, here are a few other healthy 30-minute meals to choose from!


If you are following the SBH Plant-Based 21-day Meal Plan, one serving of Pad Thai is approximately:

  • 1 serving Vegetables
  • 2.25 servings Grains
  • 1 serving Protein (Meat and Dairy Alternative)
  • 2 servings Healthy Fats

Note: Strong.Bold.Healthy does not promote calorie counting. However, being that some may use calorie counting as a tool to help maintain a healthy weight, 1 serving of Pad Thai is approximately 445 calories (this includes all optional ingredients). Nutritional information is a rough estimate.

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