When spiralizers started to become popular I dutifully went out and bought myself one, spiralized myself a zucchini and sat down to a bowl of low-calorie “pasta” with high expectations. And… I was totally underwhelmed by it. I tried a few more recipes, and they were tasty enough, but I was always left wanting more. And so my spiralizer sat, sad and neglected, gathering dust on my kitchen shelf for many months.
Then one day it dawned on me that I might enjoy vegetable noodles more if they were warm, and in a flash I was enjoying a comforting and much more satisfying meal. Still, it was a tough sell to my endurance athlete husband who can’t comprehend a meal without carbs, and I’ll admit that even when eating on the lighter side I sometimes crave something with a little more stick-to-yer-ribs to it, if you know what I mean. In a best of both worlds compromise, I started making the pasta dishes we love, but replacing half (or more!) of the pasta with veggie noodles. And lo! A light in calories but still totally satisfying meal was born.
When thinking about the kinds of noodle dishes to cut with veggies, Pad Thai immediately comes to mind. I love Pad Thai in all it’s white-rice noodle glory, but the nutritionist in me freaks out at the lack of vegetables in it. Replacing half of the rice noodles with spiralized carrot and zucchini not only cuts down on carbs and calories, but it also adds a lot of nutritious, high-fiber vegetables to the dish. Add some tofu for protein, bean sprouts, and a tasty vegan sauce, and you’ve got a lightened up Pad Thai packed full of flavour.
While the ingredient list may be on the long side, this recipe comes together quickly and makes for a perfect weeknight dinner. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
For the sauce:
You may be able to find brown rice noodles, which would add a little more nutrition to this recipe. Alternately, skip the noodles altogether and add an extra spiralized zucchini in their place.
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