Coming atcha with a quick and easy recipe that is a staple in my “house” but that we hadn’t had for quite some time until recently. When you are in training, either for a race or for life, it is always great to have these “fall back” recipes, like I discussed in last week’s post on Eating During Marathon Training. By making healthy foods and cooking easy and accessible, even when you are exhausted or just can’t quite handle the thought of putting together a “meal,” you still have great options that provide you with that balance of macros that I discussed last week.
Easy Pad Thai Sauce and Stir Fry
Fish should, in my personal opinion, be in every athlete’s life. To take it a step further, I think that sustainably-sourced fish should be a part of EVERYONE’s life! That is part of the reason that I loved my Sizzlefish shipments–I had excellent, super high quality seafood in my freezer whenever I needed it. Not only that, but the seafood that occupied said freezer was chosen so as to provide my body with optimum nutritional benefits–no “junk” here!
This is very much a faux pad thai–I could call it a peanut sauce, but the other layers of flavor complicate things, and people for the most part can identify with pad thai as a flavor profile. Regardless of what you call it, it is delicious and easy!
If you aren’t a fish eater, this recipe works very well with chicken and, I would imagine, pretty much any other protein you throw at it. My personal preference is with a meatier white fish, like cod, haddock (think fish and chips fish), or even swordfish. These are not overly “fishy” in their taste, but they are substantial enough to carry and hold up to the textures of the stir fry and the sauce. Nutritional benefits? Protein, healthy fats, omega-3s–rebuilding blocks.
For the base, I used soba noodles, one of the few noodles that I really like! These are not gluten free, as they are made of buckwheat, but you could very easily substitute gluten free rice noodles or even spaghetti squash for a gluten free option. I particularly like the soba noodles because they have a naturally nutty flavor (think the difference between white and wheat bread) as well as added protein.
I used frozen veggies for this recipe–I believe it was Trader Joe’s Stir Fry mix? (Make sure you get one without sauce, and also pick one that has a veggie blend that you like–some have more peppers, some broccoli, some sugar snap peas). The veggies are flash frozen, and thus retain their nutritional value. Plus, edamame has great protein content and good fats!
Now for the sauce. This is a sauce that has 2 iterations: one is super healthy and gluten free, the other is a bit less healthy, not gluten free, and more calorie dense. But the option of the two enables you to customize your meal to what you need that day–long run day? Go for the full peanut butter version. Looking for a lighter dinner? Try the lighter version (obviously).
Either way, you can’t go wrong with my easy pad thai stir fry!
Easy Pad Thai Stir Fry (Gluten Free Modifications)
Easy, delicious, and ready in a flash. This savory and slightly spicy pad thai can easily be made gluten free with the included modifications!
- 2 fish fillets (or protein of choice), thawed (if frozen) and patted dry
- liquid aminos (gluten free) or soy sauce
- desired amount of dry noodles (soba noodles or gluten free rice noodles)
- desired amount frozen stir fry vegetable mix (should be gluten free)
- 1/4 cup edamame (shelled), can be frozen
- 1/2 cup of easy faux pad thai sauce
Easy Faux Pad Thai Sauce
- 1/3 cup peanut flour (mixed with 1/4 cup water) or peanut butter (gluten free if necessary)
- 1 tsp-1 tbsp hot sauce (Sriracha or Gluten Free option)
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos (for a no sodium or gluten free option)
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1/2-1 tbsp garlic powder (as desired)
- 1/2 tbsp dried cilantro and basil, each
- 1 tsp dried ginger powder
- 1 tsp agave nectar (gluten free)
- vegetable oil (optional, as desired) or water (as needed)
- unseasoned rice vinegar (as needed and desired)
- Heat a medium and a large saute pan on medium-high heat and bring a pot of water to boil.
- Put frozen veggies into the larger saute pan and cover with lid–agitate periodically and stir veggies around in order to thaw.
- Season the fish/protein with salt and pepper, soy sauce/liquid aminos.
- Grease/spray the medium pan and place fish on the pan when it is at temperature.
- Prepare the sauce by mixing the ingredients. You will likely need oil or water and a little bit of vinegar to thin out the sauce. You want it chunky and thick, but not impossible.
- Flip fish after about 4 or so minutes (about the time it takes to make sauce), remove lid from vegetable pan and season with salt and pepper and a bit of garlic powder (if desired).
- Add noodles to boiling water–they will take about 4 minutes to cook.
- Check fish after about 3 minutes–you want it mostly cooked through, but not completely. Remove from heat and add fish to veggie mix.
- When noodles are al dente, drain in sink (retain some water) and rinse with cool water. Add sauce to hot veggies and fish, then add rinsed noodles to pan with other ingredients. Add retained water as needed to thin the sauce and help it distribute.
- Serve with a smattering of peanuts, green onion (scallions), a drizzle of hot sauce, and a sprinkle of lime juice!
- It sounds complicated, but trust me, you’ll be a pro in no time!