Question of the Day: What else can you use to replace rice noodles in a pad thai dish that is not spaghetti squash or a grain?
I surprisingly fell upon the answer when I decided to experimented with my first crockpot tofu dish.
ANSWER: Cooked broccoli slaw and bean sprouts
My intention going into making this recipe was to create a sweet bbq tofu with sugar snap peas, pinto beans, slaw, and bean sprouts, which would include all of my BBQ favorites in one dish while incorporating tofu instead of meat. However, my recipe turned out to taste very similar to a pad thai rather than a bbq dish and I didn’t use rice noodles or nuts to create a peanut like sauce.
I adapted my recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, but I added vegetables and changed a few ingredients in the sauce. I must not have not press and squeeze enough water out of the tofu prior to the marinade process in order for the tofu to stay firm throughout the cooking process. Also, I am assuming the vegetables I added to the recipe released water. The water from the tofu and vegetables most likely made the dish cook like pasta or soup.
However, I really liked how my dish turned out! It was a great low CHO version of pad thai due to the broccoli slaw and bean sprouts replacing the rice noodles. Also, the dates must have been the ingredient to make the sauce taste creamy and nutty like a typical pad thai peanut sauce.
Gluten-Free Noodles! Nut-Free Sauce!
Next time I want to make a low CHO pasta, I will try using broccoli slaw and bean sprouts instead of spaghetti squash to change things up, as well as making peanut sauce without adding nuts or decreasing the amount of nuts in the recipe by using dates.
The things you learn while experimenting in the kitchen! Who Knew!
A Little Bit About Tofu
TOFU is a complete vegetable protein made from soybean curd. I am not even close to being a pro at cooking with tofu, but it is always fun to experiment once in a while to change up the protein in my meals, especially since it is very low in fat and contains zero cholesterol compared to animal meat products. Also, tofu absorbs flavors (herbs/spices/sauces) very well when sautéed, cooked, grilled, and slow cooked!
4 oz of tofu = 5g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10 g of protein, and 25% daily value of calcium
Animal Meat Products = 4 oz cooked
85% Lean Ground beef = 17 g of fat, 7 g saturated fat, 99 mg cholesterol
85% Lean Ground turkey = 15 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 110 mg cholesterol
Baked salmon = 8 g of fat, 2 g saturated fat, 98 mg cholesterol
Baked chicken breast = 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 94 mg cholesterol
There are 2 main type of tofu, Silken Tofu and Firm Tofu. I have used firm tofu more often because it holds together well when sautéed and baked to add to my stir-fries. I would recommend firm tofu for tofu newbees. I haven’t had too much experience with silken tofu (softer consistency causing it to fall apart more easily), but I have used it in smoothies and dips to make them creamy without adding a lot of fat and they have tasted great.
Mock Crockpot Sweet N Spicy Tofu Pad Thai
(without rice noodles or ruts)
Yield: 8 servings (1 cup per serving)
- 2-14 ounce packages of extra-firm tofu, drained and squeezed dry
- 1-15 oz bag of sugar snap peas
- 2/3- 12 oz bag of broccoli slaw (use 8 oz for this recipe)
- 1/2-8 oz bag of bean sprouts (use 4 oz total in this recipe)
- 1-14 oz can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups of cooked dried pinto beans)
Sweet N Spicy Pad Thai Sauce:
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 garlic bulb peeled into cloves (approx. 8 cloves)
- 1/2 cup of pitted dates
- 1-20 oz can of crushed pineapple with 100% juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes
- 2 inches of ginger-root, peeled (about 3 Tablespoon chunks)
- 1- 5 oz can of tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons of tamari sauce, reduced sodium
- 1 Tablespoon of lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp of cracked black pepper
- Drain the water from the tofu packages. Wrap the tofu blocks into paper towels and press down onto the blocks squeezing as much water as you can out of the tofu. Cut tofu blocks into 1 inch cubes. Place cubes into a tupperware container.
- Put all pad thai sauce ingredients into a blender (there is no need to chop or mince your ingredients because they are going to be blended anyways in the blender = minimize the time to prep the sauce). Blend sauce until it is smooth and thick.
- Pour the pad thai sauce over the tofu and let tofu soak up the sauce overnight or at least 1 hour.
- Pour marinaded tofu into the crockpot along with the sugar snap peas, coleslaw, bean sprouts, and pinto beans. Mix all the crockpot contents together.
- Cook tofu for 6 hours on LOW (2-3 hours on LOW).
- Strain Pad Thai to reduce excess liquid that may have been released from tofu and vegetables.
- Pad thai tofu is ready to be served!
- Optional: Steam a large handful of fresh spinach in the microwave for 1.5 minutes and place a serving of the pad thai on top!
CLICK HERE TO PRINT JUST THIS RECIPE
More Crockpot Meals: Fall Crockpot Meal Challenge, Spring Summer Crockpot Meal Series 1
What is your favorite tofu dish!?!?