Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai with Tofu
Lately I’ve been seeing one meal consistently pop up all over blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram: Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai. It seemed like even with numerous varying takes on the recipe, the consistent verdict was that this dish is a hit. It was time to jump on this food bandwagon! I had purchased a spaghetti squash weeks ago and was ready to put it to good use. I started prepping this meal the night before by cooking my spaghetti squash. Aside from that step, this entire meal was a breeze to whip up. I modified the sauce recipe from this Family Fresh Cooking blog.
½ spaghetti squash, cooked and strands removed*
2 squares pre-marinated savory tofu, cut into cubes (or use plain extra firm tofu)
½ cup light unsweetened canned coconut milk
½ cup smooth almond butter
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
Squirt of lime juice
A few dashes of ground ginger
1 bag pre-cut broccoli florets
crushed cashews as garnish, optional
*Prepare the spaghetti squash in advance. You’ll only need about ½ of the spaghetti squash, but it’s more efficient to cook it all at once. While some people love baking it in the oven for 45-60 minutes, I prefer the quicker microwave method. I cut the squash in half lengthwise, and place it (one half at a time) cut-side down in a glass pie dish with about 1” of water, cover loosely with a microwave-safe cover, and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Let the squash cool for about 10 minutes before using a fork to scrape out the strands. Repeat with the other half.
Meanwhile, whisk together coconut milk, almond butter, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, ground ginger, and sesame oil. I usually pour all ingredients into a jar and shake shake shake until it’s combined and smooth.
This was my first time using fish sauce. I’ve heard it really takes certain Asian dishes, especially Pad Thai, to another level. And it did! However, fish sauce stinks. Bad. Holycow! I had to convince myself it’d taste great in the sauce, since the scent was so offensive, and it really did taste just fine blended with all other ingredients.
In a large saucepan, begin to sauté broccoli in a little oil. After 5-7 minutes, add in the spaghetti squash and tofu, and pour the sauce over it. Mix to coat and sauté for another 10 minutes until the broccoli has softened. Plate and top with crushed cashews.
While the flavor wasn’t an exact replica of Pad Thai, it was a really tasty dish! I loved this creative use of spaghetti squash “noodles.” I typically love leftovers, but actually preferred this dish so much more the first night than the second. So if you’re only cooking for one or two, it might be best to halve this recipe, or invite a few people over for dinner!
Another recipe bonus? Roasting the spaghetti squash seeds! You can roast them with a little oil and salt just like you would pumpkin seeds. They taste exactly the same!
Pssst….while apples are still in season, check out my Breakfast Apple Crisp post over on the new Food & Nutrition Magazine Blog.