Mel’s Raw Pad Thai
The following recipe is for raw “pad thai” but it isn’t pad thai at all, it is more a salad that has the appearance, texture and flavors of the noodle dish. This is an excellent side dish which is incredibly satisfying for a pile of vegetables given its heavier nut butter based dressing.
The dish looks more like noodles if you have a spiralizer, a fancy mandolin that allows you to peel veggies in a circular motion to get longer “noodles” or pieces of the vegetable. Alternatively you can peel them with a regular mandolin, julienne peeler or just a garden variety peeler in a pinch. Long, thin strips are what you are aiming for.
I like to pair this with some barbequed shrimp or chicken basted in sweet chili sauce. Vegetarians or vegans might choose some tofu or to add more nuts to the salad. Adding bits of raw cauliflower is another way to make the meal appear like it has more “meat” to it, so that is an optional vegetable on this list. I generally omit it and make just the “noodles” and put the shrimp on the top when it is finished.
2 long thin zucchinis
2 red peppers
2 large carrots
¼ head of purple cabbage
5 spring onions, diced thin
Large handful of cilantro, chopped
Radish or pea sprouts
½ cauliflower, rinsed and chopped into small florets (optional)
½ cup of roasted almonds, chopped
2 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp agave syrup
One lime, zested and juiced
One clove garlic
One inch of ginger, shredded on a microplane (approximate amount: 1 tbsp)
Turn the zucchini, peppers, and carrots into noodles with the spiralizer or mandolin. Shred or slice the cabbage into thin strips and add the sprouts, diced onions and sliced cilantro to a large bowl. The salad requires aggressive tossing so make sure your bowl is about 1.5 times your pile of veggies. This veggie pile as above will be very large as I like to make this with enough for leftovers.
Put all of the dressing ingredients into a Vitamix or blender and process until smooth. It will be thick, almost like almond butter. Don’t thin it out! Spread the dressing with a spatula over layers of the veggies, then toss. The water from the vegetables will mix with the dressing and help to distribute it over the salad. When tossing is complete, the “noodles” will all have a nice coating of dressing. Sprinkle with some chopped roasted almonds and top with your protein of choice.
This dinner can be completed in 20 to 30 minutes. Add a bit of steamed brown rice and you’re good to go.