My sweet celiac and youngest, Izzy

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chicken Pad Thai

Ok, it's been a while since I posted last.  Since the last time we went to Little Rock for Lana's biopsy, celebrated her amazing 1 year heart day of her transplant, and I somehow hurt my shoulder and have been a little out of commision lately.  BUT, you know I haven't stopped cooking AND I am happy to say that I have some great recipes to share over the next few days.  So Sunday, I sat down and organized myself, menu planned and made my shopping list and while everyone was napping I headed to the store and got everything I needed to feed us for an entire week to try and cut down on my stopping and ending up with unnecessary things!  IT worked!  I didn't make but that one trip to the store this week and my stress level was so much better.  You know how I am always telling you to plan ahead and it will prevent slipping up and eating something that will make you sick.  SO, this weeks menu was Spaghetti and meatballs; Tilapia pouches with broccoli and zucchini with rice, Pasta with white beans and broccoli pesto, Shepards Pie, Chicken and vegetable Pad Thai, and chicken tortilla soup.  As always all of this is GF and almost always DF and definately Peanut free (yes that means even the Pad Thai).  So this post I will highlight the Pad Thai as well as the pasta with white beans and broccoli pesto at the request of several friends of FB.

Chicken and Vegetable Pad Thai or Tofu and Vegetable Pad Thai:
(Thai Kitchen makes a whole kit even that has the Thai sauce GF together with the noodles for an even faster version BUT, we eat very few processed foods where I can control the salt/sauce so I made mine from scratch)

8 oz dried wide flat rice noodles (the Thai ones can be found a natural food stores or Whole Foods (most of you know we don't have WF here and re really challenged to find some things that are GF here but our natural store did have them in the GF soy area.  LOVE LOVE LOVE these noodles for any type of stir fry or lo mein and they make the super thing ones as well)

1/4 C fresh lime juice plus lime wedges for serving
3 TBSP GF Tamari soy sauce
1 TBSP GF chili sauce (like sriracha)
1 TBSP packed brown sugar
2 TBSP Vegetable oil (I only use olive oil but you can use your choice)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 pkg firm tofu (drained, thinkly sliced and patted dry) OR 4 oz cubed cooked chicken breast
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (for a quicker version I buy the organic already shredded carrots)
8 scallions, white and green parts thinkly sliced ( 1 tso green part reserved)
kosher salt
2 TBSP roasted salted and chopped cashews (or peanuts if you are not allergic)
1/4 C cilantro leaves chopped roughly

Boil 4 C water in a saucepan, remove from heat and soak noodles for 4-8 minutes until tender but aldente (still firm to the bite).  Meanwhile, in a small bowl wisk together lime juice, soy sauce, chili sauce and brown sugar and set aside. 

In a large skillet or wok heat 1/2 tsp oil over medium high heat tilting to coat pan.  Add eggs and swir in a crepe type fashion to coat bottom of pan and cok until just set.  Remove to cutting board, loosely roll up and cut into thin strips.  Add 4 tsp of oilto skillet or wok and add tofu in single layer or if using uncooked chicken cubes salt and pepper well and add to pan.  Cook tofu until brown on each side (abt 7 minutes) or on medium high heat brown chicken until cooked through and sprinkle with a little lime juice and transfer to a bowl.  Add 1 1/2 tsp of oil to skillet/wok and add carrots, garlic and scallionsand cook until soft (about 5 min) and add lime juice mixture, bring to simmer and add noodles, stirring to combine.  Add egg, chicken/tofu and toss one last time.  Season with salt to taste. Garnish with cilatro, lime wedges and a tsp of the green part of the scallions.

Pasta with white beans and broccoli pesto:

I personally LOVE the Quinoa Fusili or rotelle pasta for this dish but the Schar penne is also good.  Use the GF pasta that you like best.

1 head Broccoli, cut into 1 inch peices
10 oz GF pasta of choice, preferrable short like fusili or penne
5 tsp olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
1/2 ouce Parmesan (this is not DF, Diya makes a shredded version but some people who are DF can tollerate parm in small amounts but this portion is even optional altogether), finely grated plus more for serving
1 tsp grated lemon zest, 1 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 c chopped parsely (Italian flat leaf)
1 clove garlic
1 can cannelini beans (BPA free can) rinsed and drained

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook broccoli just until tender and bright green (about 4 min) and remove with slotted spoon.  Transfer to food processor and return water to boil, add pasta.  Reserve 2 C pasta water and drain pasta when it's aldente.  Add oil, parmesan (if using), zest, lemon juice, parsley and garlic and puree until smooth.  Transfer pesto to pot with pasta adn stir to coat, adding enough reserved pasta water to make a creamy sauce.  Stir in cannelini beans and heat until warmed through.  season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with more parm if desired.

Both of these recipes are great, kid approved and take 20-25 minutes to make!