April 24, 2013

That Vegan Thing: Tofu tastes like peanut butter in healthy, homemade pad thai

By Jeff Peterson

When we first went vegan, Peanut Butter Pad Thai Noodles was the second meal we ever had.

It's pretty easy to make Asian dishes that are vegan. For the most part, you just leave out the eggs and meat and add some extra vegetables.

In this case, you lose the animal products and add tofu and peanut butter to get a delicious flavor and health benefits.

There is a misconception that vegans don't get as much protein as meat eaters do. That is the furthest thing from the truth. Many vegetables contain all the essential amino acids your body needs.

Tofu is very high in protein. It also has plenty of fiber and helps to lower your cholesterol.

Two things people say when it comes to tofu: "What is it?" and "I think it tastes gross."

It's curd made from mashed soybeans. And I think it's the texture, not the taste, of tofu that some people think is bad. Tofu basically takes on the taste of whatever you are cooking. In this recipe, the tofu tastes like peanut butter.

This meal is delicious, but get ready to spend some extra time in the grocery store and the kitchen. You will need to buy several products you may not have in your cabinet or refrigerator.

Also, this recipe takes lots of patience. It took us well over an hour to prepare and cook it, but it was time well spent. Enjoy that vegan thing!

PEANUT BUTTER PAD THAI NOODLES

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons hot sauce

1/4 cup sugar

1 block tofu, diced

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1/2 cup bean sprouts

1/4 cup chopped or crushed peanuts (optional)

4 green onions (scallions), sliced

1 pound of Asian-style rice noodles

Cook noodles according to package instructions. Whisk together the soy sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, hot sauce and sugar.

In a large wok or skillet, saute the tofu, onion and garlic in sesame oil for a minute or two, stirring frequently. Allow to cook for another minute or two.

Add the cooked noodles and the peanut butter and soy sauce mixture. Stir well, and allow sauce to thicken as it cooks for about 3 minutes. Top with peanuts, bean sprouts and green onions and serve hot.

Jeff Peterson anchors the 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. news on WGME-TV and is a vegan.

 

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