The struggle has been real on the healthy-eating front. Between traveling, bachelorette parties, & my brother’s wedding, I have had every excuse to not eat healthy… until now. There are no more excuses to eat breakfast nachos at the hotel restaurant or cream cheese & bagels at the airport… It’s over, the jig is up!
To get back on track, I could bake some chicken & veggies, but that would just be so sad! My body couldn’t handle such a dramatic transition, & clean-eating doesn’t have to be so boring. So the first thing I did when I got back to San Francisco is head to the grocery store to make my FAVORITE paleo meal….
SPAGHETTI SQUASH PAD THAI
I almost don’t want to share this, because I want to seem like some sort of impressive chef whenever I make this for friends. However, the recipe has been requested too many times, so it is time for me to stop being so selfish. This Pad Thai recipe was passed to me from friends of friends, & I am so happy it made its way to me. Aryan is really happy it has as well.
Before you start rushing to the store, let’s talk about the vegetable- spaghetti squash. It is the BEST! Who doesn’t want pasta that is basically zero-calories? However, it can be quite a b**** to cut in half, which may turn you off from cooking it.
this is what spaghetti squash looks like
When Aryan isn’t around to cut it in half (my fingers are way more precious than his), I found the easiest way to cook spaghetti squash is this:
- poke the squash with a knife a few times
- put a tablespoon of water in a slow cooker
- put the squash inside & turn the slow cooker on
- take it out
- cut in half
- scoop out the seeds
- fork out the insides
Then basically it is a just 2 more steps… Cooking the shrimp or chicken & making the sauce. You won’t miss the real thing. OK, fine! Maybe you will, but only a TINY, little bit.
Let’s get to it…
- Large spaghetti squash (1)
- Chicken breast, boneless, skinless (3)
- Fish sauce
- Ghee or high-heat cooking oil
- Limes (2+)
- Rice vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Natural peanut butter
- Soy sauce
- Shallot (1)
- Garlic cloves (2)
- Cilantro (I almost want to put this in the non-optional category)
- Eggs (2)
- Chopped roasted, unsalted peanuts
- Lime wedges
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai (serves 4)
Clean and cook spaghetti squash
If you aren’t using my slow cooker method, then use this oven method. Cut the squash in half, clean the inside, spread olive oil, salt & pepper on the squash, & bake with the flesh side down on 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
Then let the squash cool & fork the insides out to make spaghetti-like threads into a bowl.
Cook chicken or sub shrimp
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
- 1 tsp ghee or high heat cooking oil (canola or grape seed work well)
- 1/2 tsp. fish sauce
Heat wok or large heavy skillet over medium heat, add ghee or oil.
Add chicken & sauté for 1-2 minutes, add 1/2 tsp of fish sauce to chicken & season with salt & pepper.
Sauté chicken until cooked all the way through.
Remove chicken to a plate. Reserve oil/juices in wok/skillet.
Make the Pad Thai sauce:
- 3 tbs. fish sauce
- 1/3 c. Fresh lime juice
- 1 tbs. rice vinegar
- 1 tbs. brown sugar (can sub maple syrup or honey)
- 1 tbs sriracha chili sauce (or more to taste)
- 1 tbs melted ghee or oil
- 1/4 c. Natural peanut butter (can sub another nut butter to make paleo) (can add more or less to taste)
- 1 tbs soy sauce (can add more or less to taste, I usually add more)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
Add shallots to skillet chicken was cooked in. Sauté over medium-high heat with the oil/juices from the chicken, add more oil/ghee if necessary.
Sauté shallots for a few minutes/until starting to get crispy (don’t burn!), add garlic & cook for about a minute.
Lower heat to medium-low & add the remaining ingredients to reduce the sauce (I like to mix the sauce in a bowl beforehand to make it easier).
Add the chicken & spaghetti squash if your skillet is large enough or pour over chicken & spaghetti squash in a large bowl. Toss sauce with spaghetti squash & chicken until they are well coated.
Add any optional fix-ins & enjoy!