Since I switched to a plant-based diet, the #1 question I get from friends is “How do you eat that way when the rest of your family doesn’t?” (I guess they haven’t seen my tips for switching to a plant-based diet.) It can certainly be tricky, but recipes like this vegan pad thai make that aspect of my healthier lifestyle a lot easier because, not only do I love this recipe, but all of my kids will also eat this dish. If you have meat eaters, you can always set out some shredded chicken or steamed shrimp separately for them to add if they’d like. I love that this meal is easy, vegan, and gluten free– and it comes together in about 20 minutes.
I take a lot of help from the store when it comes to prepping my vegetables. I like to buy a container of pre-chopped onions to use throughout the week in things like pastas, soups, and chili. And instead of shredding my own cabbage and carrots, I buy a bag of coleslaw veggies. You can certainly chop your own if you prefer, but I find that having things on-hand that I can just throw together in a pan makes me less likely to resort to throwing in the towel and ordering takeout at 5pm when things get crazy.
My favorite thing about this recipe is how flexible it is. I’m sharing the version I love, but if you want more veggies, add them! If you want it spicy, add some red pepper flake. If you don’t have sesame oil, use olive oil instead. If you are nut free, leave out the cashews. And add whatever you want. I think sesame seeds would be great. The possibilities are pretty endless.
You don’t have to be vegan or gluten free to love this dish. If you are trying to add more Meatless Mondays to your family’s calendar, this works well. Plus, I know I’ve heard more than a few people say they don’t have many ideas when they volunteer to take a homemade meal to a vegetarian or gluten-free family who have suffered a loss or an illness. This is an easy choice. It’s also a great option for serving to a crowd when some people have dietary restrictions and others don’t.
I hope you love it as much as I do! Let me know if you make it, and thank you for your pins and shares!
And if you like this recipe, be sure to check out my healthy burrito bowl.
Now onto how to make my favorite vegetable pad thai–
- Sesame oil
- Gluten free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- half of a small onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- half of a small zucchini, diced
- half a cup of frozen edamame
- one cup of shredded cabbage
- one carrot, shredded
- chopped cashews (optional)
- 1 box of stir-fry rice noodles
- 1. In a large pot, boil 6-8 cups of water.
- 2. Cook rice noodles 1-2 minutes shy of recommended time on package.
- 3. In a seperate pot, heat 1 tbs of sesame oil.
- 4. Add veggies to hot oil and saute until soft.
- 5. Add soy sauce to taste.
- 6. Add chopped cashews (optional)
- 7. Drain rice noodles and add to pan with veggie mixture.
- 8. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring often.