Pad thai is always one of my favorite meals to order out at vegan restaurants, but I for a while doubted my abilities to make an oil-free, lower-sodium, version that could taste just as amazing. After many attempts I've ended up with a recipe that's now only healthy and delicious, but also quick and easy to make. This dish comes together in under 30 minutes so it's ideal to add to your weeknight meal rotations.
If you're not so into peanut butter, don't be afraid! My peanut butter disliking partner loved this meal. The peanut taste is balanced out with the zesty lime juice and spicy hot sauce, so it isn't too overpowering or thick.
First, you'll need to press and cube a block of tofu. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Marinate the tofu for about 10 minutes. Then place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes or until outside is lightly golden.
While tofu is baking, chop about 3 cups of vegetables. Most vegetables you have should work, but my favorites to use in a pad thai are ribboned carrot, broccoli, red bell pepper, and zuchini.
Make the peanut sauce by combining the ingredients listed and set aside. Then heat a pan to medium and fry the garlic in 2 tablespoons of coconut milk until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes, add the rest of the vegetables and allow to cook through for another 6 minutes. If the pan starts to dry out add a few small splashes of water or vegetable broth as needed throughout the cooking process.
After another 6 minutes have passed, pour in the peanut sauce mixture and the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut milk. Stir to coat the veggies, then add cooked rice noodles and the baked tofu.
Serve with additional lime juice, sesame seeds, and/or cilantro.