Kelp Noodle Pad Thai
I love Thai food. Unfortunately, it doesn't love me. The combination of rice noodles, soy, sugar and peanuts is just not a good one for anyone looking to improve their digestive function, blood sugar balance or overall general health. After trying countless recipes for a paleo version of the Thai classic, I finally stumbled upon one I loved by the amazing Mel Joulwan of Well Fed. Her recipe uses spaghetti squash (which is fabulous), but I swapped it out for kelp noodles as I found their firm texture to hold up a little better in the dish. Kelp noodles are also a terrific source of calcium, iodine and other minerals, making them very supportive for the thyroid and adrenals (the glands in charge of regulating our stress response along with other hormones). I also added some extra veggies to bulk up the fiber and nutrient content. Using bagged broccoli slaw and shredded cabbage from Trader Joe's makes this a super easy and fast meal. Preparing the sauce ahead of time is another great time-saver for busy weeknights.
Paleo / gluten-free / whole 30 / low fodmap optional
1 12 oz package kelp noodles (I used Sea Tangle)
1 Tbs baking soda
1 Tbs coconut oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks or 1 lb ground chicken
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
½ medium white onion, chopped (omit for low FODMAP)
1 package broccoli slaw (Trader Joe's)
1 package shredded red cabbage and carrots (Trader Joe's)
2 Tbs coconut aminos
1 batch sauce (see below)
1 bunch cilantro, minced
4-5 green onions, sliced (omit for low FODMAP)
2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 sliced for serving
1/3 cup raw cashews, roughly chopped (omit for low FODMAP)
1 clove garlic (omit for low FODMAP)
1 inch piece fresh ginger
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbs coconut aminos
1 tsp coconut vinegar
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
Prepare the kelp noodles: Drain and rinse the kelp noodles then soak them in a bowl of filtered water with 1 Tbs baking soda for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly, cut to desired length and set aside.
Make the sauce: Add all of the sauce ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Set aside.
Make the pad thai: Heat 1 Tbs coconut oil in a large pan or dutch oven on medium heat. When hot, add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook until done. Remove chicken and set aside.
If necessary, add more coconut oil to the pan. Add the onion, broccoli slaw, shredded cabbage mix, coconut aminos and lime juice to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes until tender.
Add the kelp noodles and stir to combine evenly.
Add the cooked chicken and sauce to the pan and stir until well-combined and warm.
Remove from heat and add cilantro, sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Divide amongst plates and garnish with more cilantro, green onions, chopped cashews and lime wedges.