Fast Food Thai Noodles
6-8 oz dried pasta, whole wheat spaghetti or linguini
½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup water
½ cup peanut butter, smooth (I use Natural Grocers brand, but any kind works.)
⅓ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup sesame oil, toasted or regular
¼ cup agave nectar or to taste (maple syrup works too)
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce or hot equivalent like sriracha (optional)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ginger powder
1½ Tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. corn starch
1 medium red onion, sliced
8-12 oz. mushrooms, chopped or sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, pressed
8 oz. snow or Chinese peapods, approx. 2 cups
1 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 sweet red pepper, sliced
For the pasta: Break strands into thirds for easier eating. Cook according to package directions and drain.
For the sauce: In medium-size bowl, whisk together the first 11 ingredients (soy sauce, water, peanut butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, agave nectar, chili garlic sauce (if using), garlic powder, ginger powder, lime juice and corn starch).
For the veggies: Add sliced onions and mushrooms to large wok or Dutch oven; sauté in water. When these veggies are mostly cooked (I don’t like raw onions or mushrooms), add the garlic, peapods, carrots and red pepper. Cook a few minutes until crisp tender.
Add the sauce, stirring until it comes to a boil and thickens.
Add the cooked pasta and “zoodles,” if using. Stir all together until heated through. (If you are keeping track of your carbs, portion the pasta separately and then spoon the veggies and sauce over the top.)
More from the author:
It’s Friday night and the COVID-19 pandemic is coming back.
Let’s not risk the restaurant tonight. I have a "fast food" Thai recipe that even pleases my non-vegan spouse. It also has way less fat, salt and sugar than restaurant food, and it’s a dish we can enjoy together.
I recently watched the 2004 documentary “Supersize Me” by Morgan Spurlock. It traces his goal of eating nothing but McDonald’s fast food for a month and the effects on his body during that time.
Even his doctors were surprised by how quickly his health deteriorated — not just his ballooning weight, but he was close to liver and heart failure. In just one month. And he was young.
Most people don’t live exclusively on fast food, but even eating at any fast-food place a few times a week can stress your organs. Not to mention the addictive properties of the food itself.
I am addicted to white sugar and white flour, meaning that it doesn’t fill me up; it just makes me want to eat more of it. So I choose not to eat these things, along with all animal products. Those are not addicting to me; they would just fill me with sadness, and I’m aware of their harmful effects on my health and the environment.
But I do like fast food — the kind you make yourself that doesn’t take very long. Which is why this version of Thai Noodles is a winner in my recipe book.
It has a great-tasting sauce that you can make as hot or not as you want. You can put it over whole wheat spaghetti or any other pasta shape — or even use zucchini noodles.
I like a combination of “zoodles” in the summer and whole wheat spaghetti to lighten the dish but still make it filling. You can add as many veggies as you wish and only the kinds you like.
Experiment with corn, cauliflower, greens — such as spinach or chard — or even frozen mixed veggies. In my house, unfortunately, there is no broccoli.
As I’m writing down this recipe, it looks like a lot of ingredients and a lot of work. The second time you make it, it will be ready to eat in less than half an hour.