Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with Tofu! | picklesnhoney.com #tofu #padthai #vegan #glutenfree #lunch #dinner #recipe

Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with Tofu

Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with Tofu! | picklesnhoney.com #tofu #padthai #vegan #glutenfree #lunch #dinner #recipe

I’m back with my first recipe post of 2019, and yes, it involves ALL of the vegetables and my favorite Pad Thai flavors. I’ve very intentionally included nearly every color of the rainbow for this antioxidant powerhouse of a meal: red and yellow bell peppers, carrot and zucchini noodles, purple cabbage, fresh cilantro and basil, plus lots of lime juice for that much-needed brightness that we all crave in January (where’s the sun?!).

I love rice noodles, but to be honest I overdid it on carbs and not much else in November/December, and I’m feeling like I need to make up for lost time on the veggie front right now. So, I swapped the rice noodles for a colorful combination of carrot and zucchini noodles, gave them a quick sauté to make them tender, then topped them with a super minimal 3 ingredient sauce—just soy (feel free to sub tamari if gluten-free), sweet chili sauce, and rice wine vinegar. That’s it!

Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with Tofu! | picklesnhoney.com #tofu #padthai #vegan #glutenfree #lunch #dinner #recipe

Because this meal is basically 100% vegetables (unlike restaurant Pad Thai which is mostly noodles and junky oil, let’s be real), go generous on your portion size to make sure you don’t find yourself hungry an hour later. I also recommend serving your Vegetable Pad Thai with my crispy tofu for protein, and because it’s straight-up delicious. If you haven’t enjoyed tofu in the past, try the method I’ve outlined below and then report back. I’ve found that thoroughly pressing, marinating, then pan-frying my tofu with a little sesame (or peanut) oil makes all the difference in the world.

Top your Rainbow Pad Thai with chopped salted and roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and sriracha, if you like it spicy.

Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with Tofu! | picklesnhoney.com #tofu #padthai #vegan #glutenfree #lunch #dinner #recipe

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Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with Tofu

Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with Tofu! | picklesnhoney.com #tofu #padthai #vegan #glutenfree #lunch #dinner #recipe

Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with Tofu

Gluten Free, Vegan,

Serves: 2-4


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Easy vegan Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with protein-packed crispy tofu, lots of colorful, crunchy vegetables, and a simple 3-ingredient sauce. Simply replace the soy sauce with tamari to make this recipe gluten-free!

Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with Tofu! | picklesnhoney.com #tofu #padthai #vegan #glutenfree #lunch #dinner #recipe

Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with Tofu

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Ingredients

For the tofu:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce (sub tamari if gluten-free)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package (16 ounces) extra firm tofu, pressed for 30+ minutes then cubed

For the sauce:

  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce (sub tamari if gluten-free)
  • 1½ tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

For the pad thai:

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 large carrots, spiralized
  • 1 medium-large zucchini, spiralized
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ¾ ounce fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin

For serving:

  • lightly salted roasted peanuts, chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • lime wedges
  • sriracha (if you like it spicy)

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegan Servings: 2-4

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes

Easy vegan Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai with protein-packed crispy tofu, lots of colorful, crunchy vegetables, and a simple 3-ingredient sauce. Simply replace the soy sauce with tamari to make this recipe gluten-free!

Instructions

  • Marinate the tofu: In a shallow dish, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, and garlic. Add the tofu to the marinade, tossing to coat all sides. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • While the tofu marinates, make the sauce: Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • Make the veggie noodles: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil followed by the carrot and zucchini noodles. Lightly season with salt and cook stirring occasionally until just barely tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl, making sure to drain off any excess liquid. Set aside.
  • Cook the tofu: In the same pan, add a small pour of sesame oil. Cook the tofu (discard or set aside the excess marinade for later use) over medium heat for 2-4 minutes on each side, until browned and slightly crispy. It's helpful to give each piece a little space on all sides to brown. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Assemble the Pad Thai: To the bowl of carrot and zucchini noodles, add the cabbage, bell peppers, cilantro, basil, green onions, and tofu. Pour the sauce on top, then gently toss to combine. Taste and season with sea salt, if necessary. Portion into serving bowls and garnish with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, lime wedges, and sriracha, if you like. Leftovers are great slightly warmed or straight from the fridge.

Notes [5]

Normally I only press my tofu for 5-10 minutes, but for this recipe it’s best if you can press it for 30 minutes or more to remove as much water as possible and allow the marinade to really soak in. The result is a chewy tofu that’s loaded with flavor. It will also get extra crispy around the edges when you cook it! I bought my tofu press on Amazon.

I use and recommend this $30 spiralizer. Make sure your carrots are large, otherwise they will be difficult to spiralize into noodles.

Peanut oil is also delicious in place of the toasted sesame oil.

If you’re gluten-free, be sure to check the ingredients on the sweet chili sauce as some weirdly contain wheat. I use this gluten-free sweet chili sauce.

Recipe adapted from my 30-Minute Cucumber Noodle Pad Thai.

Copyright © 2019 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. Mary says

    This is beautiful! Pad thai is one of my food weaknesses so I can’t wait to try your healthy vegetable version. Yum!

    1. Thanks, Mary! I’m the same way—if there’s Pad Thai on the menu, I’m probably ordering it. 😉

  2. Alli says

    I wouldn’t have thought to make carrots into noodles…genius!

    1. They’re great as noodles! (a bit similar to sweet potatoes) The key is to buy the really jumbo carrots so they’re big enough for the spiralizer.

  3. Heather says

    Your tofu looks amazing. I’m not very good at getting mine to be crispy and browned. I’ll be trying your method ASAP!

    1. Yes, give my method a try! It’s a little more involved, but the end result is very worth it.

  4. Becca says

    I made this for dinner last night. It was my first time using my spiralizer (a Christmas present from my husband 🙂 ) and it was easier than I expected. We really loved the sauce and are already thinking of other ways to use it, like on stir-fry and rice dishes. We also felt GREAT after eating! Full, but not stuffed. This was perfect. Thank you!

    1. What a great Christmas present! 🙂 I like where you’re going with other uses for the sauce…I even think it would be delicious on an Asian-inspired salad too.

  5. This looks absolutely delicious! Great recipe! 😀

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