Saturday, 3 November 2012

Pad Thai

My life is getting in the way of my life again.  I know I say this every couple of months, like I am surprised, and like I should've gotten it all under-control since the last time I felt it but the fact of the matter isn't a matter of control but a matter of attitude.......and I gotta bad one.

My daily 'to-do' lists are always longer than is possible for one human to accomplish in one day....or probably a lifetime  I always push and stress and 'natter' (my grandparents used this word interchangeably with worry about or stress...I know it isn't a real word)  I have the attitude that some day.....that one magic day I will some how mount Mount Laundry, scrub the house unto a cleanliness that is yet unknown to man kind, be showered and dress, hair done and maybe some make up, have all the days meals prepared, have a pantry full of a years preserves, the garden perfectly weeded, the kids fully supplied with all the clothes they need for the season, all things that need to be repaired - repaired, all things that need to be painted - painted, all beds made, all books read, all blog posts written, all recipes tested you catch my drift?? Essentially I want to wrap my whole life up in a tidy bow because then and only then I can relax......

Until then I have this 'to-do list'.....

But my true problem isn't that I am busy (to be fair, I am busy) but that I have no idea how to relax and justify my stress level for my logical brain by filling 'to-do lists'.  The biggest draw back to this kind of psychosis is that it makes it impossible to enjoy in the moment.  Instead I am making lists of the things I should be doing, could be getting done and need to be accomplished.  But to what means? And really to whose benefit?

To wrap this up in a tidy package and to create some, albeit contrived, connective tissue between my mental health issues and Pad Thai I will say this.  I worry about how many vegetables my kids are eating.  Kids are so carb-centric that it can be difficult to know that they are getting enough greens and protein. It is also completely stress inducing to fight them at the dinner table.....and what a nice environment to then try to bring down to getting ready for bed calmness.  Pad Thai in this house is a 'clean out the crisper', 'use up the left overs' kind of meal.  I know the Thai would probably balk at me saying that and that I haven't preserved the traditional Pad Thai recipe but I use mental illness as my excuse.

My Way Pad Thai
I am posting the recipe for the version in the picture.  Like I said above, you can use any vegetables you like or that need to be used up.  I will list some ideas at the bottom of the recipe

454g of vermicelli rice noodles, cooked as per instructions and rinsed with cool water
Some firm tofu, cut into cubes.  Quantity is up to preference (make sure it is organic and non-GMO'd)
1 med Salmon filet, salt and peppered
6 tbsp Olive Oil
3 tbsp Hoisin sauce
4 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1-2 tbsp Sriracha hot chili sauce (an Asian chili paste) to taste.  My kids can eat it with the full 2 tbsps with no issue.
1 lg sweet pepper, sliced
1 lg onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
A small knob of fresh ginger, minced or grated on cheese grater
1 med zucchini, diced
1 bunch of broccoli, steamed over the cooking noodles
salt and pepper
a hand full of coarsely chopped cilantro (optional)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and fry salmon filet skin side up and flip once the pan has released it and you don't have to scrape it up off the pan. Approx 2 minutes.  Cook on skin side for about 1 minute, remove and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the hot pan and saute the onion and peppers until they start to soften. Once they are starting to turn translucent add the garlic and ginger, saute for about 2 minutes. Add the Hoisin, fish sauce and chili paste, combine and add the tofu and zucchini. Saute for 2 minutes before adding noodles.  Toss to warm up noodles. Remove the skin from the salmon and dice. Toss in and combine. Serve with broccoli and top with soy sauce (or if you are gluten free - gluten free tamari)

Possible additions - bean sprouts, grated carrot, chicken, shrimp, egg, any left over vegetables.

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