Low Carb Thai Noodle Salad

When I was in Thailand, I developed a mild pad thai obsession. I must have eaten it on nearly every day I was there, for either lunch or supper, slurping up long sticky noodles with chopsticks on a Bangkok street corner or sitting on a sun-drenched beach. I’ve been trying to both find the perfect pad thai back in England, and figure out a way to make my own comparable plate. This is the closest I’ve been able to come. I know I know, it’s not the most of traditional pad thais, but this recipe is so delicious, so easy to whip up and doesn’t require you to make a specific trip to source any special ingredients that you wouldn’t already have.

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Better yet, this is a totally low carb version- instead of noodles, I used spiralised courgettes and carrots- which aren’t wholly alien to a normal pad thai anyway. Beansprouts and peanuts add extra crunch, and a sauce that is the perfect combination of sweet and salty is pad thai perfection. (ps. look how beautiful these spiralised veg are- how can you resist?! I use a spiraliser that is basically like a giant pencil sharpener- super easy to use and gives you the perfect veggies.)

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You can add any protein you like to this recipe- tofu, chicken, prawns- depending on your preferences, or just make a big ol’ batch and enjoy devouring a whole plate of veggies!

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Low Carb Thai Noodle Salad

Serves 2

2 tablespoons sesame oil (or vegetable oil if you don’t have any)

2 ½ tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

juice of half a lime (use the other half as a garnish when to squeeze over when you serve)

½ a red chili

3 cloves of garlic

small piece of ginger, about an inch long

1 teaspoon coconut oil

6-8 spring onions

2 large courgettes

2 large carrots

1 handful beansprouts

1 handful coriander

1 handful peanuts

Begin by making the sauce. In a jam jar, mix together the sesame oil, tamari, honey and lime juice. Chop up the chilli and 1 clove of garlic, and finely grate the ginger. Add those to the sauce. Taste it and see if it needs a bit more of anything.

Then, spiralise your veggies.

In a large frying pan, heat your coconut oil over a medium heat. Chop your spring onions into small rounds, and chop your remaining two garlic cloves. Add the garlic and spring onion to the pan, and fry for about a minute, or until they have started to soften. Add the beansprouts and fry for a further minute. Add a splash of the sauce and toss around.

In one side of the pan, crack in the egg. Keep moving it around with a spatula as it cooks, so you have a firm scrambled egg. Add in your courgettes and carrots, and the rest of the sauce. Toss it all around, so the ‘noodles’ are coated in the sauce, and the beansprouts and egg are mixed in. Cook for about a minute, or until the courgette and carrot have softened slightly, but still retain some of their bite.

Meanwhile, chop your coriander and peanuts. Dish the noodles onto a plate, and top with the coriander and peanuts. Finish with a final squeeze of lime juice and devour, picturing a busy Thai food market with every bite.

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xxR

Shakshuka

My sister has recently moved in with me. My flat is tiny- it’s just one bedroom, and there’s barely enough room for one person in the kitchen- but she’s working in London for the next six months and so we’ve turned half the living room into a bedroom, and after nearly two years of living alone, I now have a roommate again!

Of course, there are definite pros and cons to our new living situation, but one of the greatest pros has got to be the fact that we now cook and eat together almost every night. We take it in turn to come home laden with ingredients, and invent new and interesting things to eat. This is one of our favourites.

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Okay okay, so I know I’m not the first person to come up with shakshuka, and in fact, maybe I’m a little late to the shakshuka party. But it’s too good not to mention. In case you don’t know, shakshuka is basically eggs baked on top of a (normally tomato) base. It’s the perfect combination of protein, vegetables and, most importantly, flavour.

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We always have shakshuka for supper- it’s become a complete staple in the flat, we probably have a variation on it at least once a week- but you could also have it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even an afternoon snack, if you were that way inclined. It’s also super easy to make, and really adaptable. We put in whatever vegetables we have in the fridge- aubergine is a firm favourite- or chickpeas or beans. This is the classic recipe, but feel free to put your own little twist on it and add your own favourite veggies.

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Shakshuka 

(serves 4, or 2 if you’re really hungry!)

olive oil

4 cloves garlic

1/2 a red onion

1/2 a red chilli

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tin kidney beans

about 6 sundried tomatoes

4 eggs

about 100g of feta cheese

cherry tomatoes, to serve

avocado, to serve

handful of coriander, to serve

Begin by heating a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan. Finely dice your garlic cloves, onion and chilli. Toss these into the frying pan and cook until the onion is just starting to soften. Add in your chopped tomatoes, and mix well, then add the kidney beans. You may also need to add a splash of water at this stage. I normally fill up the tin about halfway with water and add that. Don’t worry if it seems too wet- the water will evaporate!

Cut your sundried tomatoes into thin slices and add these to the pan. (If you’re feeling extra extravagant, add in a tiny splash of the sundried tomato oil, just to boost the flavour!) Let everything simmer for about 7 minutes, until it has started to thicken up. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Crack your eggs onto the tomato mixture. They will partially submerge but also sort of stay on the top- that’s exactly what you want! Don’t panic if one disappears completely, it will just be poaching in the tomato sauce ready to be uncovered (and most importantly, eaten!) later! Crumble over the feta.

Put the whole thing in the oven and leave to bake for about 15 minutes. You want the feta to melt and the eggs to bake and get solid. Then, for the last few minutes, put it under the grill, to allow the feta to crisp up and get brown.

When it’s ready, top it with some cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado and chopped coriander leaves, and dig in! Build a bite with a bit of everything- tomato, egg, feta and avocado- bliss!

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xxR