One of the things I enjoy doing on the weekend is menu planning for the week ahead. This is usually done bright and early Saturday morning with a good cup of coffee. I write down Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks for all seven days of the week and then plan my meals for each day. When I do this it helps avoid certain pitfalls, like not eating breakfast because I'm running late, or falling into the take out food trap because I'm craving something delicious for lunch or dinner but don't have the energy to make it.
Armed with a plan, though, I know exactly what I need to buy when I hit the grocery store (thus saving oodles of money - not to mention calories) and I've got the fixings for amazing meals - many of which I like to prep ahead of time and Chicken Pad Thai is easy to do this with.
Your Pad Thai sauce and chicken marinade can be made in advance and put into ziplock freezer bags. So can the rice noodles. Just cook until al dente (about 2 minutes) and then rinse and leave in cold water for 30 minutes, drain and place in a ziplock freezer bag. Cut up your chicken and place it in another bag and you can freeze the whole thing as a kit - or store in your fridge for a day or two before cooking. If storing in the fridge, you can prep all your veggies and seasonings in advance too!
If cooking from frozen, thaw everything in your fridge prior to stir frying.
Visit the printable recipe here: Chicken Pad Thai
Please enjoy the first video of the series and come along on a gorgeous summer hike with me before we get to tossing those noodles!
Chicken Pad Thai
Adapted from original recipe at About.com
- 1/2 of a 16 oz pkg Thai rice noodles
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp sodium reduced soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp dried chiles
- 3 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 3 sliced green onions
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
- 1/4 cup no sodium chicken stock
- Wedges of lime
- 3/4 tbsp tamarind paste dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp Siracha chili sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- Mix the corn starch and soy sauce and set aside.
- Add the tamarind paste to 1/4 cup of warm water and stir to incorporate. Add the fish sauce, Siracha and brown sugar. Stir, cover, and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil and the Thai rice noodles. Boil for about 2 minutes until they're almost cooked but still have the slightest bit of crunch to them. Drain well and then immerse in cold water for 30 minutes, draining after that.
- Pour the the soy sauce and corn starch mixture over the cubed chicken breast meat.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a hot wok and add the minced garlic and dried chiles. Stir fry about 30 seconds and then add the chicken and soy sauce mixture and continue to stir fry, adding a little chicken stock a tbsp at a time if the chicken becomes dry, for about 7 minutes until cooked through.
- Add the Pad Thai sauce you made earlier. Add the noodles stirring well with two lifters.
- Add the bean sprouts, stirring and tossing until they soften up. Add about another tbsp of fish sauce to finish, toss again, and then add 3 sliced green onions, a half cup of fresh cilantro, a third of a cup of chopped peanuts, and the juice of one fresh lime.
About Lyndsay the Kitchen Witch
Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.
Visit her on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel where she puts out three new cooking videos each week.