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Chinese, Main Dishes, Soups, Thai

Skinny Lad Na

Skinny Lad NaLad na is a Lao-Chinese noodle dish, made popular as a street food in Laos, Thailand. Also spelled Lard na, lard nar and lard nah, it is traditionally prepared with stir-fried wide rice noodles and protein (chicken, beef or tofu), as well as enoki mushrooms aka straw mushrooms, broccoli, black bean garlic sauce and/or oyster sauce. A friend of mine suggested we try making a vegan version, and after a few minutes of research we decided it would be easy to make it vegan and low carb. First off, after looking online at photos of traditional Lad Na, I realized that wide rice noodles (the type that most recipes call for) resemble the Shiritaki noodles I’ve been using as a replacement for flat egg noodles in pad thai– like in this recipe. Secondly, the best vegetarian replacement for oyster sauce is mushroom stir fry sauce, most of the ingredients for which are already present in black bean garlic sauce. Next, I swapped an equivalent amount of stevia for sugar, and then reduced the fat content by adding a tsp of sesame oil to pre-boiled Shirataki noodles for flavor only– as opposed to frying the noodles in a wok with cottonseed oil. Lastly, sodium free vegetarian broth served as a simple replacement for the traditional beef broth. Continue Reading

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Main Dishes, Skinny Pasta, Thai

Skinny Pad Thai

skinny-pad-thaiMany years ago, back in my not-quite-vegan days, I would order Pad Thai at every opportunity.  While it is easy to veganize by omitting the eggs, the noodles alone contain way more carbs than I prefer to eat in a day. Then there’s the sauce–which is normally made with cane sugar (more carbs) and peanut butter (the full fat kind, which–depending on the restaurant in question–is likely to be the commercial type–made with hydrogenated oil). I’ve made Pad Thai before (once from scratch and other times from a box) and always used natural peanut butter–but to achieve a result that actually tastes like peanuts it’s pretty necessary to use a generous amount which can result in caloric overload (upwards of 200, just from the peanut butter alone). I’ve started making pasta dishes with Shirataki noodles, and today I was thinking about Thai food and lamenting the fact that Pad Thai wouldn’t be the same without the noodles. And then I had the sudden epiphany that Shirataki noodles could replace the traditional rice or wheat noodles, and other substitutions could be used (i.e. stevia in place of cane sugar and defatted peanut flour to omit the need for peanut butter–giving the dish a noticeable peanut flavor without the fat gram overload). Continue Reading

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