Holy moly, you guys. I've been on-again, off-again regarding the whole zucchini noodles thing. They're so easy to overcook, I don't love them with traditional pasta sauce, and leftovers aren't the best because of all that liquid. Well, consider me a convert, because this crazy mess of a kitchen-experiment-turned-weeknight-favorite is AMAZING. It totally scratches that "should we get Thai?" itch, but is completely, 100% good for you. Avoid the leftover yuck by setting aside separate portions of veggies, zucchini, and sauce to mix just before eating (or in the morning if you're taking it for lunch), or by draining your leftovers and bringing some extra sauce along.
Veggie Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles
3-4 large zucchini
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy works too!)
1/4 cup soy sauce, or to taste
1-3 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1-2 squeezes sriracha
1 teaspoon sweetener like sugar, agave, or raw honey (add this last, to taste)
3-4 scallions, sliced thinly
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped/crushed
1. Spiralize your zucchini and set in a colander to drain a bit while you prep everything else. If you have a spiralizer, great--this will go quickly. If not, you can totally use a vegetable peeler and get a little workout in.
2. Toss your onion, bell pepper, and carrots into a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and cook until they start to soften and even blacken a bit. Keep the heat high enough that they start to blacken before they get too soft.
3. While your veggies are cooking, make your sauce! I like to soften the peanut butter in the microwave--just 20-30 seconds--then stir in the soy sauce little by little. Go by taste here; I tend to like a soy-heavy sauce, but some people love the peanut butter to dominate. Add the garlic, rice vinegar, and sriracha, followed by the sweetener. Taste along the way! You can always add more of any of the ingredients if you find the sauce lacking in something once all the ingredients are mixed in.
4. Back to your veggies! Once they're well-cooked, lower the heat to medium-low, add the zucchini noodles and sauce and toss everything over low heat until warm. Don't heat for more than a minute or two, as you only want to soften the zucchini a tiny bit--too much and it'll start to fall apart while you eat.
5. Plate your portions and top with scallions and peanuts! YUM.