Ever since my daughter was born I knew that I wanted to expose her to different foods from different cultures. For me, this shows love and appreciation for all cultures. It also doesn’t limit us on where we go out to eat or where we travel to.
I also love the idea of ‘healthifying’ traditional recipes…that way we get to appreciate the culture with the added nutrition! That makes a nutritionist-mom very happy!
So when I came across this recipe for Cabbage Noodle Pad Thai, I was inspired to try a traditional Thai dish at home, which I had never done before!
Now, I believe that the magic of pad thai is in the sauce. So I gathered these ingredients, all of which I already had at home, except for the lime!
The sauce literally took 3 minutes to make. Everything goes in a bowl and just stir away. You can add some water to thin it out, depending on how thick or thin you (or your family!) like your sauce. This sauce makes the dish so satisfying with the healthy fats from the almond butter, the digestion aids in the tamari, apple cider vinegar, and lime, and the touch of sweetness from the coconut sugar.
The next star of the show was the cabbage, of course! Cabbage in place of noodles? It works, I promise! You won’t even miss the noodles. And the nutritional powerhouse that cabbage is will make you forget all about those blood-sugar elevating noodles 🙂 !
Cabbage and cancer prevention
Cabbage is part of the cruciferous vegetable family; cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and arugula are also a part of this family. A high intake of these vegetables has long been associated with lower risks of some types of cancer. Recently, researchers have been able to pinpoint that sulforaphane is the compound in cruciferous vegetables that appears to give them their cancer-fighting power. Researchers are currently testing sulforaphane’s ability to delay or impede cancer. Results are showing that this compound can fight many types of cancer including melanoma, esophageal, prostate, pancreatic, lung, and colorectal. Here’s a study where you can read some of the research that is being done.
Even more health benefits of cabbage
Other health benefits of consuming cabbage include protection against radiation, reducing heart disease risk, decreasing the risk of diabetes and obesity, helping to promote a healthy complexion and increased energy. Those all sound like great reasons to add more cabbage to your diet, right?!
Now, back to the Pad Thai recipe
The next step step was to shred and wash the cabbage. I used half a head of cabbage which ended up to be about 5 cups.
Then, it was time to saute the chicken in one pan, and the cabbage and carrots in another pan. I used sesame oil as it adds a more authentic flavour and it also has a high smoke point. Quick and easy!
While that was cooking away, I prepared some garnishes. I find with little ones around, they love to have control over what they can sprinkle on their food. No pressure…just put it in front of them and see what they do!
My garnishes included cashews, cilantro, and green onion. But go ahead and be creative with this part! You can try parsley, basil, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, or chopped up red pepper. Take a look at my daughter enjoying the sprinkling process! 🙂
After the cabbage and chicken are cooked, just put everything in one pan and add the sauce. Toss everything together for a couple of minutes on low-medium heat. Then, enjoy!
So, here’s the recipe! Give it a try 🙂
Cabbage Pad Thai
- 1/2 shredded cabbage (about 5 cups)
- 3-4 sliced carrots
- 2-3 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 boneless chicken breasts (chopped)
- chopped green onion, cilantro, cashews (for garnish) optional
Ingredients for the sauce
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp soy sauce/tamari
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup water (depending on how thick or thin you want the sauce)
Divide sesame oil among 2 pans. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add cabbage and carrots to one pan and the chicken in the other pan.
Place a lid over the pan with the vegetables. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 5 minutes to allow veggies to soften. Stir occasionally.
At the same time, allow the chicken to completely cook, stirring occasionally.
While the veggies are softening and the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. Add all sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir it up!
When the chicken is cooked add it to the pan with the veggies. Then pour the sauce in the pan and stir well to coat. Cook for about 5 more minutes to allow the sauce to flavour the veggies and chicken.
While you wait for the sauce to do its magic, prepare the garnishes. In this case, chopped cashews, cilantro and green onion.
Serve the pad thai topped with garnishes and enjoy!