Joyous Blog

Sweet Potato Veggie Pad Thai

Hello again, Joyous readers!

It's been so great getting to know you over the past month. Who knew there were so many of us health nuts out there? If you read my Q&A with Joy from a few weeks back, you might remember that I promised I would share my Sweet Potato Veggie Pad Thai recipe (and I like to keep my promises!).

I'll be honest, I've been graced with my fair share of recipe fails. When I first made this recipe a while back, I was truly shocked that it worked out! Mainly because it usually takes me a couple of rounds of trial and error until I've perfected a recipe. One thing that's super important to me when thinking up recipes is that it's 100% whole foods-based (in true Joyous Detox style!).

When we put whole foods from nature into our body, it thanks us for it.

It shows us its gratitude through boosted energy, mental clarity, decreased bloating, improved digestion, glowing skin and of course, better poops! 

So while I might be deeply infatuated with Thai food, it doesn't always love me back – but I'm not surprised. Thai food has many healthy aspects becuase it emphasizes fresh colourful vegetables, a variety of herbs and creamy delicious coconut milk, but it loses its gluten-free brownie points due to its highly refined sugar content and tendencies to contain unfermented soy in abundance (which, as we know, is typically genetically modified). I learnt this first hand when I travelled Thailand and Vietnam for three weeks this past October. My love bug and I did a full day cooking class where we learnt how to make everything from pad thai, papaya salad, fresh rolls, green curry, khao soi, thai iced tea and mango sticky rice. The common ingredient amongst them all? Sugar!

Don't get me wrong – I definitely have a "when in Rome" mentality I carry with me through my travels and I made sure to taste all of the flavours the authentic cuisine had to offer. I also came well prepared with a Greens+ powder and digestive enzymes, fully knowing that my body might experience some unpleasant symptoms otherwise. But when I returned home, I knew I wanted to continue embracing those vibrant flavours, but with a healthy boost!

In comes my Sweet Potato Veggie Pad Thai!



While I might typically use rice noodles (which are gluten-free) to whip up a pad thai, I thought maybe I'd give spiralized sweet potato a whirl. That way, I can be sure that every bite is offering a good hit of vitamins, minerals and healthy benefits including the following:

  • Vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) - Supports our eye health, immune system, gives us glowing healthy skin and protects us from free radicals
  • Vitamin C - Helps to support immunity and aid in coping with stress (Did you know vitamin C is depleted when we're in a state of stress? We wonder why we seem to get sick around stressful, busy times!)
  • Potassium - It works hand in hand with our dear friend sodium to maintain normal blood pressure and hydration levels. 
  • Manganese - Have you ever heard the saying "manganese for the knees"? If you're a fellow holistic nutritionist, this might have saved you on a few tests during your school. I know it did for me! As the saying suggests, manganese helps to form connective tissue. It also helps to increase the level of superoxide dismutase in the body which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to prevent sprains.
  • Fibre - Helps to slow the release of the natural sugars found in sweet potato so it doesn't cause our blood sugar to spike and later lead to a crash. Fibre is also helpful in filling us up and giving us the sensation of being full so we don't overeat.

... And that's just the sweet potato component of this dish!

I also added an array of colourful vegetables including red pepper, cauliflower and heirloom carrots which are packed with phytonutrients and a super yummy almond butter-based pad thai sauce, free of common allergens such as peanut and soy.

I left out a primary protein source, although you could totally top this with an over easy egg, 2 scrambled eggs, 3 tbsp of hemp seeds or a sliced organic chicken breast.

This recipe is paleo, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar free – and yes, it is still DELICIOUS!

Mains + Sides
Pad Thai Noodles
  • 1 large sweet potato, spiralized*
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 small red pepper, julienned
  • cilantro, to garnish
  • 1-2 tbsp grapeseed oil
Pad Thai Sauce
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 lime, freshly squeezed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare sweet potato, carrots, cauliflower and red pepper as stated. Set ingredients aside.
  2. Pour Pad Thai Sauce ingredients into a medium size bowl or measuring cup and whisk thoroughly. Set aside.
  3. Preheat a large skillet on medium heat and drizzle grapeseed oil in pan. Once hot, begin to sauté the cauliflower and carrots for 5 minutes, followed by the red pepper for 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Using the same pan, toss in the sweet potato noodles (you might want to drizzle it with a bit more grapeseed oil at this point). Toss it in the pan with tongs for 8 minutes until the sweet potato noodles look a bit glossy (but try to avoid overcooking them).
  5. Once cooked, add the sweet potato noodles to a bowl with the other vegetables and pour Pad Thai Sauce all over it. Mix with tongs to ensure the sauce covers every part of it.
  6. Plate, garnish with cilantro and serve!

Notes

Makes 2-3 servings.
*If you don't have a spiralizer you can use a veggie peeler.

I'm so excited to hear what you guys think of this one!

Be sure to let me know if you try it in the comments below and what unique spins you put on it.

38 Comments
Véronique Chiasson   •   February 11, 2017

It definitely looks AMAZING!!! Trying this tonight :).

Reply
Rachel   •   February 13, 2017

Hey Véronique! Thanks so much! :) So excited to hear how you end up liking it! Rachel - Joyous Health Team

VERONIQUE CHIASSON   •   February 13, 2017

It was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!!! The best vegan dish I made... EVER!!! I added kale, hemp heart, chick peas, tempeh and sunflower seeds! Yuuummyyy!!!


Jessica   •   February 11, 2017

Hi!! Excited to try this!!! If i dont have almond butter can i use peanut butter? Thanks

Reply
Rachel   •   February 13, 2017

Hey Jessica! Yay! You can definitely use peanut butter! Let me know how you like it :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Genevieve   •   February 13, 2017

Made this last night, and it was sooo good! That sauce was amazing. We added pastured turkey, which had been marinated in turmeric and garlic. This will be going into our rotation, and will be making that sauce for lots of uses too!

Reply
Rachel   •   February 13, 2017

Hey Genevieve! Yay!! I'm so happy to hear you loved it! This is totally one of my favourites too –love that you added your own personal touch to it too :) Thanks for sharing! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Tanya   •   February 13, 2017

Can't wait to try this! For a nut free version, could I use Tahini?

Reply
Rachel   •   February 14, 2017

Hey Tanya! I'm sure that would work fine. You could probably omit it too if you had to. The tamari and ginger flavours would still give it that thai flavour Try it without tahini first and if it needs more of a nutty flavour, add about 1-2 tbsp. If you give it a whirl, let me know how it works out :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Terra   •   February 14, 2017

Hi Rachel! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I haven't tried it yet, but am looking forward to whipping up something along these lines soon. An odd request: can you please share where you bought that striped top? It's a keeper! I'm always looking for good basics like that to pair with jeans, especially as we head into spring. Overall, actually, I'd love Joyous HQ to dip more into that lifestyle kind of content – Joy is wonderfully well-dressed and I always appreciate when she shares outfit tips/recent purchases on Instagram.

Reply
Rachel   •   February 14, 2017

Hey Terra! Awesome! Let me know if/when you do try it :) It's definitely one of my faves! Not an odd request at all! But want to hear the hilarious part? It was $10 from Mark's Work Wearhouse! Haha! I don't typically shop there but you'd be surprised what kind of nice basics you can find there! I love your idea of sharing more lifestyle kind of content! I'll definitely share that with the Joy and the team and we'll see what we can do :) Thanks for the suggestion! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Jacqueline   •   February 15, 2017

Just made this for dinner and it was delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe. I added cashews for some protein and crunch as well as chopped spinach. Will definitely make again soon.

Reply
Rachel   •   February 16, 2017

Hey Jacqueline! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it. Good call on the cashews and spinach too - way to make it your own :) You could also add hemp seeds, scrambled egg or chicken to it for extra protein! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Angie   •   February 16, 2017

Hi Rachel, Made this for lunch today and my 22-month old daughter couldn't stop eating it! The sauce is really delicious! Thanks for posting it!

Reply
Rachel   •   February 17, 2017

Hey Angie! Oh my goodness, that makes me so HAPPY! Love when a recipe goes over well with the whole fam :) Thanks so much for sharing that! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Wendy Dyck   •   February 17, 2017

This recipe looks delicious! I've been wanting to buy a spiralizer...which one would you recommend? Thanks.

Reply
Rachel   •   February 17, 2017

Hey Wendy! I have the Vegetti at home (nothing fancy!) but I used the Inspiralized spiralizer that Joy has in the studio kitchen when I made this recently and it worked great! Paderno also has a nice one. I would say by-pass the hand held spiralizers as they tend to be a hefty arm workout and won't work for sweet potatoes if they're too big. Look for one that mounts onto your kitchen counter top that you can lock in and then just easily turn the handle :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Bonnie Crawley   •   February 17, 2017

Hey Rach! This looks amazing! I am going to try it this weekend subbing peanut butter since I have an almond allergy. One question- I don't have a spiralizer but you mention using a veggie peeler instead is ok. Would this just make thicker/wider noodles? Are all of the cooking instructions the same? Thanks!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   March 2, 2017

Hey Bon! So sorry for missing this earlier. I think we chatted and you ended up making it already, didn't you? Yes, you can definitely use a veggie peeler which would make it more like fettuccine and less like spaghetti (still equally delicious regardless!) You might just have to saute it for a shorter amount of time. Hope you enjoy it :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Vickie Tessener   •   February 23, 2017

I made this tonight. So delicious. I added raw cashew nuts when I was stir frying everything. I also used coconut aminos in place of the tamari. The dressing is so delicious I could drink it. Going to try hemp seeds and scrambled egg next time. I am not a vegan so I might try some Chicken or shrimp. Thanks for sharing the deliciousness. I have the new cookbook too in addition to the first one. Love them both!

Reply
Rachel   •   February 24, 2017

Hey Vickie! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it! Love that you put your own little spin on it as well :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Kelly   •   February 27, 2017

The sauce is incredible and has become our go to recipe when we are craving these flavors.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   February 28, 2017

Hey Kelly! Thanks so much - I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying it :) It's definitely one of my favourites. So versatile too, if you wanted to use it in a stir fry as well or over a thai salad! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Shayla   •   March 2, 2017

You bet I tried this! Last year I gained weight because I got a bit obsessed with making my own spicy penaut butter pad thai, but I hadn't thought to sub the noodles for sweet potato. Rach your recipe is BETTER than the one I was addicted to. ;) So great, eating it now.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   March 3, 2017

Shayla! You're a star! I'm so happy you're enjoying it. It's so nice when we can indulge in the foods we know and love but reap all of the benefits of whole foods at the same time. Thanks so much for hopping on here and sharing! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Ana Balenovic   •   May 1, 2017

I really love this pad tai recipe it looks so delicious. I like pad tai and what a great idea to make it with sweet potatoes. The flavors and this whole plate looks to good, I can probably eat the whole serving myself! :)

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   May 2, 2017

Hey Ana, Thanks so much! Yes, the sweet potato brings a nice sweetness to the tangy and spicy flavours that pad thai offers. I think you're going to love this one! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Ana Balenovic   •   May 2, 2017

Hi Rachel :) I am saving this recipe to make this week..can't wait! Your sauce looks amazing.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   May 3, 2017

Hey Ana! :) Awesome! Can't wait to hear what you think. The sauce is one of my favourites. I use it in all my stirfry sauces and sometimes thai-inspired salad dressings too! Enjoy! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Amber P.   •   May 17, 2017

I'm making this tonight, can't wait!

Reply

Nicole   •   June 8, 2017

I have made this Pad Thai and it is delicious! Anyone who has tasted it asks for the recipe. It is quick in preparation and cooking. Delicious.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 9, 2017

Hey Nicole, That's awesome! I'm so happy to hear that and thank you for sharing :) Makes me happy to hear so many people are enjoying it and spreading the recipe goodness to others! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Sandy   •   August 29, 2017

This Pad Thai is absolutely delicious!!!! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe with us :) I too have passed the recipe on to others who loved it!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   August 30, 2017

Hey Sandy! So glad you are enjoying it! It's one of my favourite recipes :) Keep on spreading the sweet potato pad thai love! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Mel   •   October 22, 2017

This is my favorite veggie meal recipe ever!! So so delicious! Thank you Rachel for sharing! Cant get enough!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   October 23, 2017

Hey Mel! Aw, that makes me SO happy to hear that! I love recipe wins and even more so when others enjoy them :) Thanks for sharing! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


Karen   •   November 10, 2017

Rachel, this is truly the yummiest dish! I make it in my cooking classes, serve it at events, and it gets raving reviews every time!! Thanks so much for sharing it! Oh, I even made a video!

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   November 13, 2017

Hey Karen! That's SO amazing! I'm so happy to hear that. I love when healthy food wins people's hearts over :) I would love to see the video if you have it! Rachel - Joyous Health Team


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