Lightened Up Pad Thai With Tons of Veggies
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Mazola® Corn Oil. All opinions are mine alone. #SimpleSwap #CollectiveBias
I love cooking for my family. Having the chance to provide a delicious meal is what it’s all about. When I organized this recipe for Lightened Up Pad Thai, I had two things in mind. First, it had to be easy to make. Second, I wanted to swap out the heavy oils. A recent study has found that adding Mazola® Corn Oil to one’s diet resulted in lower cholesterol levels than Coconut Oil. A previous study found that corn oil can also help lower cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about the study, see Mazola.com. I did and found so much valuable information.
With that said, even though this is a recipe for Lightened Up Pad Thai, the flavor is still spot on. When you and your family eat this meal, you will enjoy the wonderful essence and aroma of traditional wok style cooking. Filling and fun to eat, no one would guess that it’s been lightened up. Best of all, it’s ready in less than 30 minutes! Yes, I’ll repeat, less than 30 minutes. I’m a busy mom, so making a quick dish like this really wins my heart.
Let’s talk about the swaps
Let’s start by talking about the swaps. To begin, I substituted regular peanut butter for low-fat peanut butter. Next, I exchanged regular soy sauce for low sodium soy sauce. This not only helped to make the dish lighter but also made the dish taste less intense. You want something that’s palate-pleasing for the family, not shocking because of too much sodium.
Additionally, this recipe does not use coconut milk. It was switched out for low-fat coconut yogurt. You’ll find that this adds a creamier texture, without all of the fat. I actually prefer my Pad Thai this way, and it’s hard for me to go back.
For the final swap, instead of using a heavier coconut oil, I used Mazola® Corn Oil. In fact, Mazola® cooking oils are made of 100% pure oil with no additives, so the great flavor of your food comes through. It does not interfere with the vitality of the other ingredients. This is important because we want to celebrate the taste of the peanut sauce and the freshness of the veggies.
Can I sub out the veggies?
Speaking of which, let’s go over the vegetable content of this recipe. I know some may have reservations about giving the kids bean sprouts, especially if there are picky eaters. As with any other food, it’s all about presentation. Serve this dish in your child’s favorite bowl and with a few colorful napkins for the first try. The Pad Thai sauce, which contains peanut butter, is a general crowd pleaser. Just be gentle when offering the first bite. Once the kiddos taste it I’m sure they will be hooked.
Also, Mazola® Corn Oil has a neutral taste that won’t negatively impact the taste of ingredients and the delicious vegetables – it lets the natural flavor of your food stand out. Let your kids explore the fresh, bright note of the veggies in this recipe for Lightened Up Pad Thai. They really add to the complexity of this meal’s experience.
What kind of pan do I use?
Moving on, I suggest cooking this dish in the largest wok or non-stick pan you have available. You want lots of room to toss the noodles, and you also want something that won’t induce sticking. Lo Mein noodles will stick if in the wrong pan. Additionally, if they do not have a small amount of oil to surround them, the starch will begin to turn to mush. I recommend using corn oil for this because it has a smoke point higher than most cooking oils at 450°F, and performs well in a variety of cooking applications, including stir-frying, sautéing, grilling and even baking. Many home cooks may not realize that all cooking oils have a smoke point that, once exceeded, not only negatively affect the food’s flavor and nutritional value. This is a quick cooking dish that requires high heat, so a large wok or non-stick pan is essential.
Lastly, if you are looking for a better-for-you heart-healthy type of dish, this lightened version is a good alternative. A clinical study showed Mazola® Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com. Some Pad Thai recipes have been known to use olive oil, but after learning that, I decided again to stick with Mazola® Corn Oil. That’s because all Mazola® cooking oils are cholesterol free and have become a healthful tradition in America. It’s interesting to study our ingredients and I’ve been making these simple swaps more frequently. Read my other article for crispy baked chicken wings and learn the secret ingredient I used instead of frying.
Let’s get cooking
Are you ready? Did you set your timer? In under 20 minutes, you’ll have this wonderful recipe for Lightened Up Pad Thai ready to serve. I hope you and your family enjoy.
Lightened Up Pad Thai
Cooking Method: Stovetop
Prep: 5 Minutes
Cook: 30 Minutes
Peanut Butter Sauce-
- 1/4 cup low-fat coconut yogurt* (Optional)
- 1 tbs. red chili paste
- 1⁄2 cup low-fat peanut butter
- 1 tbs. fish sauce
- 1 tbs. sugar
- 1 package lo mein noodles
- 2 tbs. Mazola® Corn Oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tbs. vinegar
- 1 tbs. paprika
- 1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
- 2 green onions (stem only, chopped)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1⁄4 cup roasted peanuts (grounded)
- 1 cup large bean sprouts
*For a sauce that is less creamy, omit the coconut yogurt.
- First, bring a saucepan of water to a boil.
- While waiting, create the peanut butter sauce.
- Combine low-fat coconut yogurt, chili paste, peanut butter, sugar, and fish sauce in a large microwave-safe bowl.
- Heat peanut butter mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Stir then set aside.
- Return to the water. Once it begins boiling, add the lo mein noodles. Boil according to package directions.
- Once the noodles are done, drain them, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- Next, heat oil in a wok over medium heat.
- Add garlic and let it sizzle for 2 minutes. It should not smoke. If it does, reduce your stovetop’s temperature.
- Mix in the sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, and paprika, soy sauce, green onions, peanuts, and bean sprouts.
- Continue to stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Then, add the noodles and stir-fry until the noodles are translucent. Reduce heat even more if the noodles begin to stick together.
- Stir in the beaten egg.
- Allow cooking for another 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add peanut butter sauce to the wok. Toss until well combined.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.