Saturday, May 5, 2012

Phad Thai Veggie Tacos

I’m a little disappointed today. Some friends decided it would be fun to go to a waterfall park just outside town for a Saturday barbeque and sent out the email earlier this week. DFJ and I were excited because we’ve been dying to do something outdoors and a barbeque picnic next to an awesome waterfall seemed like a great idea! Unfortunately the weather report for this weekend did not seem very promising and everyone else decided it was going to be too cold to do the barbeque at the falls. So they decided on going to a city that’s about a 2 ½ hour drive away. I only found out about the change of plans early yesterday evening because I was not on the initial group email list.

Sometimes when my mind is set on something for a while and an unexpected change of plans happen, I’m just not ready for it. Also the 2 ½ hour drive for a day trip just seemed a little too long and would make for a short weekend. So, we opted out and now I’m sitting in front of my computer trying to cheer myself up. It’s only noon on a Saturday and I have the rest of the day to run around outside and do a ton of cooking and baking… Anyone want to come over and have dinner with us?

On the brighter side, I have a great recipe to share with you guys that I made on Thursday night as an early Cinco de Mayo celebration. This idea for a weird combination came from an intense craving for phad thai and fajitas. Since I’ve been sort of anti-meat these past few weeks for lack of real meat around here (the ones at the grocery store look very unappetizing and the butcher shop ones are too expensive… sigh), fajitas are not quite possible to make.

Anyway, I had some ingredients to create Phad Thai Veggie Tacos. This has the basic vegetable combinations you would normally get in a phad thai dish and all the vegetables that come along with fajitas + some spring surprises such as asparagus and kale. The spices are fajita inspired and includes: cumin, cayenne, paprika, chili powder, and red pepper flakes.

This dish is not quite phad thai and not quite fajita, it is somewhere in the middle. If I may say so myself, it is a great fusion of our most common go-to Thai and Mexican dishes in restaurants.   

Phad Thai Veggie Tacos

1 generous tbsp coconut oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
heaping 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
asparagus, chopped in small pieces
2 carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
9 oz bean sprouts, rinsed
4 kale leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cashews, ground like flour
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
freshly squeezed juice from 2 key limes
Spice Mixture:
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
The cooking time for each ingredient is pretty short, so I recommend chopping and preparing all the vegetables first and mixing together the spice mixture in a small bowl. This way, everything is ready to be tossed in the pan when it’s time to do so.   

Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the garlic until it turns golden brown. Cook the onions until soft and stir often, about 4 minutes. Throw in the mushrooms and cook until soft and fragrant, about a minute. Stir in the asparagus and cook for a minute and a half. Stir in the carrots and cook for a minute and a half. Toss in the diced bell pepper and jalapeno and cook for about a minute. Mix in the bean sprouts, let cook and stir often for 2 minutes. Throw the spice mixture in and stir well. Add the kale and cook until it wilts for about a minute. Throw in the powdered cashew and stir well for a minute. Toss in the cilantro and stir for another minute. Turn the heat off but keep the pan on the burner. Add ½ teaspoon salt to taste and squeeze the lime juice in one at a time. Stir well to allow the lime flavor to get around. Serve immediately over warm corn tortillas.             

I served this with some homemade guacamole on the side… mashed large avocado with salt, pepper, fresh lime juice, and tomatoes.

Since there was no queso fresco at the store we bought some No Woman cheese, grated it, and served it on the side. If you haven’t tried No Woman cheese yet, please check it out the next time you visit a nice cheese shop or the grocery store. The Jamaican Jerk spices in this cheese give it a nice, spicy-smoky taste that is just wonderful! For leftovers last night, I crumbled some feta cheese along with more No Woman and it was fantastic! (FYI: feta cheese can easily be used if queso fresco is not available.)

Mexican Fiesta!

mangoes and strawberries for dessert!

 Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!


  1. What a great looking fiesta you had! And look at all those veggies you snuck into those tacos. I'm impressed. Love to see all kinds of taco variations. Beautiful!

  2. You know, I only just tried tacos for the first time a week ago. They were delicious, but not homemade. Yours looks perfect! I want to have tacos a second time, but this time, homemade :)


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