Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Worst Pad Thai in the History of the World!

E2 Vegan Pad Thai - a recipe for disaster
 Okay, I'm pretty enthusiastic and upbeat about making changes to my cooking repertoire in the name of good health. And last night I was excited to try the recipe for Vegan Pad Thai from "The Engine 2 Diet." But I've gotta be honest - it turned out to be one of my greatest disappointments - ever - in the kitchen

I'm a good cook. And I followed the recipe verbatim. But this dish turned out like a big bowl of ass! However, I did learn a few things as things in the kitchen unraveled: 

1.) If you're cooking with vegetable stock instead of oil, keep extra stock on hand to splash on when the pan dries out, which is inevitable.  
2.) DO NOT add dry spices at the end of preparation! Dry spices need something to bind to; something to help blend their flavor with the other ingredients. Typically stovetop dishes start with onion, garlic or both - that's the time to add dry spices. This recipe called for dry chili powder to be added at the end of the cooking process so it never got the chance to blend with anything. Instead, it just sat there on top of the noodles, broccoli and tofu. And it just plain sucked. 
3.) If a recipe calls for noodles, cook them first, then add them at the last minute. This recipe said to add cooked rice noodles early in the process. But when you're cooking without oil and the pan keeps drying out, adding noodles early on can only result in a mushy stuck-to-the-bottom-of-the-pan disaster. And that's exactly what happened. If I had followed my instinct and waited until the last minute to toss the noodles in, one problem with this recipe might have been avoided.
4.) If you know better, DO better! knew better than to add the chili powder late and the noodles early, but the recipe told me to - so I did. That's why I ended up wasting a lot good food that could have been put to better use. So from now on, I'm going to make my own decisions about what to do with steps that seem questionable.
5.) KEEP TRYING! This recipe totally sucked wind but it might work with the tweaks I've mentioned here. And there are other Vegan Pad Thai recipes out there - I've already collected a few. Once I clean out my pans I'll give them a try.


  1. Ivy,

    I love the fact that you learn from your mistakes and move on! I know I can do more of that. You have a hilarious, glass-half-full perspective that I appreciate. I hope the next version of Pad Thai works out better than the last! :) And as the nine year old version of myself once said, "my thanks to the cook!"

  2. Hi, Ms. Married Maggie! You are always so encouraging and I thank you for that! I like your 9-year-old; I like the current-day you too! Hope married life is blissful - you deserve it! Big hugs to you, Maggie!

  3. Ha! Thanks Ivy. :) Married life feels...well, about the same as living together life. :) It's pretty good. I'm happy these days. Actually what it feel like is lots of really happy moments that I pause and reflect on in the moment and think, "I am so lucky to feel like this!" and then I move on...but I have had more and more of those over the past year...it's bizarre. I know we all deserve that, but I honestly haven't really had consistent bursts of joy over time, until now. Maybe it has to do with turning 40 (two and a half years into my forties now) and getting to know myself better. I sure hope so, because that would mean it won't fade away. :) At any rate, are you almost done with your Engine 2 Diet? I haven't read today's blog...

  4. Wow, Maggie, you made me mist up a bit! I'm so happy for you! And I love how you look at life. You give so much thought and gratitude to everything. It's no wonder you're at this wonderful place in your life - you've created it. I'm so glad we're in touch - you always bring a smile to my day. Thank you so much for that!

  5. I just made this recipe and rather liked it, actually. I used cooking spray instead of stock/water but otherwise stuck to the instructions. I'd make it again.