Spaghetti Squash “Pad Thai”

This is a gluten-free and low-carb version of the classic Thai dish that is also quite tasty.  It has eggs and fish sauce, but no meat.  There are quite a few steps in this recipe but if you cook the squash in advance the whole thing can be prepared in less than half an hour.

Cut a spaghetti squash in half width-wise and bake at 350 until fork-tender, about 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and then let cool.  Scoop out the seedy pulp first and discard.  Then use a large spoon to scoop the flesh into a bowl.  Gently use a fork to fluff it; it should fall apart into strands easily.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  This is important even though you are going to add sauce.

Meanwhile, dice 12 oz. of firm tofu and marinate in 1 T. soy sauce mixed with 1 t. sesame oil.

Clean 1 leek and then thinly slice in 2″ julienne strips lengthwise.

Grate or julienne-cut carrots to make 2 C. loose packed

Soak 2 C. spinach leaves and drain.  Repeat until the water is clean.

Mince 4-6 cloves of garlic

Crack 3 eggs into a bowl.

Make the sauce by combining 2 T. each soy sauce, fish sauce, and rice vinegar with 1 T. lemon or lime juice, 2 T. fresh squeezed orange juice, 1 minced clove of garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Cook the sauce over low heat for 8-10 minutes, until it bubbles and thickens slightly.  Remove from heat.

Saute or stir-fry the leeks in 2 T. peanut or safflower oil until soft and beginning to brown. Remove from the pan, then add another 1 T. of oil and the tofu and cook for another 5 minutes.

Return the leeks to the pan along with 6 T. of the Pad Thai sauce plus the garlic and the carrots.  Cook for one minute,  then move them to one side of the skillet and add the eggs to the other side.  Scramble briefly with a wooden spoon, then stir to combine with the other ingredients.

Finally, add the spaghetti squash and the spinach and stir fry just 1-2 minutes to combine with the other ingredients plus another 1-2 T. of sauce to taste.  Remember that the squash is already cooked and you don’t want it to get mushy.

Serve with chopped peanuts and slices of lemon or lime.

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