One of the most well-known Thai dishes, Pad Thai is a wonderful street food meal. It’s incredibly simple to make and can be whizzed up in minutes. But it’s easy to get it wrong. Too much sugar, too little lime juice, or lacklustre prawns are a commonplace failing. Here I’ve added just a small amount of sweetness, along with a good amount of spiciness and saltiness. And I’ve used spring onions and beansprouts but then also added sprouted seeds, including mung beans, chickpea sprouts and lentil sprouts – for added munchiness and a good dollop of nutrients. Fast food doesn’t need to be junk food – and this dish proves it in one fell scoop.
Serves 4 Preparation time 5 minutes Cooking time 8 minutes
500g/1lb 2oz rice noodles
1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves
3cm/1¼in piece of root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp shrimp paste
3 tbsp olive oil
8 spring onions, white part only, finely sliced
4 tbsp fish sauce
1½ tbsp fruit sugar or caster sugar
200g/7oz/2 cups beansprouts
200g/7oz sprouted seeds, such as mung bean, chickpea and lentil
400g/14oz cooked large prawns
2 eggs, beaten
juice 2 limes
banana leaves, to serve (optional)
100g/3½oz/⅔ cup peanuts, to serve
2 large handfuls of coriander leaves, chopped, to serve
tamari soy sauce, to serve
1. Put the noodles in a large heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to stand for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, put the chilli, garlic, ginger and shrimp paste in a mini food processor or spice mill and blend until finely chopped.
3. Heat the oil in a large wok over a medium-high heat until hot. Add the chilli mixture and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the spring onions and stir-fry for a further minute until they soften. Pour the fish sauce in and sprinkle the sugar over. Add the beansprouts, sprouted seeds and prawns and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until cooked through but the vegetables are still slightly crunchy.
4. Push the ingredients to one side of the pan, add the egg to the other side and stir-fry the egg until cooked. Mix the egg into the other ingredients and add the cooked noodles and stir thoroughly to mix everything in. Add the lime juice and stir through. Serve immediately (on banana leaves if you like) with the peanuts and coriander scattered over, and with tamari sauce on the side.
My birthday falls at the beginning of January, and I find that Christmas, New Year and my birthday tends to roll into one long celebratory period! We generally eat lots of chocolate from Santa, indulge in delicious, rich meals and, of course, eat our way through the ubiquitous Christmas and birthday cakes… It’s lovely to breathe a deep sigh of delight when the festivities are over, and then focus on cleaning up our diet a fair bit afterwards!
Omelettes make great healthy, fresh meals. They work brilliantly any time of the day, whether it’s breakfast time, lunchtime or even dinner time. And you can literally pack them with nutrient-dense ingredients. Here I’ve used red pepper, sprouted seeds and and alfalfa sprouts. Sprouted nuts and seeds are fantastic. The sprouting process increases digestibility and greatly enhances the nutritional content. They become powerhouses of vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients, and packed with energizing and health-promoting enzymes. Besides this, alfalfa sprouts also contains amino acids and phytochemicals that can balance hormones and protect against disease.
Sprouts can be difficult to get, though, so you can make your own very easily. You can buy special seed sprouters, but a jam jar will do just as well. Simply take a small handful of seeds, wash them and place in the jar. Fill the jar with about three times the amount of water and soak for at least eight hours. Drain and rinse the seeds and leave in a warm, dark place. Rinse thoroughly every 12 hours for three days, then bring them out into sunlight and repeat the process for another two days until they’re ready to eat.
gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, soya-free, nut-free, citrus-free
Preparation time 5 minutes Cooking time 5–6 minutes Serves 2
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
- 50g/1¾oz sprouted seeds, such as mung bean, chickpea and lentil
- 50g/1¾oz alfalfa sprouts
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Beat the eggs in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of water, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat, tilting the pan so that the base is covered with oil. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and sprinkle over the red pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the base of the omelette is golden and the egg is almost set, but still soft.
- Sprinkle the sprouted seeds and alfalfa sprouts over the top and serve immediately.