Phad Thai

Phad Thai, Pad Thai or Phat Thai (“fried Thai style”) is a dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chile pepper and mung bean sprouts. You can also add shrimp, chicken, beef, squid or tofu, if you like (though it is a complete protein with the noodles, mung bean sprouts and peanuts). Garnish with crushed peanuts, fresh coriander (cilantro) and lime, the juice of which can be added along with traditional Thai condiments.

During the recession following World War II, the post-war government of Phibunsongkhram, desperate in its efforts to revive the Thai economy, looked for ways to stem the massive tide of unemployment. Among the occupations the government aggressively promoted to give the populace a way to earn a living was the production of rice noodles and the operation of noodle shops. Detailed instructions on how to make the noodles and recipes were printed and distributed around the country. From these efforts, rice noodles became firmly rooted in the country and have since become a widespread staple food. Phad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes. In America we see a myriad of styles and variations of this dish in every restaurant and food outlet. My variation omits the tamarind which might be harder to find but is still flavorful and has broccoli slaw for healthful added texture or you can substitute Cole slaw veggies. This recipe is Gluten-free.

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Phad Thai

Yield: 4-6 servings

1-16 oz package rice noodles
6 cups broccoli slaw (julienne broccoli stems, carrots and red cabbage)
4 cups mung bean sprouts
¾ cup roasted salted peanuts
½ cup of beaten eggs
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup canola oil
1 lime
optional: 2 teaspoons chile flakes

Phad Thai Sauce:

½ cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons sucralose
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons of lemon grass paste
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons sambal chile paste
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon galangal or dried ginger

Fill a large pot about 4 inches deep with water and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and add rice noodles separating them with tongs as they soften to avoid them sticking together. Rinse with cold water in a colander and set aside. Cook beaten eggs open face omelet style and cut into strips. Chop peanuts and set aside. Chop cilantro and set aside. Heat a large wok a or high walled skillet with the canola oil. Add rice noodles, mung beans, broccoli slaw chopped cilantro, eggs and sauce mixture and sauté with tongs to fully incorporate the ingredients for 3-5 minutes. Portion onto plates and serve with lime wedges and chopped peanuts as garnishes.

c.2010 Aron David Bradley

Tomato Nirvana

Fresh Basil Tomatoes

My wife Val has come up with a way to deal with the surplus tomatoes from our garden that is just incredible. She simply washes and cores them, cuts them into wedges and places them on a non-stick cookie sheet then drizzles them with E.V.O.O. sprinkles Kosher salt and chopped fresh garlic and adds either fresh rosemary sprigs, fresh basil or the newest, sliced jalapenos and lemon zest. She then bakes them in a 200 degree oven for 8 to 10 hours. They come out like super moist sun-dried tomatoes with a flavorgasm you’ll be talking about for days. Spread on rice crackers or multigrain bread with fat free cream cheese and sprouts or spinach, sliced cucumbers and you have reached tomato nirvana! You can store these in the fridge for weeks but they won’t last that long. We’re also going to try freezing some. We’ll let you know how that works.

Numerous studies correlate high intake of lycopene-containing foods or high lycopene serum levels with reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration.
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Jalapeno Lemon Zest Tomatoes

Grilled Steak Tacos w/ Pico De Gallo

Natural beef and buffalo meat is becoming more available in the larger chain and specialty markets or if you are in a rural area you may find a local grass fed beef ranch near you. To make this low carb just omit the tortillas. This is gluten-free and the low carb version is great as a diabetic entree.
The pico de gallo recipe is in the menu section.
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Grilled Steak Tacos w/ Pico De Gallo

Yield: 2 servings

1 lb natural hormone and antibiotic free petite sirloin steak
8 corn tortillas
1 teaspoon canola oil

Southwestern Steak Rub:
2 tablespoons medium hot new Mexican chili powder
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

6 tablespoons Pico de Gallo recipe in my Boomer Cuisine blog

Trim any visible fat from steak. Cover with the teaspoon of canola oil and apply
rub by spreading it on a cutting board and pressing steak into it until all edges are covered. Get grill hot and cook steak medium rare (130-135 degree center temp).
Let meat rest for 5-10 minutes then slice thin across the grain. Place in two heated
corn tortillas per taco(microwave 10-20 seconds) add pico de gallo and serve.
Serving suggestion: Add a couple of fresh pineapple spears per serving as pictured.

c.2010 Aron David Bradley

Just Dessert

It is so hard to satisfy a sweet tooth without tons of guilt for eating way too much sugar, saturated fat, refined flour etc. I love a good challenge and the arrival of local honey crisp apples (my favorite) has inspired a bar I believe will satisfy those cravings and is loaded with nutrition, high in fiber, is sat fat free, is gluten-free and a good diabetic choice for dessert.
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Apple Raspberry Oat Bars

Yield: 12 bars

3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oatmeal
2 cups of sucralose
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free AP Flour
2/3 cup canola oil
½ cup chopped hazelnuts
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Fruit Filling:
3 cups diced honey crisp or your favorite apple
2 cups raspberries
1 cup 100% pure apple juice
3 tablespoons honey

Streusel Topping:
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free AP Flour
1 cup sucralose
1 tablespoon almond butter
4 teaspoons canola oil
pinch of salt

Prepare fruit filling by combining ingredients and cooking over medium heat in a heavy saucepan till thick and volume is reduced by half. Set aside to cool. Prepare crust by mixing all of the ingredients and pressing mixture into a non stick or oiled baking pan.
Spread filling on top of crust. Prepare streusel topping and crumble on top of fruit layer.Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until topping starts to change color. Cut into squares but don’t remove from pan until bars are cool.

c. 2010 Aron David Bradley

Pan Fried Oysters w/ Chipotle Remoulade

This is a breeze to prepare and in addition to being a Super Green Seafood choice (see Monterey Bay blog roll), it has a wonderful south-of-the-border flavor profile with the masa breading and chipotle remoulade.
Gluten-free and a good diabetic entree choice.
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Pan Fried Oysters w/ Chipotle Remoulade

Yield: 1, 2 servings

1 jar (10-oz.) medium farmed oysters
2 tablespoon canola oil


1 cup corn masa de harina
½ teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Chipotle Remoulade:

½ cup low fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fine diced (1/8 inch X 1/8 inch) red onions
2 teaspoons small capers
2 teaspoons sweet pickle fine diced
chipotle chile sauce to taste

Mix breading ingredients in bowl. Mix remoulade and place in serving bowl.
Heat canola oil in a cast iron or non stick frying pan. Coat oysters thoroughly
with breading and carefully place in hot oil watch out they may spatter. Cook till
golden brown on each side, place cooked oysters on a paper towels to absorb excess oil then arrange on a plate with the remoulade and serve

c. 2010 Aron David Bradley

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Super Green List

Connecting Human and Ocean Health

Seafood plays an important role in a balanced diet. It’s often rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help boost immunity and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and other ailments. Omega-3s are especially important for pregnant and nursing women, and young children. Unfortunately, some fish carry toxins that can become harmful when eaten frequently.

Good for You, Good for the Oceans

Combining the work of conservation and public health organizations, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has identified seafood that is “Super Green,” meaning that it is good for human health and does not harm the oceans. The Super Green list highlights products that are currently on the Seafood Watch “Best Choices” (green) list, are low in environmental contaminants and are good sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

This effort draws from experts in human health, notably scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The Monterey Bay Aquarium will continue to work with these organizations to balance the health and environmental attributes of seafood.

The Super Green list includes seafood that meets the following three criteria:

  • Low levels of contaminants (below 216 parts per billion [ppb] mercury and 11 ppb PCBs)
  • The daily minimum of omega-3s (at least 250 milligrams per day [mg/d])*
  • Classified as a Seafood Watch “Best Choice” (green)

  • The Best of the Best: September 2010

    • Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the U.S. or British Columbia)
    • Freshwater Coho Salmon (farmed in tank systems, from the U.S.)
    • Oysters (farmed)
    • Pacific Sardines (wild-caught)
    • Pink Shrimp (wild-caught, from Oregon)
    • Rainbow Trout (farmed)
    • Salmon (wild-caught, from Alaska)
    • Spot Prawns (wild-caught, from British Columbia)

    ** Other Healthy “Best Choices”

    • Arctic Char (farmed)
    • Barramundi (farmed, from the U.S.)
    • Dungeness Crab (wild-caught, from California, Oregon or Washington)
    • Longfin Squid (wild-caught, from the U.S. Atlantic)
    • Mussels (farmed)

Dancing in the Kitchen with Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

As you may have noticed if you read my blog 99% of my recipes are gluten-free. My wife Val gets back spasms when she eats gluten so we try to avoid it around here. Val first told me about the Gluten-Free Girl site when her chiropractor first diagnosed her problem with gluten. We have been fans ever since. We just tried their recipe: Seared Shrimp with Garlic Almond Sauce and OMG was it yummy. We snapped a picture before devouring it. The shrimp were divine and the almond sauce so rich and unctuous it was plate licking good. If you want the recipe and 99 other great recipes from their new cookbook “Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes” the link is in my blogroll just below  ‘Documentation’.  We are very jazzed about their new book and I’m sure you will be too! Just follow the link.

Seared Shrimp w/ Garlic Almond Sauce

A Taste of Provence

It’s harvest time in the garden and the inspiration for this exquisite dish. Provence is a region of southeastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. It is known as the garden of France because fresh vegetables and seafood are in abundance there. Provençal style is characterized by the use of key ingredients like tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and anchovies. The dish I created here includes chicken thighs but this dish shines as a vegetable side dish or main course as well.
Low fat, gluten-free and high in fiber and antioxidants.
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Chicken Provençal

Yield: 4 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ eggplant medium diced
5 Crimini mushrooms sliced
2 small carrots cut lengthwise then sliced
6 Brussels sprouts quartered
15 green beans chopped
½ large yellow onion
3 large ripe tomatoes medium diced
4 cloves of garlic
1 – 2 oz. can anchovies chopped
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon chopped or 2 teaspoons dry
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon French thyme

Butterfly chicken breasts salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Place prepared onions, garlic, tomatoes, green beans, mushrooms, eggplant, carrots, Brussels sprouts, anchovies, capers and spices in a bowl. Heat a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet with EVOO, add the contents of the bowl and sauté stirring frequently for 8 minutes. Sprinkle cornstarch
and cook another minute. Ladle some of the vegetable mixture into the bottom of a casserole pan, add chicken and cover with the remaining veggies. Bake in a 350 degree
oven for about 20 minutes or when chicken has reached 155 degrees.
c. 2010 Aron David Bradley

A Provence scene by Paul Cezanne

Simply Salad Rolls

Vietnamese salad rolls are easy to make and so versatile. These are made with shrimp and avocado but vegetarians can omit the shrimp and add tempeh, baked marinated tofu or just keep it simple with avocado.
You can put anything you love in salads in these like red peppers, rice noodles, cooked asparagus, the filling is as diverse as your imagination. Be creative and have fun.
This recipe is high in fiber, diabetic friendly, gluten-free*

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Shrimp Salad Rolls w/ Peanut Sauce

Yield 1-2 servings

2 large rice spring roll wraps
2 green leaf lettuce leaves
12 cooked 31-40 per pound prawns
1 small carrot (matchstick cut or shaved with a peeler)
½ avocado
½ medium cucumber (matchstick or julienne cut)
4 sprigs cilantro
½ cup bean sprouts
12 baby spinach leaves
6-8 fresh basil leaves

Dressing: 2 teaspoons fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, sucralose or stevia

Run the wrapper under warm water both sides so the entire surface is wet or place some warm water in a large dinner plate and submerge the wrapper. As it softens (about 10-20 seconds) spread the sheet on a flat surface. Pat with a paper towel to remove any excess surface water and place 6 shrimp in a line on the center of the wrap. Lay half the above quantities of lettuce, avocado, cucumber, carrots, cilantro, spinach, basil and bean sprouts on the row of shrimp. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons of dressing to your salad mixture, gently bring the side flaps over then fold the bottom flap (closest to you) over the salad’ burrito’ style then firmly roll towards the top flap while slightly compressing to form your salad roll. The skin is delicate, tears easily and sticks to itself so be gentle. Repeat process for second roll.

Peanut Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter, 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon lime juice, 1/3 teaspoon chile flakes…Whip or blend till smooth and pour into a small soufflé cup for dipping. * For gluten-free use San J organic wheat free tamari or Braggs liquid amino sauce and molasses with a dash of 5 spice instead of hoisin. If you are sugar intolerant, omit fish sauce from recipe and mix stevia with Braggs and a pinch of 5 spice instead of hoisin sauce.

c.2010 Aron David Bradley

Thai Red Curry Chicken

This is my variation of Thai red curry. You can add your favorite veggies like broccoli or cauliflower for instance, you can omit the chicken for some other protein or tofu and really have fun with this pungent aromatic curry. Although some supermarkets (especially high end one’s like Whole Foods) stock fish sauce, Thai red curry paste, Thai eggplant you may need to go to an Asian market to get these items. Enjoy the cooking smells that will fill your kitchen as you make this!
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Thai Red Curry Chicken

Yield: 6-8 servings

3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes diced (1 inch diameter)
4 large boneless skinless chicken thighs diced (1 inch diameter)
1 cup baby carrots
1 medium zucchini sliced lengthwise then 1 inch slices
1 medium yellow onion cut in half then into wedges
1 cup green beans cut into 2” lengths
½ eggplant diced (1 inch diameter) or 6 Thai eggplant quartered
1-14 oz. can light coconut milk
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red curry paste (more if like it hotter)
3 tablespoons paprika
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar, sucralose or stevia
4 cloves garlic minced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves cut into strips
1 tablespoon lemon grass paste
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
salt to taste

Steam the potatoes and carrots till tender. While steaming, heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan add chicken, onions and garlic and sauté stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
Add cooked potatoes and carrots and the remaining ingredients, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve
Serving suggestion: Serve over steamed brown jasmine rice.

c. 2010 Aron David Bradley