There's absolutely nothing wrong with rice noodles in pad Thai -- we love them -- but sometimes you want something a little bit different. Spaghetti squash definitely fits that bill, and also hooks you up with an extra serving of vegetables. You can't lose!
You will need: 1 16-ounce package firm tofu 2 medium spaghetti squash 1 1/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 cup peanuts 2 tablespoons tamarind paste 1 teaspoon garlic powder 2 teaspoons chili powder 2 teaspoons salt 7 cloves garlic 1/2 bunch cilantro 2 tablespoons distilled vinegar 1/4 cup peanut butter 10 green onions 1 package bean sprouts 1 tomato Coconut oil or other oil to cook with Lime, peanuts and cilantro leaves to garnish
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
1. Stab the squash several times with a sharp knife. Bake on a rack in the oven for about an hour, turning once. You'll want to start this step early so that the squash is ready when everything else is -- and factor in some time to let it cool down before you scrape it.
2. Drain the tofu and cut it into triangles. Line a plate with paper towels, arrange the tofu on the plate, line with more paper towels and place something heavy on top to help press the moisture out of the tofu. Heat a large skillet with some oil -- coconut works well. 3. Grind the peanuts super-fine in a food processor or blender and whisk together in a large bowl with the sugar. Add the tamarind paste, salt, garlic powder and chili powder. Add 2 1/2 to 3 cups of water; press the garlic into the mixture and add the vinegar and peanut butter. Stir until blended. Tear the cilantro leaves into the sauce. Mix everything together. 4. Fry the tofu in the oil. Flip when one side is golden. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. 5. Heat some more oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. Chop the tomato and add it. Add the bean sprouts. Cut the onion into inch-long pieces and add. Cook the veggies for four to five minutes, stirring regularly. 6. Add the sauce. Cook for fifteen minutes, letting it thicken. 7. Remove the seeds from the squash and scrape out the stringy flesh. Add the squash to the sauce mixture while it's got about ten minutes left to cook. Mix together thoroughly to make sure you coat as much as you can with sauce. When the sauce has about five minutes left to cook, add the tofu. Serve with more peanuts and cilantro leaves on top -- lime wedges are good, too.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.