I’m enjoying Thai food more and more. Recently I figured out a recipe that I can make quickly (a key consideration) and that is relatively healthy. The good news is that you can vary it easily based on what veggies you have on hand and it makes a fine way to use up small amounts of leftovers. You can braise some tofu squares to add or use leftover chicken or turkey if you are not vegetarian.


  • 8 ounces of pad thai brown rice noodles 
  • ¼ to ½ cup chopped peanuts, depending on taste
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin
  • ½ cup green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped bok choy or equivalent (e.g., kale, cabbage)
  • ½ cup sliced celery
  • ½ cup yellow or red beets, cooked and sliced or cubed (adds color)
  • 1 small can water chestnuts, if desired, rinsed, drained, and diced/sliced
  • 1 tbsp mock-chicken seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 rounded Tbsp peanut butter
  • ¼ cup hot water


For ease of cooking I usually combine the following in four small bowls first. Then I just need to grab a bowl and dump in the contents—speeds up the cooking process for me.

  • Garlic, small onion slices, and sliced green onions
  • Bok choy and celery
  • Green peas, black beans, beets, and water chestnuts
  • Mock chicken seasoning, salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and chopped peanuts

Bring four quarts of water to boil in a large sauce pan. Add 8 ounces of noodles and boil for about five minutes until almost tender. Drain, rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside.

Spray skillet with coconut oil and place over medium high heat. When heated, add sliced onion, green onion, and garlic. Sauté until starting to become tender. Add bok choy and celery and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes.

Add green peas, black beans, beets, and water chestnuts, and mix.

Sprinkle on mock-chicken seasoning, salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and chopped peanuts, and mix.

Mix peanut butter in hot water, pour over mixture, and stir.

When moisture has been absorbed, place mixture on a platter.


Lift portions onto plates or into bowls using tongs.

Garnish with chopped basil leaves and orange or lemon slices, if desired.

Serves four.

Enjoy with or without chopsticks!