I’ve come to realize lately that many of my food-related stories start with “Back when I lived in DC…” and with good reason. After college, I truly relished any chance to make or try new foods. Many evenings after work were spent at local eateries with friends, enjoying drinks and tasty eats. And if we weren’t out, I was almost always cooking with my roommates. Even back then, before paleo and the blog were the focus of my life, cooking and eating was a core activity for me. One of the dishes I was introduced to and came to love during my years in DC was Pad Thai. Now, from what I understand, this dish can vary quite a bit from place to place. It is usually made with shrimp, tofu, or chicken – and my favorite way to have it is with chicken. I’ve been telling Hayley for a long time that I wanted to try my hand at making a paleo version of Pad Thai, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember how I made it when I lived in DC. That was when it occurred to me that I had actually never made it! (haha, oops!) But instead, we always got it from a place in Old Town called Mai Thai. I remember it being one of my favorite indulgences when I lived there.
This recipe is based off of my recollections of the Pad Thai I used to eat when I lived in DC. In the process of developing this recipe, I also referred to a few other pad thai recipes to make sure I was remembering all the core ingredients. No surprises there, so I got cooking with Hayley. I knew I wanted to use yellow squash for the noodles, because the color and flavor would both jive with how I wanted the dish to look and taste. Hayley suggested steaming the squash so that the liquid would be released in the pot, and not muddy the stir fry in the wok. She’s quite a clever cook! We also wanted to use some delicious Meenut Butter that we had on hand. Now, almond butter will work in this recipe too, but the Meenut Butter is so smooth and delicious that it was a perfect fit. Mee originally sent us a jar to try and create a recipe, but we destroyed that jar in about 24 hours. Oops! Then we decided to buy two more jars on our own dime because we loved it so much, and really did want to cook with it! This recipe utilized the very last remaining bit of the second jar. I figured it was “now or never”. If you haven’t given it a try yet, head over to her site and show her some love by ordering yourself a jar or two!