This recipe has been brewing in my head for a while now and I finally got around to trying it. I’ve long had a theory that if you nested veggie noodles on top of a liquid base in a slow cooker that they would steam cook nicely, without turning to mush. I can now report that my theory is now a law. Well, it’s not that serious, but it works and you should try it. This method opens a entire new creative culinary doorway for me, and I hope it does the same for you as well. You have to be one heck of a foodie to share the same type of excitement I have over this, or just really like pad thai, and who doesn’t really like pad thai?
Anyways. To make this recipe you are going to need veggie noodles. You can do this on the cheap by just using a knife (and taking lots of time), or using a vegetable peeler (not as pretty but it works), but Ideally you’ll want to spend between $20 and $30 on a spiral slicer to make really really cool veggie noodles. If you are loving the paleo lifestyle, and miss your noodles, I suggest you drop the bucks on a spiral slicer. You won’t regret it. I’d recommend you get the Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Spiral Slicer. It is the one I use and is pictured below. Everyone I know that has one not only falls in love with it, but also goes on an initial rampage turning veggies into noodles, more noodles than humanly necessary. Yes, it’s that life-changing good.
What you need:
- 2 to 3 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts (skin removed).
- 2 medium zucchini.
- 1 large carrot.
- 1 handful of bean sprouts (optional).
- 1 small bunch of green onions (for sauce and garnish)
- 1 cup of coconut milk.
- 1 cup of chicken stock.
- 2 heaping tablespoons of SunButter (sunflower seed butter, to replace peanut flavor).
- 1 tablespoon of Coconut Aminos (or wheat-free tamari, to replace soy sauce).
- 2 tsp of Fish Sauce. I use Red Boat fish sauce, which is paleo-friendly.
- 2 tsp of powdered ginger (or about 1 tbsp freshly minced ginger).
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced, or 1 tsp of garlic powder.
- 1 tsp of cayenne pepper.
- 1 tsp of red pepper flakes.
- Salt & Pepper for seasoning the chicken.
- Chopped cashews for garnish (optional).
- Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional).
How you make it:
- Season your chicken with salt and pepper, and a little bit of the cayenne pepper and ginger powder. If you have time, brown your chicken in a cast iron skillet to get the flavors going. This step is completely optional.
- In your crock, add your coconut milk and chicken stock. Stir well. If you are using a full-fat coconut milk, make sure you stir until the coconut milk is fully dissolved into the chicken stock.
- Add your SunButter, coconut aminos, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, 2 green onions chopped including the whites, cayenne, and red pepper.
- Stir well until your SunButter is completely dissolved.
- Place your chicken breasts or thighs into your base liquid.
- Turn your zucchinis into veggie noodles with your spiral slicer, shred your carrots, and wash your bean sprouts.
- Toss your zucchini noodles, carrots, and bean sprouts together on your counter to mix them well.
- Nest, or balance your veggie noodles on top of your liquid and meat base in your slow cooker, and press down every so slightly. The goal is for them to be steamed, not stewed.
- Cook for 3.5 to 4 hours on low if you are using a 4-Quart Slow cooker.
- Cook for no more than 6 hours on low (5 is ideal) if you are using a 6-Quart slow cooker.
- To serve, remove the noodles first and set aside, making sure they are strained of any retained liquid.
- Removed your chicken breasts or thighs. Debone if necessary, then chop into strips. Add back some of the remaining sauce/broth from the crock to the meat and mix well.
- Place your meat and sauce over your noodles, and garnish with green onions (scallions), chopped cilantro, and chopped cashews. Enjoy!