Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pad Thai

Okay, this is going to be a major suck-up moment in Thursday's REL4936 class (one of the last, ohmygosh!). We're finishing up this lovely little book called Seven Wonders: Everyday Things for a Healthier Planet, and one of the "sustainable wonders" we'll be discussing is Pad Thai. You might ask yourself why such a dish would be so sustainable. The great thing about Seven Wonders -- it takes about 5 minutes to read and I encourage everyone to get a copy -- is that it discusses broad, important environmental issues in terms of seven simple, everyday items. For a lot of people, Pad Thai might not be that everyday, but it brings up the issues of sustainable food production for our world, soil erosion, and the overuse of meat in our American meals. It is also very tasty.

Anyway, we were starting to discuss Pad Thai before the end of the class on Tuesday and I just happened to notice the recipe for Pad Thai this time around. Honestly, I read the book cover to cover but glossed over the sidebar-type pages, I guess. So, after class I went to Ward's and bought the ingredients for Pad Thai and actually made some for the fam yesterday evening. Well, DJ (Dude Junior) had plain chicken and broccoli, but me and the old man totally scarfed it up. It wasn't all goopy like the Pad Thai you get in the restaurant -- I guess traditionally it's not made with peanut butter. I was heartily encouraged to continue making Pad Thai. I did throw some cashews in, but not that much.

There were two things I realized in thinking about the Pad Thai preparations this morning; I used few pots and pans (mostly trays for cut vegetables) and even though we did use meat, the old man and I probably ate 2/3 of a chicken breast between us (and there is still a bunch of Pad Thai left). So, in retrospect, it was not only tasty as all get-out, but it caused us to slow down on our meat consumption. The little bit of chicken we had was just enough.

Even though our kitchen is miniscule, Pad Thai was worth the effort. Of course I encourage you to read the book and try the recipe for yourself, but here is a recipe for Pad Thai from ThaiFoodandTravel.com that has lots of interesting information on the origins of Pad Thai.

Got the photo from Sightline Institute, formerly Northwestern Environment Watch
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