One of the reasons I like to make Pad Thai is because of the freedom to choose what to include in the dish. It’s also something that I can turn this into an easy weeknight meal or a weekend meal.
I started cooking the pasta a little earlier than normal to give myself time to chop the vegetables. After washing a carrot, I held the carrot over a preparation bowl to catch the carrot shreds and tried using my adaptive peeler. Aside for the peeler breaking off the handle, it worked out fine. However the second time the peeler broke off, I got out the mini carrots. Chopping the mini carrots worked out great! I was a little nervous at times because I don’t have much experience chopping something that can move easily and is that small.
Once the carrots were done, I chopped a head of broccoli and an onion. As I was chopping the vegetables, I used the microwave to defrost the chicken. Once the vegetables were done and I drained the canned water chestnuts and baby corn, I cut up the chicken into small chunks.
After cooking the chicken and shrimp in olive oil, my dad had to help me discard the extra water from the frozen shrimp. Once the shrimp and chicken were cooked through and transferred to a bowl with a slotted spoon,I discarded the extra water from the frozen shrimp by pouring the liquid in the sink.
After allowing the broccoli and carrots cook for a few minutes, I added the water chestnuts, baby corn and mushrooms. To speed up the cooking process, I let them cook with the lid on and gave the vegetables an occasional stir. Once the vegetables were done, I stirred in the pasta, Pad Thai sauce, bean sprouts from a can, and the meat. Barrier-Free Tip: The recipe has instructions to make your own Pad Thai sauce, but I chose to just buy some already made. I like using the wok for this recipe because it is easier for me to mix everything up without accidentally pushing the food out onto the stove. Mixing the ingredients was difficult because the amount of ingredients made the Pad Thai heavy. The only way to make this easier is to make less food. Once I live on my own, I can cut down on how much food I make.
I’m glad that I took the time to chop the vegetables this time. It did reaffirm that if I need to cut down on time, frozen pre-chopped vegetables are the way to go. But, it also let me know that I can do it if I have to. My family enjoyed this recipe and it was good with the frozen egg rolls and cream cheese wontons we bought. The original recipe came from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food (2008).