Vegan Pad Thai and Other Vegan Alternatives to Your Takeout Favorites

By Mali Anderson in Healthy Feeling

It's hard to resist a takeout craving when it hits. That said, sometimes it can be even harder to find a restaurant that will bring a healthy, vegan dish right to your front door. Thankfully, it's simple to make a few takeout favorites at home. Once you get started, you and your family will have fun getting creative in the kitchen!

Vegan Pad Thai

A Thai takeout staple, Pad Thai is made with rice noodles, fresh vegetables, tofu, and a flavorful sauce.

This is what you will need to get started:

  • 8 oz. rice noodles
  • 1 cup tofu (I purchase it pre-fried)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 medium carrots or bell peppers
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
  • 4 tbsp. maple syrup
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Diced green onions

If you've never cooked with rice noodles before, don't worry! Simply soak them while you're chopping the other ingredients. Then, add oil to a skillet or wok and saute the tofu, onions, garlic, and veggies for five minutes. Next, add the soy sauce, sweetener, and drained rice noodles. Continue cooking for three minutes. Top with a dash of rice wine vinegar, peanuts, and sliced green onions.

For step-by-step instructions, here's a video from The Buddhist Chef website.

Soak your rice noodles before making vegan Pad Thai.

Hearty Vegan Burritos

Filling, satisfying, and delicious—and you only need a handful of items to get started:

  • Tortillas
  • Cooked rice
  • Cooked beans
  • Sauce and toppings (salsa, guacamole, green onion, olives, bell peppers, cilantro)

From here, the options are endless. If you are feeding the family, have everyone load up their own burritos, adding the ingredients that will satisfy their taste buds.

My favorite is filling a tortilla with beans, rice, salsa, onion, and cilantro. If I'm in the mood for a bit more protein and have some leftover tofu scramble in the fridge, I'll add that in, too. Finally, wrap your burrito and toast each side in a pan for 3-5 minutes. This will make it warm and crispy on the outside.

Chop your cauliflower to make your vegan dish.

Cauliflower "Orange Chicken"

If you were ever a fan of Orange Chicken, it's time to start thinking of cauliflower as more than a side dish.

Here's a basic orange sauce to get you started:

  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • A few tbsp. of maple syrup (or more to taste)
  • A few shakes of garlic powder and ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch

Combine all ingredients (except the cornstarch and water) in a pan. Bring to a boil, and cook for a minute or two. Mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Then, add your cornstarch mixture to the pan and whisk over heat until the sauce thickens.

Stir in your baked, steamed, or fried cauliflower and enjoy! Here's a recipe at Brand New Vegan to give you more ideas, too.

Cooking a vegan version of your favorite takeout dish is a gratifying and healthy way to satisfy your cravings. Get creative with your favorite recipes and know that it's okay to make adjustments according to what you have on hand. Make it easy on yourself, have fun, and be confident knowing that when you are cooking, you control the amount of oil, sweetness, and vegetables.

Do you have a vegan dish you love to prepare? Let us know on Twitter!

Image Source: Mali Anderson | Mali Anderson | Mali Anderson

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Why It's Good

Satisfy your takeout cravings with healthy meals made at home. It's easy and fun for the family to cook these vegan alternatives. Plus, you get to control the amount of oil and seasoning—exactly to your liking.