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Recipe: Pad Thai Grain Free Soy Free GAPS Friendly

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Pad Thai Gluten Free Grain Free Recently on the GAPShelp Yahoo Group a post came through mentioning a contest post over at Mark’s Daily Apple, which listed 19 pages of comments for folk’s favorite paleo recipes.  One of my list mates mentioned this Paleo Pad Thai recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl.

Now, I’ve never had Pad Thai.  Furthermore, I’d never heard of such a thing.  But as I looked at the recipe, I became enamored with the thought of making it, especially since serendipitously I’d just been gifted two 10 ounce bags of Trader Joe’s organic sugar snap peas.  Also, my husband had baked some chicken thighs, and I had been trying to figure out something to use my sesame tahini I’d recently bought.  I thought I could figure some way to incorporate it into this recipe.

The original recipe is not GAPS-friendly, and Mel from The Clothes Make the Girl says this about her version:

Sometimes you just want a pile of something spicy-creamy-comforting… like Pad Thai. But the original dish includes rice noodles (fail), soy sauce (fail), peanuts (fail), and sugar (fail). To make it safe for dino-chow consumption, I replaced the noodles with spaghetti squash, used coconut aminos instead of soy, recruited Sunbutter sauce as a stand in for the peanuts, and added snap peas for sweetness that also bumped up the veggie count.

THIS is Pad Thai you can feel good about emotionally and physically. I think it does a damn fine job recreating the taste and experience of eating the real deal. The mouth-feel of the spaghetti squash and sunshine sauce is pretty damn close to tender rice noodles – without the troublesome grain-poisons.

Y’all should know by now I have the dickens of a time following recipes exactly, and so mine is a bit different from Mel’s.  I didn’t have sunflower butter on hand, but I did have roasted almond butter and sesame tahini.  I did a quick search on the Internet to find a recipe for my sauce, and found this one: Thai Sesame Peanut Sauce from The Wannabe Chef, which I also tweaked.  :-)  I did not have roasted red chili paste on hand (not sure of a GAPS legal version anyway) which the author state, “If you can’t find roasted red chili paste, it’s basically just red chilis, fish sauce, garlic, and a heck of a lot of sodium.”  All righty then… no fish sauce on hand. So I searched Google and found if you don’t have sardines on hand, you can use fish sauce, so I figured if I don’t have fish sauce, I’ll use sardines, which I did have on hand.

So here’s my recipe:

Thai Sesame Almond Butter Sauce

  • 1 T. sardines (or 2 T. if you want more “fishy” flavor)
  • 1 T. almond oil
  • 1 T. Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos
  • 1/4 cup roasted tahini
  • 1/4 cup roasted almond butter
  • 1 T. crushed garlic (about four cloves)
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 t. chili flakes (or less if you don’t like things too hot)
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1 t. chili powder

Blend the sardines, almond oil and coconut aminos together so that the sardines are completely liquified.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix together well.  You’ll come up with a paste that looks like this:

Thai Sesame Almond Butter Tahini Sauce Ingredients Peanut Butter Free

Thai Sesame Almond Butter Tahini Sauce Ingredients

Okay, now for the rest of the recipe:

  • 3 zucchini squash, julienned
  • 10 ounces sugar snap peas, sliced into slivers
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 3 eggs
  • coconut oil
  • 1 batch Thai Sesame Almond Butter Sauce (above)

Serves 3.

Place chicken thighs in a pan, drizzle butter on the skins, salt and bake for one hour at 400°F or until tops are golden and juices run clear (internal temperature should be 165°F). Remove skins and roll up to place on the side of the dish.  Remove meat to add later to dish.

While the chicken thighs are baking, heat about 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the sugar snap peas until they turn bright green.

Pad Thai Sugar Snap Peas

Remove from the skillet, add more coconut oil and saute the onions until they are transparent.  Remove from skillet.

Julienne three zucchini squash, remove strips until you get to the core where the seeds are.  Add more coconut oil, saute until soft.

Using a griddle or another skillet, grease well and heat.  Scramble one egg and pour onto the hot griddle. Use a spoon to spread the egg around to cover the area of the pan.  Allow to cook until browned, then slide spatula under the egg and flip to the other side and allow to cook a little longer.  Do the same with the other two eggs.  Layer the egg “pancakes” one on top of the other, then take a knife or pizza cutter and slice the eggs into 1/2″ thick “noodles”.

Gluten Free Egg "Noodles"

When the zucchini squash is tender, remove it from the skillet.  Strain it to remove any addition liquids as this will dilute the sauce and the taste and texture will be different.  Now add the drained zucchini, and the sugar snap peas and onions back into the skillet and heat them up again.  Add the egg noodles, and the chicken, and the sauce.  Fold everything in carefully and heat thoroughly.  Serve.  Include rolled chicken thigh skins on the side, they are just so yummy!  This was my extra addition to include them on the side.

Pad Thai Ingredients

Pad Thai in the Skillet

Okay, so this meal was so delicious that the very next night I made the same thing again.  I tweaked the recipe a little, but found that I liked the first night’s version better – this is why I know if you double the sardines you’ll get a slightly more fishy taste.  It was okay either way, but I think I like the less fishy taste best.  It’s not really all that fishy tasting, it is very slight. The eggs cooked as noodles were just so yummy, the mouth feel was very much like noodles!  I really liked the sauce that I made for this dish.

My oldest son loved this dish.  I served the two of us dinner, and I had enough left over for lunch the next day. It was delicious rewarmed the next day.

Like I said, I have never had Pad Thai before, so I don’t know how to compare this version to the real thing.  I can only say I thought it was fantastic and I’m looking forward to making it again. My mouth is watering just looking at it.

Let me know if you try it, okay?






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9 comments to Recipe: Pad Thai Grain Free Soy Free GAPS Friendly

  • Isabelle

    Holy yummy amazing!! This looks great. Thanks. I lived in Thailand for a few months when I was 20 and ate pad thai regularly. Oh this makes me miss it. Gonna try this for sure.



    Starlene Reply:

    @Isabelle, awesome! Okay, since you know what it’s supposed to taste like, you’ll have to let us know if my version is an acceptable substitution for the real thing! Best, Starlene


  • Wow Starlene!! I visit Mel’s blog pretty regularly and did see this recipe. I love your version!! I will have to make this soon. I just ran out of tahini but that shouldn’t be a problem. Thanks for posting!


    Starlene Reply:

    Hi @Magda! It was so delicious. :-) If you try it, you’ll have to let me know what you think of it. Starlene


  • Hello Starlene,

    I’m fairly new to your site, but have subscribed because it is so informative about the GAPS Diet!

    I read several of your posts yesterday about your adrenal and thyroid issues (I also have had issues and hope to clear those up with the diet protocol) and have started the temperature testing for myself today, but just have a digital thermometer — will have to purchase the one you recommend.

    Anyhow, I didn’t find this post until today and CANNOT WAIT to try it!!! We’ve loved Pad Thai and many other Thai dishes, and I’ve known that my creative talent in the kitchen will have to be called upon to continue to eat our favorite dishes grain-free. You’ve done such a wonderful job with this one and will definitely try it once we’re off the Intro — just entered Stage 6 of Intro today (we started on Oct. 1st).

    I look forward to learning so much more from your experience and thank you for sharing.



    Starlene Reply:

    @Beth Wiles, hi there! I would love to know what you think about this version of Pad Thai, since as I mentioned I have never had the “real” version. I thought the digital thermometers were a real boon too, since they are so quick and safe (i.e. no mercury)! But apparently the digital thermometers can become inaccurate as the battery loses its power, or if they are dropped or if they get wet. I didn’t know that. I bought the Geratherm on the recommendation of one of my friends: Thank you for leaving such a nice comment, and I’m glad you are finding my sharing about this to be of help. Also, I am curious what you will find about your temperature. I think it’s just fascinating that we can determine issues by taking our temperature! And I also think it’s amazing how our temps can fluctuate throughout the day and still average out to within a point from day to day! I think I’m going to write a post just about this because it is so amazing to me. :-) Thank you again for reading and subscribing and commenting! :-)


  • Kim Mercer

    We just had this tonight and loved it! DH was even impressed and he’s not on the GAPS diet (he did have his over noodles, I just used the egg “noodle”.)

    I have had pad thai before and this is different than my other one, but I like this one. I think next time, I might add a little white vinegar to the sauce–I didn’t have coconut aminos, which I’m guessing are liquid, so the sauce was a little dry and the vinegar would help and I know my other pad thai recipe calls for some.

    Thanks for posting this!


    Starlene Reply:

    Hi @Kim, thanks for letting me know how this recipe worked out for you and your hubby. The coconut aminos are liquid, similar in taste to soy sauce with a bit more of a fermented flavor to it. I’m glad you liked it. :-)


  • […] Pad Thai (Grain Free, Soy Free, and GAPS Friendly) from Gaps Diet Journey […]

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