Cashew Veggie Pad Thai

May 11, 2016

Cashew Veggie Pad Thai // by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

We have officially been back in California for a month! Home is a magical place. We are still living in Scott’s family’s vacation home in Irvine while we search for a permanent home in our old neighborhood of east side Costa Mesa. We feel so fortunate to get to take this time to find the “right” place, instead of being forced into what was available when we first landed here several weeks back. I’m also really enjoying the quiet neighborhood life for a bit. I can walk across the street to the farm and stock up on produce at the farm-stand, one of the few (only?) places you can really do this in Orange County. And we have plenty of well-paved streets and sidewalks to explore on our bikes. Grassy green belts. Tall, old trees blooming violet and red flowers. This is a short blip in our life that we are in a situation like this, and I am trying to live in the moment – soaking it up.

Soon we will be back in our cute neighborhood with busier streets, trendier homes, and cool shops. I’m excited to be around more people my age and be close to all of our favorite go-to places – including the beach. But I’m not feeling hurried (other than this home will be needed soon for vacations, so we don’t have but maybe another month to get scootin’). My clothes are still packed in trash bags from the move, leaving me with the option to be “lazy” and only get dressed using the pieces of clothing sitting on the tops of each bag (I’ve worn the same three outfits for a month). I haven’t brushed my hair once (what box did I pack those in again?) and our entire pantry is still sitting on the kitchen counter. We are “in limbo” and I’m just chilling out. Scott works on an old desk in the bedroom by the window, I set up my station at the kitchen table. This home use to be his grandma’s, and much of what she left is still here. Old seashells in baskets, old brown carpet turned green, cobwebs and daddy long legs lurking about – but its cool. No distractions, really. Nothing for me to try to renovate or perfect. We’re just squatting for a bit and, like I said before, chilling out. Life is full of so many seasons, and I love just going with the flow. There is no sense in trying to control the season you are in, or envying others in a different season than your own – although I am guilty of this at times too. Its important to embrace your current season. I don’t think there is anything wrong with setting goals and having dreams, but if we live our lives consumed with tomorrow – who is going to be here for today?

Cashew Veggie Pad Thai // by Faring Well #vegan #recipeCashew Veggie Pad Thai // by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

I made this dish a few weeks back for a project with Urban Outfitters and received a standing ovation from Scott. I think this may be his (and my) new favorite meal so far this year. It is delicious served hot from the skillet, but equally amazing eaten cold from the fridge the next day. I portioned out servings into mason jars in the fridge for easy lunches during the week and felt super accomplished. Especially since the entire dinner is so simple to throw together, and is void of any “nutrition-less” ingredients. I used kelp noodles for the first time, paired with spiralized veggies, and sautéed them with crumbled tempeh. The kelp noodles, once sautéed, remind me so much of ramen its startling. I’m so excited to have discovered them, and once covered in my creamy, zingy cashew sauce they are undeniable. I took a traditional peanut pad thai and made it cashew based instead. After making my sauce both ways, one with cashew and one with peanut, Scott and I both agreed the cashew one was better! The peanut butter flavor tends to overwhelm the other delicious flavors in the sauce and dish, whereas the cashew butter variation let them shine. But of course, use your favorite and it will be delicious nonetheless. And if you find some take-out boxes with disposable chopsticks, it makes for a fun “take out” night-in too.

Cashew Veggie Pad Thai // by Faring Well #vegan #recipeCashew Veggie Pad Thai // by Faring Well #vegan #recipeCashew Veggie Pad Thai // by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

This post was sponsored by Urban Outfitters. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Faring Well by supporting it’s sponsors!

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Makes 3 servings.

1 medium zucchini
2 medium carrots
1 red bell pepper
1 package of kelp noodles
1 package of tempeh
2 tablespoons olive oil

cashew sauce
1/2 cup toasted cashew butter (plain)
1/2 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

cashews, toasted and chopped
fresh cilantro leaves
wedge of lime

Combine the ingredients for the cashew sauce in an upright blender and process until smooth. Transfer to an airtight jar. Can be used right away, or made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to one week.

Wash and pat dry the vegetables for the stir-fry. Using a julienne peeler, make thin vegetable noodles from the carrot and zucchini. Slice the bell pepper in half, remove the stem and seeds, and peel into thin strips as well using a flat blade vegetable peeler. (Or slice very thin using a sharp knife.) Remove the tempeh from the package and crumble into tiny bits over a small bowl.

Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium on the stove. Add the vegetables and tempeh crumbles, and toss while cooking until the veggies are tender, about 3 minutes. Open the bag of kelp noodles and rinse under water for a few seconds. Add to the veggie stir-fry on the stove, and break up the bunch of noodles using tongs until they are well incorporated with the veggies. Continue tossing and cooking for an additional 3 minutes.

Add half the jar of cashew sauce to the sauté pan and toss with tongs to incorporate and warm. Remove the pan from the stove and divide between 3 bowls. Top with your choice of toppings, if desired, and drizzle with more sauce right before serving. Can be eaten warm, or chilled and eaten cold. Just like good Chinese takeout, this dish is super when eaten cold from the fridge for breakfast the following morning.


Cashew Veggie Pad Thai // by Faring Well #vegan #recipe


  • Reply valentina | sweet kabocha May 11, 2016 at 2:54 am

    I know so well the “limbo” sensation :'(

    Anyway, wonderful recipe! Can you send me one box? Pleeeeaaseeee :D

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:40 am


      Thank you about the recipe Valentina! Totally wish I could send you a box, but I think Scott would fight me for it first ;)

  • Reply Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table May 11, 2016 at 5:18 am

    I truly appreciate your ability to take each day as it comes and enjoy the flow of life in-between places. I usually find limbo drives me crazy and makes me feel stilted, but it seems like you’re really managing to adapt. Best of luck with the move!

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Thank you for your sweet words here Ksenia <3 I've struggled with it so in the past, it seems that coming to terms and embracing it has only came through experiencing it over and over - patience is so a virtue, isn't it? One I need a lesson in every day. Hugs to you girl!

  • Reply Michelle @ Hummingbird High May 11, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Home is indeed a magical place; it’s great that you guys have the time to really find a new place to call your own! Almost every move I’ve made has been harried and stressful, and it’s just the worst.

    This pad thai tho.

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:43 am

      It so is! Thank you for your kind words here Michelle. And I’m so sorry for your stressful moves! Hoping you get to settle into “home” and not deal with those anymore very soon.

  • Reply Lily | Kale & Caramel May 11, 2016 at 9:50 am

    YUM! This looks so amazing, Jessie. Looking forward to having you closer to LA so we can have kelp noodle parties someday soon! I’m glad Cali is welcoming you back into its easy embrace. I’m so in love with this state, too.

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Aw thank you Lily! It feels so wonderful to be back, and I cannot wait for our first meet up + hang!

  • Reply Shelley Ludman May 11, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Girl, the light in this new (temporary) house is AHHMAZING. Your photos are stunning as usual, but there’s just something about the light. Magic. That cashew sauce sounds mega dreamy, can’t wait to try it.

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Shelley! You are making me blush hardcore sweet friend. There is so something about this California light that is making me go ga-ga too! I hope you get to try this recipe soon, we are so in love and I feel like you would extra like it too! xoxo

  • Reply Lauren May 11, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I’m admittedly terrible at “going with the flow,” but am really trying to embrace the “wherever you are right now is perfect” mentality lately. Like you said, you miss out on today if you’re always consumed with tomorrow! I’ve never heard of kelp noodles — do they taste… fishy? I just bought a jar of cashew butter, lucky me!

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Way to go girl! Its so hard to do if you’re not constantly trying to be intentional about it, so that is just so wonderful that you are seeking to do so! Thinking of you today and hoping you are feeling super “present”. As for the kelp noodles – so crazy, not fishy at all! They remind me of ramen in the best way. XO

  • Reply Kate May 11, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    This seriously looks amazing and I may or may not be making it for dinner! Drool!

    I was wondering where you guys were in Cali and if you would be heading back to your old stomping grounds. I hope you guys find your dream home is Costa Mesa! Then I will just have to come visit from Australia… Hehe.

    Enjoy this chill time. It is so rare we get it (I miss the days of having school holidays!!) and it needs to be soaked up and enjoyed.

    Loving everything you’re doing, as always. xxx

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Kate! You are the sweetest friend! Please do come back to Cali and visit us :) we are looking for a little home in Costa Mesa, you were right! Hope you and your guy + family are doing wonderfully. Dying to try that Rushmore Coffee you amazing girl, you! xo

  • Reply Jess | Urban Alchemy May 11, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    It’s words like ” if we live our lives consumed with tomorrow – who is going to be here for today? ” that make you my favorite blogger. And food like ^^, there’s that too ;)

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Jess! I adore you. Thank you for your sweet comment + always being such a light in this space. Its people like you motivating me to do what I do every day, I appreciate you friend!

  • Reply Maya | Spice + Sprout May 11, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    I love your sentiments on life and living in the moment! As I was reading this post I was like “I can’t wait until I am living somewhere full of sunshine and markets and veggie pad thai” and then I had to take a second look at what I was reading and was all “oh riiiight, Jessie is saying that everyone needs to live in their own moment!” Haha anyways, beautiful post as always, thanks for the awesome vibes xo

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:50 am

      Aw Maya! That is so neat. I am so over the moon that this post spoke to you, and grateful for your compliments too! Always making me blush. Super appreciate you! Happy week to you girl <3

  • Reply Amy May 12, 2016 at 7:40 am

    I need to find myself some kelp noodles! And I love your carry-out boxes – perfect for this type of recipe. Super yummy!

  • Reply Jodi May 12, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Jessie – sometimes you just have a way with words that hits home with me. I guess now is especially timely because of our recent move too and the fact that I have been wearing the same outfit for almost a week now (where did I pack all those other clothes? I’ll look tomorrow). My yoga mat and hiking shoes have made it out and that’s all that really counts these days. I’m in love with that photo of the sauce in the blender – I ran around our new home the other day holding a ceramic tile filled with sushi trying to find the right light here :) Looks like you’ve found a magic spot in your home between homes that works really well – this shots are so bright and cheerful. Love everything here :) xx

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Jodi – I love how we are so often in similar spots in life. Such as right now, it seems spot on! I so appreciate you sharing those similar things your going through here, and am so encouraged by you and Matt and your adventurous hearts! Looks like you nailed the “light” too for your sushi post cause its freaking beautiful and has me wanting to roll up a batch ASAP! So many x’s and o’s <3 thank you for being you Jodi!

  • Reply La petite poire May 12, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Photos are beautiful and this recipe sounds amazing! I cant wait to give it a try. Thanks for sharing x

  • Reply Emily | Gather & Dine May 13, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    So excited for this beautiful and uncomplicated vegan version of pad-thai! I find most take-out versions of pad-thai much too sweet for my own tastes and I’m always on the lookout for a good home-cooked version. The fact that you are able to take such stunning photos in the midst of being in your “in limbo” phase speaks to your creativity and adaptability. Girl, you are awesome. :)

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:54 am

      Aw Emily! Thank you! You are too too sweet friend. I appreciate you and your comments here every week. And I also hope you get to try and love this recipe soon! Let me know how it goes :)

  • Reply Stefanie May 16, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Such an amazing recipe! I tried it yesterday with a friend and we loved it! And thanks for bringing up cashew-butter – I’ve never heard of it before and it’s def one of my new favorite ingredients! :-)

    • Reply Faring Well May 17, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Stefanie! That is so amazing to hear, so very glad! YAY. And I know right, that stuff is magical <3

  • Reply Melo from Belgium May 19, 2016 at 3:51 am

    Made this yesterday, toooootally awesome as usual! Never been disappointed in the least by any of your recipes, they’ve even conquered my boyfriend who’s a die-hard meat-addict, so thank you so much for helping me to get him there, slowly… ;)
    And by the way, he hates it when the peanuty/almondy flavor is too strong, which is kind of the point in a pad thai, so I tweaked your recipe a bit by replacing the peanut butter by one avocado and a few teaspoons of almond butter, it made the trick in terms of texture and met the overwhelming approval of everyone around the table!
    Keep up the good work!

    • Reply Faring Well May 19, 2016 at 11:54 am

      Hi Melo! Sheesh, you are so sweet – thank you for wiring me this! I’m so happy to hear the recipe won you and your bf over – YAY. And such a neat idea with the avocado, I’m glad it turned out well! The cashew butter I use here is so super mild in flavor (almost nonexistent) so if you do ever pick up a jar and want to test it – it might be light enough for your bf too! Hugs!

      • Reply Melo from Belgium May 20, 2016 at 3:01 am

        Hi Jessie, thanks for your sweet reply! Now that’s interesting – the mild cashew butter I mean -, personnaly I go bonkers for cashew butter but since my boyfriend hates it so much when the taste is overly present, I kinda dropped it lately, so if you have a suggestion about a brand or variety that’s mild enough, I’d be soooo happy to be able to use it! Xoxo

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