Turkey Pad Thai

You think I can't see you over there.

You think I can't see you squishing your nose...rolling your eyes...smacking your foreheads in total exasperation!

But I can.

Let's everybody just caaaalm down.  It's ok to call this delicious and easy stir-fry recipe "pad thai" even if there's turkey, no egg, no rice noodles, and no bean sprouts.  Just, completely.  Let's not freak.  I've taken a lot of liberties with this one, obviously, so let's just establish this as fact and then agree to still say you ate pad thai for dinner, ok?  I will if you will.

Because we have more important things to discuss.

Last night I had dinner with one of my oldest and truest friends.  Whenever we get together it's like the years melt away and we're back in 2nd grade showing each other our retainers.  Cool, right?  We thought so too.

In our mid-20s we were roommates, and despite conflicting work schedules and paying attention to boyfriends we'd manage to reserve most Thursday evenings for what we came to call "roommate bonding" nights.  We'd walk the 12 feet to our favorite spot, down several glasses of wine, and engage in deep and serious "life talks", declaring our hopes and goals at the bar because our future was a giant question mark.  This usually resulted in wine tears and quite a few slurred "we've been friends for soooooo long, let's be friends foreeeeeeever no matter whaaaaatttttt!"s.

Yeah, we were definitely those girls.

Now that we live in the same area, we meet up for dinner whenever we have the chance, and almost everything feels exactly the same.  Except now we have straight teeth and it only takes one glass of wine to get silly. 

But our "life talks" have also changed.  I've noticed we've moved on from planning and have switched over to progress.  Where we are compared to where we said we'd be, and "what if" instead of "when."  It's a subtle, almost imperceptible shift, but it's there.  And, being the Type A freaks that we both are, it got us thinking about the concept of control.  What are the things we can't control in life, and what would life be like if we stopped trying to?

I can't control who likes me.  I can't control what others think and say.  I can't control the successes and failures of others.  And I can't control life's milestones and it's crazy timing.  All super major important things!  Do we need to get over it?  Yeah, I think we do.

Let's give up trying to control these things, and instead share warm fuzzy words instead of cold prickly ones.  Let's ensure that those next in line to achieve something amazing are you and me.  Let's all change our brain waves so we're happier people.  It'll be hard, but we're worth it.

And I know I can't control you, but try not to judge my pad thai.  It'll make you a better person.  And hopefully a better compliment-receiver.

"Ur dinner was better than sliced bread!"
                      -actual text message from appreciative husband

Turkey Pad Thai
Adapted from
Yields 4 servings

4 oz soba noodles
1 1/2 tbs fish sauce
1 1/2 tbs sugar
2 tbs water
1 tbs rice vinegar
1/2 tsp chili powder
(OR you can substitute 4-5 tbs Pad Thai sauce, found in the Asian foods section, for the fish sauce, sugar, water, rice vinegar, and chili powder)
2 tbs canola oil, divided
1 lb turkey breast tenderloins, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 clove garlic, minced
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 c frozen peas
2 tbs pistachios, chopped or left whole (optional)

Follow the package directions to cook the soba noodles to al dente.  You want them soft but still a little firm to the bite.  Drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine the fish sauce, sugar, water, vinegar, and chili powder in a small bowl, and stir until the sugar completely dissolves.  Set aside.  If using pad thai sauce, you can omit this step.

Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, and add 1 tbs of canola oil.  When hot, add your turkey breast.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until completely cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Remove from the skillet, and set aside.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat, and add another tbs of canola oil.  When hot, add the pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, and stir to cook for an additional minute.

Next, add back in the cooked turkey as well as the cooked soba noodles, and stir to combine.  Add in your fish sauce mixture or pad thai sauce, and stir well to combine.

Throw in the scallions and peas and stir well to incorporate, about 1 minute.  Turn off the heat and serve immediately, adding the pistachios over the top for extra crunch!

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