This Sweet Potato Pad Thai Is The Definition Of Healthy Comfort Food

Master this recipe and you'll never order it again.

jacqueline alwill, the brown paper bag, pad thai, healthy pad thai, sweet potato pad thai
Image: Jacqueline Alwill,

It’s Sunday night, you’re tired (maybe hungover, no judgement) and you’d rather starve than leave the sofa to cook yourself a nutritious dinner. So you order takeaway, probably pad thai. It’s undeniably one of our favourite meals. You happily eat the whole thing, probably from the container (because cbf cleaning) and then, naturally, you feel ill.

That’s the thing about “comfort food”, it’s usually not comforting at all. That being said, it can be, all it takes is a bit of tweaking and nutritionist, Jacqueline Alwill has done just that. She’s healthified our favourite indulgence to make it free of gluten, sugar, and guilt. And the best bit is that it requires minimal effort so it’s an easy, throw-together meal that will actually hit the spot. This is real comfort food.

“This is a great option for a purely plant-based meal, rich in quality carbohydrates, fibre, antioxidants and deliciously satisfying healthy fats (from cashews) for our appetite, energy and heart. Of course, you’re welcome to add a protein of choice and with any leftover satay sauce simply save it for a rice paper or spinach roll up session the next day! – Jacqueline Alwill.

Sweet Potato Pad Thai Recipe


GF | DF | SF | V

Serves 4 as a light meal  


1 large (750g) sweet potato, peeled and noodled
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 bunch broccolini, cut into thirds
1 small red capsicum
200g zucchini, cut into strips
1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped

Satay sauce
1/2 cup cashew butter
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (approximately 1 lime)
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup water

To serve
spring onions, peanuts, lime wedges



  1. Combine all ingredients for satay sauce in a blender and blitz until creamy. Set aside.


  1. Shorten the sweet potato noodles ever so slightly, as you would like to pick them up and eat them.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large fry pan or wok on medium high heat, add broccolini, capsicum, zucchini and coriander stalks and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add sweet potato noodles and cook for 5 minutes or so (until tender), tossing occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat, garnish with extra spring onions, peanuts and lime wedges, drizzle satay sauce over and serve.

+ Notes and Inspiration  Because there isn’t a meat-based protein, keep the zucchini larger so they have some ‘meatiness’ to them. Add extra veggies should you wish—we added roasted baby eggplant and it was delicious.

Want another healthy take on a Thai favourite? Try this chicken and tofu laksa.

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Jacqueline Alwill
Jacqueline Alwill is a qualified nutritionist, personal trainer and mother. Jacqueline believes that living optimally is about finding the balance on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level, loving your body and feeling well nourished. Jacqueline has always loved food, it started young and the passion hasn’t dimmed. She wanted to teach people to have a similar love for their health and nutrition, which is where The Brown Paper Bag has grown from. Jacqueline's company, The Brown Paper Bag originated from a simple concept: sharing nutritious food. A little bundle of wholefood goodness waiting for you in a Brown Paper Bag, at home or as you leave her nutrition practice because good health and good food is about sharing it with those around you. Brown Paper Bag is now one of the most in demand Sydney wholefoods catering services with the who’s who of the corporate, fashion and media industry. But the sharing doesn’t just stop there, Jacqueline has a regular health blog on RUSSH magazine and regularly provides her nutritional opinion on news such as The Project, Sky Business, Dolly Magazineetc. Jacqueline is currently busy working on her ambassador roles with the Bioglan Superfoods Program and five:am, healthy breakfast range assisting with nutritional info, recipes and expert opinion. Away from the kitchen, Jacqueline is an avid runner and a bit of a marathon junkie.