Hey, it’s Rebecca, Greg’s more diet conscious counterpart, here to talk about pasta. Yes, pasta again. Why pasta? Well, let’s face it, pasta is something everyone loves. I don’t think I could trust a person that did not like pasta dishes. Unfortunately, most noodles are high in dreaded carbohydrates and then made worse by poorly considered sauces. Don’t get me wrong; I love me a bowl of nice fat noodles smothered in a rich cream sauce. However, dishes like that should be like Cookie Monster’s cookies…a sometimes food.
What is a noodle fan to do? The common answer has always been to switch to whole-wheat pasta. Despite people’s reaction to many brands, there are good whole-wheat pastas out there; you just have to be willing to eat a few meals of gritty cardboard noodles until you find a brand you like. I mentioned it in my last post here on What Greg Eats, but I’ll say it again. I really like Gia Russa brand. Then I started hearing about this miracle noodle, tofu shirataki.
What makes shirataki so darn special? Well, a 2-ounce serving has only 20 calories and 3 grams of carbs. It even has a little protein to boot. It has no cholesterol, no sugar, and is gluten-free. How is that possible? Well, this is not made out of traditional ingredients. Shirataki noodles are made with filtered water, tofu, and yam flour. The shirataki noodles I tried were purchased at my local grocery store in what I refer to as the “hippy section”. They were with the soymilk and dairy-free cream cheeses. The noodles are in a bag of water. Preparing the noodles was a little odd, but easy. You drain the noodles and rinse them. Then microwave them for one minute and dry them. After that, you use them as you would any cooked noodle.
In my case, we divided the noodles (one package was two servings) into two large bowls. I made a broth with two cans of low-fat low-sodium chicken broth, a splash of low-sodium soy sauce, minced garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes, chopped mushrooms, and a little spinach. Once the broth was piping hot and the spinach was wilted, I just ladled the broth over the noodles until they were fully covered. Tah-dah!
The real question is how do they taste. The answer is a surprising, pretty darn good. Everyone says tofu has no flavor, but anyone who has tried working with it knows that it does have an odd flavor of its own. You couldn’t taste it in the noodles at all. I even tried one before I put broth on it to check. The noodles were thin, but very elastic. They had al dente firmness and the amusing bounciness of a rubber band. Really, it was quite charming. In addition, it convinced me that these noodles could hold up to a tomato sauce.
For me, tofu shirataki noodles are a gift from the pasta gods, a low fat, low-carb, low-calorie miracle. Hallelujah!
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