By Jenn Walters for FitBottomedGirls.com
I love pasta. Like, I would eat it every night if I could. But alas, pasta is high in calories—even the whole-wheat, high-fiber kinds—and I don’t do pasta portion-control well. A half-cup serving just isn’t enough in my book, no matter how much I try to fill up with a side salad. So, when I first heard about Tofu Shirataki Noodles, I was elated. These noodles are made out of tofu, which is a tad odd I’ll admit (and I’m even a regular tofu nut), but one package has only 40 calories, one gram of fat, four grams of fiber and two grams of protein. Wow.
I’d heard mixed reviews about the noodles. Hungry Girl is a huge proponent of them, but even she admits that they’re not for everyone. I figured that for 40 calories it was definitely worth trying. I picked up four packages of the noodles—two spaghetti and two fettuccine—at Whole Foods. Each package costs about $1.75, so it wasn’t crazy expensive. With my new noodles, I tried three different ways to munch them up, all which had some pros and cons that I’d thought I’d share.
3 Ways to Eat Tofu Shirataki Noodles
1. Fettuccine with salmon and broccoli. I’d heard about Hungry Girl’s fettuccine alfredo recipe, so it was a natural noodle starting point. I have to admit, I wasn’t that impressed. The recipe was fine, it only took five minutes to make (in the microwave, too, which was awesome), and it was filling, but the fettuccine noodles were really chewy and kind of slimy. I added more Parmesan, loads of freshly ground black pepper, salmon and steamed broccoli, which helped, but, sadly, it still wasn’t my fave.
2. In soup. You can use the noodles in a variety of ways, including soup. I had recently bought a can of Progresso’s Hearty Tomato Soup, so I decided to give it a go. Once added, the noodles were still chewy and slimy, but I liked them better when they weren’t the star of the show. In fact, you could make a full meal of the soup by adding in some low-fat turkey meatballs. It would be like SpaghettiOs, only good for you. After this revelation, the noodles started to grow on me.
3. Stir-fry them. I like stir-fry almost as much as I like pasta. And what better way to combine my two food loves than to make stir-fry with pasta? Delish. I browned some tofu (you could easily use chicken instead), stir-fried loads of fresh veggies, stirred up some low-fat peanut sauce, and then tossed the remaining two packages of the spaghetti noodles with the deliciousness. (See photo above for proof.) The spaghetti noodles were thinner and therefore less chewy, and my husband had no idea he wasn’t eating normal pasta. A stir-fry success? Yes!
There are a few things to remember when cooking with Tofu Shirataki Noodles. First, to cut down on the chewiness, be sure to drain the noodles and dry them off well with paper towels before cooking them. Also, the noodles can be a bit long, so either run your knife through them to avoid excessive slurping or be prepared to slurp away! Other than that, get creative and enjoy the tofu-noodley goodness.
August 17th, 2011