Low Calorie Pasta Swap: Shirataki!
Who doesn’t love pasta! But an average serving contains so many calories and carbs that most of us either splurge to the point of excess or skimp to the point of deprivation. What if there was actually a noodle that was low in calories and can satisfy your carb cravings? Introducing the Shirataki noodle.
What are Shirataki Noodles?
Tofu Shirataki noodles are translucent, gelatinous Japanese noodles made from konjac yam. They come pre-cooked and pre-packaged in small refrigerated bags. Though a bit watery at first with a slight odor, once prepared, these noodles absorb the flavors of what they are cooked in. Because they are pre-cooked, their consistency and texture is softer than regular noodles. They come in fun shapes like fettuccine, spaghetti, macaroni, and angel hair (but watch out for the tangles in the angel hair!). Once only found in Asian markets, you can now buy them in many grocery stores in the refrigerated section, by the produce, near the tofu and other vegetarian items.
How to Prepare:
There is an art to preparing these little noodles, but it’s fool proof if you follow a few important steps:
- Empty noodles into a strainer, and rinse them with running water to get rid of the liquid in the package.
- Dry them as thoroughly as possible by blotting very well with paper towels. Remove as much liquid moisture as you can- this is VERY important!
- Cut up the long strands with kitchen shears- it’s actually pretty fun!
- Heat noodles for a minute or two in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. Blot noodles once more if you use the microwave.
Shirataki Nutrition Facts:
Per serving (4 oz., ½ bag):
10 calories, 0.5g fat, 15mg sodium, 3g carbs, 2g fiber, 0g sugar, <1g protein
There are a lot of recipes available using these “magical” noodles. Explore a range to fit your taste, such as Low Mein, Fettuccine Alfredo, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Chicken Pad Thai, Shrimp Scampi with Fettuccine, and the list goes on. Remember to use low fat ingredient swaps for healthier leaner pasta dishes. Also, bulk up your entrée with tons of veggies for a filling, satisfying dish that rivals other high calorie pasta meals!
So now you really can have your pasta, and eat it too!!