Zero Carb Noodles
A short time ago I came across a new product, House Foods Shirataki white yam noodles. Hmmm.....I thought. Could this be? A truly zero carb product, no calories? This does sound too good to be true, but was does it taste like? That is always the question. The noodles in question come in liquid filled pouches, as they are a fresh noodle. They come in three different types: Fettuccini, spaghetti, and traditional shirataki, among others. These were the three I was able to find. Upon contacting the company for further details, they supplied the nutritional info and a recipe from Alexander Weiss, a MasterChef Junior winner in the UK, who won this award at the tender age of 14. (There’s a boy with a career path well underway!) I include the recipe and photos I took of the finished dishes below. The local Metro carries the noodles in the tofu section (you would need to check availability in your own area), even though they are not tofu. Let’s get to the recipe, and then my comments after trying the product.
Alexander’s Pesto with Mushrooms and Vegetables
(For the pesto sauce)
1 Package of House Foods Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine, Spaghetti or Traditional Noodles
1 Large bunch of basil, washed (about 1 ½ cups)
3 Cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
⅓ Cup toasted walnuts
½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ Cup grana padano cheese, or parmigiano reggiano
Salt and pepper to taste
½ Cup English fresh peas
2 Thinly sliced shallots
½ Cup blanched asparagus TIPS (blanch in boiling water for 1 min)
1 Large handful of your favorite mushroom, (chanterelle, cremini, shiitake, black trumpet, etc)
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
⅓ Cup toasted pine nuts, salted
Salt and pepper
In a food processor or a blender, blitz the basil, garlic, walnuts, and cheese together until it is well chopped. In a slow and steady stream, drizzle in the olive oil while blending. Once the pesto is smooth and well blended, season with salt and pepper to your liking. Open the package of Shirataki Noodles, drain in a colander, rinse, and boil the noodles in salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and toss in pesto sauce. Plate with the vegetables.
In a searing hot pan, add in 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Heat until just starting to smoke, then add in the mushrooms and flip around w/ salt and pepper, until well seared. Remove from heat. In a large pot, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Once warm, add in peas, shallots, and asparagus tips. Season w/ salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 min, or until veggies are warmed in the olive oil.
Now for my comments: In a word, I loved the noodles and the recipe. They refer to the veggies as a garnish, but it is actually a generous serving of veggies on top of the noodles. It looks beautiful (see photo), and if you want a special dish to serve to your friends and family, this qualifies, especially for those family members on a low carb diet. As for the specifics, I used shiitake mushrooms, and as fresh English peas are a rarity these days, opted for frozen. I also used two packages, one the fettuccini, the other spaghetti, just to give it a go with two different styles. Each pouch serves one in my opinion. By now you are thinking, OK, OK, enough of the chef talk, but how did it taste? These noodles definitely need a sauce, but then you would not eat plain pasta either. The texture is a little different, not the al dente of pasta, that most people expect. They are a little firmer to the bite, but not unpleasantly so. These were also tested on Taste Tester 1, and he found it very good as well. The price comparison to pasta says that pasta wins out pricewise, as the noodles are more expensive. Will I buy these again? Definitely. When you consider zero carbs and calories, they have something going here.
#1. Alexander Weiss’ Pesto with Mushrooms and Vegetables, Fettuccini
#2. Alexander Weiss’ Pesto with Mushrooms and Vegetable, Spaghetti
House Foods. www.house-foods.com Last accessed June 21, 2015.
Weiss, Alexander. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2822115/They-lot-harder-look-14-year-old-MasterChef-Junior-winner-attempts-Dominique-Ansel-s-home-Cronut-recipe.html. Last accessed June 28, 2015.