A low-carb noodle? Believe it!

Every few years or so, a food product comes along that turns the health and fitness world on its head.  For example, just a handful of years ago, the Acai berry was introduced and prized for its high antioxidant content and good-for you nutrients.  Today I am introducing Shirataki noodles, a low calorie, low fat pasta alternative.

Shirataki noodles are made up of a water soluble fiber called glucomannan.  This type of fiber expands many times after it’s eaten, providing the fullness feeling associated with eating foods high in fiber.  Glucomannan forms a sort of gel in your system, enhancing satiety.  This noodle is made using Konjac flour otherwise known as the Japanese yam, and has been used in weight control and to add another go-to food to your meal plans.  At 20 calories per cup with 2g of fiber, Shirataki noodles make for a great pasta alternative.

Like tofu, Shirataki noodles do not, alone, have much flavor, although they will pick up the flavors of food that it is blended with, like marinades.  When purchased, they are in a bag with water and are ready to eat.  When opened, the noodles will have a saltwater smell that is eliminated by rinsing the noodles under cold running water.  After the noodles have been rinsed, the water content is still quite high so I suggest drying them on paper towels.  This additional step will help dry out the excess moisture, but still allowing for a tasty product.

I have provided the following recipe using Shirataki noodles in place of whole wheat pasta.  You can find Shirataki noodles in the tofu section of the supermarket.

Shirataki noodles with Turkey meatballs & Tomato Ragu

Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients:

1 lb.Shirataki noodles, rinsed thoroughly and dried on paper towels

1 lb.Ground turkey, 99% lean

1 Tbs.Olive oil

½  cupseasoned breadcrumbs

1 eaEgg

2 ea.Cloves garlic, chopped, sautéed in 1 tsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

¼ cupFlour

¼ cupParmesan cheese

2 cupsMushrooms, sliced and sautéed in 1 Tbs. olive oil

1 ea.Yellow squash, sliced

1 ea.Zucchini, green, sliced

2 cupsTomato sauce

1 Tbs.Fresh Parsley, chopped

1 Tbs.Fresh Basil, chopped

1 tsp.Dried Oregano

Method of Preparation

1.Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.In a large bowl, combine turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, herbs and salt and pepper.  Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated. Roll the turkey mixture into meatballs, about 2 oz. each.  Continue this process

until all mixture has been used.

3.In separate dishes, divide the flour and parmesan cheese.  First, roll the meatballs in the flour then the parmesan cheese.  Repeat this process until all meatballs have been coated. Pre heat a skillet with 1 tsp. olive oil.  Add meatballs in hot skillet and brown on all sides.  Place meatballs on a foil lined sheet pan and put in pre heated oven for 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

4.In a small saucepan, heat the tomato sauce, sliced zucchini, squash, and mushrooms over medium high heat.  Once sauce begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low-medium and cover for 20 minutes.

5.Once meatballs are cooked, place the noodles on the plate, top with tomato sauce and meatballs.  Garnish with grated parmesan cheese, if desired.


Nutritional Data

1 heaping cup Shirataki noodles, 3 meatballs & 1 cup sauce:

639 Calories; 73g Protein; 65g Carbohydrates; 22g Fat

Johnathan Zamora
The Fit Chef