Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Curious Case of Shirataki

This week I managed to hit a pretty big milestone-- dropped a size in clothing. Which is awesome.

Anyway, since I spend a lot of time on both thedailyplate.com which is an excellent free resource for tracking your calorie and nutritional consumption (although lacking in the vitamin dept) and also a lot of time looking at weird foods on the internet, I've been put in an ad targeting pocket for diets. I saw this ad that was like "miracle noodles" and I wondered...could they be talking about Shirataki?

Once, about 2 years ago, I saw a bag of tofu shirataki in my local whole foods. I have insulin resistence, so I always am looking for good sources of carbohydrates and more protein. Anyway, I bought the bag thinking "yummy protein pasta" and ended up chucking it because after I opened it it smelled like magic markers and paint drying and I couldn't bring myself to eat something that smelled like that.

Well, I'm over myself. I did a little research on the interweb. Shirataki is the new oolong tea or acai berry--something most of us have known about for a while but now it is the "new miracle diet food." Granted, shirataki is sort of a miracle diet food. The real stuff has about 6 calories a cup (compared to pasta's 140-200) and is extremely filling. HOWEVER it is not really pasta-like. If you approach it more like a noodle shaped foodstuff (in the same way that soba noodles and spaghetti squash are pasta-like, but simultaneously different) you'll be happier with it. Tofu shirataki is considerably more palatable, consistency-wise, than ordinary yam shirataki, which is supposedly rubbery and gross. The smell can be reduced with thorough washing and a solid parboil. Armed with five dollars, I set off for the whole foods to purchase some of the stuff.

I bought some fettucini style, thinking that wide flat noodles might be easier to pass off as something other than spaghetti, went home and set to rinsing them thoroughly in 125 degree water. I then set a pot to boil for the parboil (seriously guys, this smell is something else) and started a little "get your nutrients on" sauce on the side, made of Yves Ground, Rao's Tomato sauce, broccoli and spinach. The point of pasta, for me, is the way delicious sauces wrap around the noodles, not the noodles themselves. I made a TON of sauce, probably 3x as much as I'd need, but I figured if the noodles were again inedible, I could just eat the yves/veggie concoction and call it a night.

After a 4 minute parboil, I rinsed, blotted and tasted one of the noodles. It tasted like nothing, and sort of had the consistency of glass noodles, so I dumped the shirataki into my sauce, stirred and then parceled it off. Overall, not a terribly high calorie meal, packed with protein-- came in at 365 calories (using 1/2 package shirataki, 1/2 package yves, 1 c broccoli cuts, 1/3 c frozen spinach and 3/4 c Rao's) per serving, with 31g Carbohydrates, 13 of them are fiber, 37g Protein and 10g fat. Not terrible.

So next week maybe I'll try either a shirataki and chreese or shirataki w/ peanut sauce. I also probably need to work on my food photography. Maybe I should refresh on VeganYumYum's big mfing photography post. But I think she's way more visual artsy than I am. It looks gross, but it's actually really tasty and really filling. I promise. =)

1 comment:

Jeni Treehugger said...

WOW! Congrats on the weight loss. I've put on 2 kilos in the last month!
This shirataki sounds intriguing and I'm certainly loving the calories!