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Replacing Shirataki with Pasta, Plus Small-Kitchen Essentials & Recipes!
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Replacing Shirataki with Pasta, Plus Small-Kitchen Essentials & Recipes!

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08.15.12
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Hi Hungry Girl,

I love your pasta recipes, but I am not a fan of the tofu shirataki noodles. Can I use whole-wheat pasta in these recipes instead? If I do, exactly how will it affect the calorie count of the recipe?

Shirataki Swapper

Hi Swapper,

I know, I know... not everyone loves those noodles as much as I do. (I highly suggest you try following these HG prep steps before giving up on 'em!) That said, you can make pretty much any recipe that calls for tofu shirataki with regular whole-wheat (or any high-fiber) pasta. Here's how...

Just prepare 2 oz. uncooked high-fiber fettuccine or spaghetti per package instructions, and use that instead of a bag of tofu shirataki. You have to cook the noodles before you start the recipe, since tofu shirataki is pretty much ready to go out of the bag (once drained and rinsed). This'll add about 150 calories and 35 grams of carbs to the recipe. With all of the other calorie-slashing methods used in HG pasta recipes -- low-fat cheeses, low-cal sauces, etc. -- the results will still be WAY better than restaurant versions!

There are also many HG recipes that call for regular high-fiber pasta. These we bulk up with LOTS of veggies. Check out our Chunky Eggplant Penne for Two, BBQ Veggie Pasta Salad, BLT-rific Mac 'n Cheese, and Creamy Dreamy Macaroni Salad.

Other pasta swaps to consider? Spaghetti squash, zucchini (cut into ribbons), and broccoli cole slaw. Use 'em solo, or mix them with real pasta. And speaking of real pasta, the favorite here at the HG HQ is FiberGourmet -- it has more fiber and fewer calories than the average whole-wheat pasta. Definitely worth checking out. Happy noodle chewing!

Hi HG,

This fall I'm finally moving off campus into my own apartment -- so excited to have my own kitchen at last! I can't wait to make your delicious recipes. My one dilemma is that I won't have room for much in my tiny kitchen. What do you recommend in terms of appliances and recipes?

Undergrad in an Undersized Kitchen

Hi Undergrad,

Congrats on getting your first place! The good news about HG recipes is that they don't require many kitchen tools -- no schmancy immersion blenders or flour sifters here! When it comes to cookware and baking needs, stick to the basics... a pot, a skillet, a baking sheet, an 8" X 8" baking pan, and a spatula. You'll also want a set of measuring cups and spoons (and maybe a small food scale).

If there's one (tiny) appliance worth making a little space for, it's a Magic Bullet. It isn't cheap, but it's an excellent investment. It's perfect for pulverizing Fiber One cereal into crumbs (for HG faux-fry recipes) and turning light string cheese sticks into grated cheese (for pizzas and more). Of course if you don't have a Magic Bullet, you can always crush the cereal in a plastic bag with a heavy soup can and just pull the string cheese into shreds. The Bullet is also good for pretty much any small blender task.

When it comes to recipes, there are SO MANY Hungry Girl creations that are ideal for a small kitchen space. Egg mugs are great because you need only a microwave, a large microwave-safe mug, and some nonstick spray. You can also make cake in a mug! Keep a box of Boca burgers in your freezer -- they're great for single-serving recipes. And while grilled cheese is a college-apartment staple, make sure you stick with guilt-free recipes like these! Here's a roundup of HG couples and trios, a.k.a. recipes with three ingredients or less. I've also got a slew of recipes that don't require any cooking at all... In fact, tomorrow's email is devoted to no-cook recipes for one!

Best of luck with your new apartment (and the upcoming semester)!

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