Pasta Swaps: Tofu Shirataki, Broccoli Slaw, Zucchini & More

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Here at Hungryland, we LOVE House Foods Tofu Shirataki -- it's our go-to ingredient when creating low-calorie noodle dishes. But there are many other great pasta swaps, perfect for changing things up with those recipes. Check 'em out...

Broccoli cole slaw as pasta swap
  Bagged Broccoli Cole Slaw

Unexpected? Sure. But while working on The Hungry Girl Diet, we discovered that broccoli cole slaw works really well in our Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo!

How-to: The trick here is to cook the slaw until it's super-duper soft. Cook it in a covered skillet with 1/2 cup water (10 minutes or so) or in a covered dish in the microwave with 2 tbsp. water (about 3 minutes).

Swap stats: To use it in a Tofu Shirataki recipe, you want to use 3 cups of raw broccoli cole slaw (it cooks down to about 1 1/2 cups) in place of each bag of noodles. Add 55 calories, 9g carbs, 5g fiber, and 5.5g protein to the recipe (and reduce the fat by a gram).

More ideas: Try it in this Slaw & Order or in our Shrimp 'n Slaw Marinara!  


Zucchini ribbons are a phenomenal fettuccine swap. We tried them in our Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo too, and the results were amazing!

How-to: Start by peeling zucchini into super-thin strips; rotate the zucchini as you slice it. Cook in a covered skillet with 1/3 cup water until tender but al dente (about 5 minutes).

Swap stats: Use 3 cups raw zucchini ribbons (about one 8-oz. zucchini, 1 1/2 cups once cooked) to replace a bag of the noodles. Add 19 calories, 2g carbs, and 2g protein to the recipe (and subtract 0.5g fat and 1.5g fiber).

More ideas: Go halfsies with zucchini and real pasta to make this Super-Sized Spinach Fettuccine Girlfredo. And check out this chilled Zucchini-Ribbon Salad -- the "noodles" don't even need to be cooked!

Zucchini ribbons as pasta swap
Bean sprouts as pasta swap
  Bean Sprouts

These aren't a perfect noodle substitution, but they do the trick, especially in Asian-style dishes, like this Veggie So Low Mein.

How-to: Cook the sprouts just like the broccoli slaw; the softer, the better.

Swap stats: Use 3 cups raw sprouts (they cook down to 1 1/2 cups) in exchange for each bag of Tofu Shirataki; and add 74 calories, 12.5g carbs, 1.5g fiber, and 9g protein to the recipe (subtract 0.5g fat).

More ideas: Bean sprouts make a great addition to saucy Asian-inspired frozen meals! And they ROCK in this chicken Pad Thai recipe.

  Spaghetti Squash

This swaparoo is really versatile. It's excellent with both tomato sauces and creamy ones...

How-to: First, nuke a whole squash for a few minutes to make it easier to cut. Halve lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Fill a large baking pan with 1/2 inch water, and bake squash halves (cut sides down) at 400 degrees until tender, 30 - 40 minutes. To cook it in the microwave, scoop out the seeds from a quarter of the squash, and microwave until soft in a covered wide bowl (cut side down) with 2 tbsp. water, about 8 minutes. Scrape out the strands, drain, and blot dry.

Swap stats: Use 1 1/2 cups cooked squash to replace a bag of the noodles. Then add 43 calories, 9g carbs, and 1g protein to the recipe stats (subtract 0.5g each fat and fiber).

More ideas: Our spaghetti & meatballs makeover is classic, and this Creamy Kale Spaghetti Squash is not to be missed. Click for more info on the big yellow gourd.

Spaghetti squash as pasta swap
High-fiber pasta
  High-Fiber/Whole-Wheat Pasta or FiberGourmet Light

When only real pasta will do, it's important to measure it out. (Click for single-serving measuring tips.) Go for pasta with the highest fiber count you can find -- FiberGourmet is my top pick!

How-to: Just cook dry pasta according to the package instructions.

Swap stats: To use in place of a bag of Tofu Shirataki, use 2 oz. dry pasta (4 oz. cooked). If using FiberGourmet Light Fettuccine, add 100 calories, 36g carbs, 16g fiber, and 6.5g protein.

More ideas: For a slew of high-fiber pasta recipes, click here!


There you have it. Lesson learned here? There are MANY great noodle swaps, but Tofu Shirataki really is the world's lowest-calorie pasta alternative... especially with the new stats, only 10 calories per serving! (Click for more info.) Don't miss our best pasta-swap recipes, and here are more rockin' Tofu Shirataki recipes. Happy chewing!!!


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