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04.02.08
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Hey HG!

I was wondering what your thoughts are about rice noodles. Are they any lower in calories than regular pasta? What about other types of noodles?

I Love Noodles

Dear I Love Noodles,

Okay, who DOESN'T love noodles? But I think I love them too much. I find it a little hard to stop eating them once I start. In fact, I had pretty much given up on pasta before I discovered Tofu Shirataki noodles. I used to stir-fry bean sprouts with tomato sauce and sprinkle reduced-fat parmesan on them and PRETEND I was eating spaghetti. It was delicious (very!), but not exactly like eating the real thing. So, back to your question. Rice noodles, unfortunately, are not really much lower in calories than regular noodles. They're a bit softer and smoother than traditional pasta, but they're not really more diet-friendly. And udon noodles (those thick Asian ones) are no different. For the most part, noodles are noodles. A (prepared) cup of regular pasta, rice noodles, or udon noodles averages about 210 calories, 1g fat, and 2g fiber (POINTS® value 4*). Glass noodles (or "cellophane" noodles) are more slippery and seem like they would be WAY better for you than other noodles, but really they're not -- a cooked cup is a little lower in calories (about 160) and fat-free but has virtually no fiber (POINTS® value 3*). Whole wheat ones are slightly lower in calories than regular noodles (and they do have more fiber!) -- a cup of 'em cooked has around 180 calories, 1g fat, and 4g fiber (POINTS® value 3*). And egg noodles are slightly HIGHER in calories and fat with around 220 calories, 3g fat, and 2g fiber (POINTS® value 4*) per 1-cup serving. Your best bets, when it comes to noodle-swapping, are House Foods Tofu Shirataki noodles (these are CRAZY-LOW in calories but a bit slippery -- great for soups, casseroles, and cheesy dishes) and FiberGourmet pasta (perfect for traditional Italian dishes). A heaping cup of Tofu Shirataki noodles has 40 calories, 1g fat, and 4g fiber (POINTS® value 0*)! A cup of cooked FiberGourmet pasta has 120 - 130 calories, 1g fat, and an insane 18 - 20g fiber (POINTS® value 2*). Click here for TONS more info on Tofu Shirataki and FiberGourmet. And remember, the most deceiving noodles of all are those clear, innocent-looking glass ones. They look and FEEL like they would have hardly any calories at all, but don't be fooled!!!


Hungry Girl,

What is the best way to turn Fiber One cereal into crumbs for some of your recipes? How can I pulverize those little crunchies without making a huge mess? I tried putting the cereal in a baggie and crushing it with a metal measuring cup. It was very slow and ineffective, and I made a mess because of small tears in the bag. Any advice?

Crumby with F1
Dear Crumby with F1,

Sounds like a messy situation to me! I have tried the old smashing-Fiber-One-in-a-baggie trick and didn't have a huge amount of luck. The biggest problem for me wasn't the mess. It was that I couldn't get the pieces small enough. When you use F1 for "breadcrumbs" in HG recipes, you should pretty much turn it into DUST. So the best way to get that done is by putting it in a blender or food processor. The thing is, lots of people have issues with these appliances -- either they don't own one (or just hate to bust it out to pulverize some Fiber One), or they forget that the thing has to be COMPLETELY dry when grinding the cereal and wind up ruining the batch by getting it all wet and clumpy. I like to grind up a whole lot of it at once and then keep a big airtight container of the crumbs on hand for recipes. If you do this, know that 1/4 cup of the crumbs is equal to about 1/2 cup of the cereal. Another GREAT option for Fiber One "crumbing" is to use a coffee grinder. It's small, easy to use, and pretty inexpensive, too. But you might want to designate it as a food-only grinder -- I don't think bran-flavored coffee would be very good! And remember to always use the original F1 cereal. BTW, for those of you who are unfamiliar with HG's famous "F1 breadcrumb" recipes, take a peek at our Lord of the Onion Rings, Too-Good-To-Deny Pumpkin Pie, Jalapeno Swappers, Apple iCobbler, and Fiber-ific Chicken Parm (just to name a few), and check out the first HG book for some more Fiber One recipes, tips and tricks. Happy pulverizing!

 
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*The Points® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the Points® registered trademark.