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Hungry Girl Today: 12.02.11
GIRLS BITE OUT
Today, we here at Hungry Girl are saluting one of the most divisive ingredients in the HG arsenal. Some people love it; some don't get the appeal. Either way, this email is for you, because this incredibly low-calorie pasta swap is worth getting to know a little better. So dive into a bowl of information about the best guilt-free noodles around... House Foods Tofu Shirataki!
What Is It?
PER SERVING (4 oz., 1/2 bag): 10 calories, 0.5g total fat (0g sat fat), 15mg sodium, 3g carbs, 2g fiber, 0g sugars, <1g protein -- SmartPoints® value 0*
"Tofu Shirataki is a great pasta alternative made from blending the root of the Konnyaku -- a member of the yam family -- and tofu. It is a healthy, uniquely textured noodle. [It] pleases people of all ages!"
Yes, this low-carb pasta swap is a bit "bouncier" and slightly more slippery than conventional noodles... But if you eat lots of pasta (or want to eat lots of pasta!), give these noodles a try. Find them in the refrigerated section where the tofu is stocked -- click for a store list -- floating in bags of liquid. Don't be scared! We'll talk you through exactly what to do with them -- read on!
Why Do We Love It?
The Fun Shapes! This noodle swap is readily available in fettuccine, spaghetti, and angel hair shapes. (Pssst... The angel hair gets tangled kinda easily!) A macaroni-shaped variety was recently added to the lineup, so look for that in select locations or order online! (It's really good.)
The Swap Factor! While the texture isn't EXACTLY like that of regular pasta, the facts are plain -- ounce for ounce, ordinary cooked pasta has about ten times as many calories as Tofu Shirataki noodles. BOOM.
The Volume! Even though a serving of these noodles is technically half the bag, we almost never eat less than a bagful. Which is OK, because that's ONLY 40 calories!
The Versatility! These noodles are amazing in creamy sauces and all sorts of Asian-style dishes. (They don't work quite as well in thin tomato-based sauces.) You can microwave them, prepare them in a skillet, or bake them. See? VERSATILE.
The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss Cheese - This cheese is prone to showing up on BFF lists... but that's just because it gets along with everyone! A wedge of it is 100 percent integral to our Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo... as well as a bazillion spin-off recipes. (If the original Girlfredo is Happy Days, these recipes are like Joanie Loves Chachi, Laverne & Shirley, and Mork & Mindy.)
Doppelganger Alert! Miracle Noodles - This shirataki-only noodle product is not the same thing! Sure, it's practically calorie-free... but we don't like the texture quite as much as today's tofu-added honoree.
Strainers, Scissors, and Paper Towels - Allow us to explain in a special section called...
How Do I Prepare It?
It's as easy as 1-2-3... 4!
Step 1: Empty your noodles into a strainer, and rinse them with water to get rid of the liquid they were packed in.
Step 2: Dry them as thoroughly as possible by blotting with paper towels -- remove as much moisture as possible. We cannot stress enough how important this is.
Step 3: Cut them up a bit; they can be VERY long. (Fun fact: We once found a noodle that was six feet long!) Kitchen shears (scissors you use only for food) make this super-easy.
Step 4: Heat your noodles for a minute or two in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. (If microwaving, you may want to blot for liquid one more time before adding sauce.) TADA!
Tofu Shira-tastic Recipe Roundup
Now put all this noodle-y knowledge into action with these recipes!
So Low Mein w/ Chicken - An old-school recipe that we love just as much as the first time we made it and tasted it. True love lasts a lifetime!
Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo - Our most beloved pasta dish... Try it and see why!
Totally PUMPin' Fettuccine - Pumpkin is AWESOME on pasta. No joke!
Rockin' Tuna Noodle Casserole - A guilt-free spin on a classic recipe. Make our version -- we won't tell Mom.
Chicky Pad Thai - SO much less fat and fewer oily calories than restaurant versions. This swap is worth making!
Super-Delicious Shrimp Scampi with Fettuccine - If buttery seafood with pasta is your downfall, our recipe will pick you right up. YUM!
Simply the Pesto Spaghetti - Fresh herbs? Check. Yummy cheeses? Check. Lots of oil and unnecessary carbs? NOPE! This dish has everything you want and nothin' that you don't.
Cin-sational Cincinnati Chili - Who wouldn't want nicely spiced chili served over pasta? Our recipe will even appeal to non-Ohioans.
Crazy-Good Cold Sesame Noodles - Another fabulous takeout swap. Reduced-fat peanut butter really does the trick here...
Beef Strogataki - Noodles... beef... creamy sauce... onions... We're craving this dish right now!!!
Super-Duper Spaghetti Pie Part Deux - We're betting you've never had anything quite like this pie. And it has PUMPKIN in it. (WHAT?! We know!)
Chicken Carbonara a la Hungry Girl - Who would've thought that a creamy, bacon-y pasta dish could be low in calories? Ye of little faith...
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CHEW ON THIS:
Today, December 2nd, is National Fritters Day. We're suggesting a wacky spin on classic fritters -- Sweet Cinnamon Fritter Fries! They ROCK.
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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® 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 PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark. For more info on the new PointsPlus® program, visit weightwatchers.com.
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