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Day #11 - Pasta Pasta!?

Picara Vassallo

Day #11 - Pasta Pasta!? 

Some people really don’t like the idea of cutting out pasta.  I get it, I mean, I am Italian after all!  Thing is, regular pasta messes me up big time.  My blood sugar spikes and crashes making me hungry again right away and cranky (can we say ‘hangry?’).  Then there’s the bloating and the log jam it creates in my stomach and intestines which leads to pain, gas and a whole host of other issues you don’t want to hear about.  

But, I know that pasta is inexpensive, quick and convenient and it’s a great medium for just about any sauce.  So, here are a few of the alternatives that I use when I’m craving a noodle for my meal but don’t want the unpleasant side effects.  

Mung Bean Noodles

Mung bean noodles are often sold as celephane noodles.  Those tend to be high in carbs and kind of sticky. But, there’s a company (Explore Asian) that makes fettuchini mung bean noodles and these are my favorite. They cook up firm and never get soggy or sticky.  

They are naturally high in protein and fiber and they don’t upset my stomach at all.  I will boil them and then leave them in the fridge to use as a base for any protein or veggies that I am cooking throughout the week.  You can use traditional sauces on these noodles and they’ll taste great.  They also work for stir fry dishes too.  Sometimes, I will put a little olive oil, nutritional yeast and a dash of salt or liquid aminos on them and eat that that way (yeah, it’s not everyone’s style, I know.)  They are also good with a hearty marinara or a ginger shitake sauce.

Spaghetti squash

A friend posted this spaghetti squash dish a while back and I LOVE it.  I’ve made a few small changes to the dressing... I use pecans instead of peanuts/peanut butter.  I have this great all natural no sugar added local hot sauce that I use instead of sriracha.  I use aminos instead of soy sauce and avocado oil instead of grapeseed oil (just a personal preference).  Otherwise, this recipe is pretty stellar.  I make extra lime-nut sauce and leave it in the fridge to use on steamed or roasted veggies.  It’s a winner for sure. 

Miracle Noodle

These noodles are made of a soluble fiber that’s been extracted from the root of a japanese plant.  It’s mixed with a food grade calcium called pickling lime which helps the noodles keep their shape.  The noodles are sold soaking in liquid and must be rinsed before being used. Some people say that they have a strange smell when you first open the package but I haven’t had this happen.  I do rinse the noodles off well and they have no smell or real distinct taste to them after that.  They will absorb whatever flavors you cook with them.  This is certainly the most processed of the noodles that I’m mentioning.  That said, their website has some super creative recipe ideas.  This one in particular I had to try.  

I substituted cashew milk for cow’s milk and used a few drops of stevia to sweeten it instead of Splenda.  I also didn’t add any heavy cream.  I thought it actually tasted good, albeit strange, and a bit like what I’d imagine faux cream of wheat to taste like.  You can judge for yourself.

Rice noodles and noodles made from beans are also out there.  These tend to be harder for me to digest so I avoid them.  Perhaps you've found a brand that works for you?  If so, let me know! I'd love to try it out.

Hope this helps you with your pasta fix!  Let me know if you have any questions!