Friday, June 4, 2010

Food Photo Friday - Tofu Shirataki

If you're thinking that I've held off on telling you about this amazing product so that I could secure my stock in it before creating a "run" on it, you may be right.

When it comes to pasta, all bets are off with me. I never met a pasta dish I didn't like (well once... but that was as a guest of a new bride cooking during Shana Rishona and we don't have to go there....). I love all things pasta, but we all know that pasta contains a lot of empty carbs and calories, not to mention what one can dress it up with.

Enter House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodles (hey, get out from under there... don't let the word Tofu scare you... this product tastes like PASTA!). They have recently gotten certification from the OU, and they are a mere 40 calories for the whole bag, with a whopping 4 grams of soluble fiber (so you feel very full for a very long time after eating them). They come in three varieties - Angel Hair, Spaghetti and Fettucini.

According to House Foods, "Tofu Shirataki is a great pasta alternative made from blending the root of the Konnyaku -- a member of the yam family and tofu." They are available in the refrigerated produce case (near the tofu) and come bagged in liquid. Now here are the caveats:
  1. The liquid in the bag has what the manufacturer refers to as an "authentic aroma", which is why they tell you to rinse the product thoroughly (and they do mean thoroughly....) and pat dry before use. So yes; there's a bit of a funny smell, but once the sauce is on, you don't notice at all. Did I mention that the whole bag is only 40 calories?
  2. The texture is a touch more "chewy" than regular pasta. You may want to cut the longer spaghetti strands a bit before dressing it, to minimize the bite.

Recipes for using these noodles abound all over the internet by fans who continue to rave that this product has changed their life, but I say to just put on them whatever you usually put on pasta and when you go shopping, be sure to leave a few bags over for me.

(Oh, and I'm going to head commenter extraordinaire, Baked Lecho Dodi, off at the pass. I've asked our Rov what brocho to make on this and he said Shehakol. Bon Apetit.)


Baked Lecho Dodi said...

Looks like a good product. Is the hechsher visible ? On the back ?

G6 said...

BLD - The hechsher is actually on the front and clearly visible on the current packaging.

Unfortunately, the stock photo that I posted is out of date from the manufacturer's website and does not accurately reflect the current packaging.

The OU is would be on the left of the banner which says "spaghetti".

ProfK said...

Looked like an interesting product so I checked it out in the supermarket, and didn't buy it. Maybe the stores in your area are cheaper on the product but here it was selling for $2.39 per 8oz. package, or two servings. If you want to serve this to a larger group of 5 or 6 people you are talking about $7.17 for six servings totaling 1-1/2 pounds of noodles. And that's not counting in any topping for them or the other things you might serve with them. Compare that to the Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pastas which were on sale in the same store at 12 for $12 for the 16 oz. boxes--more fiber by the way even if the calories are more--and you are talking a serious money difference. I did pass on the name however to someone with wheat and gluten allergies to check it out.

G6 said...

ProfK -
Depending on which store I purchase from in my neighborhood, the bags run from $1.79 - $1.99 per bag, which by the way, I consider ONE serving even if they don't....
But for me, calories ARE the issue, so it's worth the splurge.

BLD said...

Stock Photos ? Et tu ?

RivkA with a capital A said...

you had me... until you mentioned the smell.

oh well, I have a heightened sense of smell, and the mildest smell can make me nauseas...

G6 said...

For goodness sake, the FIRST photo is mine. I only included the photo of the bag for those of you who want an easier time finding it in the store.

RivkA -
I'm so sorry... the smell might definitely turn you off.

Mystery Woman said...

I have the same problem with the smell. I was gonna run right out and buy it until I got to that part. Oh well...

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you posted this. I just started Weight Watchers and this looks like the perfect alternative to my favorite food - pasta!

G6 said...

Frayda -
They are ZERO points!!!
What could be better than that?

As an aside, a favorite zero point snack for me is celery stuffed w/ sundried tomatoes.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that I found these at my local Whole Foods. I tried it and thought it was pretty tasty. I did not mind the smell so much and it was only a tiny bit slippery. I would recommend it for a good alternative but not for a whole family. It is too expensive for that and also not filling enough. I made the Skinny Girl recipe that was on the back of the package. Do you read the Skinny Girl website?

G6 said...

Frayda -

I agree with you that it isn't for the whole family. At that price it's for the "serious dieters" and "serious pasta lovers" only ;)

I think the website that you refer to is Hungry Girl and I do indeed get her emails. I tried the "corner cheese" recipe for the noodles, but to be honest, I like my own concoction with ketchup, cheese and freshly ground black pepper better.

Thanks for the unbiased reader feedback! I'm nothing without you guys :D