Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yummy "Fettuccine" Dish!

Yes, "fettuccine" is in quotes.  Why?  Because this post is all about a Hungry Girl pasta swap that uses tofu shirataki noodles instead of real pasta.  Wait...keep reading!!!

Okay, it took me a good six months of reading my daily Hungry Girl email newsletters {where she often touts the amazing product that is the tofu shirataki noodle} before I actually worked up the courage to give this recipe a whirl.  For most of us, when we think "tofu" we think "ew".  I'd never actually tried anything tofu before, but I still thought "ew".  But sometimes you've got to step outside the box a little and try something different;  you never know if you don't try!  Hungry Girl offers a million and one {this might be a slight exaggeration...but only slight} recipes that utilize tofu shirataki noodles; the one she boasts about most often, however, is her Hungry Girlfredo.

There is nothing healthy about Fettuccine Alfredo.  Nothing.  Well, okay, the gallons of cream do have calcium...but that's about it.  Depending on the brand of pasta you use, a cup of white or whole wheat traditional noodles will cost you around 40 carbs {and who really has ONE cup of pasta?  Anyone?}.  Now, carbs are good for you; carbs are great for you, actually ~ they provide your body and your brain with the fuel you need to exercise, think, and function.  But carbs are in everything, not just grains ~ carbs are in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, as well as breads, pastas, and other grains.  When you're trying to cut back on calorie intake and not go overboard on the starches, these tofu noodles make a great swap for traditional pasta ~ at 40 calories and 6 grams of carbs for a whole bag of noodles, how can you go wrong?

 I found the House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodles that Hungry Girl recommends at my local Whole Foods {my Stop and Shop doesn't carry them}.  They were in the dairy/refrigerated aisle near the other tofu products.  The secret to these suckers is to dry, dry, dry them!  Open the package, dump the noodles into a colander, rinse them thoroughly, and spend at least the next five minutes patting them dry with paper towels.  These noodles hold onto a lot of water, and if you don't dry them thoroughly, you will wind up with a watery "Alfredo" sauce ~ not the effect you're going for.

Would you fool friends in a blindfolded taste-test into thinking that this is real-deal, made-by-an-Italian (or even made-by-the-Olive-Garden} Fettuccine Alfredo?  No, I don't think you would.  The texture is a bit different {these noodles are a little chewier than traditional pasta}, and of course this dish isn't doused in cream sauce.  But with a bit of salt and pepper for seasoning {I use garlic salt as well ~ yummy!}, this really does make a great, livable substitute.  I prefer to have mine with some grilled chicken, but plain works just as well.

A serving of Hungry Girlfredo {the entire recipe} has 99 calories and 2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.  For the rest of the nutritional information, check out Hungry Girl's post here.

Hungry Girl's Hungry Girlfredo

1 package House Foods Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine Shaped Noodle Substitute
1 wedge Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
2 tsp reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
1 tsp fat-free sour cream
Optional:  salt and black pepper {*I also use some garlic salt or powder}

Use a strainer to rinse and drain shirataki noodles well.  Pat dry.  In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave for one minute.  Dry as thoroughly as possible, using paper towels.  Cut noodles up a bit, using kitchen shears or a knife.

Add cheese wedge, grated topping, and sour cream, breaking the cheese wedge into pieces as you add it.  Microwave for one minute.

Stir well.  If you'd like, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Looking for some other tofu shirataki noodle recipes?  They come in fettuccine, spaghetti and angel-hair shapes {and macaroni, but that's newer and hard to find}, and Hungry Girl has plenty of recipes for them.  Follow this link for more HG tofu noodle recipes, or type "shirataki" into the search bar on the Hungry Girl website.  {Hint:  the "Know Your Noodles" guide has links to about a half-dozen of her past tofu noodle recipes}.  I've also tried the So Low Mein with Chicken recipe {even better warmed up for lunch the next day}, and the hubby and I are planning to whip up the Humungous Shrimp and Veggie Noodle-Fry this week {both use the spaghetti-shaped shirataki noodles}.

I know the word "tofu" is scary to some, but with the Hungry Girl recipes, you'll find that you can slash the calories on some of your favorite dishes instead of giving them up entirely!



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