Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Miracle indeed?

Phew, it's certainly been a while! Sorry for my long absence. This have been up and down around these parts. I gained 2.something pounds back from my last weigh-in, then lost it again, so I'm right back where I was (ok, .2 lbs more) at 193.8. I'm a little scared about Friday's weigh-in because it wasn't a great weekend for me. Lots of leftover easter candy tempted, and it was just one of those weeks where I found myself snacking and stealing mouthfuls here and there. Anyway, Monday I started fresh, and the first step was to unceremoniously throw all that candy in the trash. Bye bye temptations!

I've been meaning to come back to this space for the last few weeks, but I discovered something I needed to share with you all!

Have you heard of the new craze, the "miracle" shirataki noodles?

If you  haven't, shirataki noodles are (according to Wikipedia) a very low carbohydrate, low calorie, thin, translucent, gelatinous traditional Japanese noodles made from the konjac yam. One serving (4oz) is ZERO POINTS PLUS! And the whole package, half a pound of noodles, is only 1 point! These stats alone are super exciting to a pasta-loving Weight Watcher like myself.

If you have heard of them, I bet you (like me) have heard some bad things: fishy smell, weird texture - but before you close this window, hear me out!

I saw these in the grocery store last week and they weren't expensive, so I figured why not? I did some research online to figure out the best way to prepare them, and it turns out there's some prep work involved that completely removes the fishy smell and improves the texture.

First, you need to drain and rinse the noodles a few times with hot water. Then, boil them for a few minutes, and drain. At this point the fishy smell is all but gone. Next, heat a dry pan on the stove and add the noodles. Mix around for 5 minutes or so, or until the majority of the moisture has evaporated. Then they're ready to go!

 Last night's huge bowl of lo mein - 7 PP!!

So yea, that was my dinner! 7 PP for what is basically 4 times the amount of pasta you could usually have, brimming with veggies and asian flavors.

The texture of the noodles is definitely different than regular pasta; it did have a bit of a gummy texture to it, but the prepping definitely made a difference compared to how they were straight out of the package. In asian dishes I think it works rather well and I enjoyed this dinner immensely. The texture might not work so well with italian style dishes, but I've heard there are also tofu-shirataki noodle varieties that have a chewier texture that might work better.

If you'd like to give the shirataki noodle a try, here's my recipe for lo mein. You can change up the veggies for any you prefer, these are just what I had in the fridge. Next time I might half the hoisin and add some oyster sauce too. Maybe even a little sriracha!

Shirataki Lo Mein with Veggies
Recipe by Labor of Loss

7 PP for entire recipe

1 package (8oz) Shiratake noodles (I used Nasoya brand)
1 tbsp hoisin
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup green beans or haricots, cut in half or into bit-sized pieces.
3-4 scallions, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cups mushrooms, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together hoisin, soy sauce,  half a tbsp of water, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.

Drain and rinse shiratake noodles with hot water, repeat. Par boil the noodles for 5 minutes.  Remove noodles from water, reserving cooking water. Blanch green beans in cooking water until tender crisp.

In a dry pan,  stir noodles until most of the moisture is gone. Set aside.

Sautee onions and scallion whites in sesame oil until soft.  Add garlic and ginger, sautee for 1-2 minutes until just golden.  Add mushrooms, sautee until soft, season with salt and pepper

Add green beans and noodles, mix to combine. Add sauce and simmer until sauce thickens, adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with scallion greens and serve immediately.