Archive for February, 2010

Tofu Shirataki Noodles

February 17, 2010

Tofu Shirataki Noodles

Have you heard of these noodles? I’ve been hearing about them quite a bit over the last year, but was never able to find them. Finally, I tracked them down at Whole Foods Market. There are mixed reviews on their flavor and texture, but I found them to be a satisfying substitute for regular, starchy noodles. Rinse them as the package suggests, and add to your favorite broth for an instant, healthy Ramen dish.

I used a can of vegetable broth, celery, onions, garlic, salt and pepper for my soup. In about 20 minutes I had my meal ready! While I won’t lead you on and say this is one of the best things I have ever eaten… It was quite satisfying for a light dinner. Experimentation is in order to find the perfect flavor combos and pairings for these noodles. Their texture is a bit “springier” than normal ramen noodles, but again, this did not bother me. Some people really disliked the texture. I’ll let you be the judge.

Their flavor? I found them to be a blank canvas. I think they would absorb the taste of whatever you were cooking them with. Personally, I would stick to Asian inspired dishes, rather than Italian.

Tofu Shirataki Noodles

Want to try these  healthy “noodles” for yourself? Click here.

The Facts:

  1. Variety of shapes (spaghetti, fettuccine, angel-hair)
  2. Low Carb (3g per serving)
  3. Low Calorie (40 calories for the entire package!)
  4. No Cholesterol
  5. No Sugar
  6. Gluten-Free
  7. Dairy-Free
  8. Contains 10% Calcium
  9. Vegan

Have you tried these? I’d love to hear your favorite way to prepare them.
Must be refrigerated. Last for several months from purchase date. Cannot be frozen. Purchased mine for under $2 per package.

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Butternut Squash & Roasted Garlic Soup

February 12, 2010

Butternut Squash & Roasted Garlic Soup

I have really been craving soup these past couple weeks. Maybe it’s all the snow we’ve been getting and chilly temperatures! I happen to love butternut squash. What better to use it for than a soup?

I found this recipe from Bon Apetit, but realized I didn’t have all the ingredients, nor did I want to use heavy cream or milk. I did however have similar ingredients (i.e. sub parsnips for carrots, celery root for celery). While I was unsure of how this would turn out with the substitutions and my own spin, I decided to press on. Boy, am I glad I did. This soup turned out to be amazing!

Butternut Squash & Roasted Garlic Soup

Butternut Squash & Roasted Garlic Soup

WHAT I USED:

2 heads of garlic, tops removed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup peeled, chopped parsnips
1/2 cup peeled, chopped celery root
4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

light sour cream for garnish

WHAT I DID:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place each head of garlic on it’s own foil sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly. Bake about 40 minutes, or until tender. Cool in foil.

2. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, parsnips and celery. Cook until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir mixture so it does not brown. Add squash, broth and 2 tablespoons sage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 25 minutes or until squash is tender.

3. While soup is simmering, unwrap peeled garlic. Squeeze into a small bowl, discarding papery skins. Mash garlic with a fork into a smooth paste.

4. Stir garlic into soup. Using a hand blender, puree soup until smooth. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.

5. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with a dollop of light sour cream, remaining sage ( if desired ) and a little kosher salt and black pepper.

** Soup can be frozen ( without sour cream ) up to 4 weeks. Freeze in individual portions for quick meals. Thaw in refrigerator. Reheat on the stove over medium low heat.

This is a fabulous soup perfect for a simple meal at home or a night of entertaining. A perfect first course! Serve with bruscetta for dipping or your favorite yummy bread. Garnish with a dollop of light sour cream to counter the sweetness of the squash. Yum!!

Celery Root

I’ve never used celery root before, but it worked very nicely with the meal. It seemed to be milder than celery to me. Maybe it just married perfectly with the flavors so I didn’t notice. It was easy to work with and a nice substitution. Don’t be afraid to try new ingredients. You might be surprised!

Helpful Link:
How To Roast Garlic