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How to Use Protein-Rich Tofu Shirataki Noodles to Make Grain-Free Pasta!

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Nothing beats a big bowl of comforting, filling noodles. Whether it’s spaghetti and meatballs or lo mein, noodles remind us of warmth, satisfaction, and tantalizing flavors. Despite the pleasure noodles can bring, noodles can also get a bad rap for their poor nutritional content, containing refined flours, and empty carbohydrates that our bodies can’t use to provide us with benefits. This surely does not have to be the case for noodle lovers, however.

Enjoying the comfort of noodles can be done in many easy ways. Spiralized, vegetable noodles are all the rage these days. These noodles are a great, low-calorie noodle and can be substituted in nearly any recipe. There are also gluten-free noodle options like rice noodles, soba noodles, or kelp noodles, readily sold in most grocery stores.

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Flickr

An often overlooked and wonderful grain noodle substitution is tofu shirataki noodles. These noodles are low in carbohydrates, calories, and are gluten and grain-free. These Japanese noodles are virtually flavorless and taste like what you cook them in-just like your typical block of tofu! The noodles are slippery and low in starch, so they won’t stick together or alter a sauce’s texture. Shirataki noodles are also extremely convenient- simply drain, rinse, and eat! You can pop them in the microwave or over the stove for a few minutes to warm them up first. The volume and versatility are endless when cooking with these bouncy noodles. Whether you’re gluten-free, low-carb, or simply want to a change from grain noodles, try out these four meal ideas to replace your average noodles with shirataki tofu noodles!

1. Soup

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Get simmerin’ and make some soup! Shirtaki tofu noodles in soup are absolutely delicious because they soak in flavors from your broth and vegetables. These infused noodles can be cooked right in the same pot as the rest of your soup- saving you some time and energy in the kitchen! For a low-calorie comfort food, make some miso soup. Miso soup is suitable for serving as a first course as it can help with the digestion of the following course. Miso soup can also become the star of a meal. Adding shirataki noodles will help make miso soup more buoyant and satisfying. Try this Vegetable Miso Soup with shirataki noodles for a plant-based meal. For another noodle soup, opt for making homemade ramen soup. By switching typical ramen noodles to shirataki noodles, adding loads of vegetables, and substituting meat for a plant-based protein, ramen soup can be extremely healthy and fulfilling.

2. Italian

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Those spaghetti and meatballs just got a whole lot better. There are many healthy alternatives to white pasta, with shirataki tofu noodles being one of them. Since shirataki noodles are less starchy than most grain noodles, they can absorb the Italian flavors from different sauces really well. Any of these vegan variations on pasta sauces would taste great- with marinara, pesto, and alfredo sauce shining as plant-based stars. Since shirataki noodles don’t have as much fiber and protein as whole wheat noodles, it’s crucial to add these nutrients into your meals. These Pumpkin Seed Cannellini Meatballs would be a lovely companion with shirataki noodles and would provide substantial protein.

3. Lo Mein 

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Put that telephone down and skip the Chinese takeout. Lo mein, this classic Chinese meal, is typically loaded with oil, refined wheat noodles, and meat products—making it an unhealthy option for plant-based eaters. Luckily, homemade lo mein is simple to whip up to be made healthy. Shirataki tofu noodles make an awesome grain noodle substitute in lo mein and will give off flavors from the soy or teriyaki sauce you use. Try the sauce from this Ultimate Teriyaki Stir-Fry  to make your noodles full of flavor. To make, simply pan-fry the shirataki noodles with the rest of your ingredients until the sauce is absorbed evenly. For the ultimate plant-based lo mein, add chopped vegetables such as carrots, pepper and onions, or use frozen vegetables if you’re in a hurry. To replace beef or chicken commonly found in lo mein, use this Seared Asian Tofu instead.

4.Pad Thai

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Different recipe, same great taste of Pad Thai. Nutty, sweet, savory and fresh- pad thai is the perfect noodle dish to use shirataki tofu noodles in for a low-carb meal. Use this Street Pad Thai to try out your shirataki noodles. Rice noodles are normally used in pad thai, but shirataki noodles will give your meal a similar taste and texture. Slightly chewy and smooth, shirataki noodles with be packed with the flavors from this Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce. Opt out of adding egg and fish sauce, and replace with crumbled tofu and loads of vegetables like red cabbage and broccoli. Last but not least, don’t forget the garlic! This superfood will leave your digestion flowing and can even help your skin to get glowing.

Gluten free? Low carb? Light eater? Need to switch things up? No problem. Give shirataki tofu noodles a try! Replacing grain noodles with tofu shirataki noodles in soups, Italian, Chinese, and Thai are only some options for using these. Because shirataki noodles absorb the flavors of what you cook it in, the sky’s the limit of what you can use these noodles in.

Have you tried these noodles out yet? We would love to hear if you have a favorite way of using them!

Lead Image Source: Flickr



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