Pasta rocks, but it rocks even more when you select a more nutrient-rich one than those made with refined white flour. Try one of these healthier alternatives:
Native to the Andes, quinoa is the seed of a leafy plant related to beets. When ground up and mixed with corn or wheat flour, quinoa produces mild-tasting, high-protein pasta. Gluten-free eaters should choose brands that contain only quinoa and corn flours.
Typically made of 100 percent durum wheat, a hard, high-quality grain. This dense pasta is higher in fiber, protein, B vitamins, and minerals than semolina varieties, which use only part of the grain. Whole-wheat pasta’s hearty flavor and grainy texture make it a good base for pesto and vegetable sauces.
Related to rhubarb, buckwheat has been used for centuries to make noodles in Asia. Japanese soba is the most common type in the U.S., with a nutty flavor and high amounts of protein and dietary fiber. Traditionally, soba is served hot in soup or cold with a soy-based dipping sauce.
Made from a blend of soy protein and yam flour, these Japanese noodles are packaged in water and readily absorb other flavors. A low glycemic-index food, tofu shirataki is particularly high in soluble fiber. Toss the heated noodles with a sweet teriyaki and serve with stir-fried veggies. Note: Noodles must be refrigerated.
Shirataki Noodles with Tomato Pesto
This recipe uses one 7-ounce package of shirataki noodles and serves one person.
1 7-ounce package shirataki noodles
1 tbsp. chopped walnuts
2 cloves minced garlic, divided
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
2 tbsp. tofu sour cream, vegan mayo, or light silken tofu
7 Local or Organic -cherry tomatoes
salt, to taste
1/3 cup diced cucumber
1 tbsp. toasted pine nuts, optional
Rinse and drain the shirataki noodles. Place them in a saucepan, cover them with water, and add one clove of minced garlic. Place on the stove and bring to a boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Put the walnuts and remaining garlic into the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the basil and tofu sour cream, and process until the basil is chopped. Add 5 of the cherry tomatoes, and pulse until tomatoes are chopped and the mixture is well blended. Add salt to taste and mix again.
Drain the shirataki noodles and mix them well with the pesto. Chop the remaining tomatoes, and toss them, the cucumber, and the toasted pine nuts with the noodles. Serve at room temperature or chilled.