Let me just tell you. I love me some pasta. In fact, it’s generally my absolute favorite food. I haven’t gone to the Olive Garden since surgery because – while I know they have non-pasta food – I don’t think I’d be able to resist ordering Fettuccine Alfredo. And as previously discussed – too many carbs make this body just hold onto my weight.
One day, Olive Garden. One day.
I saw this Pasta Zero in the vegetarian case in my grocer’s produce section (near the wonton wrappers, tofu, etc.). I was intrigued – it looked like spaghetti. And it came already cooked. It was in a package full of water. I love heat and serve meals these days (cooking for one was depressing enough pre-surgery… cooking for one bariatric person is worse), so I bought it to see if it was a reasonable substitute (though I bought it hesitantly… we all remember my last attempt at finding a pasta substitute).
The directions worried me a bit. They said that out of the package the noodles would have an earthy scent and would need to be thoroughly rinsed. I looked up what shirataki noodles are… because I was suddenly concerned they were made out of some sort of mushroom! (My brain confused shirataki with shiitake). Phew! Crisis averted. Shirataki noodles are made from the konjac yam (also known as Devil’s Tongue), and are a traditional Japanese food. They have virtually no calories, no gluten, no net carbs…
It sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, not so much. I was very pleasantly surprised. Shirataki noodles really have no flavor on their own. So what you taste is whatever sauce you’ve tossed them in. The place it gets a bit tricky for me is the texture. I have issues with texture. But after a few bites, I was able to get on board with these noodles. They have a texture that’s not unlike spaghetti squash. That is to say a bit of softness around the outside of the noodle, but a bit of a crunch on the inside. It’s not unpleasant – though it’s definitely not as soft as pasta.
I made a quick version of spaghetti and meatballs and basically forgot I wasn’t eating actual pasta. My macros were happy with the meal, my tastebuds were happy, and my brain was happy because I tricked it into thinking I was actually eating spaghetti.
FINAL VERDICT? This will be a staple in my house.