Have you heard of Miracle Noodle? I first learned about it from my Facebook buddy, fitness coach Sincere Hogan. Because of his enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment to empowering people to achieve their health and fitness goals, Sincere is an inspiration to me. He often shares photos and recipes from his collection of "New Warrior Grub," and I am always excited when he posts something vegan. So when I happened to catch one of his posts featuring a high-fiber, calorie-free, fat-free, vegan noodle, I had to take a closer look.
A calorie-free noodle? Get outta here! But here's the scoop: Gluten-free, soy-free shiratake Miracle Noodle is made from the root of the konjac plant, also known as Devil's Tongue.
Seriously, is this not the most provocative-looking plant you've ever seen?
Known as konnyaku in Japanese, konjac is grown in the warm subtropical to tropical regions of China, Japan and eastern Asia. It has been used for centuries to make flour and jelly and has more recently been used to make a plant-based substitute for gelatin. Konnyaku noodles, known as shirataki in Japan, are filling, because they're made from water and a highly soluble fiber, called glucomannan. It makes you feel full, without adding calories, empty carbs, or fat. You'll be surprised how much like your everyday Miracle Noodles are. But a word of caution: you don't want to overeat this stuff. After all, your body does need nutrients other than fiber! But replace your pasta and noodles with shirataki, and you won't have that weighed-down, heavy feeling the morning after you consume it.
When I received my first bag of Miracle Noodle (angel hair style), I prepared it according to package directions, first draining and then rinsing the contents in cold water to remove their somewhat odd aroma, and then drying them on a clean kitchen. Drying the noodles is an essential part of the preparation, to remove the bitterness, or "aku" as it is referred to in Japanese. Then I blanched the noodles in boiling water for 1 minute, drained them again, and set them aside while I prepared the sauce for the Hot or Cold Sesame Noodles recipe found on Miracle Noodle's website. You definitely do not want to overcook these babies, as it would change their texture and make them too chewy.
Granted, this was basically an all-fat meal, so it's not one I would eat everyday. But it was very easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. It even brought back fond memories of the cold sesame noodles I used to enjoy at one of my favorite Chinese restaurants in New York City, T.S. Ma. (We're talking 25 years ago, and I still remember it!)
I next decided to get a little inventive. I threw together some ingredients I had on hand and created a tasty Mexican Pasta. As luck would have it, I just happened to have a jar of Nacho Mom's Vegan Fire-Roasted Queso in the cupboard! If you haven't yet tried Nacho Mom's Queso, get your hands on a jar. (You can also see some mouth-watering photos and read my earlier review here.)
My colorful Mexican Pasta concoction was scrumptious and a snap to prepare! And for all the Weight Watchers out there, it may not look like it, and sure didn't taste like it, but this was a completely zero-point meal!
1 3.5-oz bag Miracle Noodles
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 cup spinach, packed
1 tomato, diced
2 heaping Tbs Nacho Mom's Ultimate Vegan Queso
Prepare Miracle Noodles according to package directions, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
In a large skillet, sauté onions in broth for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add tomatoes and then spinach, stirring to combine. Cover, and heat until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add queso to pan , and stir all together, heating through for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, add noodles to vegetables and sauce, serve, and enjoy!
Miracle Noodle makes several varieties of shiratake, including fettuccine and angel hair, and they even make rice! I can't wait to try the rice. What about you?
My heartiest thanks to everyone who entered my Glass Dharma giveaway. The lucky winner is Anna of GreenTalk! Congratulations! You'll soon be receiving an email confirmation from me and your gift certificate will also be emailed to you from Glass Dharma. Please let me know when you receive your straws.