By Traci McGowan
Not long after my surgery, I discovered that the owner of the company I work for sees a weight loss doctor. My weight loss doctor. Periodically he’ll tell me he’s going to an appointment, or we joke about avoiding the NUT. I tell him the doc says hi and every so often the boss gives me something to nibble on. Recently that something was three packages of NoOodles (No-Oodles). Not too many weeks later, via our gal pal Nik, a company called Nasoya mailed me a handful of coupons to try out their product called Pasta Zero Plus. This, to me, was a sign from the universe that I should…nay I needed to do a review.
Both noodles are Shirataki noodles, or noodles typically made from tofu or yam flour. They’re low calorie, low carb, gluten free, vegan-friendly. They can be found in the refrigerated section of stores like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods in the refrigerated section. They’re packaged in liquid and keep for about a year unopened in the refrigerator.
So anyway, in my estimation these are all reasons why I should not have considered consuming either product because rice and pasta aren’t very Traci-friendly. But, I like to live dangerously (“I laugh in the face of danger! Ha ha ha ha!”).
The first thing I should tell you is that these suckers have an odor that will knock you out your front door as soon as you open them. To my understanding, this is the case with all Shirataki noodles but I found Nasoya’s odor especially bothersome. To remedy this, you should rinse the noodles in colander before cooking and try moving the noodles around by hand to make sure you get them all. Note to OCD Foodies: they feel a bit slimy to the touch.
See the length??? Yeah.
The second thing I should tell you is that these suckers are LONG. And when I say long I mean “Hey, I can play jump rope with my noodles!” long. You may want to employ scissors.
Hey…for you…I tried…I really did.
Right out of the package, the Nasoya noodles behaved like sticky noodles. Although I cooked them according to the directions and added marinara sauce, they continued to resemble sticky spaghetti – in marinara sauce. As far as texture goes, they sort of remind me of Gummy Bears. You chew, chew, chew and they break up but don’t dissolve. So it was quite literally like a mouthful of Gummy Bears — in marina sauce. I knew as soon as I took my first bite there was no way this product would work for me, it would get stuck. I ended up dumping the entire pan.
NoOodles were a bit different. First thing I noticed while I rinsed them off was that they felt lighter and more pliable than the Nasoya brand. I broke them up by hand (grab, squish, pull, repeat) then tossed them into a skillet per their directions. These never clumped up or stuck together. I added ½ a cup of Trader Joe’s General Sao’s sauce and ½ a bell pepper. The entire cooking experience was way different than what I had experienced with the Nasoya noodles. NoOodles do have the consistency of al dente spaghetti, they absorbed the flavor of everything they were cooked with. They were really good. I got four servings out of the package.
So, in summary:
- Shirataki noodles are low on calories and carbs, gluten free, vegan friendly.
- Nasoya’s Pasta Zero may not be the best alternative for post-op foodies – noodles could become stuck in our newly formed digestives systems. Also, Gummy Bears and marinara really don’t mesh well. (I’m just sayin.) Nasoya does offer a large variety of products, I would encourage checking them out!
- NoOodles were great (in my post-op opinion) – for all the reasons I listed above.
- Either product can be found in retail outlets near you (Traders, Whole Foods) in the refrigerator section.
- You can find information about Nasoya’s noodles at www.nasoya.com and about NoOodles at www.nooodles.com.
Traci was only slightly late with her newsletter article this month because she was busy shopping for flannel pajama bottoms. They are her vice, you see, especially ones featuring Darth Vader, The Justice League, and Stewie (Of “Family Guy” fame).