This product review was sponsored by NutriNoodle. All opinions are my own.
So this Nutri-Noodle review starts out, as so many of my posts do, with a caveat. This is a review in progress! BariatricPal sent me literally the entire line of Nutri-Noodle products, which included even more than what you see here. But if you’ve followed Bariatric Foodie for some time, you know that noodles are the one food that typically stop me in my tracks. So it just wasn’t possible to try all the noodles in time for this review. But I promise to keep adding to it as I try things and I’ll let you know when there’s new information. Deal?
For now, one important thing you need to know is that NutriNoodles has offered us a 15% off discount! Use code BARIFOODIE119 on the NutriNoodles site for 15% off. (Does not apply to recurring orders. Expires 12/31/19)
Hit the button below to check that out after you’v read my review. 😉
Nutri-Noodles: What the hell are they?
Because, hand to the sky Foodies, I had no idea when I opened the box! You see, at nearly 12 years post-op I’m something of a bariatric curmudgeon. I don’t stray outside of my tried and true favorites so much anymore. I like what I like. I’m set in my ways!
Usually one of two things budges me out of my snuggly space:
- A product gets so much buzz that I try it just to see what the hype is all about.
- A company I like and trust (like BariatricPal) sends me a product to try and it hits me at precisely a time when I am willing to do so.
Obviously, the latter is the case here. But still…what the hell are they? Let’s see what their website has to say.
So Nutri-Noodle and BariatricPal are owned by the same person: Alex Brecher, a weight loss surgery patient turned mogul. (Seriously, more than once I have thought I wanted to be him when I grow up.) The noodles origin story basically goes that Alex loves pasta but after having WLS wanted to come up with pasta that fit into his new lifestyle and goals. VOILA!
And here we are.
So like I said, the folks at BariatricPal sent me a bunch of products. So I decided to attack this by like boxes. So what you see here is the:
- Soybean Fettuccine (which is what I’ll be reviewing at this pass)
- Soybean Spaghetti
- Black Bean Spaghetti
- Edamame Spaghetti
You have Shannon to thank for me reviewing the fettuccine. We scheduled to do a live tasting of the pastas on Bariatric Foodie Live to coincide with this review and we did it as one of our “Recipe Showdowns.” That’s where Shannon chooses what I cook, I choose what Shannon cooks and then we taste it on air. This time, instead of assigning each other a recipe, we simply picked each other’s pasta product. I picked the Black Bean Spaghetti for her and she picked the Soybean Fettuccine for me. Here’s a link to the episode on Facebook! (Or here’s the link on YouTube if you prefer to watch it there.)
With so-called healthy-fied pastas, you really do have to pay attention to the nutrition label. They all fall into one of three categories in my book:
- Barely even trying: these are essentially regular noodles with a little whole wheat flour or some pulverized vegetable thrown in. Very self-congratulatory. Not especially beneficial for your process.
- Barely even there: I would put tofu shirataki noodles in this camp. They are like 15 calories per serving and are made of a little bit of tofu and a lot of…nothing! But they feel like noodles in your mouth and convey sauce so, in my estimation, they do what all good noodles should do…they shut up and stay out of the way.
- The ones that show up: I’d put these NutriNoodles in this category. They’ve got stuff in them. Good stuff. And with good stuff usually comes calories and macro-nutrients.
Let’s look at the label of the Fettuccine.
Just in case that’s hard to see, they have:
- 4 servings per box
- Serving size = 1/4 of box
- Each serving has:
- 160 calories
- 3g fat
- 0 mg sodium
- 18g carbohydrates
- 10g fiber
- 4g sugars
- 0g added sugars
- 21g protein
Now let’s step back a moment here. Because I had to think about this.
You all know I consider a food a good protein source if it has 1 gram of protein for every 10 calories (some folks call this the 10:1 rule). So it was only obligated to have 16g protein per serving to pass that test. It has 21. And 10g of fiber (and if you know how to calculate net carbs, that means it has just 8g carbs per serving).
This scared the bejeezus out of me. Either this was going to be awesome or a disaster. Let’s forge forward and find out which.
(By the way, if you’d like more info on the noodles, check them out on the NutriNoodle website!)
The box is pretty minimalist as far as pasta boxes go. You ever notice pasta boxes you get at the grocery store are almost always blue? I wonder why that is? (Digression, thy name is Nikki…) I liked that there was a picture of the cooked product, minimally styled. That gave me a good reference when I went to cook it.
So far as the actual pasta? Lookit:
The noodles are actually fairly delicate. You can see on the cover of the box that they are sort of…dimpled, I guess you’d say. Wavy? Maybe that’s the better word. But they genuinely felt like I might break them as I lifted them from the packaging to boil them. No discernible smell. (I didn’t expect there to be one.) So let’s talk about how they cook.
So the directions say to bring a pot of water to a boil and then boil these for 3-5 minutes and enjoy.
My brain was a little flustered by that.
Because that’s not all I would do to regular pasta. For regular pasta I would bring a pot of salted water to a boil with some oil in it so the pasta doesn’t stick. Should I do that here? I had no idea. But I thought it best to go with what I knew. Especially since I eventually would have to ingest this pasta!
So you now how when you cook regular pasta, it tries to put up a fight and stand upright in the pot for a bit before yielding to the boiling water? Yeah, nope. None of that here. It actually yielded almost immediately! I decided to cook it for 5 minutes (just to be safe) and at the end of those 5 minutes, here’s what I had.
So of course I drained it in my little colander.
And here’s the deal. It honestly did not look like that many noodles going in but it looked like a lot coming out! Yowza. But I digress.
So I decided to taste one at this point. So let’s go ahead and move onto…
The taste and mouthfeel
So where our story last left off, my pasta had multiplied like the loaves and the fishes. It was time to taste one. I tasted it and…
It tasted like nothing. But then…I don’t think any pasta tastes like anything.
Seriously. I honestly think the notion of pasta having a “taste” is the greatest psychosomatic trick ever played on humans. Pasta is usually literally flour, water, a little salt and eggs. Sometimes semolina is thrown in for fun. None of that tastes like much. I suppose it tastes like something. So to that effect, let’s call that taste…pasta.
It tasted like pasta to me. There was a hint of the soy in the aroma. But seriously, at this point it sorta tasted like air with a dash of salt. So I decided to flavor it.
So the good thing about the stats on this product is that you technically don’t really have to add anything to it. I think you should. We’ll get to why in a moment. But you don’t have to. A serving is a legit amount of protein all by itself. For that reason, I decided to keep it simple and just use some pesto sauce I had hanging out in the fridge, along with some extra Parmesan (I put that sh*t on everything!) and some black pepper.
Can we just take a moment to give a shout-out to my iPhone? Pretty quickly into this review a momentous thing happened. I filled up the very last SD card I had for my DSLR camera. I have this thing about deleting pics if I haven’t gone through them carefully, so I switched to my iPhone in portrait mode. I must say…it delivert! But I digress…
Tossing the sauce into the noodles, I saw that they weren’t flimsy at all. They held up to my ghetto-fab tongs quite nicely!
So with all that out of the way it was time to actually eat the pasta.
I was nervous. Now even though it looked phenomenal (because…hello…I made it…), me and pasta have a tumultuous history. As such I don’t eat it often. The pasta can taste the best, have the best stats, and promise to be kind and gentle on the stomach and still the stuff seems to hate me. So I truly wasn’t sure what was going to happen.
So here’s what happened.
I bit into it and…I tasted pesto. Wonderful, basil-y, cheesy, pine-nutty pesto! The noodles were fine. They were a teeny bit dry. In the future, I’d probably spray them with nonstick in the colander before serving. Like I said, the noodle didn’t jump out at me as having a strong flavor on its own, but I coated it pretty heavily with pesto, cheese and pepper. The texture is a bit different from al dente pasta. It’s a bit softer, I guess you’d say. I didn’t mind it. But I did notice it.
Then, three bites later, I was done.
YEP! My pouch said, “That was nice but it’s time to stop now…”
I was so mad. SO MAD! I actually hadn’t eaten before then and was super hungry. And in three little bites I was getting toward full. Hmph. But, on a positive note, I did not feel sick. Just sort of stuffed. So there’s that.
But that’s why I said I would suggest mixing something into this pasta. When I think about it, it makes sense that it filled me up so fast. It has both a lot of protein and a lot of fiber, both of which sit heavy on anyone’s stomach but especially a bariatric patient’s tummy. So I had to give myself a pep talk. (Side-note: Do you guys have to do that when you feel sad you got full too fast, or is it just me?) and move on.
Speaking of moving on…
So the Soybean Fettuccine lists on the BariatricPal website as follows:
- 1 box = $2.99 ($0.74/serving and $0.03 per gram of protein). That price goes down to $2.69 with recurring delivery.
- 3 pack = $8.97 (same price per serving and per protein gram). That price goes down to $8.07 with recurring delivery.
- 6-pack = $17.94 (same everything). That price goes down to $16.15 with recurring delivery.
- 12-pack = $34.88 (about $0.72 per serving and $o.03 per gram of protein). That price goes down to $32.29 with recurring delivery.
In addition to reducing the cost by recurring delivery, we also have a Foodie discount code! Use code BARIFOODIE119 for 15% off your order. (Does not apply to recurring orders. Expires 12/31/19)
And by the way, in case you are wondering, no, I don’t get any kick-back for that but by using the Foodie code you help me convince even more companies and brands to give us codes so…if you can, use the code! Please note that the discount code does not apply to recurring delivery orders and cannot be combined with other coupons.
I thought long and hard on this one. There are pro’s and con’s for me!
- These have great stats! All the pastas have 10+ grams of fiber and 20+ grams of protein!
- The cook wicked fast so honestly if you know how to throw together a quick sauce, you could legit have dinner in like 10 minutes.
- The package says it is four servings, but I’m gonna call it 6. Which means it would last a bit for me because I don’t even eat pasta-style dishes that often.
- I don’t eat pasta that often, so…do I really need this?
- For the fettuccine, I was done in three bites. I’m not sure if that was because of my stomach that day but it is worth noting. Also worth noting is that on Bariatric Foodie Live I tasted the Soybean Spaghetti (with meatballs!) and it did not have that same effect.
But this review isn’t about me…it’s about you. And if you love pasta, and miss pasta, and have been wishing that pasta could somehow magically be a good source of protein without being a total carb-bomb? You really ought to give this one a try. It delivers in all of those realms! Thankfully, you can buy one box to try it out (and, for fun, try a few different pasta shapes) and, as we say in our community, play with your food! And remember, use code BARIFOODIE119 for 15% off your order. (Does not apply to recurring orders. Expires 12/31/19)
Check back for reviews of the other pastas as I try them!
I’ll also let you know when I have added to this review, but anything I add will be down below.