Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On Marco Polo's Trail

If I remember history correctly, the Chinese invented noodles. Although Italy is more famous for pasta, it isn't native to that country. The famous Venetian explorer Marco Polo first ate spaghetti carbonara in Peking and brought the recipe home.

I receive a daily recipe from a Weight Watcher's site called "Hungry Girl" and have received multiple emails recently touting the benefits of tofu shirataki noodles. They are very low calorie and protein packed. That got my attention and I looked for them at Cub (local market). No tofu shirataki noodles there. Next shopping trip was to our food co-op where you can find a nice variety of organic and healthy foods. No shirataki noodles but the clerk said they have been getting frequent requests for them. "Try Kowalski's" she recommended. I did. Kowalski's carries many things you can't find other places but they don't have any form of shirataki noodles.

The Wiki page on shirataki noodles says there are two types:

The traditional Japanese noodles are made from the konjac plant and have no nutritional value and no calories. They have little flavor and absorb the flavor of the seasoning or sauces used with them.

The health food magazines are currently pushing a variety made from tofu. They are low-carb but a good protein source. They can't be frozen or dried and are packaged wet and refrigerated.

When I communicated with my daughter Mary about my quest , she recommended trying an Asian market a mile from her house. "If they don't have it, I don't know who will". Mary wasn't too impressed with my excitement about noodles made from konjac, a fibrous plant with no nutritional value that you don't absorb. I think she asked if I couldn't achieve the same result with packing peanuts.

Anyone got any good recipes using packing peanuts?

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