Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Noodles

Sometimes the notion of "pasta for dinner" is equal to "I have no idea what to make and noodles works for everyone". I know that feeling well - especially when you're living in a family like mine, when (if my sister's home) we can easily prepare two to three different pasta dishes every night. I know that seems a lot for our family of five, but we have one (ahem) picky eater, me with the wheat and animal protein intolerance and other assorted allergies, then the rest of the household sharing the kitchen. Dinner times are staggered, and we all get fed one way or another, so it works for now! The fact that I cook and eat after the bulk of the meals are done also saves me from the awkward explanations of the "weird" meals I make - whether grilled tofu or tempeh based or a mashed potato with spicy beans, trying to tell people that my food does taste good even though it looks anything but is a bit draining.

Thankfully nobody was home when I came about making this noodle-omelette type dish the first time. Not only did it not involve meat or dairy (something my stepfamily still doesn't seem to "get" about me) but it involved a rather interesting impulse buy of mine from the Asian market: shirataki noodles. Usually used for stir-fry as far as I can tell anyway, they're packed in a bag of water and look like cellophane noodles. They don't really taste like much on their own, so I dug around in my crisper and found a portabello mushroom, grabbed some salsa and a carton of egg substitute (not being able to handle the yolks, egg whites are about it here) and boiled some water to hydrate some TVP crumbles I had in my pantry. A couple spices and some vegan Parmesan later I had an eggy, noodley mixture sizzling away in my brand new EarthChef pan (I freaking love that thing!), which I fired under the broiler for a few moments to crisp up the top before diving in. For extra zip I broke out a tomato-chili pepper sauce I had cooked up over the weekend, and while it was blow-your-head-off hot on it's own it really worked with the eggy, starchy and meaty meal.

Skinny Pastata
Serves 1
If you don't like, can't find or otherwise don't want to use shirataki noodles in this recipe, feel free to use an equivalent amount of cellophane noodles. Likewise for the Egg Creations you can use 3 eggs, 1 egg and 5 egg whites or 8 whole egg whites.
1/4 cup TVP
1/4 cup boiling water
dash liquid smoke
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
pinch kosher salt
1 small portabello mushroom, sliced thinly
8 oz shirataki noodles, drained and rinsed
dash hot sauce (like sambaal oelek)
2 tbsp spicy salsa
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup (150 mL) original flavour Egg Creations
1 tbsp Galaxy Foods rice Parmesan
  1. Place TVP in a small bowl and pour boiling water overtop.
  2. Add liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt, set aside for 15 minutes. Drain excess liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small, deep non-stick frying pan over high heat and coat with cooking spray.
  4. Add mushroom and cook, stirring, until browned - about 5 minutes.
  5. Add TVP, noodles and hot sauce and cook until dry and incorporated well with the mushroom.
  6. Spread mixture into one even layer in the pan and reduce heat to medium.
  7. Cook, undisturbed, for one minute.
  8. Whisk together salsa, water, oregano, salt, pepper and Egg Creations in a measuring cup or bowl and pour evenly over the noodle mix in the pan.
  9. Continue cooking over medium heat until almost completely set, then sprinkle with the rice Parmesan and slide onto an oven-safe plate.
  10. Place under the broiler and cook until browned and crusty, 1-2 minutes (this is optional, you can finish cooking this stovetop if you prefer).
  11. Eat right off the plate, or if sharing, cut into wedges and transfer to serving plates.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 204.0
Total Fat: 1.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 494.3 mg
Total Carbs: 13.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 11.8 g
Protein: 31.1 g

Spicy Tomato-Chili Coulis
A note about the tomatoes: nrmally I'm not a stickler for the seasonal / local thing, but when it comes to this sauce, it matters. You need them to be picked at the peak of their ripeness, flavour and nutrition, not crunchy like storebought tomatoes.
Makes 16 (2-tbsp) servings
3 1/2 lbs fresh, IN SEASON plum tomatoes (San Marzano if you have a garden with them) - see note above
2 hot cherry peppers (usually called "cherry bomb" or similar, you can substitute jalapenos)
1 sweet cherry pepper (usually called "cherry pick")
1/3 cup brown sugar
  1. Quarter tomatoes and peppers (seed the peppers if you're concerned about too much heat). Place into a food processor (skins and all).
  2. Puree until completely smooth.
  3. Pass the puree through a food mill to eliminate the skins and seeds, and pour that mixture into a large pot.
  4. Bring to a brisk simmer and add the sugar.
  5. Cook uncovered over medium-low heat for 4 hours, until reduced to a thick puree.
  6. Store in the refrigerator or process in a waterbath for 30 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 38.8
Total Fat: 0.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 10.8 mg
Total Carbs: 10.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 0.9 g 

I'm sending this dish over to Presto Pasta Nights (brainchild of Ruth, who's also the host this week).

7 comments :

BakingWithoutaBox said...

Mmmm such vibrant color in that tomato chili sauce. Totally agree about local produce in the marinara. Can't wait til I get a patch of dirt to plant just a couple of things.

roxan said...

Thankflly I wasn't there either, or I would have eaten at all myself!

pocketdaydreams said...

Nice to meet you through FoodBuzz! Love the name of your blog. I burned my entry in second PFB challenge so my place doesn't smell that good right now. But if you have a chance, please stop by and vote!

illahee said...

may i humbly suggest putting the shirataki noodles in soups? that's how i usually use them, especially nabe. they absorb the broth, or they can be dipped in sauce.

love your blog, sorry i don't comment often!

Ruth Daniels said...

Who says having food allergies has to be boring? What a cool combination. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

Claudia said...

I give you credit for being so creative and working around those allergies.

Joanne said...

I love using pasta as a throw-together meal. I haven't made shirataki noodles in a while and I think it's about time I get back to it!