Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fave Food Find: Shirataki Noodles

This weekend, I was invited to a Chinese New Year’s luncheon. And while I usually stick to bringing my staple of baked goods for dessert, now that I’m no longer eating processed white sugar it’s hard to justify making a dessert when I’m not going to be able to eat it! So, while searching through my cookbooks for an Asian dish, I came across a Hungry Girl recipe that included my new fave food find for the month: Shirataki Noodles. These are essentially tofu noodles, low-fat and gluten free, and function much like any regular pasta or noodle. I was so excited about this recipe, that I woke up early Saturday morning, unable to sleep, just so I could get out and find these noodles. I had to go to Whole Foods to get them, and I hate Whole Foods just as much for the locations (which are hard to get in and out of) as for the prices. However I was pleasantly surprised to find that the noodles are only $1.99 a package. So I bought four :-).

I think the dish turned out great. It includes Shirataki noodles, zucchini, scallions, mushrooms, egg whites and pancake mix (I bought mix with a whole wheat base). I think it tastes great, but the next time I make it I will add some bell peppers and a little more eggs and pancake mix. This iteration was a little noodle heavy so the pancakes fell apart easily. But the noodles tasted good. And although they are a little unconventional, I am very excited to try them with pasta sauce as a substitute to pasta noodles and see how they go. My Hungry Girl cookbook has a lot of recipes with these little noodles, and I look forward to trying them soon.

Noodlicious Zucchini Pancakes (courtesy of Hungry Girl):

(50 Calories, <0.5g Fat, 8 Carbs, 1.2g Fiber, 4g protein - 1 WW point)

2 x 8 oz. pkgs. House Tofu Shirataki Noodles
4 egg whites
1 cup pancake mix
1 Tbsp. salt
3/4 cup green onions (scallions), chopped
4.5 cups zucchini, shredded (unless you can find them pre-shredded, this takes about 45 mins and equals about 4 zucchinis)
1 cup finely sliced fresh mushrooms

Rinse noodles well. Microwave for 1 minute, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 2-3 inch pieces. Next, combine egg whites, pancake mix and salt in a bowl. Stir in noodles, green onions, mushrooms and zucchini. Place skillet over medium heat, and coat with non- stick cooking spray. When hot, scoop a little less than 1/3 cup of the mixture (per pancake) onto the skillet. Cook until underside is golden, then flip and cook the other side. Continue until all the batter is gone. Makes 15, 4-inch pancakes.

Serve with a dollop of fat free sour cream or even some salsa. Yum!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow, More Snow and, oh yeah, Snow

Well, this is day 6 of the snow event of the century. For 6 days, I have enjoyed the comfort of my institution-white apartment walls and limited television and video options. I have successfully rationed my food and have maintained power. And you know when the federal government is too scared to go outside, there is no way I'm gonna do it! Just kidding, here is a sampling of last Saturday's snow fun:

(At this point, the snow was just above my knees. Since then, we have had 10 more inches.)

In all seriousness, by the end of the third major storm of this winter, the DC-area will have broke all snow accumulation records, ever. That's no small feat for an area that doesn't get snow. It gets cold and windy, but not snow. And while I applaud the snow removal efforts, you gotta wonder how those guys could possibly dig everyone else out before the end of next week? I'll be lucky if our offices are open at all this week. Maybe Friday, but it's highly doubtful.  Today we're in the midst of snow storm 3.0. There are 40 mph winds and whiteout conditions, causing the power companies to cease efforts to restore power. Let's hope ours stays on! There are cars completely buried under the snow, and this kind of things blows my mind! Yes, I'm from Canada. And I do have vague memories of this kind of weather. But it doesn't cripple a city like it does here. This is truly crazy.

Of course, the good news is that my workload is light so I've been hitting the gym everyday. The bad news is it hasn't done a lick of good! I am still at the same weight! It's getting frustrating. I know I am probably building muscle mass and I am really sticking to the diet, but I need to see results soon. I'll be tested over the next few days as my next shipment of meal replacements are stuck somewhere in Pennsylvania, thanks to the weather. So over the next few days I'm on my own for all my meals. I should be ok, I stocked up before the first storm last week. But given the results I've achieved so far, I'm not hopeful that I won't gain everything back. Today I plan to break into our pool (which is closed bc the lifeguard can't make it in) and do some swimming. Maybe that will help? Until then, I am in my P.J.'s, drinking coffee and doing what work I can. I think I can wait awhile to move to Canada :)