I’ve had it with winter. I NEED warmth and sun and spring flowers and chirping birds. But, for the next several days, where I live, Mother Nature has other ideas and is bringing sub-zero temperatures and a possible ice storm too. Honestly, this winter has me so blue (and cold) that I reach for comfort foods to warm my soul. I need a healthier alternative – and I think I’ve found the perfect combination of comfort food and good-for-you-food in the following healthy recipes from Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, stars of the Cooking Channel’s Extra Virgin. Their pasta recipes combine their love of all things Tuscan with one of their not-so-secret favorite ingredients, House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodles. These noodles are high in protein, nutrient-packed and contain only 20 calories and 3 g of carbs per 4 ounce serving – compared to approximately 400 calories in 4 ounces of regular pasta. And, House Foods Tofu is non-GMO certified. Great news!
Healthy Tofu Noodle Recipes from Debi Mazar and Gabrielle Corcos
Tofu Shirataki with Norma Sauce
2 packages House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodles (spaghetti shape)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
½ small red onion, finely diced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 (15 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 medium-small eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Fresh basil leaves, optional for garnish
Ricotta Salata, optional for serving (or Parmigiano Reggiano)
Preheat a grill (or a cast iron grill on the stove) to medium high heat. Season the eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Drizzle the eggplant with olive oil, and grill in batches, about 2-3 minutes per side, until they are marked by the grill and cooked through. Allow to cool slightly then slice the eggplant into bite sized pieces.
In a large pan, sauté the onion in olive oil over a high heat. As the onion softens and becomes golden, sprinkle with crushed hot pepper (optional). Stir once then add the crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer the onion and tomato mixture on a medium-low flame for about 20 minutes. Stir constantly until it thickens.
Add the eggplant. Mix well and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Prepare the shirataki noodles according to the instruction on the package. Add noodles to the sauce and toss, plate directly from the pan.
Serve basil and Ricotta Salata at the table as an optional garnish for guests.
Tuscan Tofu Shirataki Noodle Soup
1 bag (8 oz) House Foods Tofu Shirataki (fettuccini shape)
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ red onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
2 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped
6 cups water
Parmesan cheese rind
1 bunch Tuscan kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1 (15 ounce) can cannelini beans
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed soup pot until it simmers. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until completely soft (about 8 minutes). Add the red pepper flakes and garlic the last minute of sautéing and cook until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes have melted down into the vegetables. Add 6 cups of water and season with salt, pepper, and Parmesan rind. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook –stirring on occasion – for 15 minutes.
Purée half of the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the liquid to the pot and stir in the kale and the zucchini, and cook until the vegetables are very tender (roughly another 15 minutes).
Meanwhile, rinse the noodles very well in a colander and dry well. Roughly chop the noodles and add them, along with the beans to the soup. Cook for additional 5 minutes.
Serve bowls of soup dressed with some freshly grated Parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
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