Over time I have received quite a few e-mails asking me how I stay fairly trim despite indulging in lazy cakes and muttabak (buttery phyllo dough and cheese) as seen in my videos. Well, the short answer is 80% of my diet is pretty healthy, but when I indulge, I practice portion control. Now healthy does not have to mean tasteless, and there are some pretty amazing products out there that allow you to eat some satisfying meals without doing a double duty on the booty. Take shiratake noodles. I have been cooking with them for over a couple of years now—and they are a fabulous invention! Shiratake noodles are made from tofu and yam flour, and they have been popular in Japan, the land of skinny people, for a very long time. They are only 40 calories for a whole package, have negligible carbs, are tender like noodles, and take on the flavor of any sauce or broth you put with them. Make sure you rinse and drain them before using them—sometimes they have a funky smell that is harmless and washes right off with water. They are so versatile, you can stir fry them with veggies and your favorite peanut sauce for some Asian flair, or you can try a Mediterranean version which I have created below. I love using marinara sauce with them, but here I have used the Laughing Cow Light herb wedges, which, at only 35 calories a piece, make a light and creamy sauce. This whole recipe, when divided by 2, is around 300 calories, high in filling protein and fiber, low in fat. Best of all, this dish is super filling—you won’t be reaching for cannolis after munching on this “pasta” dish.
1 package shiratake noodle1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes (optional)
1 tbs olive oil
Handful of fresh spinach
1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup broccoli
1/3 cup chopped basil
1 cup precooked chicken, or shrimp, or tofu
4 wedges Laughing Cow light herb cheese
2 tbs parmesan cheese
Pepper to taste
Rinse shiratake noodles in water, strain, then set aside.
In a saucepan, sauté mushrooms and broccoli in olive oil until mushrooms are browned. Add spinach, dried tomatoes, and chicken broth and stir until spinach wilts. Stir in the wedges of cheese, basil, noodles and chicken until the cheese is melted and creamy. Top with parmesan cheese. Serves two.