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shirataki noodles give some similarity to pasta and you can find them at the local asian supermarkets. They're basically flavorless on their own and have a rubbery texture, so they are acceptable to some and wholly an abomination to others looking for spaghetti. I have heard of folks mixing the shirataki 3:1 with high protein pasta to get a bit closer to a real pasta experience, but again, is it an acceptable substitute? Up to the eater.

You can use mandolined zucchini to layer into lasagna instead of noodles

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It is apparently made from konnyaku root, but I don't know what that is.

Konnyaku root, also know as Konjac root. Typically used in Asian fruit jelly dessert, although eaten more by the Japanese than other East Asian cultures. Known more for its medicinal capabilities. Best eaten during summer to help cool body down, ridding (sp? rids) of toxins. Also know for its fibrous content, can help those with GI issues. It's a texture to get used to for those who have not tried it before, but it's really good in the hot summertime, eaten like soba, if it's pasta.

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I'm horrible with low carb info, but I immediately think of buckwheat or rice noodles. I have seen quinoa noodles in the pasta aisle. If you are looking for noodles to stir-fry with, then I recommend Naganimo noodles, which I've seen in the dried noodle aisle of Asian markets.

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This product, GreeNoodle is made from Moroheiya. We've tried them and they are akin to eating a spinach noodle and are very good for all applications where one does not mind the "green" taste. From the website:

Moroheiya also known as mulukhiya or mallow leaf (Corchuros in Lat.) has been cultivated in Egypt since ancient times. Its fibers are spun into jute while its young shoots and leaves are harvested as a vegetable and used in traditional Egyptian dishes and stews. However not many people know that this seemingly humble plant has a very surprising nutritional value.

As the Japanese Ministry of Education and Science reported, moroheiya contains great amounts of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers in quantities that surpass most known vegetables and herbs.

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As was suggested above, shreds of vegetables like zucchini, squash, and carrots will substitute for pasta as a low carb alternative. You can also get shredded tofu at some stores, and these noodles have nice texture and fill you up.

Just out of curiosity, if you need low carb, why go with pasta? It's pretty much a carbohydrate delivery food.

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Just out of curiosity, if you need low carb, why go with pasta? It's pretty much a carbohydrate delivery food.

Sometimes you just crave pasta. I realize this may well be a futile quest. Dreamfields claims only 5g digestible carbs per serving. It is still 190 calories per serving, just like every other pasta.

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And low carb too?

I thought so, but when I re-looked at the label it is 40g of carb per one block of noodles. I can't tell you how much one block of noodles makes, but 1/2c of regular pasta is approx 20g of carb, so one block is the carb equivalent of one cup of pasta. However, the high fiber content makes it a low-glycemic carbohydrate, so it is useful for a low-glycemic diet, but not a no carb diet.

The soy noodles I believe have low to no carbs, but I am allergic to soy so can't vouch for the taste. I did see a website mentioning a Miracle Noodle, that has no soy, wheat or gluten and has minimal carbs (the carbs coming only from the vegetables used) I may have to give that one a look-see for myself! According to the website there are many different varieties offered. I'm not sure what the soluble fiber is they use as I have never heard of glucomannan. Scratch that as from looking further on the website, it appears glucomannan is Konjac flour, as mentioned above by Goodeats.

@lperry, yes pasta is a very high carb delivery food, but I think the OP poses a great question as many who must lower their carb intake or at least calculate their intake for dosage of insulin or other medicines do not want to eliminate noodles from their diets entrirely. These new products offer great alternatives.

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shirataki noodles give some similarity to pasta and you can find them at the local asian supermarkets. They're basically flavorless on their own and have a rubbery texture, so they are acceptable to some and wholly an abomination to others looking for spaghetti.

I'm late to the party, but just tried tofu noodles (shirataki) for the first time.* I'm curious as to how prices compare between the large Asian grocery stores and more typical grocery stories (Whole Foods, Mom's). I paid $1.99 for an 8 oz. package at Mom's.

* I made Creamy Lemon Shrimp - really quick and easy. It was a great way to use some of the delicious North Carolina shrimp I picked up from EcoFriendly at Union Market on Sunday.

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This is what I bought (fettucine size):

shirataki.jpg

The brand is House Foods and they also have angel hair and macaroni shapes, according to the info on the link.

ETA: a little more research (thanks Google) finds that there are several kinds of shirataki, with tofu being one of them. Shirataki are made from konjac (or devil's tongue) yam, but variations include brown, with seaweed, and tofu, which is no/low-carb.

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I've had them a few times before - they definitely have an odd taste/aroma if you don't rinse them really well, and they still have an odd consistency. I wouldn't throw meatballs and sauce on them, but if you drop them in an asian dish with sauce and protein, they're not bad.

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I guess the important question is *what* is it about pasta that you crave? The flavor? The chew (thick, or thin)? A particular shape? As a vehicle for sauce?

How about Spaghetti Squash?

That was going to be my pick too. In fact, I used one tonight, in what should otherwise have been a spaghettini dish.

You might be able to adapt layers of dried bean curd sheets for lasagna-esque purposes, but they're not very good at absorbing liquid.

The other noodle-shaped non-noodle food that I crave is an order of the "fish noodles" from Grace Garden.

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I've used the Shirataki tofu noodles in curries or other asian based dishes that are saucy, but I don't eat them any more because they're still a processed food, which I try to avoid. To me, if rinsed they have no noticeable flavor of their own. The texture isn't as toothsome as a pasta, and certainly not like a noodle like udon would be, they remind me more of the noodles you'd get in a bowl of pho.

I eat my asian dishes without a carb base now, or I make cauliflower rice. For things I'd want to put an Italian style sauce on I often use zucchini. I've layered sliced zucchini and portabello with meat sauce for lasagna, or I use shredded zucchini for pasta sauce, meatballs, things like that. I don't think it's going to satisfy your craving for pasta though, it will just allow you to have dishes that you otherwise could not if you were avoiding pasta.

I do make a chicken carbonara with spaghetti squash that is awesome and as satisfying as the real thing imo though. The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Down Home Down Town.

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These posts are making me think i need to try the shirataki noodles again. i had them a year or two ago and prepared them by rinsing many times (my package had a strong odor) and then microwaving them for a few minutes to release extra water (as reccomended on the website of hungrygirl, who's apparently one of their biggest advocates).

I found them very chewy, almost like chewing rubber bands. and they didn't really pick up sauce.however, reading these posts I'm wondering if i prepared them wrong or something, i'll give them another try, without the microwaving.

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Just a note to say that I tried the "tofu shirataki" (pictured above by goldenticket) today in a quick carrot, green onion, and Better than Bouillon soup with plenty of sriracha. It was a perfectly good experience, for those of us who crave noodle soups but have some good reason for eating less (or no) wheat noodle. As mentioned above, the texture is imperfect (a little rubbery) and they do not soak up much flavor. Also, the instructions (microwave or parboil "to reduce authentic aroma") are less than tantalizing. But when you have a need for noodle soup, and are willing to accept imperfection, it's a good quick thing to throw together.

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