Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bolognese Sauce over Shirataki No-Carb Noodles

Zero net carbs, 15 calories per serving, gluten free noodles that can actually aid in blood sugar control?  I'll admit, I was skeptical.  Shirataki noodles sound too good to be true, but I'm an adventurous cook and always on the lookout for low carb ways to eat my favorite foods, so I gave them a try.  The verdict?  Very good!  You can find them in Asian markets or in your grocery produce section with tofu or vegetarian products.  They come in a water-filled pouch and are made from a high fiber root vegetable called konjac.  (The noodles also come in a variety that has been combined with tofu, but those have more carbs and a few more calories per serving.  I suggest purchasing the noodles that are soy-free.). When you open the package, strain the noodles in a fine mesh strainer and run hot water over them.  You can either boil them for a few minutes or dry pan fry them to improve their texture to be more like wheat noodles.  Simply spray a dry skillet with non-stick cooking spray and sauté for a few minutes on medium high heat until most of the moisture has evaporated and the noodles are dry.  Use them in recipes or top with your favorite sauce, like the meat sauce recipe below, which is one of my family's favorites.  The noodles are bland, have no flavor of their own and will take a backseat to the flavor of the other ingredients in the dish.  The best part is that they are quite filling!  By using these magic noodles, the carbs in this traditional pasta dish were slashed dramatically, from over 50 grams per serving to a mere 10 net carbs, including the sauce!  I'm amazed and delighted by this new find!

Low Carb Bolognese Sauce
Makes 6 servings

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 pound grass-fed ground beef
3 teaspoons minced garlic
26 ounces chopped tomatoes, with liquid (I use Pomi Italian tomatoes)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil or 1 TB fresh, chopped
1 Tablespoon dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh, chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil and add the chopped onion.  Add a dash of salt and sauté until onion is soft and translucent.  Add the ground beef and break apart into small pieces, stirring until the meat is cooked and no longer pink.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.

2.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, and bay leaf.  Stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes.  Remove the cover and continue simmering for another 20 minutes or until thickened.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove bay leaf and serve over boiled or dry pan fried shirataki noodles or your favorite pasta.

Nutritional Information per serving (for sauce only): 261 calories, 9.1 g carbohydrate (2.7 g dietary fiber, 5.2 g sugar), 18.4 g total fat (5.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 50 mg cholesterol, 172 mg sodium, 23 mg calcium, 88 mg potassium, 15.4 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 6.4

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2014

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