My sweetie and I both have health concerns and have to adhere to stricter diets than most. He has recently been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and I have Crohn’s disease. Since we have limited diets, eating-out can be difficult. This weekend for date night, we wanted to stay-in and try cooking a healthier, vegan, diabetic approved, pasta dish. We are not vegans, we’re not even vegetarians, but we both are lactose intolerant and feel we can reduce our meat consumption. After discussing possibilities, we decided to try Shirataki noodles, and for a sauce we found an intriguing recipe for Vegan Garlic Alfredo by Vegan 8.
For those who haven’t heard of Shirataki noodles, they are traditional Japanese noodles. They are made from a dietary fiber called glucomannan, derived from the konjac root. We chose them because they reduce glucose levels after consumed, and it likely improves insulin sensitivity. Translation: A healthy pasta substitute for diabetics. The ones we purchased are by Miracle Noodle, and come in a water filled pouch. It was a little off-putting at first, since it looks really weird!
To cook the Shirataki noodles, you boil just the noodles for one minute; mainly to warm them. After draining the noodles and patting them dry, you dry roast them in a pan. They make a high pitched squeaking sound when you do this. Dry roasting the Miracle Noodles helps make them harder, otherwise they are borderline gelatinous. They don’t have much of a taste, but they do absorb whatever sauce they are cooked in. Personally, I thought they were the constancy of mushrooms. Although the Miracle Noodles didn’t taste like regular noodles, I still enjoyed them more than ones made of wheat or whole grain. We will definitely be using them again.
For the Vegan Garlic Alfredo Sauce, we followed Vegan 8’s recipe closely. The only “deviation” we made was adding mushrooms. It was fun to see what other ingredients can be used to create a creamy flavor without even adding “Vegan Cheese.” This recipe used cashews to make it creamy, and lemon to cancel the nutty flavor. Granted, we are new to vegan cooking, be we never would have thought to try that combination on our own.
Our first impression was, “Wow, this is garlicky!” It only called for four garlic cloves, but somehow we overdid it. Although it didn’t taste exactly like Alfredo sauce (when you’re an avid cheese lover, there just isn’t a true substitute) it still was good in its own way. We made sure to soak the cashews overnight, to soften them, but our Ninja blender wasn’t high powered enough. The graininess wasn’t a deal breaker, but next time we will try finishing it off with a hand blender.
Overall, it was a great dinner! We have some thoughts on how to adjust the recipe to our own tastes, but would still recommend both the Shirataki noodles and Vegan Garlic Alfredo Sauce. I encourage you to visit Vegan 8’s website to get the recipe, and peruse for inspiration!