Nourish, Nutrition Advice

Tofu Noodles? Try ‘em.

November 11, 2009

noodlesThis is what I’m talking about! Well -I was talking about it twenty years ago, in my advisor’s office  at the UC Berkeley’s Nutrition Department. “Why was I learning about serving Jello, saltine crackers and other highly processed food options to people in hospitals?”  I asked my advisor. This seemed counterintuitive to my expectations, since I was there to learn the fundamentals of nutrition to help people be healthy.

This conversation came back to me as I read through this press release from House Foods, a tofu food company targeting students (on budgets) who along with Chef Mai Pham of Lemongrass Restaurant in Sacramento teamed up to create; Boost Your GPA not BMI this Semester:

House Foods teamed up with Dr. Melina Jampolis, CNN diet and nutrition expert and Chef Mai Pham, executive chef and owner of Lemon Grass Restaurant in Sacramento and UC Berkeley’s Star Ginger at Café Three to help UC Berkeley start the semester on a healthy note. At a special campus event titled Boost Your GPA not BMI this Semester, Dr. Melina gave nutrition tips for eating well and avoiding college weight gain while Chef Mai showed students how to lighten up Asian noodle favorites with the delicious low-calorie, House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodles.

According to Dr. Melina. “Twenty-five percent of students gain at least five pounds in the first two months of college due in part to late night snacking and decreased exercise. Students can easily prevent this by making smarter eating choices which could help combat weight gain and lead to better classroom performance and better grades.”

Chef Mai’s recipes:

  • Spicy Drunken Shirataki with Chicken — for best flavors, do what Thai cooks do – start with a hot pan and go a little heavy handed on the garlic, chiles and Thai basil for an enticing, smoky savoriness.

The calories and carbs in these dishes were significantly reduced by swapping traditional noodles with Tofu Shirataki Noodles, made from tofu and Asian yam flour. Chef Mai cut back on fats without sacrificing flavor by relying on herbs and aromatic ingredients such as Thai basil, ginger, sesame and lime.  Developed with students in mind, Chef Mai’s recipes call for minimal prep and cook time while using inexpensive and accessible ingredients.

Caloric breakdown of your favorite noodles.

While does not list the nutritional breakdown of Tofu Shiraki noodles, which add up to 20 calories a cup, here is a list of comparable noodles. Click through (the type of noodle) for more information from the Nutrition Data website.

Couscous, 1 cup; 176 calories

Elbow macroni, 1 cup, 221 calories

Chow mein, 1 cup, 237 calories

Egg noodles, 1 cup, 221 calories

Soba noodles, 1 cup, 114 calories

Somen noodles, 1 cup, 176 calories

Rice noodles, 1 cup, 176 calories

Spaghetti, 1 cup, 221 calories

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