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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Super Low-Cal & Tasty Chili Mac

Here’s the recipe for the super low cal Chili Mac I made for Cainan—it’s a lot of food!

1 package of Shirataki Noodles (any variety) – 40 cal for entire package
¾ cup of your favorite chili – calories vary
1 slice non-fat cheese – 25 - 30 calories per slice

Follow directions for rinsing the noodles.  Add chili.  Stir to combine.  Heat thoroughly, either by microwaving or baking in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Add cheese slice to top and serve.

This recipe is one large serving or two small ones and, depending on the chili you choose, is amazingly low in calories.  Even with a popular full calorie brand of chili (Hormel Chili with Beans), one serving is only 132 calories.  It’s  even less if you use a lower calorie chili.  I choose a low cal chili and let Cainan eat both servings; it makes a huge meal for him, especially with some fruit and veggies on the side.

If you've never heard of the Shirataki Noodles, don't be surprised.  They can be a little difficult to find.  I usually find them in the produce section where they keep other Asian noodles, wonton wrappers and vegetarian items.  

They come packaged in liquid and like most soybean based products, have a pungent odor (to say it nicely) when you open them and drain the liquid.  They should be rinsed to get rid of the odor and I promise they won't taste like they smell.  They take on on the taste of whatever you add to them and their consistency is similar to a firm noodle.  

Personally, I don't mind eating them at all, as long as some time passes between when I open them and when I consume them, because I have a really hard time getting past the smell.  Even though I know they don't taste like they smell, that odor lingers with me and has a psychological effect.  But I often have the same problem with anything smelly that I prepare (especially seafood!!).  If you're used to consuming tofu and other soybean products, it may not bother you at all.

What's particularly nice about them is their extremely low calorie count--40 calories for the entire two serving package.  And they come in various types: spaghetti, fettuccine, etc.  Use them in any recipe that calls for pasta and you'll be cutting your pasta calories by at least 90% (based on a 200 calories serving of traditional dried pasta).  

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