Noodles for everyone!

Sometimes you just don’t have time to make it yourself.

Consumer’s Report, from Replenish PDX, offers recommendations and reviews for foodstuff you can purchase while aiming to achieve your optimal health and wellness.

this month: oodles of noodles

For the past month you’ve likely found me writing and talking about my love of foods the hues of the rainbow. But I wasn’t always so colorful.

When I was a kid, white was my favorite food color. (One day soon I’ll share an ode to toastthat I wrote in my early thirties. At this point my tastes had diversified, but I still loved the bland, the sticky, the gooey, the crunchy and the colorless.)

You may hold a tight grip on your childhood comfort foods and, I promise, I’m no different. Even though I currently follow a primarily grain-free diet, I still get a hankering for my bread, crackers and especially noodles.

Who among us doesn’t love noodles? Oodles and oodles of them!

Pad Thai.
Baked ziti.
Chicken noodle soup…

Slippery. Slurpy. Sublime.

I was meek and prone to sickness when I was little, (maybe in part due to the lack of color in my diet?). My mom would almost always serve me a bowl of chicken noodle soup or tiny little star-shaped pasta called pastini_ with butter and cottage cheese whenever I had a fever and rejected all her attempts at feeding me anything else.

These days, when the pasta craving calls, when I just need a little of the comfort from my childhood, when there’s no denying the need for the reminder of love and nurturing that can undoubtedly be found in a bowl of noodles, I know just how to suit my fancy. And I think you should too.

Gluten-free?
Grain-free?
Paleo?
No worries.

Stick a feather in your hat and call it macaroni!

Check out the options we’ve gathered for you below. If we missed one of your favorites, let us know over on the Replenish Facebook page. Now let’s get experimenting… see what favorites you can recreate with these options and if you have cherished allergy-free pasta recipes, go ahead and share those too.

We love seeing what you’re up to with your noodles and check out one of my favorite recipes below!

Gluten-Free Noodles

GF noodles aren’t really new on the scene but it seems each time I’m at the store, there’s a new option popping up in the pasta aisle. Brown rice, corn, quinoa, and more. I won’t review them all since you likely already have a gluten-free favorite but I do encourage you to look beyond the basics and try these if gluten-free grains work for you.

Ancient Harvest Supergrain Pasta
These are pretty close to it’s semolina sister as far as taste and texture goes. Note, these noodles have corn which can be inflammatory (especially if you have a gluten intolerance).

Eden Organic 100% Buckwheat Soba
Don’t let the name fool you, buckwheat is indeed gluten-free so these soba noodles are a safe bet for slurping up a Japanese-inspired soup. Be sure to read the label (most udon and soba noodles do contain some wheat and are not gluten-free)!

Asian-style Rice Noodles
Easy to find and quick to cook, these work great in homemade spring rolls or noodle salads. But nutrition rockstars? Not quite! Ok for a treat but not for a daily dose of well-deserved nutrients.

(Another brand I’ve seen, new to the scene is Happy Pho Noodles.)

Grain-Free Noodles


Gluten-free noodles are easy but noodles without grains, oh my, that gets a bit more complicated. Luckily for the grain-free eaters in the group (like me), there are some new kids on the block that look and taste enticing!

Tolerant Legume Pasta
Made with legumes (red lentils and black beans), a great grain-free option if you’re “tolerant” of beans. Be warned, the color (red and black) might entice or turn-off, depending on the eater!

Explore Asia Bean Noodles
Like Tolerant noodles these are bean-based with an asian twist. They leave no bean left un-noodled including mung, adzuki, soy, and black.

Capello’s Fresh Pasta
Made with almond flour and eggs, these noodles are all the rage with paleo peeps. The eggs keep them off my list (sigh) but I hear they’re delish!

Paleo and Autoimmune Paleo Friendly

For paleo eaters, Capello’s noodles fall squarely in your camp. If eggs and almonds are also out, no fear, I’ve got options for you!

Kelp Noodles
A raw foodie find, these are made from the sensational seaweed, kelp. Do they taste just like pasta? Nope, not quite. I can’t lie about that. But they do work well in noodle salads and asian-inspired soups.

Kelp Noodle Tip: I’ve learned to “work it” with my kelp noodles. I soak them in hot water for several hours before prepping. Then, when I have my sauce ready to go, I pour it on the noodles, stick my hands right in there and massage the heck out of those noodles, like I’m kneading a loaf of bread. The massaging process softens the noodles and makes the texture less crunchy and more to my noodle likings.

Shiritaki Noodles
Dubbed the “miracle noodle”, they’re made from the root of the konjac plant. They contain some good water-soluble polysaccharide-rich dietary fiber (from glucomannan). Should you eat them every day? Probably not but they’re a nice noodle treat once a week if your digestive system says they’re A-OK sliding down.

zucchini noodle zucchini noodle plate of zucchini noodles

Vegetable Noodles

Getting back to the rainbow, don’t overlook your crisper when it comes to making noodles. With the help of a handy spiralizer or julienne tool (or good knife skills), you can turn zucchini, yellow squash and sweet potatoes into noodles.

Do a quick google search for oodles of homemade noodle recipes with tasty sauces. You can start with my veggie-packed sweet potato noodles below!

And with Fall just around the corner, spaghetti squash with it’s golden, noodle-like flesh makes it’s appearance at the market soon. Bake it, scrape it, and top it with sauce for a comforting bowl of noodle-like goodness.

Find a favorite on this list or maybe a noodle you love that I left out? Head over to the Replenish Facebook page and tell us all about it!

Hail noodles!
Andrea Nakayama

Thai Red Curry with Sweet Potato Noodles

ingredients
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoon red curry paste
sea salt, to taste
Juice of one lime
½ tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon coconut nectar, yacon syrup or 2-4 drops of plain or lemon stevia to taste
1 cup coconut milk (full-fat Native Forest, Nature’s Value or Arroy-D)
½ red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled
Basil, cut into thin strips

directions
In a bowl mix garlic, chili pepper, curry paste and sea salt. Add lime juice, coconut oil and sweetener of choice. Gradually add coconut milk until curry paste breaks down and incorporates, whisking as you go. The sauce should be the consistency of soup. Add onions and bell pepper.

Spiralize or julienne the sweet potato to make thin spaghetti or fettuccine-like noodles. Place the noodles in a bowl and massage a bit of sea salt into them, very gently, so as not to break the noodles, but to help soften them up.

Pour curry on the sweet potato noodles, and massage the sauce into the noodles with clean hands. You can let this sit for 15-20 minutes and eat it raw, or, if you’d like, pour the whole thing over a low heat and warm (this is how I like it).

Top with basil and enjoy!



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Your comments and feedback are always welcome. Is there an ingredient you'd like to learn more about? Is there a nutrition class you always wish existed? Let me know!