Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Best/Healthiest Substitute for Pasta: Organic Edamame Spaghetti

One of my very generous clients recently gave me a huge Costco box of “Explore Asian” Edamame Spaghetti for me to try. She and others had been telling me about it and when I looked at the nutrition information I quickly gave my stamp of approval since the only ingredient is organic edamame. However, I had never personally tried it up until last week. Previously I had made the Explore Asian black bean spaghetti for my family and friends, which I have to say did not go over too well due to the fact it seemed dry, tasteless, and was not an adequate substitute for pasta at all. In defense of the black bean spaghetti, the nutritionals on it are exceptional since it is only made from black beans.

I was blown away by the quality of the Edamame spaghetti. For being a nutrient powerhouse, it actually does make for a good substitute for pasta in terms of texture and appearance. Calorie-wise, it is very comparable to eating regular spaghetti, at about 210 calories for 2 oz. However, nutrient-wise regular semolina pasta doesn’t even come close.  The edamame spaghetti has a whopping 24 grams of high-quality protein (compared to 6-8 g of low biological value protein found in semolina/regular spaghetti) and 11 grams of fiber (compared to the pathetic 2 grams in the white grain form). Additionally, you get 30% of your daily value of iron, some Vitamin A, C, and Calcium with the edamame version, not to mention the healthy isoflavones attributed with soy. These isoflavones exhibit antioxidant properties which have shown extremely beneficial for lowering cholesterol and have shown to help prevent many illnesses and may help ease menopause symptoms. For more info on soy, please refer to my previous blog on the subject.

Ever since I tried this edamame pasta, I have been recommending it to almost all of my clients as a great way to feel like they are eating something indulgent, while actually being very good for you. This “pasta” is especially good for my vegetarian clients or those that don’t eat much lean protein since the spaghetti is going to be your protein source for the meal. Additionally, since it is made from nothing but soybeans, it is good for those on a gluten-free diet.

Another benefit of this “pasta” is it takes about five minutes to cook, so it can be a very quick and healthy meal. So, I have been recommending people make a big bowl of spaghetti primavera with tons of veggies and up to a cup of the edamame spaghetti. I have enjoyed the edamame spaghetti this way, but I think it works well as cold or hot sesame noodles too, below is how I have made it:

Kelly’s Sesame Edamame Noodles
Makes 1 serving*

1 oz edamame spaghetti (~ ½ c cooked)
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp light soy sauce
½ tsp honey
2 tsp sesame seeds

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil- add edamame spaghetti and simmer for 4 minutes
2. Heat oil, soy sauce, and honey in pan, add cooked edamame spaghetti
3. Top with sesame seeds and add to big bowl of stir-fried veggies for a very low-calorie and healthy meal!

* Note: Recipe can be increased to make more servings. For my clients looking for a “complete” meal according to my standards, I recommend adding your proper portion of 100% buckwheat soba noodles.

Nutrition info w/o added veggies: 175 calories, 7 g fat (3 g MUFA, 3 g PUFA), 15 g carb, 6 g fiber, 13 g protein (calculated using Diet Master Pro software)

DISCLAIMER: I did not receive any form of compensation or incentive to write this post advocating the consumption of Explore Asian products- I simply believe in and recommend this specific product. :-) 

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