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BrokeAss Gourmet

Shirataki noodle salad

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The plan today is to keep things light.

Enter shirataki noodles.

These miraculous (and, admittedly, kind of weird) noodles are made from soy and sweet potato. They come in 7-ounce bags, packed in a strangely fishy-smelling liquid, but don't be put off by this. Draining and rinsing them well, along with a quick boil, will make them pleasantly chewy and pretty damn similar-tasting to wheat or rice noodles.

Even better, a serving has a mere 25 calories, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of fiber, no gluten and zero fat. If you're going to be eating noodles, I highly suggest swapping these in every now and again. They're satisfying, tasty and spare you the "oh-my-god-I-just-ate-enough-food-for-3-people" feeling that so often follows a pasta meal.

My favorite kind is the Spinach Fettucine variety, but plain or any other flavor will work just fine.

Here, I toss the noodles with crunchy cabbage, shredded carrots and simple, uncooked tofu. Feel free to use shredded chicken, poached prawns or even grilled beef as your protein component.

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Ingredients

2 7-ounce packages of shirataki noodles (typically found near the tofu in your grocery store)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari

a few drops of sesame oil, optional

Asian chili paste to taste, optional

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sugar or honey

1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/2 of a small head)

2 carrots, grated or cut into matchsticks

6 ounces medium-soft tofu, cut into small cubes

2 scallions, sliced

1 small handful fresh mint leaves

1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup shelled, roasted peanuts, crushed

(Recipe serves 4)

Directions

Take the noodles out of their packages and drain the liquid they come packaged in.

Put the noodles in a strainer and place them under a cool running faucet for 30-45 seconds, to remove as much of the "fishy" smell as possible.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add the noodles.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Drain and rinse noodles in cool water, then set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil (if using), chili paste (if using), garlic and sugar or honey. Set aside.

Place the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl, and toss with half of the dressing.

Layer the dressed veggies on a serving platter or in a serving bowl.

In the same bowl you tossed the veggies with dressing, toss the cooked, rinsed noodles in the remaining dressing.

Layer the dressed noodles atop the dressed cabbage and carrots.

Top the noodles with the cubed tofu, scallions, mint, cilantro and crushed peanuts.

Serve immediately.

BrokeAss Gourmet caters to folks who want to live the high life on the cheap, with delicious recipes that are always under $20. Gabi Moskowitz is the blog's editor-in-chief and author of The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook and Pizza Dough:100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes.

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