The second thing I did upon my arrival from Los Angeles was promptly tear into my suitcase to get out the NEW exciting noodle I found at my favorite store on the planet, Erewhon Market. (This is, of course, after I fed my yorkie, Eloise, her souvenir organic treat from Trader Joe's!) Erewhon Market is grocery store that really sets the bar where it should be, only offering non-GMO, organic, and ethically sustained foods... which, sadly, makes Whole Foods almost look like a Neighborhood Walmart.
Since I started following the Body Ecology Diet 26 months ago, it has been a mission to find tasty noodles. During stage 1, I did attempt to find some quinoa, buckwheat, and millet options and got by but they could only be appreciated as a food in a category of their own and not an equal replacement for your typical noodle. Ex. Eden Selected Buckwheat Soba is one of the only brands that offers 100% pure buckwheat noodles and although they are edible, they are a little pricey and they have the gummy texture that many would expect from a noodle alternative. (Quick fact to avoid confusion: buckwheat isn't wheat but is a complete protein in the seed family.) Another thing you should know, first and foremost, even if it says "quinoa noodle" it usually isn't only quinoa. That also goes for pretty much any other noodle out there. Always read ingredients! For instance, Ancient Quinoa Harvest's "quinoa pasta" not only also has rice flour but, also, corn. This isn't necessarily a bad thing if you can tolerate corn, since it is organic and doesn't contain scary GMOs. BUT, case in point, it can say it's a ____ noodle but can also contain five other ingredients.
After following the Body Ecology Diet for almost two years, the moment I entered stage 2 of the diet, I was able to graduate to brown rice. Although this made finding noodles much easier, it wasn't exactly a no-fail process. So, here is my assessment of some of my favorite noodle options! This is wonderful if you are gluten-free or trying to only eat low glycemic foods!
King Soba - Organic Brown Rice & Wakame Noodles
Verdict: they had a delicious taste and fantastic texture. Added bonus: King Soba also offers other varieties including brown rice & buckwheat and brown rice ramen! For those of you who aren't familiar, wakame is a really nutritious sea vegetable, more popularly called seaweed.
Serving Suggestion: This noodle could be eaten Italian-style but would be best paired with a vegetable sauté and/or with a little bit of ghee, pink salt, and fermented veggies. In the image seen above, it is served with Wildbrine's Kimchi. Worth noting: it does hold up served in a soup broth, shown in top image with veggies and egg.
Stores: Erewhon Market, Amazon.com
Jovial - Brown Rice Pasta
This is one of the best options out there if you want a nice, hearty pasta. It has great texture and flavor. This brand carries a variety of shapes, including spaghetti, fusilli, and elbow. I made a clean lasagna for Christmas this past year and everyone was blown away that I used a brown rice noodle that didn't fall apart or taste gummy or mushy. I will note: if making lasagna, I suggest most definitely boiling the noodle before baking, even though they say "no boiling required"!
Serving suggestion: This is my go-to for Italian dishes and cold pasta salads, since it keeps its shape and never has an unfavorable texture.
Stores: Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Amazon.com
Explore Asian - Organic Black Bean Spaghetti
This noodle is purely made with black beans and a little water! I discovered this selection a few years ago at Whole Foods in L.A. and it is now available in Tulsa. (A little secret: if you find yourself really getting tired of ordering online, just ask your local grocery to look into a product you frequently purchase. There have been quite a few instances where I will ask or make mention of a product to a grocery store manager and it actually shows up on the shelves, eventually!)
This noodle option is very unique. It has a spongy but nice texture and the flavor is mild but can't really be compared to much, not even black beans. Serving suggestion: As you can see in the image, I made a Mexican Spaghetti with taco-seasoned ground beef, sautéed fajita-style veggies, and vegan nacho cheese sauce. It is a really fun option to add to your Mexican dishes instead of rice, beans, tortillas, or chips!
Stores: Whole Foods, Sprouts, Amazon.com
Trader Joe's - Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta
This is probably my favorite only because it tastes just like you would expect a wheat noodle to taste like but, also, it contains quinoa, which is a complete protein!
Serving suggestion: This noodle can be eaten with anything. I do suggest cooking it a tad longer than the instructions but this is my preference, only because it doesn't get gummy and I prefer soft noodles vs. al dente.
Stores: Trader Joe's
Happy and healthy eating! - Holly
p.s. what you put ON the pasta is just as important as the actual pasta! I prefer adding 80% veggies with 20% noodles and/or using a nut-based cream sauce. Always be sure to check the label because a majority of store-bought sauces and broths contain unnecessary sugar (even organic)!
This fresh and festive dish is the perfect way to bring Mardi Gras' Cajun flair to your table!
Ingredients - it's best to use organic, antibiotic-free, wild-caught, if you can!
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow or orange pepper, chopped
- 8 stalks of green onion, chopped
- 2 large chicken breasts, shredded or cubed
- 4 cups of chicken broth, if purchasing, check the label to avoid getting an option with sugar! I like Imagine. You can also make your own broth by boiling your chicken.
- 1 lb. shrimp
- 1/3 cup brown rice flour
- 3 teaspoons of extra-virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or pink salt, add more depending on taste
- 1 1/2 cups basmati rice (all of the benefits of wholegrain brown rice but with the taste and texture white rice. Great option for diabetics or those of you looking to eat foods with a low glycemic index)
Although this recipe is a breeze, I suggest prepping all ingredients prior to getting started. I personally had made my chicken "bone broth" the day before and purchased frozen cooked shrimp. Bone broth has health-boosting collagen and results in a more gelatin texture, which lends itself nicely to the gravy-like consistency you want to achieve. To make a simple bone broth, simply cook bone-in chicken in boiling water and salt. I also bought Lundberg Farms Organic Basmati Rice and followed the instructions but added a spoonful of ghee while the rice was boiling. After the rice had cooked, (at a point during the directions, you take the rice off of the burner and let sit with the top on it for 10 minutes), I added approx. 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the pot and covered it while I continued cooking for another 20 minutes. 1. to make sure it didn't stick to the bottom of the pot, 2. added flavor, and 3. I like a stickier rice texture.
If your chicken isn't cooked yet and you want to make your own broth: add both breasts to a pot of just enough water that the chicken is submerged with 1 tsp of salt. You want the chicken to be cooked thoroughly but use the least amount of water you can get away with (to get more flavor). But, you will be using at least 4 cups of the water/broth for the recipe. Bring the water to a boil and cook until center of chicken is white. Set the chicken aside to shred/ cut into bite-sized pieces, and allow 4-5 cups of broth to chill in the fridge.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, on low heat. Add onion and celery, on medium heat, until mixture becomes slightly transparent, about 5 minutes. Then, add chopped peppers to pan for another 5 minutes, or, until mixture becomes tender.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, stirring until melted. Add brown rice flour, stirring constantly as you pour, until fully mixed in. Add all seasonings.
After seasoning and flour are fully stirred and mixture has thickened, add half of your chicken broth to the pan, pouring slowly and stirring constantly. *It's normal for the flour to stick to the bottom of your pan- simply scrape it off the bottom and stir into mixture. Once combined, add remaining broth and increase heat to medium-high. The mixture will thicken so, feel free to add additional broth, to insure a gravy-like consistency.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in cooked chicken, cooked shrimp, and green onion, until warm. If you're feeling a little fancy, reserve some of the raw green onion for garnish.
Make a nice little nest with your rice, top with the sauté, and... Enjoy!