by Jessica Goldman Foung in Scaling Back on Sodium, October 22, 2014
by Amy Chaplin in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, September 9, 2014
Of all the five tastes, umami is the most mysterious. Technically speaking, the savory flavor comes from glutamic acid. Less technically speaking, when added to recipes, umami makes a dish taste yummy (which is the actual English translation of the Japanese name).
But while umami is most commonly associated with high-sodium, bottled products — like soy sauce, miso paste, and kimchi — here’s the tastiest secret of all: Mother Nature makes it too. Those magical glutamates are also found in mushrooms, meat, seaweed, and even green tea. So when your taste buds crave a savory oomph, try swapping out the salty options for fresh sources of umami. And to get started, try this Umami Mushroom Noodle dish, complete with Five Spice Sauce. If you want to even more flavor, add in umami-rich shrimp and ground pork or beef for a multiplied umami effect.
by Robin Miller in Robin's Healthy Take, December 3, 2012
Chilled noodle salads make perfect warmer weather meals as they are simultaneously refreshing and satisfying. Here, the earthy flavor of soba noodles, made from a combination of buckwheat and wheat, are enlivened by tangy rice-vinegar-pickled cucumbers and a zippy dressing made with ginger and shiso. Read more
by Robin Miller in Robin's Healthy Take, September 6, 2011
The noodles have multiple names – cellophane, long rice, rice stick, glass – all referring to the same long, gelatinous noodles found in Chinese and Southeast Asian cooking. They start out white and once softened, become almost translucent. Used in soups, stir fry, salads and desserts, cellophane noodles actually have very little flavor of their own, BUT they act as sponges and soak up the flavor of ingredients they’re partnered with. Nutritionally speaking, cellophane noodles are gluten free, fat free and a 1/2 cup serving dishes up 8% of your daily requirement for iron, important for oxygen transport in the body. And although they’re similar in size and texture to angel hair pasta, cellophane noodles have a low glycemic index, meaning they don’t cause a spike in blood sugar, important for maintaining even blood sugar levels.
- Forget plain old linguine, get yourself some squid ink pasta and top it with a chunky marinara sauce.
I felt like writing about unique noodles this week – cool varieties that probably weren’t in your grandma’s pantry. One of my favorites is black, regular pasta that’s been infused with squid ink. The black ink lends a brilliant flavor of the sea (slightly salty, mildly sweet). I also love brown rice noodles because they’re 100% whole grain, gluten-free and a good source of fiber (4 grams in 2 ounces). They’re also light, making them ideal for richer sauces like Pad Thai and my spicy curry sauce below. Lastly, I adore soba noodles. Made from buckwheat, they’re loaded with nutrients and incredibly hearty (and surprisingly, they contain almost half the calories of regular white flour pasta). Soba noodles are also excellent cold (the Japanese rely on cold noodle dishes during their sizzling hot/humid summers).
Not only did I create three recipes for each of the three types of noodles, I made sure they were from different parts of the globe. The squid ink recipe is Italian-inspired, the brown rice noodles boast the flavor of India and the soba noodles are distinctly Asian. And get this, for you brown-baggers out there, all three dishes are excellent served cold or room temperature.