Slim pasta has made working on my weight loss over a long period of time that bit easier.
When I first looked online to find out more, people hated or loved it.
I love it.
It’s a great addition to the dieter’s arsenal, but there things you need to know so you avoid the mistakes I made in my slim pasta experiments.
1. What is slim pasta?
Slim pasta, or as it’s recently been rebranded, Slendier, is made from a vegetable called konjac which is processed and turned into what *looks* like rice, spaghetti, noodles, angel hair pasta and lasagne sheets.
The whole packet (250g drained), is between 20 to 25 calories, made up mainly of fibre with traces of carbohydrates and protein and no sugar.
greedy hungry *ahem*, you can use the entire packet in a meal, but it’s probably best split across two serves, from both a portion and a financial perspective.
The texture is more rubbery than rice or pasta, not dissimilar to clear rice noodles.
It’s not cheap, but it does goes on sale periodically and I like to stock up then.
You can find it in the health aisle of most supermarkets or order it online.
Images via Slendier
2. Choose how you use it
Slim pasta can’t be tipped into a bowl with some tuna, corn and spring onions and called tuna salad, in the way you make traditional pasta salad.
It will not be pleasing to eat.
It’s best used as a side or an accompaniment to bulk out and give texture to a recipe that already has lots of sauce and flavour on its own. The slim pasta won’t add any flavour so you’ll need to mix it in or put something on top of it that covers it in a sauce.
Think mince, curries, stews, casseroles and risotto. Some of the recipes I use it with include:
- My chicken mince spaghetti – where I use the noodle or spaghetti slim pasta to enjoy ‘spag bol’ with parmesan and cracked pepper, served with a green side salad
- This beef stroganoff recipe (I also make it with chicken), which is great with the slim pasta noodles (the noodles are flat like fettuccine)
- This slow cooker chicken, leek and mushroom casserole from Fatmumslim is lovely over the slim pasta rice
- Slow cooker honey and apricot lamb works with the rice
- Teresa Cutter’s apricot chicken works with the rice
I cook most of these recipes in a pressure cooker, and make a few amendments so that they suit my calorie needs.
I’ve used the lasagne sheets to create a healthy lasagne of sorts – but it wasn’t a huge success. It tasted great but was quite messy.
If I had put the cooked lasagne in the fridge overnight and then cut it when it was cold, it would have worked better as the rubbery texture of the slim pasta lasagne sheets meant it was tricky to cut into pieces without smooshing all of the layers together.
I don’t make a lot of stir fry dishes because:
- I can’t be bothered chopping up loads of vegetables for one meal (I put effort into freezable and re-heatable food) #Iamlazy
- I never get home and think “Oooh stir fry… yum”, and fear this is from many years of yo-yo dieting and eating too much stir fry with soy sauce
- You need a good glug of sauce to make it taste any good, and a lot of the stir fry sauces are sugar laden
That said, the slim pasta angel hair noodles make stir fry a more appealing meal, and if I *am* going to make it, I use the teriyaki chicken recipe base sauce from Celebrate Health, as a healthier sauce option.
I don’t really follow a recipe for risotto, but you could pick any risotto recipe and cook it this way.
My easy risotto recipe:
- Cook onion, garlic and chicken in the frypan
- Add mushrooms until they’re cooked through
- Add oven roasted pumpkin pieces (that were roasted covered in cumin, salt and pepper)
- Add fresh or dried thyme
- Add around ¼ cup of chicken stock
- Stir in the slim pasta rice until it’s heated through
- Stir through some parmesan, and serve topped with cracked pepper alongside a green side salad
3. Rinse, rinse and rinse again.
And then rinse some more.
This is one of the areas people go wrong. Not rinsing, or not rinsing enough.
The slim pasta products are preserved in a brine like liquid and it smells oddly fishy.
It is displeasing to the senses.
So. Don’t smell it!
Hold your breath, cut open the packet and tip the slim pasta straight into a colander in the sink and let the hot water run freely.
Swish them around so they are thoroughly rinsed.
Boil some water and do a final rinse.
Do not tip the slim pasta straight from the packet into your dish!
4. Slim pasta is not porous
Unlike traditional rice or pasta, slim pasta is not porous and won’t soak up liquid from the dish you’re making, nor will it take on any flavour.
So whether it’s risotto, spaghetti sauce or curry, make sure the dish itself is the right consistency on its own.
For example in my risotto recipe above, I used 1/4 cup of chicken stock, unlike traditional risotto where two to three cups are used for the rice to soak up.
The 1/4 cup of the chicken stock is enough to mix through the other ingredients and make a risotto rather than rice porridge, and the addition of stirring through some parmesan at the end alongside the slim pasta rice helps the dish stick together, resulting in a yummy risotto-like texture.
5. Slim pasta makes dieting easier
Organisation is key to staying on track with a food plan and food preparation is where things can easily fall apart.
I have lots of pre-prepared food stored in zip lock bags in the freezer (the beef stroganoff, chicken mince spaghetti and chicken and leek casserole to name a few), which are easily defrosted.
My freezer food collection combined with slim pasta in the cupboard and fresh vegetables in the fridge means I can assemble a yummy dinner in around five minutes.
This is especially handy on weeknights when I want to spend minimal time in the kitchen, but need to eat something tasty and nutritious.
I don’t eat slim pasta every night – it’s too expensive!
Most of the time I eat one of the freezer meals with fresh steamed vegetables or mashed cauliflower, but for those times when I want something more interesting, substantial or similar to ‘non-diet food’, the slim pasta helps to fill that gap without the extra calories.
So there you have it.
Go forth and get your slim pasta on, and let me know how you get on.