Saturday, 8 February 2014

Whole Wheat Spaghetti

... old tupperware, resurrected for a good cause ...
I am trying to turn over a new leaf and think about vegetables, fruit and white meat in a more complimentary light.

Not that I haven't always loved them.  But they are not even a close second to desserts which I think about all of the time.  I collect recipes I will never use, I file them by dessert category, I read them while I eat lunch.  And my supper.

Lately I have been trying to put them out of my mind and think about vegetables, fruit and white meat.  Another category has also loomed large.  Pasta.  Nutritional pasta -- made from whole wheat.  A few years ago I tried it out and thought, "Better to eat no pasta than this pasta."

But in my present state of mind, I am even trying to add that kind of nutrition back into my diet.  My friend, Pouria, says that it is possible to develop a taste for it, so much so that a person will begin to choose it over the "white stuff".

So, in the interest of making real change, I bought some whole wheat spaghetti and used it for the noodles in a dish called  "Make-Ahead Party Thai Noodles" from Anne Lindsey's Light Kitchen.(p. 165)  She says, "These are particularly suitable for a buffet or when entertinaing as they can be made in advance and reheated."

Make-Ahead Party Thai Noodles

1/2 lb spaghetti
half each sweet red and yellow pepper, cut in thin strips
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
1/3 cup chopped green onion
4 cups bean sprouts

1/4 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 tbsp minced ginger root
1 1/2 tsp packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp chili paste or hot pepper sauce

1. In large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until tender but firm; drain.  Transfer to a 12 cup baking dish.
2. Sauce: Combine vinegar, hoisin sauce, water, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger root, sugar, garlic, mustard and chili paste.  Set one-third of the sauce aside; stir remaining sauce into noodles.
3. Stir in red and yellow peppers, coriander, onion and bean sprouts.
4. Add remaining sauce; bake, covered, in 350 F oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until hot.

Makes 8 servings

My Notes
My purpose was to get a good sauce on the whole wheat noodle.  I didn't have dry mustard and used the regular yellow mustard.  I didn't have hoisin sauce, but had black bean sauce, so made the substitution there.  I could see that the sauce is not cooked and I don't like that much fresh garlic, so I left that out.  Still, the noodles were excellent -- I am going to do this again and again with the whole wheat spaghetti I purchased (cheapest when you find it at Costco).  And I have done the requisite shopping trip to T&T groceries over at the Pacific Rim Shopping Centre to refresh my supply of hoi sin, sesame oil and dried shitake mushrooms, of which I will thrown in a few next time.

Now for the vegetables.  I just did a regular stir fry of the veggies I had in the house.  I substituted -- about 8 small carrots (but not baby) that I had julienned in my food processor (for speed); I didn't have coriander but would have loved to try it; I put in some celery.  Just do what  your family likes for a stir fry which is faster than baking everything in the oven.

Pouria and I tasted the dish.  We thought we could triple the vegetables next time.  Kelve tasted it.  He thought the dish should have 1/3 that number of vegetables.  But none of us complained about the noodles.

And here is a bonus.  Calories per serving?  168 and 2 grams dietary fibre


  1. Sounds almost as good as my tinfoil dinner which Moiya made for me. It had potatoes, onions, steak, carrots, red peppers, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Put in triple layered tin foil. Cooked on coals for 30 minutes in -20 temperature. It cools quickly when you are eating it, so eat fast.

    Dessert? Apple betty in triple tin foil. Tip: don't cook too long, but if you do you will still eat it all. The oats will be just a bit crunchie.

    Signed Old Scouter Wood

  2. Dear Old Scouter Wood,

    I was cooking in the warmth of a well-equipped kitchen. I am shaking my head about you getting out there in -20 below with a boy scout troop. Looks like there is still a lot of boy in you. Do tell us more about the adventure. I bow to your cooking skills over an open fire.