I don't generally do product reviews but I decided this week to try something new—so try to bare with me..
I am a someone who for years ate poorly, sometimes from necessity and sometimes from complacency—but after a life altering event several years back, I decided to make a concerted effort to curtail my bad habits and at least make an effort when it comes to food and food choices..
That meant no more fast food, pizza and bad for you buffets while at work—as well as more home cooking, exercise and healthy choices on a regular basis..
Of course over time, as with anything, allowances are made for vacations and special occasions—but now, when those times are past, I get right back into my regular routine of eating..
One of the biggest loves of mine that I've near to given up completely is pasta..
I literally could eat pasta day or night and with next to anything; egg noodles with strogonoff or beef bourguignon over top of them, linguine with clam sauce, penne with vodka sauce or a host of other much loved possibilities spring to mind..
That doesn't mean I haven't attempted all of the varied replacements and substitutes that have recently become the rave online in blogs or in a plethora of photos on Instagram—you know them and have tried them yourself I'm sure..
Spaghetti squash, zuchinni zoodles, shirataki noodles or a host of other spiralized or specialty vegetables that have flitted across our Insta or Facebook pages at one time or another..
Finally though, after trying every other sub under the sun, I came across this one day—"IsoPasta"
At first I was wary, it couldn't be all that good could it—the photos look like pasta, and the video you can find seem like pasta. I'm sure it's probably nothing like that in real life. It couldn't be..
Well after a little seesawing back and forth on my part over what to do, I finally buckled down and made the decision to try it for myself and see whether it really could be another choice to feed my pasta fix..
I chose the penne pasta, though they also carry a fusilli and a orzo style which can be sold (when not sold out) in mixed samples, groups of 4 or 6 packs and several other options..
After a couple of days I received my order and out of the box I have to say it looks exactly like pasta; color is slightly darker like a whole wheat pasta but the look, feel and texture is much like any prego/barrila brand pasta you might see on any supermarket shelf..
Now onto the ingredients; soy, pea and whey protein with a small amount of wheat flour, gluten, fiber, guar gum and egg white constitutes the entirety of the ingredients involved in creating this pasta—but when cooked, one 50 gram serving becomes over 30 grams of protein and only 7 net carbs. (4 grams of fiber)
To me, someone who tries to maintain a lower Carb lifestyle, that's incredible..
The key is what it's like when it's cooked though, you can make any kind of crazy concoction of protein and fiber but if it tastes terrible—well then what good is it really..
So to try this out I made a couple of different dishes and sauces over the course of a couple of days..
I have to say I liked it. It's not perfect, but then anything other then 100% semolina pasta is not going to be perfect in any way, shape or form..
But for what it is, it is more then good and is literally the very best pasta alternative I've ever come across to mimic almost all the attributes of real pasta..
The cooking time is longer, on average 20 to 30 minutes to cook al dente—and when finished it reminds me very much of some of the very early gluten free pastas that were on the market. The taste and texture are off from real pasta; but then no real pasta could serve as a meat replacement for a vegetarian either, what with the "30 grams" of protein a serving..
For me I was more then willing to give allowance for the difference in texture and slightly off flavor because of the incredible Carb conscious benefits..
So, if you've been tired of eating zoodles or miracle noodles to replace pasta in your life and you just can't take another plate of fibrous spaghetti squash, then I definitely recommend giving this a try for yourself..
The right sauce, or dish served with this will go a long way to fulfilling that desire for pasta and afterwards you won't feel that regret of breaking whatever diet or health goals you've set for yourself..
Now here's a recipe or two to help you on you're way—remember fresh ingredients, low sodium and healthy fats go a long way but no matter the dish you'll know at least that the pasta you're serving with it has taken 75% of the guilt away so you can splurge on the flavor here..
"Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Tuna"
1 bag IsoPasta (I used penne but fusilli would work better)
1 (26-ounce) jar low sodium Marinara Tomato Sauce
2 (6-ounces each) cans Yellow-fin Tuna packed in oil, drained (you can use other tuna brands, I usually get Pastene or Cento)
1 tablespoon (or more if desired) Capers in Sherry vinegar, drained (has lower sodium then other capers)
1 Lemon, zested
2 teaspoons Lemon juice (fresh from the zested lemon)
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper flakes
Ground Black Pepper
1 tablespoon fresh Italian Parsley leaves, chopped
1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, about 25 minutes..
2. Meanwhile, combine the tomato sauce, tuna, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice and red pepper flakes in a heavy large skillet..
3. Using a fork, break the tuna into chunks. Simmer to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste..
4. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat..
5. If to dry, toss the pasta with just enough of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve..
"Penna ala Vodka"
1 package IsoPasta Penne
3 tablespoons light Butter
2 Garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces diced Prosciutto (I get lean deli prosciutto for cooking)
1 can (28 ounces) crushed Italian Tomatoes in puree (low sodium if available)
1/4 to 1/2 cup Vodka (depends on how much vodka flavor you desire)
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed Red Pepper flakes
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream (you could sub in light cream as well to reduce fat content)
1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese (I use a mix of parmesan, asiago and romano)
1 tablespoon of fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Add prosciutto; cook 2 minutes longer..
3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper flakes. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes..
4. Add the vodka and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more..
5. Stir in cream; cook 2 minutes longer, stirring occasionally..
6. Drain pasta and toss with sauce in a large serving bowl. Add your cheese to the sauce; toss to combine. Then garnish with extra cheese and the fresh chopped parsley. Serve immediately..