"IsoPasta For A True Pasta Alternative"

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
Sea Salt
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..

"Le Soir-A French Countryside Eatery Hidden In The Heart Of Bayport"

Driving through Bayport one could be excused for missing completely the precious little gem hidden on the roadside—and the amazing French fine dining experience it contains..

Nestled behind a hedgerow, with both building and sign almost invisible to a quickly passing motorist, lies a quaint cottage style house that not long ago underwent a complete remodel & refurbishment into an even more eye pleasing and beautiful establishment then before..


                                                                                    As far as French restaurants are concerned, Long Island is sadly lacking but the few spots that do grace our shores are blessed to be helmed by true blue francophiles such as "Chef Michaël"



Originally from Limon, France in the heart of that wonderful region that blesses the world with the luscious red wine from which it was named—Burgundy, and which bestowed on the world two of Frances famous dishes-Coq Au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon..

                                                                                                                                                                      Chef and Co-Owner Michaël Kaziewicz and his wife Janis have owned this authentic French bistro since 1977. It is a testament to their skill, hard work and love for French cuisine that they deliver tasty, truly excellent, food "as advertised" time and time again for diners night in and night out..

                                                                                                                                                                From the moment you enter the light, open, airy restaurant with its white walls, white tablecloths, soft lighting and tasteful decorative accents you get a sense and come to realize that this is not some stuffy, haute French restaurant but is instead, very much so, a little comfortable French country cottage that doesn't give in to fads..

                                                                            Value for your money, taste, freshness are what's important in "Le Soir"—so don't expect minuscule portions or tiny towers of artfully assembled ingredients that barely resemble food..

This is classic French countryside cuisine with depths of flavor and only the freshest of ingredients..


For this evenings affair we tried a little bit of several dishes and desserts, just to be sure—at least that's what I'm telling my over satisfied belly as I write..

Everything was superb and I wish I had room and time to try everything—but suffice it to say, there is more than an ample mix of dishes to choose from..

From the very authentic pate's, sweetbreads and escargot that not every guest accompanying you might enjoy—to the plethora of dishes such as steak au poivre, chicken fricassée, sautéed lobster, rack of lamb and duck with orange sauce (to name a few) which are sure to please nearly any guest in your party..

Wine selection was plentiful and well priced for the average diner with enough options for the truly special occasions when you desire to go all out without care for cost..

                                                                          Follow that with excellent coffee (always a must for me) and delectable desserts, and this is one dining experience you don't want to miss..

"Le Soir" is a restaurant that is worth your time and money to try—even if the idea of French cuisine lies outside of your comfort zone. Because this fine French comfort food is most assuredly, oh so "Definitely Delish"

"Trumpets on the Bay-For A Romantic Meal On The East End"

"Trumpets on the Bay"

Living on an island like we do, here in New York, rewards us with a nearly unending assortment of beautiful dining options to choose from—and this is one of them...

"Trumpets on the Bay" is located in the charming town of Eastport, and about halfway to the Hamptons, right along the edge of Seatuck Cove & Moriches Bay—this lovely restaurant offers you magnificent water views and impeccable service by the polite, well dressed staff...

This "special occasion" restaurant lures romantics not only with the stunning seaside scenery but also with the fine American-Continental cuisine—which I happened to just adore...

"Fine Cuisine & Romantic Views"

Though its one me and my Baby don't get to quite as often since moving west to the Great South Bay area, it is still a wonderful restaurant to enjoy on a weekend excursion with your sweetheart—afterwards, especially if you stop in for Sunday Brunch, you can stroll through a few of the antique stores and boutiques in town for a little shopping or, better yet, take a short drive west to Moriches and enjoy discovering all of the interesting odds and ends inside of the "Barntique Village"

"Perfectly Prepared Lobster & Desserts"

Regardless of whether you're going to shop, head east to "Duckwalk Vineyard" or just go in for a meal—you will not be disappointed...

From seaside favorites such as whole Lobster, Halibut Veracruz (with jalapeño, wine & avocado) and Striped Bass with Confetti Rice or Grass Fed Filet, Hampton Salad (with bleu cheese, pine nuts & raspberry vinaigrette) and the Chef's Pasta du Jour—the menu might be smaller than some but there's more than enough options for any guest to choose from and each dish I've tried has always come out made to perfection...  

"Trumpets on the Bay"

Though the views and scenery come at a premium, "if you love the one you're with, bring them here"

Me, I'll be heading back soon, if only for the Lobster Bisque and whole Lobster dinner I had the last time I was there—definitely worth a visit, if only once, and oh so "Definitely Delish

"Southern Shores" by R.Fisher

"Aria Melanie"-A New Gem Along The South Shore

This is a new experience for me—not the eating out at a restaurant of course; but this, my small and humble attempt of reviewing the escapade...

For the first in what I hope will be many entries; I've decided to introduce you to mine, and my Baby's, newest pastime—the "Sunday Brunch"



I have to say, this year especially, we've taken to searching high and low for new places to enjoy a Sunday meal—be it sit down or buffet...

Today I get to introduce you to our latest find...




Just recently opened on the site of the old Lake House; "Aria Melanie", named after the owner "Fred Mandato's" two granddaughters, is a lovingly renovated and simply furnished restaurant along the shores of "Lawrence Lake" in Bay Shore New York...



Soothing colors, modest decoration and a warm inviting bar welcome you as you enter—but the view that greets you, about the same time as the hostess, is all the decoration this quaint little gem needs...

Edged with patios and courtyards both enclosed, covered and open to the sky with ambient lighting and small touches such as a gas fireplace—"Aria Melanie" gives the guest more than a few options to enjoy, depending upon the weather and time of year, with each as charming as the next...



The staff, who both seated and served us, were neatly dressed, courteous and constantly on the move—though I have to admit that the older gentleman who served our table appeared to be a touch distracted, but my feeling was that the experience was new for him here and with time his speed and attention to detail would improve...



Now onto the food; because regardless of the perfection of the view, the tasteful decor or comfortable seating—it's the food that will have you coming back again and again...

In this regard "Chef Fabrizio Perinelli" did not disappoint...


For a sit down brunch I was more than pleasantly surprised by the variety of choices for the guest, or critic, to partake in—from the sweet or savory crepes and assorted breakfast skillets, all the way to the pan seared duck breast salad and Cajun chicken sandwich. There were more than enough options to please any member of your party...


We ended up by ordering ourselves the Summer Grilled Vegetable Skillet, Chorizo & Potatoes, Eggs Benedict, French Toast and a Short Rib Sandwich—to give us a chance at a small taste of, if not everything, at least a decent amount of their delicious offerings...

I definitely have to say that I was more than pleased with each item brought to table—from the warm dark cranberry nut bread they started us with, to each perfectly portioned dish...

It was just the right amount of food; neither to much or too little and filled with wonderfully prepared fresh ingredients, simply seasoned—I must admit I'm excited at the prospect of returning to "Aria Melanie" soon, but for dinner, so I can feast upon the much expanded selections "Chef Fabrizio" has put together for the evening connoisseur...  



This new diamond along the south shore of Long Island is definitely worth your attention—I think you will find yourself as surprised as I was once you walk through the modest front entrance of this beautiful lakeside modern Mediterranean restaurant...

"Cafe at Night"