Ever fancy a super-sized pasta bowl, but fear that the pasta goodness might add to your girth later on and leave you guilty?
Fear not, because here comes PASTA which needs no cooking, green to the Earth, cheap (for the amount of pasta produced), easy, low calories and cruelty-free!
I actually stumbled across the idea of vegetable pasta online when I was Googling for "Healthy vegan pasta". Man, the vegetable pasta looked awesome! There are many websites featuring such pasta, so I am not ripping the pictures off their site-you have to Google yourself for more. The idea of raw vegetable pasta left me intrigued. A huge bowl of pasta (just the pasta alone) that is more than double the amount of wheat pasta at under 150 calories? Filled of veggies? Can be prepped in college? Oh yes, please!
So I went to Tesco and got myself these whole bunch of ingredients...
The key of this pasta is long, firm vegetables. You can use zucchini, cucumber, turnip or carrot. I used two zucchini and one carrot for this.
I initially wanted broccoli but they were not fresh, unfortunately.
BELOW: this is the quintessential tool for pasta making. It is a papaya peeler from Fackelmann. The peeler will not tell whether you are peeling a papaya or otherwise, right? Granted, using this peeler is not as convenient as using a vegetable spiralizer, but considering the lack of space and limited budget, this peeler is definitely good for pasta making-at least faster than potato peelers or, God forbid, knives.
First. I have my "bowl" lined with an entire head of butterhead lettuce. The "bowl" was large enough for a loaf of bread or two, so you can imagine how big it is.
Here comes pasta...
... and here are the toppings. I used some of the butterhead lettuce, cherry tomatoes, broken zucchini and some of the carrot pieces. Raw carrot is sweeter and tastier than cooked carrot by the way :D
What's next? I mixed up the "pasta" so that it looked colourful and not just a whole bunch of orange noodles because I added the carrot last. I mixed in the toppings as well. As for the sauce, I made a sauce out of mashed banana, cinnamon and lemon juice. It rendered a creamy texture to the pasta without extra fat.
I think I should have made more sauce though.
The nuts act as "bacon" because they add some fun crispy goodness to the pasta.
Pasta is served, all at under 500 calories and it is a huge amount! I could only finish around 85% of it. God is sure going to punish me for wasting food.
Nevertheless, this pasta tasted beyond amazing. It was very, very refreshing and filling, and gave me a break from the hot pasta which tended to be high in sodium, and fat if alfredo sauce and cheese were used. I felt like eating my favourite Thai salad without the shrimp and at a Man vs Food show-awesome!
Om nom nom... pasta...
This is definitely a fun way to up your vegetable intake. I can guarantee that it has no greenish taste-just crispy goodness, provided that you eat your pasta IMMEDIATELY after serving or the noodles will get soggy and bitter. Plus, you can always change your toppings-frozen peas, broccoli, etc. As for the sauce, I will recommend sauces meant for pasta such as Avocado Cucumber Sauce and Tomato Sauce. It tastes more savoury and pasta-like. I have not tried it, granted (it is my first attempt at this pasta!) but I bet it will taste awesome. This requires access to a blender and fridge, of course. Since I do not have a fridge, I will use fruit sauce instead. I may attempt mango, dragon-fruit, berries, or... how about durian? Maybe, some salsa for a tangy taste? I don't know-the possibilities are endless.
I am drooling now!
As for the cost, the entire serving is at around RM15. It is a little expensive, but you can reduce the cost by purchasing the vegetables at the farmers' markets instead. It is often cheaper than supermarkets, plus you are supporting families rather than huge corporations. If I had my own transport, the farmers' market is where I will go.