Hey, do you know about shirataki noodles? Also known as yam noodles, these are zero-calorie, zero-carb noodles that have come on the market in the last few years.
At least one manufacturer, Miracle Noodles, has come out with ziti-style noodles. (There might be more from other manufacturers; we buy ours from Low Carb Grocery.)
Anyway, it's been so cold lately that I got inspired to use the ziti-style noodles to make up a big batch of home-style macaroni and cheese, while keeping it as low-carb as possible. It's not paleo because of the milk and cheese. Here's how I did it.
- 3 slices thick-cut bacon (the thicker the better!) cut into "lardons"
- 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) salted butter
- 4 Tbsp arrowroot powder
- 2 cups milk (I used 2% fat)
- 0.5 tsp white pepper
- 0.5 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp powdered mustard
- 1 egg yolk (optional)
- 6 packages ziti-style shirataki noodles
- 4 cups shredded cheese (you can use one of those packaged blends from the store, or shred a bunch yourself - mix it up with cheddar, Parmesan, mozzarella, Gruyere, Swiss, and so on), divided into two portions of two cups each
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- Cook the bacon lardons and reserve them. Keep the rendered fat for something else yummy - you won't need it for this recipe.
- Drain the ziti-style shirataki noodles in your sink and rinse with cold water. Then boil them for two minutes, and drain well.
- In a sauce pan, melt the butter, and add the arrowroot powder to form a roux. Cook the roux for a few seconds to let it brown up just a bit.
- While constantly stirring the roux, add in the milk.
- Heat the mixture, constantly stirring, until it thickens. Stir in the white pepper, nutmeg, and powdered mustard. (You've just made a bechamel sauce!)
- (Optional step!) If you want, you can add an egg yolk to further thicken it. Mix up the egg yolk in a bowl, and stir in a bit of the bechamel sauce to warm it, then stir the whole thing back into the sauce. (If you just dump the egg yolk into the hot sauce, you'll end up with scrambled eggs in your sauce...) I've made this both ways, and it turns out fine with or without the yolk.
- Add in 2 cups shredded cheese mixture, remove the sauce pan from the heat, and stir to combine. (You don't want to keep heating the arrowroot mixture, or it will eventually, um, "unthicken".)
- When the cheese is melted into the sauce, combine your cheesy sauce with the noodles and cooked bacon lardons and put the whole thing into an oven-safe dish, such as a 9x13 pan.
- Smooth it out and top evenly with the rest of the shredded cheese.
- Put it in the oven for 20 minutes. If you want you can broil it for the last minute or so to crisp up the cheese on top, but keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn!
- I recommend you let it sit for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven - that cheese will be lava-hot!