My Noodle Theory

Spaghetti was a once-a-week dinner growing up in a family of six. A second meal of leftovers was typical and welcomed. The high-carb phobia did not set in until my late high school years and into college. Once an Italian favorite, spaghetti became a nostalgic nightmare.

I've since reacquainted myself with noodles. My own noodle theory leads me to believe in and feel good eating rice and soba noodles and the occasional freshly made Italian versions. The whole wheat boxed pasta does not agree with me and the adventurous quinoa, kamut, spelt do a fair job as substitutes, but leave me mentally puzzled by the process of making such "noodles".

Good news for gluten-free'ers, my favorite rice and soba noodles do not contain wheat (be sure the soba noodles are made from 100% buckwheat). These plant-based pastas satisfy and are less hindering on the digestive track. Not to mention, rice and soba noodles are versatile - lending themselves as stand-ins for white pasta dishes as well as their own vast array of Asian recipes.

I encourage you to embrace cooking and eating rice and soba noodles when you're looking to curb carb cravings for pasta. And, think out of the norm. Although my Mom never made us eat spaghetti as the first meal of the day (I would have thrown a tantrum), these days I happily eat noodles at any mealtime. Vietnamese pho breakfast? Yes, please!

Bread Crumb

When was the last time you looked at the ingredients of a loaf of bread? The ingredients have changed over the past 50 years. I pulled a bag of bread from my parents' cupboard tonight. 12 Grain bread from our local, Northwest small-chain grocer. An admiral looking loaf; brown in color and topped with seeds and whole grain oats.

The ingredients are as follows:

Enriched unbleached wheat flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, honey. Contains 2% or less of yeast, rolled wheat, sunflower seed, whole wheat flour, soybean oil, salt, vital wheat gluten, raisin juice concentrate, wheat bran, rolled oats, sesame seed, rye meal, degermed yellow corn grits, barley flakes, triticale flakes, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, monoglycerides, calcium sulfate, enzymes, ammonium sulfate, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide), brown rice meal, flax seed, millet, buckwheat flour, calcium propionate (preservative), soy flour, nonfat milk. Distributed from Cincinnati, Ohio

The 12 grains are in there, if you can sift through the 40+ ingredients in this list; 10 of which remain spell-checked. 

Then, I pulled my Mom's 1961 copy of Betty Crocker's New Picture Cook Book and looked up bread.

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"To make good breads, you will need enriched all-purpose flour, fresh yeast, salt, liquid, sugar and usually fat."

White Bread Recipe

Ingredients: active dry yeast, warm water, lukewarm milk, flour, sugar, salt, shortening

What use to be a 7 basic ingredient household staple has risen to a new level of processed food. I'll continue to eat fresh baguettes from my local baker before buying the "whole grain bread" of our 21st century.