High-Protein Lentil Pasta May Make You Quit Regular Noodles
Welcome to our new food series called Eat It Up, where we share the kitchen gadgets and foods that we can’t cook without.
High-protein pastas are all the rage as of late, because you get to indulge in a plateful of noodles while loading up on an essential macronutrient. Heck yes! Though the idea is promising, there are plenty of products on store shelves that are straight-up #foodfails. Having tried many boxes from different brands, we can safely attest that Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Rotini Pasta ($4) is the tastiest high-protein pasta we’ve had so far. We’re here to sing its praises!
This organic, gluten-free, and vegan pasta boils up and has a fairly indistinguishable taste from regular wheat-based rotini and yet packs in 21 friggin’ grams of protein per serving (versus 7 grams per serving in standard white pasta). It’s an easy way for kids and adults alike to sneak some plant-based protein onto the plate. If you’re still suspicious, allow us to fill you in on all the carb-lovin’ details.
Most high-protein pastas on the market contain a slew of ingredients including binders and other starches to keep the pasta from disintegrating once it hits boiling water, but what’s remarkable about Tolerant is it’s made with only one ingredient: red lentil flour. And yet, there’s no weird, sandy grit like other gluten-free pastas or that “something’s not quite right” taste often found in GF products. We’re not sure what sort of sorcery is used by Tolerant to form pasta that can cook to al dente like NBD, but we’ll take it!
Just be sure to follow all the package instructions when making it. This pasta isn’t as forgivable as wheat noodles. Apologies if this sounds elementary, but you must let the water come to a boil before adding the pasta, and it has to be stirred regularly to prevent the noodles from clumping.
Now, we have to admit, buying this exact type and shape from Tolerant is important. We’ve found that the brand’s penne can sometimes cook unevenly with some crunchy centers, and the other bean bases, like black bean, impart too much legume flavor. Red Lentil Rotini, on the other hand, is the star product in our opinion. Its neutral taste makes it ready to take on whatever toppings you throw at it.
Our favorite go-to dinner (for nights you just need to eat SOMETHING) is the rotini boiled in salted water, drained, and garnished with plenty of extra virgin olive oil, freshly cracked black pepper, and nutritional yeast or freshly ground Parmesan cheese. You can also stir in some spinach, parsley, basil, or steamed broccoli. Alternatively, coat those chewy noodles in some marinara or pesto sauce. Really, anything goes. We think this would even taste two-thumbs up in mac-and-cheese.
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(Photo via Tolerant)