Being sick when you are a diabetic, in plain language, sucks. Almost all remedies one typically reaches for when under the weather are maddeningly off-limits due to the fact that they contain large amounts of sugar. Orange juice for a boost of vitamin C is out, as are saltine crackers to calm an upset stomach and ice cream to soothe a sore throat. Because Afrin – the one “luxury item” that my pre-diabetic self would have brought along with me on Survivor - inexplicably raises blood sugar, it, too, is a no-no.
So I was incredibly happy – I could have danced a jig, in fact – to discover that there was a way to make a low-carb chicken noodle soup, thanks to Shirataki noodles. The spaghetti-shaped noodle substitute is made from tofu and is therefore extremely low in carbohydrates. And when I say low in carbohydrates, I actually mean that. Unlike Dreamfields “low net carb” pastas, which seem to affect my blood sugars exactly the same as regular pasta, an entire package of Shirataki noodles contains only six grams of carbohydrates, forty calories and zero grams of sugar. Admittedly, six grams of carbs is more than I typically consume in one sitting (most of my meals consist of a total of three to four carbs), but when I am sick and lacking an appetite, I am willing to cheat a bit.
As you can see below, Shirataki noodles come packaged in a water solution.
To prepare them, you must first drain the noodles . . .
. . . and then rinse them thoroughly with cold water. Upon opening the package, you will notice that they have a very funky smell. I am not sure what causes it, but I think it has something to do with the packaging solution. To get rid of the smell, you will need to parboil the noodles for about three minutes and then dry them thoroughly. At that point, you can use them as you would any regular noodle.
While my husband, who is pretty much a gourmet chef, usually makes chicken broth from scratch using chicken bones (blech!), when I am sick I much prefer the taste of Top Ramen broth. I know, I know – I am weird. If you are not a fan of Top Ramen, though, you can also make the soup using real or canned chicken broth.
To make my diabetic-friendly chicken noodle soup, which serves two, you will need three packages of Top Ramen, two diced chicken breasts, three stalks of chopped green onions, a package of sliced mushrooms, and two to three cups of broccoli heads. If you prefer a simpler soup, you can also make the meal sans chicken and veggies.
To begin, mix four cups of water with three Top Ramen seasoning packets, three stalks of chopped green onions (for flavor), and two chopped chicken breasts. Bring to a boil and cook for thirty minutes.
Then add the mushrooms and two packages of Shirataki noodles (remember this is for a serving of two) and boil for another ten minutes or until the chicken breasts are fully cooked.
My husband and I like our broccoli al-dente, so we mix it in last and boil it for only a minute or two. If you prefer your broccoli well-done, you can add it in at the same time as the mushrooms and noodles.
Serve immediately and enjoy!