I struggle with this gluten free thing and my kids.
As you know, I follow a mostly paleo based diet because I have an autoimmune disease and it helps keep it under control. And although my kids aren't totally gluten free, I do the best I can to steer them that way because it's likely not that good for our bodies (gluey stuff in the gut - doesn't sound great).
But pasta is hard. They love pasta.
But they complain that gluten free stuff tastes powdery. Sloppy. Soggy. It's been really difficult to get hold of good, gluten-free pasta that doesn't disintegrate on the plate or around the fork and actually tastes good, too, and lets the sauce stick to it.
|Bolognese made with Explore's Red Lentil Spaghetti|
Enter gluten free pasta made from pulses.
This, I was interested in. They might complain about lentils or beans (well my 8-year old would). But they wouldn't complain about pasta.
So Explore sent me a range of their pastas to try out. Lasagne made from green lentils, spaghetti made from red lentils, pasta twirls made from chickpeas...
I decided to tell them, up front, partly because I knew I'd have my 11-year old on my side (she likes lentils). But mostly because when I cook them something new and they're suspicious, they check the packets in the bin so I'd get found out anyway.
|Explore's Red Lentil Spaghetti|
So I made lasagne, I made bolognese and I made a pasta salad from the chickpea pasta. They gave it all a thumbs up.
Now because my digestive system really doesn't like pulses (we won't go there) I dished the pasta up to my children, but I did have a cheeky, tiny nibble of each one because I was curious.
The pastas were all firm. You really could mistake them for regular pasta. They didn't leave the powdery residue many rice and corn-based pastas do and they didn't turn the cooking water a murky mess. A little of the colour was lost during cooking, but that was fine - it just added to the regular look of pasta.
|Lasagne made from Explore's Green Lentil Lasagne Sheets|
The girls were impressed. They enjoyed the flavour. The red lentil spaghetti was their favourite, and they asked me to get some more. You could taste the chickpeas in the pasta twirls - it had a slight flavour of hummus about it - but the girls didn't find this weird, especially when I dressed it with olive oil, a pinch of salt, chopped tomatoes and grated in some cheese.
My girls eat quite a bit of meat and seafood each week, so it occurred to me that this pasta would be brilliant for vegans and vegetarians to help give them that extra boost of protein and iron.
All in all, a good option I reckon, for gluten free eaters, or those that just want to add a little more protein to their diets.
For more information, check out the Explore Asian website. The pasta, I'm told, is available in ASDA, Holland and Barrett, Ocado and Planet Organic.
Have you tried pasta made from pulses? Let me know what you think in the comments below, or chat with me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.