Pasta party! Brands to try on the Fast Metabolism Diet

Although traditional wheat pasta isn’t part of the Fast Metabolism Diet, that doesn’t mean the end of pasta night. With today’s increasing awareness about gluten sensitivity, it’s getting easier to find products that are wheat free and appropriate for the Fast Metabolism Diet. Here are some brands we found that fit on the plan, plus some ideas for how to use them.

When you’re shopping for wheat-free pasta, always flip over the package and check the ingredients. Wheat-free doesn’t mean corn-free, sugar-free or oil-free. And because manufacturers change recipes now and then, it’s a good idea to check labels even on foods you’ve bought in the past.

As a reminder, the standard portion for pasta in Phase 1 is 1 cup cooked; in Phase 3, it’s 1/2 cup cooked.

Brown Rice Pasta Brands

For Phase 1, brown rice pasta works well. Most brown rice pasta has a consistency that’s a little stickier, and sometimes a little softer than wheat pasta, so be careful not to overcook it. Brown rice pasta is naturally gluten-free, but Celiacs should check for certified gluten-free products.

Tinkyada makes several shapes of brown rice pasta, including fusilli, elbows, penne, and spaghetti. This brand is pretty easy to find. We saw it at chain grocery stores, and you can find it online too. 

Lundberg which makes quite a few brown rice products, including rice cakes, also has a line of brown rice pasta in several traditional shapes. There’s only one ingredient: Organic brown rice flour.

Trader Joe’s also makes a few shapes of brown rice pasta. Many people say the Trader Joe’s version is so close to Tinkyada that they suspect the same company makes them both.

Quinoa, Kamut and Buckwheat Pasta

It’s harder to find then brown rice pasta, but if you can find corn-free quinoa pasta, it works in Phase 1 and Phase 3 of the Fast Metabolism Diet. But check the label: Some quinoa pasta also contains corn flour. Eden Organic makes pasta from quinoa, kamut (an ancient grain) and buckwheat, in different combinations. We’ve tried the quinoa and kamut pasta, and it worked well in recipes. Quinoa and buckwheat are naturally gluten-free, but kamut is related to wheat and is not.

Sprouted Grain and Spelt Pasta

Sprouted grain pasta, like Ezekiel (Food For Life), can be used in Phase 1 and Phase 3. Spelt pasta can be used in Phase 1. Keep in mind that neither sprouted grain or spelt are gluten-free. You can read more about sprouted grains in this blog post

As for spelt, Nature's Legacy makes spaghetti and a few other shapes. We found them sold as either Nature’s Legacy or Vita-Spelt brands. 

You can use all pasta with a traditional red sauce or use them cold in a pasta salad, but we love this twist on traditional pesto.

Oil-Free Basil Pesto

Phase 1 and Phase 3 | Makes about 3 cups

Traditional pesto has both oil and cheese in it. This recipe gets that creamy texture without cheese by substituting white beans, so you can get your protein too! Use a lot of the pesto (about 3/4 cup per person) to get a full protein serving. Or use less and mix in cooked chicken breast or another protein with your pasta of choice. This pesto also makes a great dip for veggies and makes a tasty sandwich spread.

1 cup packed basil leaves (really packed — use lots)
1 garlic clove (or more)
3 Tbls. lemon juice
1 Tbls. water
1 can white beans
1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tbs. nutritional yeast (optional)

Toss everything into a food processor and blend until smooth. If you find you want a little “cheesy” flavor, you can add nutritional yeast to taste. If using in Phase 3, remember you need to add healthy fat to your meal. You can add olive oil to the recipe, or toss some pine nuts or walnuts into the food processor.