Monday, December 26, 2011

Mexi-Licious Pot Stickers

Per Serving (1/6th of recipe, 4 pot stickers): 4 Points+
175 calories, 3g fat, 459mg sodium, 21.5g carbs, 1.75g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 13.5g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 370 - 371

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday.  Did everyone manage to stay on track with their diet?  Not me!  Baking delicious Christmas cookies for two days straight was a disaster for me.  At some point, I gave in to temptation and ate so many cookies I lost count.  I read somewhere that the average American gains 8 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's.  If I don't stop eating all these darn cookies, that will definitely be me.  On the plus side, I am planning on continuing my boot camp class through January, and my husband got me a Body Sculpting iFIT card for my treadmill, which I am super-excited to try out.  On top of all that, I won an iPod shuffle at my work holiday party, which I was in desperate need of a new one.  In other words, the exercise gods seem to be working in my favor, which I am hoping will help me lose any weight I may have gained over the holidays.  Well, on to the review:

The other night, I made these pot stickers, in the hopes of finding a new and exciting way to eat Mexican food.  They turned out so good!  They do take a little bit of time to assemble, but it is well worth it.  The filling is very tasty - similar to a meat, bean, and cheese burrito filling.  Cooking it in a won ton wrapper makes it fun to eat, while keeping it low-calorie. I ate mine with sour cream and salsa on the side, but they are so good that it is definitely optional.

The only negative thing about these is they are only meant to be an appetizer, rather than a meal.  You would obviously have to eat something else to be full.  But, you could easily eat two servings of these for a meal, and still stay under 400 calories for your dinner.  Add a salad to that and you should be nice and satisfied. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chicky Pad Thai

Per Serving (1/2 of recipe, about 2 1/2 cup): 7 Points+
285 calories, 4g fat, 625mg sodium, 32g carbs, 9g fiber, 13g sugars, 34g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 222 - 223

I'd first like to start off by making an early apology for being slightly absent for the next few weeks.  I am currently off work for the next two weeks, so my blogging might be a little sporatic.  I am still cooking Hungry Girl recipes almost every day, but it has been more difficult for me to get to the computer, what with having visitors and being busy with holiday stuff, etc.

As for this recipe, I did not use the Tofu Shirataki noodles, as suggested by HG.  I am well aware that this adds a ton of extra calories to the recipe, but if I plan right, I can usually fit these calories into my food for the day.  This blog on Tofu Shirataki noodles explains why it is well worth it to me to use regular noodles instead.  For this recipe, I actually used Japanese Udon noodles, which have about the same calories as regular pasta noodles do.  Since it is an Asian dish, I didn't think it would work as well using Fettuccine noodles as a substitute for the Shirataki Fettuccine noodles.

Aside from the noodles, I did not like this recipe much.  I thought the sauce was way too tangy, and wasn't thick enough for the noodles.  I ended up with most of the sauce left over at the bottom of my bowl of noodles.  The amount of spice was perfect, but that is the only positive thing I can say about it.  I also thought there were too many bean sprouts, and I love bean sprouts.  Sadly, I will not be making this recipe again.  I was hoping I had found a delicious Pad Thai recipe that I could make again and again, but this is definitely not the case.  I would skip this one and try one of her better stir fry recipes instead.

Monday, December 19, 2011

All-American Egg Mug

Per Serving (entire recipe): 4 Points+
173 calories, 4g fat, 730mg sodium, 7.5g carbs, <0.5g fiber, 2g sugars, 22g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 24

Until today, I have yet to write a review on one of the Hungry Girl egg mug recipes.  I always thought it was weird to cook eggs in the microwave, and have always cooked them in some way over the stove or in the oven.  Long ago, I tried an egg mug and wasn't all that impressed.  However, I figured if I am going to review Hungry Girl recipes, then I can't ignore a whole group of recipes just because of my fear of microwaved eggs.

So, I started with a pretty basic egg mug recipe.  Egg Beaters, veggie sausage patty, syrup and cheese were the only ingredients in this egg mug.  I do have to say, it came out surprisingly good!  I thought the eggs would turn out rubbery, having been cooked in the microwave, but they didn't at all.  I think stirring the eggs in the middle of the cooking process helped enormously. 

I liked the way this tasted, with the syrup creating a nice sweet and savory flavor combination.  I did take HG's advice, and immediately soaked the mug in water after I was done eating.  Crusted-on cooked egg did not seem like it would be fun to clean up later.  By soaking it, I didn't have any problems when I went to wash the mug a little later. 

I am now less of a skeptic about the egg mugs.  Next time, I might try something a little lower in calories.  I am not going all out yet and saying I am a fan, though.  It might take a few more egg mugs to convince me that the microwave is a true option for cooking eggs.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lord of the Onion Rings

Per Serving (entire recipe): 4 Points+
153 calories, 1g fat, 379mg sodium, 41g carbs, 16g fiber, 7g sugars, 9g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies...", pages 104 - 105

This is one of those Hungry Girl recipes that is referred to over and over again in her emails and even on her show, so I thought it was about time I tried it out.  I have read all the tips and tricks to make these come out good, and made sure to follow what she said.  Using tongs, I dipped the onion rings in egg substitute, shook off the excess, and then coated them with the Fiber One breadcrumbs. I added a little salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to my breadcrumbs to give them a good flavor.

After about four onion rings, the breadcrumbs started to clump up and stopped sticking to the onion rings very well.  It got worse and worse as I made more, and I finally gave up after about 10 onion rings.  I needed to either make new breadcrumbs, or just stop and cook what I had.  Since I had an impatient three-year-old and one-year-old waiting for me to be done, I decided to just cook the 10 onion rings I had. 

I honestly have no idea how she makes her onion rings look so good.  My guess would be that she probably uses fresh breadcrumbs every few onion rings or so.  Even with shaking off as much egg as possible, residual moisture still gets into the breadcrumbs and causes them to clump up. 

As for flavor, the ones I made turned out great with the seasonings I had added to the breadcrumbs. It was definitely fun to eat what is normally a fattening food.  I ate mine with a little ketchup on the side, and even though I only had 10 of them to eat, it was still a big enough portion to satisfy my craving for onion rings.  I even felt a little naughty eating these, even though I knew they were not the real, fattening thing.

Have any of you tried these?  How did yours turn out?  I would love to know!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Citrus-y Stir-Fry Shrimp

Per Serving (½ of recipe): 7 Points+
282 calories, 3.5g fat, 1,125mg sodium, 26g carbs, 5g fiber, 11g sugars, 38g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes & Survival Strategies...", pages 90 - 91

Since I love shrimp, and I love citrus-based sauces - like orange chicken or the Glaze of Sunshine Apricot Chicken I made a while back, I figured this recipe was worth a try.  I liked that the recipe called for freshly-squeezed orange juice as one of the ingredients in the sauce.  I thought it would have plenty of orange flavor in the sauce, but unfortunately, I was wrong.  The sauce was not all that exciting, and I could barely tell it was a citrus-based sauce. 

I did like that there was a large amount of snow peas and mushrooms in the stir-fry.  I love snow peas and my husband loves mushrooms, so we were both happy.  We ate the stir-fry over a serving of rice, and it made for a very satisfying meal.  I love when the recipe makes a large amount of food, and a serving is half of the recipe.  So much food!  Yeah!  I will probably not make this again, though, just because I wasn't thrilled with the sauce.  If you are looking for a good stir-fry sauce, try the one from the Kung Pao Chicken recipe I made a while back.  I have made this sauce several times since making this recipe, and it is so good!

If you are looking for a yummy shrimp dish that has lots of snow peas, I would recommend the Asian BBQ Shrimp Salad instead.  Yes, it is a salad and not a stir-fry, but you can always eat the shrimp with rice instead of lettuce, and it will feel like you are eating a stir-fry instead.  Overall, skip this recipe and try some of the more yummy Hungry Girl stir-fry options out there.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jammed with Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Per Serving (entire recipe): 7 Points+
263 calories, 6g fat, 860mg sodium, 42g carbs, 5.25g fiber, 4g sugars, 19g protein 

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 292 - 293 

I was in the mood for a sweet breakfast over the weekend, so I checked out the French Toast chapter in the "1-2-3" book for inspiration.  This recipe was pretty easy, and I had all of the ingredients, so here we are.  I made a sandwich for both myself and my three-year-old, and we both loved it.  

I originally thought the recipe would call for fat-free cream cheese, but was surprised to find that it actually called for Laughing Cow cheese - something I never would have thought to use in a stuffed french toast with jam.  It turned out delicious, rich, and creamy, though.  It is a fairly simple recipe.  Just spread half a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese onto each of two pieces of bread, and then spread two tablespoons of sugar-free jam on one piece.  Sandwich together, dip in Eggbeaters with cinnamon and vanilla, and cook.  Pretty easy and delicious!

The only complaint I have is the amount of calories for a fairly small sandwich.  I was hungry a little earlier than usual for lunch, but I had used more calories than usual for breakfast.  I did leave out the margarine to save a few calories, since I didn't think it was necessary for cooking the french toast (I just used cooking spray instead).  And normally I would have sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top rather than use the sugar-free syrup (I had run out, though).  You can choose to cook this how you want, but either way it will be around 250 calories for a small breakfast sandwich - that tastes really good.  You can choose if it is worth it or not!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Oatstanding Veggie Patties

PER SERVING (1 patty): 2 Points+
70 calories, 0.5g fat, 585mg sodium, 16g carbs, 5g fiber, 3g sugars, 4g protein 

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies...", pages 72 - 73

The first thing I am going to say about this recipe is that it took FOREVER to make.  Maybe it's just because I was in the mood to make something quick and easy, or because I didn't realize this would take so long to make until there was no turning back.  But, it just felt like I was in the kitchen for way too long!  First of all, there are four different vegetables that you have to chop up.  I chopped mine up fairly small, knowing that if everything was chopped up too large it would not stick together as well.  Secondly, after finally mixing everything together, you then have to let it chill for several hours in the fridge to help the patties set.  Several hours?!  Who has that kind of time to wait around for dinner?  I sure didn't, so I ended up chilling them in the freezer for one hour.  It seemed to work just as good.

I used my George Foreman Grill to cook these, since it requires no flipping.  Most of the Hungry Girl homemade patties are fairly delicate, so the less movement of them the better.  Plus, the George Foreman cooks them in half the time since both sides are cooked at once.  Out of the five patties, only one truly held it's shape and looked like a nice burger patty - see above photo ;).  The others were either a slightly odd shape, or fell apart some when removing them from the grill.  

As for taste, my first reaction was, "Whoa, too much pepper!".  My husband's reaction was, "Whoa, too much salt!" (he loves pepper).  If you do plan on making these, try using half as much pepper and a little less salt.  Other than that, I was overall pretty disappointed with how these turned out.  I knew they would be a little delicate with all the veggies in the recipe and not much to hold them together.  But, I was truly hoping they would at least taste good.  

The only saving grace for these is the fact that they are only 70 calories each. However, there are plenty of  frozen veggie patties that you can buy for about the same amount of calories - not to mention that they taste much better!  I will definitely not be making these again.  If you really want to see for yourself how bad these are, make sure you start making these early if you want to eat at a decent time.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crazy-Good Turkey Taco Meatloaf

PER SERVING (1⁄6th of loaf): 3 Points+
127 calories, 1g fat, 688mg sodium, 7g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 2g sugars, 22g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies...", pages 132 - 133

This is a recipe that I had made pre-blog, so I already had notes about it in my cookbook.  I had said that it had a great flavor, but was very dry due to the use of extra-lean ground turkey.  Every time I use the extra-lean ground turkey in a recipe, it usually comes out dry and with less flavor.  This time, I decided to use the lean ground turkey to see if it came out better.  It did!

This meatloaf is so yummy, you will definitely be glad you made it.  As a matter of fact, I think this recipe is one of my favorites, when made with the lean ground turkey.  It tastes a lot like taco meat, but not to the point where you feel as though it should be eaten in a taco shell or tortilla.  It is definitely good on its own.  I love the layer of cheese in the middle of the meatloaf.  With the added cheese on top, this meatloaf is super cheesy and good.  I love cheese!

I also like the fact that there are added veggies in the meatloaf.  It has corn, bellpeppers, and onion mixed in with everything else.  So good!  If you are looking for a new twist on your ordinary meatloaf, try out this recipe.  If you want it to taste even better, use lean ground turkey instead of extra-lean, unless you would rather keep it lower in calories.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Veggie-Friendly Asian Lettuce Cups

PER SERVING (3 wraps): 5 Points+
220 calories, 3.5g fat, 971mg sodium, 30g carbs, 8g fiber, 10g sugars, 21g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies...", page 81

Yesterday, I began my boot camp class that I had posted about last week.  I was so excited to get back on plan with exercising and counting calories again.  Unfortunately, my good ole hubby is apparently not on board with exercising and counting calories.  Since I was getting home late, he thought he would be nice and pick up KFC grilled chicken with a bunch of different sides.  Now, grilled chicken from KFC is NOT the healthy, skinless, grilled chicken breast you would make at home.  I was disappointed that I wasn't going to be able to stay on plan because he had bought all of this fattening, high-calorie fast food.  I even had a plate filled with the awful food, when I stopped myself and thought, "Why am I eating this?".  I then realized there was no reason why I couldn't whip up a healthy dinner just for myself.  If everyone else wanted to eat KFC, that was up to them.  But, that didn't mean that I had to sabotage my healthy day at dinnertime.

So, I quickly made this recipe.  It turned out delicious, and was just was I wanted after a workout.  A good amount of protein, veggies, and low-calorie.  Thai lettuce wraps are one of my favorite appetizers to get at a restaurant.  While not as good as the Totally Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups I made previously, these were quicker to make (no meat to have to pre-cook) and still tasted pretty good.  They had a good spice to them, and were nice and flavorful.  I loved the crunch that the water chestnuts added to the lettuce cups. 

The only thing I changed was the chili sauce in the sauce recipe.  I did not have garlic chili sauce, so I just used regular chili sauce and added a little bit of minced garlic to the sauce recipe.  It still tasted great, and had a really good flavor.  I liked the amount of spice it had - spicy, but not mouth-burning spicy. 

After my workout, I was so starving I ended up eating the entire dish for dinner.  Luckily, it was only two servings, so I was still only eating 440 calories for dinner.  Not too bad!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chocolate-Coated Mousse-Cream Cones

Per Serving (1 cone): 2 Points+
84 calories, 1g fat, 134mg sodium, 20g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 2g sugars, 1g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies...", pages 172 - 173

These mousse cones not only sounded delicious and easy to make, but they were such a cute idea I just had to try them.  I made two batches - one chocolate and one vanilla.  The funny thing is, I don't ever look up the official Hungry Girl photo of the recipes (unless they are in the cookbook) until I am writing my blog.  I then look it up to get the nutritional information from the website, and that is when I usually see the picture and compare it to how mine turned out.  In her photo, she also made a chocolate version and a vanilla version.  Nice!  I guess great minds think alike - ha, ha!

Anyway, the main suggestion I would make with these is related to the chocolate syrup.  I can only ever find the lite syrup, so I am not sure if the sugar free tastes any better.  My suggestion is to only use a teaspoon of the lite chocolate syrup to coat the ice cream cones instead of a whole tablespoon.  Most of the syrup ended up settling into the bottom of the cone, which left a pretty gross final bite of what is an otherwise tasty dessert.  To me, the lite chocolate syrup has a very chemically taste to it, and in larger quantities does not have a good taste.  As a topping for ice cream, or combined with something else, it is just fine.  But, by itself, it is not even close to being good.  After eating one of these, and enjoying the mousse in the cute little ice cream cone, I got to the bottom of the cone.  It was filled with the lite chocolate syrup, and the bite was actually pretty disgusting.  I would suggest either skipping the chocolate syrup altogether, or just using a teaspoon to coat the inside of the cone.

The other thing to be aware of when making these is that the recipe does not say that the Cool Whip should be dethawed first.  In order to mix it with the pudding snack, it obviously has to be dethawed.  I ended up having to wait a little bit to make these since I hadn't thawed the Cool Whip first.  Duh! 

After filling the cones with the mousse, I froze them again for about 20 minutes, just to make them solidify a little more again.  They were definitely fun to eat.  I felt as though I were eating a creamy ice cream cone.  Yum! 

As for the two flavors, the chocolate was MUCH better than the vanilla mousse.  I am a chocolate lover, but even taking that into consideration, the vanilla just tasted boring to me.  And that was after having drizzled chocolate syrup over the top, as HG suggested. 

Overall, if you take all of the above into consideration when making these, you will have a yummy, fun dessert.  This one is good for kids, too!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Per Serving (entire smoothie): 4 Points+
172 calories, 2g fat, 147mg sodium, 32g carbs, 5g fiber, 13.5g sugars, 6g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 212 - 213

After attempting to avoid pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, I found I still had a craving for it a week later.  I was hoping this recipe would satisfy my desire for pumpkin pie, and it did a pretty good job.  It was thick and creamy, and tasted just like a pumpkin pie milkshake.  Mmmm!  The size was also nice.  There was actually more of it than would fit in my glass, so I shared the extra with my three-year-old.  He loved it as well, and drank it up very quickly and happily.

I used light vanilla soymilk as the recipe suggested, but for a few less calories you could easily substitute Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze.  I also found that I only needed one crushed graham cracker instead of two for the topping, which saves a few more calories as well. 

Overall, a delicious milkshake, especially for the holidays.  Although the calories are a little high, it is a nice size serving, and still much lower in calories than a standard pumpkin pie milkshake you might find in fast food joints this time of year.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Old Habits Die Hard

There was a Biggest Loser episode a few weeks ago where they discussed how hard it is to break old habits.  Or rather, how easy it is to go back to your old habits after creating newer, healthier ones.  They used the Biggest Loser contestants as an example, saying that even though they have been exercising, eating healthy, and living an overall healthy lifestyle for 10 weeks, all it takes is one week of going back to their old habits to get stuck in that rut again.

I think this is what happened to me.  I was so excited to have found, and used it diligently for a month.  I was even on-plan during weekends, and if I wanted something extra, such as a dessert or beer, I would make sure to run on the treadmill to "earn" my calories. 

Then my son's surgery happened about a month ago.  Even though it was a minor surgery to remove an abscess, it was still stressful enough to where I wasn't focusing on eating healthy.  I was way too concerned about his health to worry about where we ate, or especially about cooking healthy meals at home.  A few days of bad eating turned into a week, and that threw me off completely.  Since then, I have been struggling to get back on plan and have actually gained 5 pounds back.  And right before I went below 150 for the first time in forever.

The holidays have not helped me either, of course.  Having all the Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge to be eaten is not the best thing for a healthy diet.  Especially the pumpkin and pecan pie! 

But, never fear - I have a new plan that I am super excited about.  One of the teachers at school has arranged for a group of us to participate in a boot camp fitness class.  The instructor is coming to our school to teach the class twice a week for a month.  I am hoping this jumpstarts my diet again, and helps me reach my goal of 140 to 145 pounds.  I am planning on logging back into myfitnesspal to track my eating and exercise on a daily basis.  My goal is to reach my target weight by the New Year, or at least get close to it.  I have only 10 pounds to go, and I just want to get it over with already! 

My other motivation is my running.  I recently ran a 10k three weeks ago, and came in just over an hour.  I will be running my second 10k (since having the baby) this weekend at Universal Studios, and I am super excited.  I did the same 10k two years ago, and am hoping to beat my time this time around.  I find that as long as I am registered for a race, I stay motivated with my running.  I am debating training for another half marathon, but I am not sure if my knees can handle it.  If I lose the weight, I usually notice that my running not only gets easier, but it is also better for my knees.  For now, I will just plan on running another 10k and working on my decreasing my time.

So, for the next month, my focus will be logging in to myfitnesspal daily, attending boot camp, and in between all that, training for the next race.  Oh, and of course, cooking low calorie Hungry Girl dishes!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bacon Ranch Broccoli Slaw

Per Serving (¼th of recipe, about 1 cup): 2 Points+
96 calories, 2.5g fat, 635mg sodium, 11.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 6g sugars, 6.5g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 267

This was yet another dish I made for one of the many visitors we had over the past week.  I was looking for something that would be a good side dish that wasn't a standard salad.  I'm not usually a fan of coleslaw, but this recipe is much different from the usual slaw you would find in the store.  This one is made with sour cream instead of mayo, and has ranch seasoning and bacon in it.  Yum!  It is super easy to make, as well.  A definite plus!  Just mix the ingredients, chill, and there you go!

The ranch seasoning and sour cream used gives this slaw a taste reminiscent of ranch dip with veggies.  One of my favorite snacks.  So good!  The addition of bacon also works well with this slaw.  After sitting in the fridge for the alloted time, the bacon and ranch flavors are brought out nicely. 

The other plus about this recipe is the serving size.  A whole cup of slaw is a huge serving!  I only ate a half cup with my meal, and it was plenty of food - for only 48 calories!  If you have this cookbook, definitely check out this recipe.  You will be glad you did.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hustle 'n Brussels Foil-Pack Attack

Per Serving (½ of recipe): 5 Points+
182 calories, 2.75g fat, 513mg sodium, 35.5g carbs, 6.5g fiber, 5g sugars, 6g protein 

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 160 - 161

I ended up making these Brussels sprouts to go along with the glazed apricot chicken that I reviewed yesterday.  I was looking for something different to make for a side dish, and since I have only tried making Brussels sprouts once before, I thought I'd give this recipe a try.  Above the HG recipe, she states that this recipe "will win over even the non-believers who fear Brussels sprouts".  I would have to disagree.  

First of all, the recipe says to cook the Brussels sprouts and potatoes for 30 - 35 minutes.  I ended up cooking mine for 55 minutes to get them to be tender.  That's over 20 minutes longer than the recipe called for!  Perhaps it was because my Brussels sprouts were fairly large, but the potatoes were on the small side, and even they were not even close to being done at 35 minutes.

Secondly, the vegetables came out almost flavorless.  The only seasonings the recipe calls for is rosemary, garlic, and salt.  Not very exciting in the first place, but I was still optimistic these would come out good.  I even used fresh rosemary instead of dried, since I have rosemary bushes in front of my house (which I planted specifically for cooking purposes!).  

This dish came out so bland that I ended up using one of my Hungry Girl tricks to make them better.  I took a teaspoon of ranch dressing seasoning mix and sprinkled that over the vegetables.  This adds a lot of flavor for very few calories.  After mixing everything up a bit with the seasoning mix, they tasted much better.  So, unless you want to do some modifying to this recipe to make it better, I would skip it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Glaze-of-Sunshine Apricot Chicken

Per Serving (½ of recipe, 1 cutlet with sauce): 6 Points+
233 calories, 3.5g fat, 274mg sodium, 13g carbs, 0g fiber, <0.5g sugars, 39g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 142 - 143

First of all, I want to say that I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I had planned on keeping my blog up and running throughout the week, but it just got way too busy to do so.  We had three sets of visitors over the past week, one right after another.  I had so much fun hanging out with the various friends and family who visited, that I just couldn't find time to write my blog (not to mention that our computer room is also our guest room, so access to the computer was also limited!).

Anyway, I will start my reviews for the week with this citrus chicken dish that came out wonderful.  It was tender and delicious, and I loved the apricot glaze on top.  I wasn't sure how it was going turn out, especially with a combination such as apricot jam, onion soup mix, and cider vinegar.  But, it was a hit.  It was slightly reminiscent of orange chicken from a Chinese restaurant, which is one of my favorite dishes.  I made this along with a brussel sprout recipe, which I will review tomorrow, and a garden salad.  A wonderful dinner, and all very healthy.  This will be a chicken dish that I would definitely make again.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Overstuffed Peanut Butter 'n Banana French Toast

Per Serving (entire recipe): 9 Points+
327 calories, 8.5g fat, 700mg sodium, 48.5g carbs, 7.25g fiber, 11g sugars, 18g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 288 - 289

I love peanut butter.  And I love bananas.  Bananas with peanut butter are even better.  I used to always eat my bananas along with an open jar of peanut butter, spreading the peanut butter on the banana before each bite.  Yum! I now mostly avoid peanut butter due to it's high calorie and fat content, but an occasional recipe with peanut butter will generally satisfy my cravings.  This recipe had both bananas and peanut butter - a definite plus!

I had high hopes for this recipe, but it turned out to be LOADED with cinnamon.  A half teaspoon of cinnamon is quite a large amount, especially considering the smallish size of this sandwich.  As I was making it, I was even thinking that there was too much cinnamon being added to the peanut butter mixture, as well as in the egg mixture the sandwich was dipped in.  When I tasted the sandwich, all I could taste was the overpowering taste of cinnamon. 

It was still edible enough to eat the whole thing, though, since the syrup masked the cinnamon taste a little.  I think this recipe could be really good if the amount of cinnamon was cut in half.  Next time, I will use only an 1/8 teaspoon in both the peanut butter mixture and the egg mixture.  If that is done, then there might not even be much of a need for the syrup.  Just sprinkling the sandwich with a little powdered sugar instead of using 1/4 cup of syrup would save you about 30 calories.  Not much, but a calorie is a calorie, right? 

Speaking of calories, the other complaint I have about this recipe is the high amount of calories, especially for a fairly small breakfast.  It is still much better than the full fat version (at 740 calories!), but 327 calories is about twice what I usually like to eat for breakfast.  So, if you can spare the calories, and you like peanut butter and bananas, you should try this recipe.  Just cut the amount of cinnamon in half.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hungry Spice Girl Pumpkin Latte

Per Serving (about 12 ounces with whipped topping): 2 Points+
97 calories, 3.5g fat, 68 mg sodium, 12g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 6g sugars, 3.5g protein

The recipe:

Mmmm!  Another yummy seasonal beverage!  In addition to the variety of eggnog options out there this time of year, I am also a big fan of pumpkin flavored foods.  One of my favorite seasonal items is the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks.  I never order it with whipped cream, which I know saves a bunch of calories, but it is still higher in calories than my usual Skinny Vanilla (or Caramel) Latte.  I was so happy when this email just came out the other day with a recipe swap for one of my favorite lattes.

A big plus to this latte is not just the fact that it is only 97 calories, but also the size.  Finally, a Hungry Girl hot beverage that is larger than a measly 6 ounces!  One of my previous complaints has been that every time I make a Hungry Girl hot beverage or other mug recipe, it comes out to be such a small portion size that my standard 10 ounce mugs dwarf it.  This time, I actually had to use a larger mug since it almost overfilled my usual mugs.

The overall taste of the latte was pretty good.  It was not overly sweet, and had a nice pumpkin pie flavor to it.  I could still taste the coffee, which was a good thing, being a latte and all.  Sometimes my Starbucks lattes seem to barely have a hint of coffee with all the milk and flavors that are added.  I skipped the whipped cream on my latte, only because I didn't have any in the fridge.  It was still pretty good without it, though.

I would say I still prefer my Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, but as a substitution, this recipe will definitely do.  And for under 100 calories, you really can't go wrong.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Upside-Down Pineapple-Applesauce Cake

Per Serving (1 slice, 1/8th of cake): 5 Points+
189 calories, 3.5g fat, 298mg sodium, 39g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 26.5g sugars, 1.5g protein

The recipe:

I would like to thank Weight Watcher Wannabe for asking me to make this recipe.  I probably would have overlooked it, especially since it was from one of the Hungry Girl show episodes (all of which have been recorded, but I have yet to find time to watch them!).

I have never made a pineapple-upside down cake before, so I was hoping that this would turn out okay.  I know there is flipping involved, which for me could potentially spell disaster.  As it was, I did have one pineapple ring stick to the pan when I flipped it.  After some stealthy repair, it still came out looking pretty good.

This cake turned out delicious!  It is definitely something I would consider making for a group of people.  I really liked the fact that it used real brown sugar, and didn't call for any artificial sweeteners.  The glaze on the top of the cake was very sweet and rich, and the cake was moist and delicious.  There was no hint of this cake being low-fat.  You would never even guess that any substitutions had been made.   

That being said, I do feel as though 5 Points+ and 189 calories is a little high for a dessert.  I normally like to keep my dessert calories to about 100.  For a cake recipe, though, the stats are pretty decent.  I will probably wait to make this again until I have more people to share it with.  It is so good that it is hard to stop at just one piece!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chunky Veggie Pumpkin Chili

PER SERVING (1 cup): 3 Points+
131 calories, 1g fat, 515mg sodium, 25g carbs, 6.5g fiber, 7g sugars, 6.5g protein 

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 176 - 177

I have been pretty fortunate that out of all the many recipes I have made for this blog, there have only been a small number that I did not care for.  This recipe is one of them.  It did not taste good at all.

While putting all of the ingredients into the crock pot, I was already a little skeptical about how the pumpkin would taste in it.  But, there have been other recipes that had pumpkin added to it that turned out great.  You actually can’t really taste the pumpkin, since it gets lost amongst the other flavors in the chili.  What you do taste, however, is the pumpkin pie spice.  That alone is what ruined this recipe for me. 

The pumpkin pie spice just doesn’t work in this chili.  It is a fairly spicy chili, which I am okay with, but that heat along with the pumpkin pie spice is just too big of a contrast.  When I taste pumpkin pie spice, I think of sweet things, such as pumpkin lattes, eggnog, and, of course, pumpkin pie.  I definitely don’t think of a hot and spicy chili, which is why I think it was just plain gross to me.  I even went back to try it again several hours later, just to see if the flavors tasted better after having sat for a while, but it was no better.

The most unfortunate part of this recipe, besides it being pretty much inedible, is that there is so much of it.  I now have 11 cup-size servings of something I really don’t like.  I hate throwing away food, but I dislike this so much that I may actually have to put this down the drain.  I had my husband taste it just to be sure that it wasn’t just me, and he actually spit out his one bite. 

There are other Hungry Girl chili recipes that are much better.  Definitely skip this one!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pumpkin-licious Nog

Per Serving (1 cup): 3 Points+
110 calories, 2g fat, 344mg sodium, 16g carbs, 2g fiber, 6.5g sugars, 6g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 208

Eggnog season is upon us!  I love eggnog!  My dear husband came home the other day from the store with a "low-calorie" eggnog that was 90 calories - for half a cup.  Not so low calorie after all!  I found this recipe, and immediately went on a mission to get the ingredients for it. 

I do have to say that I think it is a genius move to use instant pudding mix as a thickener.  The eggnog came out rich and creamy and thick, just like a traditional eggnog.  It even tasted like a traditional eggnog.  So yummy!!!  My husband even said it was good, and he was comparing it to his full-fat version that I won't touch (over 300 calories for a cup - jeez!).  I am so happy to have found a delicious tasting eggnog that is only 110 calories for a cup. 

It is also very easy to make.  Just throw the ingredients in the blender, blend them together, and chill in the fridge.  You can't get much easier than that!  If you like eggnog, then I would definitely recommend you make this recipe.  You will thank me for it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

World's Easiest Chicken Empanadas

Per Serving (1/6th of recipe, 1 empanada): 4 Points+
157 calories, 6.5g fat, 465mg sodium, 16.5g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 3g sugars, 9.5g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 444 - 445

I mainly made this recipe the other day because I had some Pillsbury Seamless Dough that needed to be used up - and the recipe sounded fairly good and easy.  My mom had just been up to visit the other weekend as well, and had brought with her some really good salsa.  I thought it would be really tasty in this recipe.  Mmmm!  Salsa!

These turned out pretty good, and I ended up eating two of them.  My husband ate three - guess he liked them, too!  I did think that the chicken in the empanadas could have used more salsa, though.  I ended up just dipping the empanadas in additional salsa as I ate them.  Yum!  I love salsa, especially since it doesn't really add any calories to the dish. 

These empanadas were good, but not anything mind-blowing.  I would consider making them again just because of how simple they were and how few ingredients they required (three! - just salsa, chicken, and dough).  They were nice to snack on, but next time I would eat them with a salad to make it more of a meal.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Yummy Butternut Home Fries

Per Serving (¼th of recipe - a heaping 1/2 cup): 2 Points+
58 calories, 2g fat, 63mg sodium, 11g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g sugars, 1g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies...:, pages 280 - 281

This recipe has a very interesting combination of flavors and spices.  The fact that it has onions, pumpkin pie spice, and cayenne pepper all together seemed a little odd to me.  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but I had a butternut squash that had to be used up, so I decided to try this recipe.

I thought the dish turned out edible, but I don't think it is going to be something I make again.  I am still getting used to using butternut squash, and it is still growing on me.  It kind of reminds me of a cross between pumpkin and sweet potatoes, neither one of which is a favorite of mine.

This recipe reminded me a little bit of a curry - it had a hint of sweetness with the squash and pumpkin pie spice, and a hint of spiciness from the cayenne pepper.  It is supposed to be a breakfast dish, but to me, it failed to resemble home fries enough to be considered for breakfast.  It also didn't quite seem like a side dish for dinner.  I'm just not quite sure what to do with it! 

If you are a fan of butternut squash, go ahead and give this recipe a try.  Otherwise, you might want to skip it unless you are adventurous.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wowowow! Kung Pao

Per Serving (1/2 of recipe, about 1 1/2 cups): 6 Points+
245 calories, 4g fat, 720mg sodium, 21g carbs, 3g fiber, 11g sugars, 30g protein 

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 224 - 225

I love Chinese food, and one of my favorite go-to low-calorie dinners is a chicken stir-fry full of veggies.  I generally just use soy sauce and a little bit of bottled stir-fry sauce for flavor, but it does get tiring eating the same dish all the time.  Since I also love Kung Pao chicken, this recipe called out to me.

I was happy with the fact that there were still quite a bit of veggies in this meal.  It also had a nice amount of chicken, making it pretty filling.  In a recent Hungry Girl email, I learned that by adding the sauce at the end of the cooking process, it prevents the sauce from reducing too much.  As a result, your sauce goes farther, saving you calories while adding flavor.  Good to know!

I loved the flavor of this sauce.  It had a nice kick to it, but wasn't overly spicy.  The dish came out nice and saucy, and actually reminded me of a restaurant-style kung pao chicken.  Yeah!  I made some rice to serve it over, and was nice and full after eating it.  This dish did a nice job of satisfying my cravings for a fatty, restaurant-style serving of kung pao chicken.  If you like kung pao chicken, you should definitely give this a try.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ranch-O Bacon Chicken

Per Serving (entire recipe): 4 Points+
186 calories, 3g fat, 429mg sodium, 1g carbs, 0g fiber, 0.5g sugars, 35g protein

The recipe:

In an effort to make something quick and easy for dinner, I picked this recipe to make last night.  I have seen it a couple of times in HG emails, and usually when she mentions something more than once, it means it is a good recipe. 

You really can't get any easier than this for a chicken recipe.  Just sprinkle a 5oz chicken cutlet with a little pepper on both sides, then sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of ranch dressing mix on the top, and then a tablespoon of real bacon bits.  Bake in the oven and enjoy!  So easy!

This chicken turned out pretty decent.  It was well-seasoned, and I liked the combination of the ranch and bacon on the chicken.  I made some broccoli to go with it for dinner, as well as a side of mac and cheese for my 3-year-old (which I didn't eat).  I actually didn't think my son would even touch the chicken and broccoli, but I still put some on his plate with the mac and cheese.  Surprisingly, he ate all of his chicken and broccoli, and didn't even touch the mac and cheese.  For that reason alone, I would definitely call this a successful dinner. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Freezy-Fresa Strawberry Margarita

Per Serving (entire recipe, 1 margarita): 5 Points+
125 calories, 0g fat, 24mg sodium, 7g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugars, 0g protein

The recipe:

Since I was so happy with the way the Hungry Girl Magical Low-Calorie Margarita I made the other day turned out, I decided to try the strawberry version this past weekend.  I was definitely happy I did.  Yum!  This turned out just as good as, if not better than the regular low-calorie margarita.  And for only 10 calories more!  Amazing!

The recipe calls for either Crystal Light Strawberry-Kiwi, or Crystal Light Energy Wild Strawberry.  Since I don't like the flavor of Strawberry-Kiwi, I used the Energy Wild Strawberry kind.  I'm sure either flavor would work, though. With the Wild Strawberry, the drink has an unmistakeable strawberry flavor that is very good. 

I am still in awe of the fact that I can have a delicious strawberry margarita for only 125 calories.  According to HG herself, a strawberry margarita normally has 350 calories in it.  That's a savings of 175 calories per drink!  Nice!  So, whether or not you like a more traditional margarita, or are a fan of strawberry ones, you should definitely try one of these recipes.  And if you don't want any alcohol, it will only cost you 28 calories and 0 Points Plus.  Even better!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Super-Duper Veggie Scramble

Per Serving (entire recipe): 4 Points+
183 calories, 3g fat, 614mg sodium, 17g carbs, 5g fiber, 5g sugars, 22g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies...", page 15
or (see "Head's Up" at the bottom)

This is a breakfast recipe that I make all the time on weekends.  It is filling, low in calories, and very good.  I almost never make it the same way each time, though.  I always have the veggie burger patty and the 1/2 cup Egg Beaters, but I change up the veggies depending on what I have at home.  Sometimes I add broccoli, bell peppers, or even asparagus in addition to the veggies in the recipe.  I also usually add Frank's Red Hot, or sometimes Tapatio, depending on my mood.  Without some extra seasoning or hot sauce, this dish can be a tad bit on the bland side.

If you make the recipe exactly as it is in the book, it is a nice serving size.  Adding more veggies bulks it up even more, but without adding hardly any calories.  I think it is a great idea to use the veggie patty as the "meat" in the scramble.  I never would have thought to use that combination on my own.  Usually, for breakfast I always think bacon or sausage.  The veggie burger patty works great with the veggies and eggs, though, and makes it filling without adding as many calories as regular bacon or sausage would. 

The next time you are in the mood for an omelet or egg scramble, try it with a cut-up veggie burger patty.  You will be pleasantly surprised by how much more filling it makes it, as well as how good it is.  Yum!

Head's Up!  The weblink to the recipe is HG old school from 2005!  All she says to do is add a crumbled veggie burger to 1/2 cup Egg Beaters.  The recipe from the book has been updated to add tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sloppy Janes

Per Serving (1 sandwich with about 3/4 cup sauce): 7 Points+
271 calories, 3g fat, 835mg sodium, 32g carbs, 3g fiber, 8g sugars, 31g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies...", pages 130 - 131

This is a recipe that I used to make all the time pre-blog, so I thought it was probably overdue for me to officially review it.  I had all sorts of notes in my cookbook from the previous times I've made it - the first being that it was better without the Splenda.  I, personally, don't like my sloppy joes sweet, so I simply eliminated the Splenda - an option that she even mentions in the recipe. 

The other note was that it is much better with lean ground turkey instead of extra lean.  If you can afford the extra calories, I would suggest making it with the lean turkey.  No one from my family was fond of this recipe with the extra-lean turkey, whereas they gobbled it up using the lean.  It was just too dry with the extra-lean, which is the reason I usually try to save enough calories in the day to swap out lean for extra-lean in any given ground turkey recipe.

With those two changes, these sloppy "janes" are delicious.  They taste just like the traditional sloppy joes I grew up with (the ones from the sloppy joe seasoning packets), but with less calories.  Instead of just being made with the ground turkey, this recipe adds in red bell pepper and onions to bulk it up a little without adding extra calories.  As a result, you get a nice portion size for a reasonable amount of calories. 

The recipe doesn't state how large the serving size is, but if you divide it out, it comes out to be about 3/4 cup of sloppy joes for each sandwich.  I ate mine on a sandwich thin, and added a piece of fat-free american cheese.  It probably would have been just as good without the cheese, but for some reason I felt like adding it.  It is only an extra 30 calories for a slice of cheese, so if you want to add cheese and you have enough calories left, go for it. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dan Good Chili

Per Serving (1 cup): 3 Points+
120 calories, 1g fat, 820mg sodium, 26g carbs, 6g fiber, 10g sugars, 6g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies", pages 122 - 123

I have been eyeballing this recipe for quite some time now, but, previously, it was too hot to think about making a large pot of chili.  It has just begun to cool down in California (all the way down to the low 70's!), so that has put me in the mood for making chili, soup, etc.  On Tuesday, the Hungry Girl email featured this same recipe I have been curious about for a while, so I figured that was my cue to finally make it.

One thing I will say about this recipe is that it takes a long time to make.  And I'm not just talking about the fact that it has to cook for 2 hours once you get all of the ingredients into the pot.  It also takes a ton of prep time to chop all of the vegetables, saute them, and finally add everything to the pot.  With all of the distractions my two little ones cause, it took me almost an hour just to get to the point where everything was in the pot.  Then, I had to wait two more hours for the chili to cook.  Jeez!

For a vegetarian chili, I thought this turned out pretty good.  I usually prefer turkey chili, but the fact that this was only 120 calories for a whole cup definitely made up for the lack of meat in it.  The chili had a nice amount of spice to it, but it was not overly spicy.  I was a little worried it would be too spicy, since my early tastes of the chili burned my tongue from the spiciness.  After it had cooked for two hours, though, the spice from the jalapenos mellowed out and it was really good. 

I ate my cup of chili over half of a baked potato.  I also added a serving of light sour cream to the top.  Yum!  It was a huge amount of food for under 350 calories.  I was definitely satisfied from this dinner, and am looking forward to the leftovers.  For all the effort it takes to make this, at least you get 10 servings - plenty of food to make it worthwhile.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Toffee Crush Coffee Shake

Per Serving (entire shake): 6 Points+
244 calories, 5.5g fat, 163mg sodium, 41.5g carbs, 1g fiber, 18g sugars, 5.5g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 209

Sorry - this is my third drink recipe in a row, and I usually don't do many Hungry Girl beverage reviews.  I am overdue for going grocery shopping, so I had to make something that I had the ingredients for already.  I have been planning on making this shake for quite some time now, but I had to wait for an evening to where I could afford the calories.  At 244 calories and 6 Points Plus, this may be a good calorie bargain compared to a regular shake, but is still fairly high for a dessert in my opinion.  I usually like to "spend" around 100 - 150 calories on dessert in any given day.  Today, I went running, so I had a few extra calories available to me.  A perfect opportunity to make this yummy shake.

This shake turned out really good.  The fact that it has ice cream and a toffee chocolate bar (I used a Heath Bar) in it definitely doesn't hurt.  I shared some of my shake with my 3-year-old and my 1-year-old, and got a good response from both of them.  The 1-year-old even whined when I wouldn't give him more than just a taste!  I definitely felt as though I were drinking a yummy, fattening milk shake that I shouldn't be drinking.  I loved the bits of the toffee that came up the straw as you drink it.  So good!  It did have some little tiny ice bits from the blended ice cubes, but that was the only hint that the shake may be lower in calories.  This is a fun and delicious dessert that I recommend trying if you can spare the calories or points. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mug 'O Pumpkin Creme

Per Serving (entire recipe): 2 Points+
79 calories, 1.5g fat, 127mg sodium, 10g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 6g sugars, 6g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies...", page 274

I really need to get smaller mugs.  It seems that every time I make a recipe that is meant to be cooked in or drank out of a mug, the portion looks so tiny in my mugs.  They are not huge mugs or anything.  I think the problem is that the standard serving size for a Hungry Girl hot beverage must be 6 oz, while my mugs are meant to hold 8 oz.  So, even though my picture makes it look like there is hardly anything there, this was a pretty good serving size for a hot drink.

Although the recipe in the cookbook calls for light vanilla soymilk, I made mine with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze.  I prefer the taste, and it has less calories as well.  If you use UVAB, the calories will be only 50 for the recipe, and only 1 point plus - much better (the email recipe reflects these calorie stats)!

I made this drink as a dessert last night, so I used one whole packet of Splenda in my drink.  The recipe says to sweeten to taste, so if you want a drink on the sweeter side, use a whole packet.  If not, you can always sprinkle a little bit until it gets to be the amount of sweetness that you want. 

I enjoyed this drink very much.  It was a nice change from hot chocolate, and still satisfied my desire for a sweet, hot beverage.  I liked the idea of a pumpkin-flavored hot drink.  It reminded me of all the pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks that come out this time of year, but without the coffee.  Since it only uses 2 tablespoons of pumpkin, I probably won't be making this very often, though.  I wouldn't want to open up a whole can of pumpkin just for the 2 tablespoons needed for this drink.  But, it is nice to know this recipe is there in case I have leftover pumpkin to use up.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Magical Low-Calorie Margarita

Per Serving (entire recipe, 1 margarita): 4 Points+
115 calories, 0g fat, 55mg sodium, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, <0.5g sugars, 0g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl: Recipes & Survival Strategies...", page 244

Although I don't drink alcohol very often, I was in the mood for a margarita this past weekend.  I found this recipe of a super-low calorie margarita on the Hungry Girl website and was excited to try it.  I can't believe this drink was only 115 calories!  All of the calories are pretty much from the shot of tequila, since the Sprite Zero, Crystal Light, and lime juice hardly have any calories at all.  I love margaritas, so I was really hoping this would be a good substitute for a drink that is normally hundreds of calories.

My husband was curious as well, and stood hovering over me while I was making the drink so he could try a sip.  The verdict from both of us?  Delicious!  I was actually pretty impressed with how this tasted.  I did not feel as though I were drinking a diet drink at all, and I was happy with the balance of the lemon flavor and the lime juice.  This is probably as close to an authentic margarita flavor that you can get without it being the real thing. 

I will definitely be making this drink again.  It was quick, easy, and really good.  I would even consider making a large batch of this for a party.  I don't think people would mind or even notice that it was a low-calorie margarita, since it tastes so good!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sweet 'n Sassy Boneless Hot Wings

Per Serving (entire recipe - 4 oz of chicken): 6 Points+
267 calories, 1.5g fat, 775mg sodium, 30g carbs, 2g fiber, 15g sugars, 31g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 126 - 127

For this recipe, I actually quadrupled it, so what you see above is four servings.  I figured for all the work I put into making these, I wasn't about to make just one serving.  Not that they are difficult to make or anything, but when I get into the mode of coating stuff with egg and then flour, I like to do a larger batch.  I cut mine a little larger than the nugget-size she recommends - mine were each about an ounce instead of just half an ounce.  So, instead of 8 small nuggets, I had 4 larger ones for a serving.

These turned out great!  A nice amount of spiciness, but not so much to where they were unbearable.  I have discovered that I love the flavor of sweet chili sauce, and am looking forward to making a stirfry that features the sauce.  It gives it a really nice, slightly sweet flavor, but still provides a good amount of spiciness as well.

I made these with a salad for dinner, but they are definitely more of an appetizer.  My husband loved these, as well, and took the leftovers to work for lunch the next day.  When he does that, I know the recipe was a success!  These are definitely worth making, but just make sure you stop eating them at one serving.  They aren't exactly calorie friendly if you eat too much!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sweet and Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding Bowl

Per Serving (entire recipe): 6 Points+
263 calories, 4.75g fat, 760mg sodium, 33.5g carbs, 6g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 23g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 40 - 41

Normally, I am not much of a fan of bread pudding.  I have tried Hungry Girl's Scoopable Smore's Bread Pudding, which was okay, but still turned out a little dry on top - the reason I don't usually like bread pudding.  This recipe, however, was actually really good.

The best part about this recipe was that it was cooked in the microwave in practically no time at all.  I was a little skeptical that it would turn out okay, since microwave cooking is not usually my thing.  But, I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.  The whole thing was nice and moist.  I did make sure that all the bread pieces were well covered with the egg mixture, to ensure the maximum amount of moisture in the bread.  Once done cooking, I removed it from the microwave-safe bowl, plated it, and covered it with sugar-free syrup and powdered sugar.  Yum!

I loved the combination of the sweetness of the syrup with the savoriness of the breakfast sausage.  It is amazing how far one little sausage patty goes when you crumble it into small pieces.  Every bite had the flavor of the sausage and syrup mixed together.  And my biggest complaint about bread pudding - the dryness factor - was not a problem at all.  Any dryness that may have been there after cooking was remedied with the syrup that was poured over the top. 

My only complaint is the amount of calories.  For breakfast, 263 calories is a little high for me.  I usually like to have a banana and a cup of coffee with creamer with my breakfast.  If I had done that with this dish, my breakfast would have been about 400 calories, or a third of my calories for the day!  That doesn't leave much room for any snacks.  This will probably not be something I make on a regular basis just because of the calories, but it is still one of my favorite breakfasts I have made so far.  If you have the "300 under 300" cookbook, you should definitely try this.