Thursday, June 30, 2011

S'mores Oatmeal

Per Serving (entire recipe): 8 Points+
299 calories, 9g fat, 512mg sodium, 47.5g carbs, 6.5g fiber, 13g sugars, 8.5g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 42

Another one of Hungry Girl's growing oatmeal bowls - and another one that is more like dessert than breakfast.  This one was again very good!  So far, I have yet to be disappointed with one of the growing oatmeal recipes. 

I loved how chocolaty and decadent this one was.  The mini chocolate chips made it even more chocolaty than it already was.  So good!  I let the marshmallows and chocolate chips melt a little bit before I dug in, so it was nice and gooey and delicious.  Definitely reminded me of smores, but without all the fat. 

This IS a little high in points, though, so it isn't exactly the best thing for dessert (although that's when I ate mine, since I had plenty of points).  If you are in the mood for a sweet and chocolaty breakfast, then this is the perfect recipe for you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Crazy Pineapple Salmon Teriyaki

Per Serving (entire recipe): 9 Points+
347 calories, 15.5g fat, 349mg sodium, 22g carbs, 0.75g fiber, 19g sugars, 28.5g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 154 - 155

Salmon is one of my family's favorite dishes, but unfortunately, it is fairly high in points so I no longer make it very often.  I had just picked up some beautiful looking asparagus from Costco, and I thought salmon would go perfectly with it.  I usually just season my salmon with a little garlic salt, onion powder, and italian seasoning and bake it in a foil pack to keep it moist.  But, this recipe sounded simple and good, so I figured I'd give it a try. 

I didn't have any Sweet Asian Chili Sauce, so I had to substitute by adding honey to regular Asian Chili Sauce (I looked online to figure this out).  This salmon turned out nice and moist, with the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.  It was like a spicy version of teriyaki salmon.  Delicious!  It was a little too spicy for my two-year-old, but I had made a couple of filets with my regular spices, so he was happy with that.  My husband and I both really liked this salmon, so I am happy to say that I have a new way to make salmon in the future.  If you have this cookbook, you should definitely give this a try.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Loaded 'n Oated Spinach & Mushroom Girlfredo Pizza

Per Serving (entire recipe): 7 Points+
282 calories, 8.75g fat, 745mg sodium, 34.5g carbs, 10g fiber, 4g sugars, 20g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 246 - 247

I was worried that this pizza would not be very tasty, or at least that the crust would taste like cardboard - given that it was made with ground-up Fiber One cereal and oats.  Even the picture on the Hungry Girl website makes the crust look a little "woody".  Although the crust did have that slightly chewy texture that you get when you make something with Fiber One cereal, the oats balanced it out enough to where it was still tolerable.  Actually, it was more than tolerable.  I thought this pizza was great! 

I had a little bit of trouble trying to cook the crust in the pan.  The recipe states to spread out the Fiber One/oat/egg substitute mixture to your desired thickness in a heated pan.  Well, it is easier said than done.  The crust mixture kept sticking to the back of the spoon I was using to spread it out, so it was already halfway cooked by the time I got it into a semi-circular shape.  It ended up being thicker than what I was aiming for, and was about 5" - 6" in diameter, depending on where I measured (and yes, I did measure).  Still a pretty good pizza size, and for the amount of sauce that there was, it ended up being a good size.  There wasn't much sauce, but for this size of a pizza it was the perfect amount.

I really like pizzas that use a white garlic sauce as the base instead of a traditional marinara.  This was one of those types of pizza, and the sauce was delicious!  Creamy, garlicky, and flavorful!  There was also a ton of cheese - the 1/4 cup of mozzarella was more than enough cheese needed for this pizza.  It had plenty of veggies for the topping, and was overall pretty satisfying for the amount of points it was.

Although kind of a hassle to make, since there are quite a few steps to make this pizza, it was well worth the effort.  Yum!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tofu Shirataki Noodles

I have been meaning to do a post about these noodles for a while, especially since quite a few of the Hungry Girl recipes use them.  I actually went out and bought another package of these noodles last time I was at the grocery store, which was now the third time that I tried them out.  I still couldn't handle the texture of them.  I really do not like these noodles, and even after trying them in recipes on several completely separate occasions, I still cannot stand them. 

I am not usually picky about the texture of my food.  I grew up eating sushi, squid, octopus, and many other things with not-so-pleasant textures.  However, I think I have a sort of attachment to my spaghetti noodles.  Carbs are something that I have never been able to give up.  One of the reasons why I have always preferred Weight Watchers over various low-carb diets is because of the fact that I can eat pasta, bread, rice, etc.  The Shirataki noodles, while insanely low in calories and carbs, are just not the same as the noodles I am so fond of. 

First of all, they smell oddly fishy when you open the bag.  Yuck!  Hungry Girl says to rinse them thoroughly and dry them thoroughly before using in a recipe, which gets rid of the smell.  But still, the initial smell upon opening a bag is disgusting.  Here is one of many Hungry Girl posts on these noodles.

The other problem I have is the texture, as I said earlier.  They have this weird chewy texture to them - but not chewy as in gum or taffy candy.  It is chewy as in it feels as though you are eating rubber bands.  It is the most bizarre food texture I have ever eaten, and almost reminds me of the texture of squid in calamari, but in thin noodle form.  Anyway, it does not make me feel as though I am eating regular pasta noodles, so I refuse to use them anymore as a substitution.

If a Hungry Girl recipe calls for these noodles, then I just substitute regular pasta noodles in the recipe and add the extra points.  The main reason I bought another bag of these noodles was so I could figure out exactly how much of these noodles are in a bag.  Turns out, there is a cup and a half of noodles in a bag of Shirataki noodles.  After a little bit of trial and error, I discovered that 3 ounces of dry spaghetti noodles makes about a cup and a half of cooked noodles.  Since a serving size of a Hungry Girl recipe using these noodles is usually for half of a bag (or 1 & 1/2 ounces dry pasta), this adds about 3 - 4 points+ to a serving of the recipe.  To me, this is definitely worth the added points.  If you at all have a problem with shirataki noodles, I suggest just substituting.  You might discover an awesome recipe that you may have otherwise not tried.

So, in summary - one bag of Tofu Shirataki noodles = 3 oz dry pasta noodles, or 1 & 1/2 cups cooked noodles.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Floosh's Stuffed Cabbage

Per Serving (1/7th of recipe, 2 cabbage rolls with sauce): 6 Points+
242 calories, 6.5g fat, 610mg sodium, 30.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 22g sugars, 18g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 198 - 199

This is another winner of a recipe!  I have never really had stuffed cabbage before, but it is one of my husband's favorite dishes, so I decided to try this out.  This recipe was adapted from HG's mom, Floosh - hence the name of the recipe.  Like HG, my husband grew up eating his mom's version of stuffed cabbage - which was probably also loaded with fat and calories.  This recipe is much lower in calories and fat, but it still has six points for only two small stuffed cabbage rolls.  Not much food for the points in my opinion, but much better than the full-fat version, I'm sure.

The sauce for the cabbage was to die for!  It had the perfect amount of sweetness, and went great with the meat filling in the cabbage.  I would never have thought to use cranberry sauce and blackberry jam in a tomato sauce, but it really worked well here.  I only wish the sauce was a little thicker.  It was so good, but was hard to mop up with the small amount of filling that was in the cabbage leaves.  To remedy that, it might be good to eat these with a serving of rice so you can actually enjoy all of the sauce that is part of the serving.

Also, make sure you buy two cabbages if you can't find an extra-large one.  I wasn't sure how big an extra-large cabbage was, so I just got one cabbage.  I ended up running out of leaves, so I only made 10 stuffed cabbages instead of 14.  I made half of them the correct size and points, and the other half I doubled the filling and gave them to my husband to eat. 

Another note about making this recipe - I only ended up cooking the cabbages for 45 minutes instead of a full hour.  I might have had my heat on a little higher than was called for, or it could have been because I had only 10 cabbages and didn't have to stack the cabbages in the pot (I used a fairly wide pot), but it did not take an hour to cook these.  I would just play it by ear if you make these, and you can always cut one open if you are not sure if they are done.

We both really liked this recipe.  My husband said I can definitely make this again, which doesn't happen very often.  Yay!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Parfait

Per Serving (entire recipe): 7 Points+
292 calories, 7.25g fat, 542mg sodium, 51g carbs, 7g fiber, 7.5g sugars, 7g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 38 - 39

Wow, three breakfast recipes in a row!  I must be trying to satisfy some sort of craving or something.  This is another oatmeal recipe that is more like a dessert than a breakfast.  Yum!  This one was very good.  It did remind me of a pumpkin pie, but a little less sweet.  I shared mine with my two-year-old son, and he enjoyed most of it as well.  He said he didn't like the oatmeal part much, but he definitely liked the pudding, graham cracker, and whipped cream parts.  I again used Cool Whip on top instead of Reddi Wip, since that is what I had on hand.  It shouldn't change the flavor much by using a different whipped topping, though.

One thing I didn't realize when I started cooking this recipe was that the oatmeal needs to be chilled for an hour and a half after it is cooked.  Oops!  I had planned on eating this for breakfast, not realizing that it was a cold dish.  On her website, Hungry Girl recommends making the oatmeal the night before and chilling overnight.  That way, when you wake up in the morning, it will be ready to be made into a parfait.

I just ended up making it about two hours later as a (very filling) morning snack.  I really liked it, but it was definitely a little too filling to be eaten as a snack.  I wasn't hungry for lunch until later than usual, so it threw off my whole eating schedule for the day.  I would recommend following HG's advice and chilling overnight if you want to eat it for breakfast.  This recipe would make a filling, delicious breakfast or a yummy dessert.  Mmmm!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bring on the Breakfast Pizza

Per Serving (1 pizza): 3 Points+
127 calories, <0.5g fat, 762mg sodium, 9g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 5g sugars, 22g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl - Recipes and Survival Strategies...", pages 18 - 19

Hard to believe that this breakfast "pizza" is only three points+!  Wow!  This recipe was a nice change from an ordinary egg breakfast.  It was a good size for a breakfast, and with it being only three points, you can feel free to add fruit and/or yogurt for a very filling breakfast.

I did change the type of cheese slightly.  I recently found a fat-free shredded cheddar/mozarella mix, so I have been using that type of shredded cheese in everything.  It reminds me of my favorite Mexican-blend of shredded cheese, so I was so happy when I found a fat-free version of it.  I stocked up immediately! 

For the sauce, since the recipe calls for plain tomato sauce, I added a little bit of garlic powder and italian seasoning to it for some extra flavor (which she recommends doing).  The only thing that I might change next time is to add more veggies.  The recipe only calls for two tablespoons each of chopped mushrooms and bell peppers.  You could easily add twice that much, and it shouldn't affect the points at all since they are just veggies.  This was a good, fun breakfast recipe that I will likely make again.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Loss of 14 Points?!

Oh no!  The day has finally come.  My points value will be changing very soon to the standard 29 per day rather than the 43 per day that I have been enjoying as a nursing mom.  Even though I have been pumping several times each day at work, before I go to bed, and in the morning after I nurse my son, my milk supply has been slowing dwindling down to almost nothing.  I managed to provide milk for my first son until he was almost 9 months old, but my second one is not as big of an eater, so my milk isn't lasting as long.  With all of the milk I have stored in the freezer, I probably have enough to last until he is almost 8 months old - not too bad, considering I went back to work when he was four months old and have been pumping since then.

The funny thing is, although I will miss the bonding I experience while nursing the baby, and it is really convenient to be able to nurse him to sleep if nothing else will work, the thing I am going to miss the most is those 14 extra points I get through Weight Watchers.  Those points have spoiled me during the past several months.  I am used to eating a certain amount and having plenty of points for dessert or an extra snack after dinner.  I feel like now I will have to re-adjust my entire eating strategy as though I were starting WW from the beginning again.  It is almost as though I weren't really on a "diet" before - I was just eating a little healthier.  Now I feel like I am about to start a true diet, which I am not looking forward to.

The good thing is, I only have about 10 more pounds to lose until my goal weight of 145.  I have been stuck at 154 for a month now, and I am pretty sure the reason is that I am still using the higher points allowance for nursing moms even though I am not producing as much milk.  I definitely need to reduce my daily points allowance, but I have been putting it off because I know I will have to eliminate several of my daily snacks and reduce my meal sizes.  I mean, 14 points is a lot of food!  It is about half of the 29 points that I will be allowed to eat soon. 

I am giving myself this week to stay at the 43 point level, but starting Sunday, I will be changing my daily points allowance to 29.  This will give me a week to mentally prepare myself for the change in diet, as well as mentally prepare to stop nursing.  I am just not making enough milk to satisfy my baby, so I know it is for the best.  With all the pumping I do, I am only getting one bottle's worth of milk - a lot of effort for not much return.  I am happy with making it almost 8 months, though, which I know is more than most working moms are able to do. 

I will definitely NOT miss the pumping, though, or having to wash all the pump parts every day.  So, this week, I will say goodbye to my 14 points, goodbye to my breastpump, and hello to more bottles to wash!  Oh, and hopefully hello to a skinnier me!

Banana Split Growing Oatmeal

Per Serving (entire recipe): 8 Points+
285 calories, 7.5g fat, 338mg sodium, 51.5g carbs, 6.5g fiber, 12g sugars, 7g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 32

I have found that several of the "growing oatmeal" Hungry Girl recipes are kind of like dessert.  The Major Mocha Cappuccino Oatmeal is another example of an oatmeal recipe I have reviewed that is more like dessert.  Since there is no dessert section in the "300 under 300" book, this makes up for it just a little.  

This oatmeal bowl has the words "banana split" in the title, so I knew it would be a good one to satisfy my sweet tooth.  It is a little high in points, so it might not be the best points bargain.  The weird thing is that the above link to the recipe states it is 7 Points+, while the website for the book states it is 8 Points+.  When I plug it into the WW calculator, however, it comes up as 8 Points+, so I would go with that.

The only thing that I don't like about the growing oatmeal concept is that you have to be very patient cooking the oatmeal.  I am used to oatmeal being a quick and easy breakfast, but when you make it the Hungry Girl way, it takes about 12 - 15 minutes of cooking time.  But, as long as you have the time to sit and stir the oatmeal, it's not really that big of a deal.

This oatmeal bowl was delicious.  The only thing I changed was that I used Cool Whip Free instead of Fat Free Reddi Wip, since that is what I had at home.  I don't think that changed the flavor of it much, though.

I had accidentally erased my pictures of this recipe the first time I made it, so I had to make it a second time.  I didn't mind at all, though, since it was so good.  I ate it for dessert the second time, and it definitely satisfied my sweet cravings.  If you like banana splits, then you will like this oatmeal.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Caribbean Shrimp Packets

Per Serving (¼th of recipe): 7 Points+
267 calories, 3.5g fat, 341mg sodium, 35.5g carbs, 2g fiber, 26g sugars, 24.5g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 150 - 151

Since I have enjoyed most of the Hungry Girl foil-pack recipes so far, I decided to try another one.  It was again pretty easy to make.  Other than chopping up the onions and bell pepper, it consisted mainly of just throwing a bunch of ingredients onto a foil sheet, sealing with another sheet of foil, and baking in the oven. 

I really enjoyed this recipe.  It was a good combination of sweet and spicy – the sweet was from the pineapple and the spicy was from the pepper and the seasonings.  I was unable to find fresh jalapeno peppers in the grocery store, so I ended up substituting a chili pepper instead.  The meal still had a good spice to it, but I imagine that if you use a jalapeno, it would be a little spicier.  Although, the recipe does say to remove the seeds from the jalapeno before you add it to the ingredients. 

Once cooked, the shrimp/veggie mixture was a little bit saucy, so I would suggest eating the dish over rice or pasta.  I made brown rice to eat with it, since I felt it would go well over rice.  I added a little bit of soy sauce to flavor the rice, which added a nice flavor to the shrimp as well.  My husband, however, decided he wanted his shrimp on top of noodles.  He added low-fat teriyaki sauce to his dinner, and it tasted good as well.  The shrimp mixture had a teriyaki feel to it already, since the pineapple and the spiciness created that sweet and spicy flavor that teriyaki works well with.  Adding a little teriyaki sauce to flavor the noodles worked perfectly with this dish.  Of course, it added a point to his meal, but he said it was worth the extra flavor.

This was a good dish that I would make again.  I am always looking for interesting ways to cook shrimp, and I enjoyed this recipe.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Spring Chicken Skillet

Per Serving (1/3rd of recipe, about 1 1/3 cups): 5 Points+
202 calories, 2g fat, 414mg sodium, 8g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 36g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", page 50

I have actually made this recipe before, and enjoyed it so much that I decided to make it again.  It is very easy to make, doesn't use a lot of ingredients, and goes well with rice for a complete meal.  

The recipe states to cook the chicken breast fillets first, then cut them up in chunks.  I found that last time, I didn't add enough seasoning to the chicken, and when cut up later, it left some of the surface of the chicken unseasoned.  This time, I cut the chicken into chunks first, then cooked the chicken, onions, and garlic all together.  I put plenty of seasoning on all of it, and as a result I got a more flavorful dish.  I used McCormick's Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning, which I found worked really well with this dish.

Once the chicken is mostly cooked, all you do is add two cups of cherry or grape tomatoes, cover, and let cook for 10 more minutes until the tomatoes burst.  The chicken comes out a little bit saucy when it's done, so it goes perfectly over some rice.  I made brown rice in my rice cooker while cooking the chicken, so when everything was done I had a nice, filling meal.  Yum! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jammin' Tarts

Per Serving (1 tart): 1 Point+
43 calories, 1.5g fat, 80mg sodium, 8.5g carbs, <0.5g fiber, 1g sugars, 1g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 260 - 261

Since I had another half-sheet of the Pillsbury Seamless Dough to use up, I figured I should make another recipe.  The book actually refers you to this recipe from the Creamed Corn-Cheese Bite recipe in order to give you a way to use up the dough you already opened.  I didn't really want to double the creamed corn recipe, so it seemed like a good idea to make this one. 

I think I may have rolled out the dough a little too thin, since I ended up with quite a bit of excess dough hanging over the edges of the cups.  I was fine with that, though, since it gave me plenty of dough to work with to seal up the edges of the cups so the jam didn't leak out.  Even so, I had a couple of them that ended up leaking when I took them out of the pan.

These tarts were very easy to make.  Just cut the dough into 12 pieces, place into a mini-muffin pan, brush with egg whites (I used Egg Beaters, which is mostly just egg whites), and place two teaspoons of the filling inside.  The filling was just 1/2 cup of sugar-free jam and two teaspoons of cornstarch mixed together.  Super easy!  I used blackberry sugar-free jam, but you can use any flavor you like. 

These turned out pretty good.  I thought they were a little better after they had cooled down a bit and the jam had solidified more.  I would suggest waiting to remove them from the pan until they have cooled, since the jam would be a little more solid and might not leak out as easily if there is a little bit of a tear or hole in the dough.

A fun, easy treat to make.  These would be good to use as an hors d'oeuvres at a party.  If they are going to sit for a little bit, I would leave off the powdered sugar, though.  I found that the sugar that was on the jam part ended up liquifying pretty quickly.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Creamed Corn-Cheese Bites

Per Serving (1 "cheese bite"): 1 Point+
46 calories, 2g fat, 122mg sodium, 6g carbs, <0.5g fiber, 1g sugars, 1g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 102 - 103

I was in the mood for junk food the other day, but didn't want too many calories.  I figured I should see if my Hungry Girl cookbooks had anything that looked good to me, and for some reason this appetizer stood out.  I don't know if I would necessarily call this junk food, but it wasn't exactly nutritious, either.  The recipe calls for using only half of the dough of a Pillsbury seamlesss dough package.  The cookbook refers to another recipe, Jammin' Tarts, that you can use the other half of the dough for.  I then made plans to make some of those for the other half of the dough - more junk food.  Yeah!

If you like creamed corn, then you will probably like these creamed corn bites.  They were cheesy, corny, and tasty.  They were also a little rich, so after about four of them, I couldn't really eat any more.  Probably a good thing, since that prevented me from eating too many points from something that wasn't all that filling. 

These are good as an appetizer, but they should be eaten right away.  I let a few sit around for a while, and the bottoms ended up getting a little soggy since creamed corn is fairly liquidy.  These were best after cooling down for a few minutes, but still hot enough for the cheese to be gooey and yummy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Santa Fe Cheesy Chicken Stir-Fry

Per Serving (entire recipe): 6 Points+
256 calories, 2g fat, 693mg sodium, 19.5g carbs, 3.25g fiber, 4.5g sugars, 38.5g protein

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 26 - 27

I must be in the mood for Mexican Food, since I just realized I made two Mexican dishes in a row.  This one had the word "cheesy" in the title, so right away it sounded good to me. 

The recipe called for lime juice and cilantro in the stir-fry, two flavors that are great in Mexican dishes, but ones that I never think to use for some reason.  I thought it went great with this stir fry.  The lime gave it a nice tangy flavor, while the cilantro gave it the Mexican flavor that was so good. 

Although a little liquidy, I think this would be good in a tortilla with some salsa and sour cream.  I just ate mine by itself, but the whole time I was thinking it was a perfect burrito filling, especially if you make sure to drain off any excess liquid.  The tortilla and sour cream would add some points, but it would still be reasonable for how filling it was.  I ate mine with a salad and was reasonably full.  A good, satisfying dinner.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Surprise, It's Pumpkin! Enchiladas

Per Serving (1/2 of recipe, 1 enchilada): 4 Points+
188 calories, 2g fat, 948mg sodium, 31g carbs, 5g fiber, 8g sugars, 10.5g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 206 - 207

This recipe is one of those Hungry Girl recipes that is referred to quite often in her emails, and is one that I have been curious about for a while now.  I have looked at the recipe many times, but just couldn’t get myself to actually make it.  The thought of using pumpkin in an enchilada recipe sounded kind of gross to me, honestly.  But, I figured since I am reviewing a variety of Hungry Girl recipes for this blog, I should probably review ones that others might also be curious about as well.

I already had small-sized corn tortillas in my fridge, so I decided to use two small tortillas instead of one tortilla for a serving size – I just split up the filling for one large tortilla into the two smaller ones.  The points did not change.  I also doubled the recipe, since my husband tends to eat more than just one serving size.  As a result, I ended up with a nice-sized enchilada casserole for dinner.  It looked nice, but was it any good? 

It actually was!  The pumpkin filling in the enchiladas tasted nothing like pumpkin, thanks to the taco sauce and taco seasoning that was added to it.  It had a similar texture to refried beans, so it did not feel like you were eating something weird like pumpkin.   I actually didn’t tell my husband that the enchiladas were made with pumpkin, and he went back for seconds without even questioning me about the dish.  They really did taste like the regular, standard enchiladas I would normally make.  Maybe they were a little less cheesy, but still just as good.

The only thing that I would change next time is the type of enchilada sauce I used.  I used a medium-spicy sauce, but it ended up being a little too spicy.  I do like spicy foods, but because the recipe called for quite a bit of enchilada sauce, it ended up overpowering the dish.  I think if I had used a mild enchilada sauce, or maybe just less of the medium-spicy sauce, the other flavors would have come out a little bit better.

Overall, I was pretty impressed with this recipe.  Normally, enchiladas would be several more points, even if you were to use fat-free refried beans.  These, however, were very low points for a nice-size serving.  I did like the fact that I used two small tortillas instead of one large one.  Mentally, I think it felt as though I were getting a bigger serving size just because there were two of them.  If you do the same, just make sure to buy the small corn tortillas with the best nutritional stats.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Grilled Fuji-n-Chick 'Wich

Per Serving (entire recipe): 7 Points+
298 calories, 5.5g fat, 659mg sodium, 30g carbs, 6g fiber, 10g sugars, 33g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 288 - 289

Since the Sweet Apple and Chicken Stir-Fry I made a while back turned out so good, I figured this sandwich would be good also.  It had different seasonings from the stir-fry, but was just as delicious.  Yum!  This recipe consisted mainly of apples, onions and chicken, but the seasonings used and the laughing cow cheese on the bread was the reason it was so good.

The recipe called for sage as one of the spices to be used, which I never would have thought to use.  Sage is just one of those spices that sits there on my spice rack, rarely to be used, if ever.  Well, it worked perfectly in this recipe along with the garlic powder. The laughing cow cheese made the sandwich cheesy and creamy, making this another favorite Hungry Girl recipe of mine. So good!

This was another grilled sandwich recipe that calls for barely enough margarine to cover the bread.  If you are used to slathering your grilled cheese sandwiches with tons of butter, don't worry.  Believe it or not, it hardly takes any butter or margarine to made the sandwich nice and toasted.  I decided to trust her on this one the first time I made one of her grilled sandwiches, and was pleasantly surprised that she was right about using a small amount of butter or margarine.  I will never go back to the slather method again!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sweet Coconut Crunch Shrimp

Per Serving (1/4th of recipe, about 5 shrimp): 4 Points+
164 calories, 4.5g fat, 266mg sodium, 12g carbs, 2g fiber, 3.5g sugars, 19.5g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 379

Shrimp is one of my favorite foods since it tastes great and is a protein that is very low in points.  Thankfully, Costco has fairly reasonable prices on frozen shrimp, so we always have some in the freezer.  I was in the mood for shrimp when I found this recipe for a coconut shrimp appetizer.  Normally, I don't like sweetened shredded coconut, but that is mainly on desserts.  I thought I might like coconut on something savory - and I did! 

These shrimp were very tasty, and I was definitely glad that I had made extra.  My husband enjoyed these, too, and ate WAY more than the five shrimp that makes one serving.  The only thing I felt the recipe was missing was some sort of sauce to dip the shrimp in.  They were delicious on their own, but they would have been even better with a thai peanut sauce or maybe even a stir fry or teriyaki sauce to dip them in.  Next time I will try to find a recipe for a dipping sauce that would go well with these shrimp.

What I liked about this recipe is that although it uses crushed up Fiber One cereal as part of the breading, it doesn't over-power it.  There are also panko bread crumbs and coconut to balance out the texture of the Fiber One.  My husband, who now says he dislikes the Fiber One breading that Hungry Girl uses quite often, didn't even notice that there was Fiber One cereal as part of the breading of these shrimp.  A successful recipe, and one that I would make again.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Winner Winner Onion Chicken Dinner

Per Serving (entire recipe): 6 Points+
251 calories, 4.5g fat, 340mg sodium, 16g carbs, 3.75g fiber, 7g sugars, 35.5g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 166 - 167

This recipe is one of Hungry Girl's many foil-wrapped meals.  I have only made a few of these, but of those I have made, they are all very quick and easy.  Usually it just involves chopping up some veggies, seasoning everything, wrapping it in foil and baking.  Easy and hardly any clean-up! 

I thought this meal turned out really good.  It was well-flavored, and the chicken came out perfectly juicy.  I wasn't sure if there would be enough flavor at first, especially since it only calls for a teaspoon of onion soup mix for the entire recipe.  I was pleasantly surprised that there was plenty of seasoning, and this meal was definitely not bland.

One of the reasons I chose this recipe was because of the choice of vegetables in it.  I haven't made squash in a long time, so it was nice to have a different veggie with dinner for once.  My husband, however, does not like squash (the reason why I haven't had squash in so long).  I made him his own foil pack, but instead of squash I substituted broccoli.  As a matter of fact, one of the best things about this recipe is that you could easily substitute whatever vegetables you like for what the recipe calls for.  Instead of onions, mushrooms, and squash, there are plenty of other veggies that would work just as well.  Although, I would probably at least keep onions as one of the veggies, since the word "onion" is in the title of this recipe, after all!

The other nice thing about this recipe was the portion size.  Since veggies are very low in calories, there are a lot of them in this recipe.  The chicken is where the bulk of the points come from, so you could probably add even more veggies without adding to the points.  The serving size is already plenty big, though, so if you are looking for a large amount of food for low points, this is a great dinner to have.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Too E-Z Fish Taco Supreme

Per Serving (entire recipe, 1 taco): 6 Points+
258 calories, 3.25g fat, 337mg sodium, 30g carbs, 6g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 28.5g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", pages 152 - 153

The night I made these I was in the mood for a light Mexican dinner, so I figured fish tacos might be the way to go.  This recipe called for cooking the ingredients in foil, which made it really easy to make.  All you have to do is throw all the ingredients on a sheet of foil, cover and seal with more foil, and cook it in the oven for a while. 

I love fish tacos, but I wasn't really all that impressed with this recipe.  It came out a little bland, so I would suggest maybe using a little more of the taco seasoning than what is called for.  I added salsa and a little sour cream to each one, which definitely helped add some flavor to the fish tacos. 

I ended up using three small tortillas instead of one large one since I already had the small size in the fridge.  It added a point to the meal for me, but I didn't mind, since I would rather eat three small tacos than one large one.  Not a very exciting recipe, but Hungry Girl has many different versions of a fish taco, so I might try the other recipes until I find one I like.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hot Dog-Hot Potato Hotcakes

Per Serving (1/2 of recipe, 3 hotcakes): 5 Points+
192 calories, 1.5g fat, 982mg sodium, 28g carbs, 1.75g fiber, 2g sugars, 16.5g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 377

This is another recipe that I decided to make in the hopes that my 2-year-old son would enjoy it.  He loves hot dogs, so I figured a potato pancake with hot dogs in it would be right up his alley.  He did enjoy it - especially dipped in ketchup. 

I thought the recipe turned out a little too salty though, so if I made it again I would use just a dash of salt, or none at all.  The hot dogs probably have enough salt themselves for the recipe.  I used the fat free Ball Park turkey dogs, which I prefer over the Hebrew National low fat beef dogs. 

The pancakes turned out fine, but you have to be careful not to flip them too much, or else they will start to fall apart.  I don't think I chopped up the hot dog enough, so that may be why I was having slight difficulties flipping them.  It was also tricky to make sure that the first side cooked enough to flip over easily, but not so much that it looked burned.  I doubled the recipe and made 12 of these, and the ones in the photo were the most attractive, which isn't saying much.  It was definitely difficult to cook these just right on both sides, but they all tasted equally good regardless of how some of them looked.

Overall, a fun recipe to make and eat, but not the most nutritious!  It is in the starter section of the book, though, so it was intended to be just an appetizer and not a meal.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Turkey Tetrazzini Bake

Per Serving (1/6th of recipe, about 1 1/2 cups): 7 Points+
285 calories, 9.5g fat, 942mg sodium, 28g carbs, 7g fiber, 6g sugars, 22g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 180 - 181

Sometimes it is just nice to bake a casserole for dinner.  It is called comfort food for a reason, after all.  There is something familiar and comforting about yummy, creamy, baked, fatty foods.  This was not fatty, but was definitely creamy and yummy.  It had plenty of sauce, as well as a nice topping with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.  It also had just the right amount of ground turkey in it, and I really liked the fact that the recipe calls for seasonings in the meat as well as the sauce.

My first bite of the dish made me think it might be a little under-salted.  But, after another bite or two, it seemed just fine.  Actually, each bite made me enjoy it more and more.  I was especially happy that the peas didn't overpower the dish.  Usually, it seems as though if there are peas in a casserole, that is all I can taste.  I am not a big fan of peas, so I was worried that this would happen with this recipe.  Happily, it didn't.  There were just enough peas to where I could taste them, but they weren't the focus of the dish.

As usual, I did not use the House Foods Tofu Shirataki noodles.  I substituted 3 oz of dried spaghetti per bag of shirataki noodles, or 9 oz for this recipe.  I can't stand those noodles, so I refuse to use them in a recipe.  If a recipe sounds worth making, I just use regular pasta and add 3 - 4 points per serving (depending on if the noodles are whole grain or not).  It is quite a few extra points, but well worth it to me.

The serving size was nice and large for this recipe.  A whole cup and a half is a pretty good amount of food.  I had a salad with mine, and was definitely full after dinner.  Both my husband and 2-year-old son enjoyed this recipe, also.  It doesn't necessarily make my favorites list, but it is one I would consider making again in the future.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Wing Macaroni & Cheese

Per Serving (1/4th of recipe): 6 Points+
267 calories, 3.5g fat, 924mg sodium, 35g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 23g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 186 - 187

I was a little skeptical of this recipe, especially since the macaroni noodles were not seasoned in any way, and were just placed on the bottom layer of this casserole dish.  I thought for sure it would be dry, bland, or both.  Well, it was neither!  And this ended up being another favorite of mine and my husband's! 

This dish was perfectly seasoned with the buffalo wing sauce - it had a great flavor without being too spicy or overpowering.  There was also a good amount of the sauce - enough so the noodles were flavored plenty.  It even had a yummy, creamy topping.  So good!  The portion size was also fairly large.  It was cooked in an 8x8 inch pan, and the serving size was a whole quarter of it.  Nice!

This recipe did take some time to make, especially since you have to boil the chicken and then shred it.  But, it was definitely worth the effort.  If you like the flavor of buffalo wing sauce, and you like macaroni and cheese, then you will love this recipe. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cheesy Pizza Quesadilla

Per Serving (entire recipe): 6 Points+
252 calories, 7.25g fat, 979mg sodium, 31.5g carbs, 7.5g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 18g protein

The recipe: "300 under 300", page 264 - 265

I'm always on the hunt for recipes that my whole family will love, which includes my 2-year-old son.  He is not the easiest to please, since he doesn't like anything that is too spicy or that is too hard to chew, such as chicken breast or certain veggies.  He does like pizza, though, and since Hungry Girl has a whole chapter devoted to pizza in her "300 under 300" book, I will eventually be making all of these recipes. 

This pizza was another quick and easy recipe, especially once everything was chopped and ready to assemble.  I sauteed enough veggies to make three pizzas, and then cooked each one individually.  Another bonus - only one pan to clean!  I set the sauteed veggies aside and used the same pan to make each pizza. 

For assembly, just spread Laughing Cow cheese on a tortilla, place in a pan sprayed with cooking spray, add crushed tomatoes, then chopped low fat string cheese, veggies, chopped turkey pepperoni (only 4 slices goes a long way if you chop them up), more string cheese and fold in half.  Flip after a minute or two, cook for another minute, and voila!  Pizza!

The one thing I changed was that I added onions to my veggies.  The recipe called for just sliced mushrooms and bell pepper, but I think sauteed onions adds a little extra flavor for very little calories.  Also, the next time I make this I will use regular spaghetti sauce instead of crushed tomatoes.  The crushed tomatoes are a little too watery, and made the pizza a little too drippy.  My 2-year-old had liquid dripping down his arm while he was eating it!

Overall, this recipe was a success.  I will definitely be making it again, especially for a yummy lunch (the portion size was a little small for dinner).