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.