Hungry Girl Goes... In Search of Guilt-Free Pasta Ingredients!
If you've been avoiding pasta, it's time to invite it back into your life... guilt-free!
House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodle Substitute
An entire bag of noodles for just 40 calories? It sounds too good to be true, but luckily it absolutely is true! These noodles are a fantastic swap for regular pasta. They take a little getting used to because they're a bit chewier than carby pasta. Also, the preparation is totally different than regular noodles — you need to rinse and dry these extremely well before heating. But with stats this low, the trade-offs are well worth it.
Each 1/2-package serving (4 oz.) has 20 calories, 0.5g fat, 3g carbs, 2g fiber, 1g protein, and a PointsPlus® value of 0.
Kraft Reduced Fat Parmesan Style Grated Topping
Every self-respecting pasta dish deserves a sprinkle of grated Parm — but not every human wants the fat and calories that come along with it. That's why I stick with the reduced-fat kind (like this one by Kraft), and I make sure to portion out my serving — it's pretty easy to overdo it if you forget to measure. Say cheese!
Each 2-tsp. serving has 20 calories, 1g fat, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g protein, and a PointsPlus value of 1.
The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss Cheese Wedges
These 35-calorie low-fat cheese wedges are the star ingredient for any guilt-free creamy, cheesy sauce. Make no-guilt Alfredo by mixing with fat-free sour cream and the Parm topping mentioned above. Want lightened-up vodka sauce? Mix with low-fat marinara. And you thought creamy sauces were off-limits...
Each wedge has 35 calories, 1.5g fat, 1g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g protein, and a PointsPlus value of 1.
Green Giant Broccoli & Cheese Sauce
You're only two ingredients away from guilt-free mac & cheese. Just microwave these sauced veggies and toss with cooked whole-wheat pasta. Could that be any easier? You've got broccoli in there, so you don't even need a veggie side. Just keep the pasta serving in check (2 ounces dry/uncooked).
Each 2/3-cup serving has 60 calories, 2.5g fat, 7g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g protein, and a PointsPlus value of 2.
Veggie Patch Meatless Meatballs
In the world of meat substitutes, there are some not-so-great-tasting products on shelves. But these babies rock! They're the best bargain in terms of flavor and nutrition stats, since calories and fat add up way too quickly with beef and even turkey meatballs. Find 'em in the freezer aisle and in the refrigerated section near the produce (there are frozen and refrigerated versions).
Each 6-meatball serving has 140 calories, 5g fat, 8 - 9g carbs, 2 - 3g fiber, 15 - 16g protein, and a PointsPlus value of 3.
If you haven't familiarized yourself with this stuff, you should do so ASAP. Use it in place of ordinary spaghetti noodles, or bulk up regular spaghetti with it for a super-sized portion of pasta! Just slice in half lengthwise and de-seed it... then steam or bake until soft. You can use all those calories you save on other delicious goodies for your dish, like meatballs and sauce and cheese. Now that's using your noodle... not!
Each 5.5-oz. serving (about 1 cup) boiled or baked squash has around 42 calories, < 0.5g fat, 10g carbs, 2g fiber, 1g protein, and a PointsPlus value of 0.
Wish-Bone Salad Spritzers
You might be thinking, "Salad dressing on pasta? Are you crazy, Hungry Girl?" I know it sounds funny, but sprayable salad dressings like these are perfect for infusing flavor into otherwise bland pasta salads. No need for tons of oil or full-fat dressings. With about 1 calorie per spray, feel free to spritz away!
Each 10-spray serving has 10 - 15 calories, 0.5 - 1g fat, < 1 - 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g protein, and a PointsPlus value of 0.
Where will Hungry Girl go next week? Check back Monday to find out!
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Hungry Girl, aka Lisa Lillien, distributes her tips, tricks and takes on new food products through her daily emails and Web site. Check out www.Hungry-Girl.com.
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