Healthy Ways to Bulk Up Store-Bought Foods
Can I be Hungry Girl Junior? Because I'm always hungry! I buy a lot of packaged foods out of convenience, but the portions tend to be really disappointing. Any tips?
I think my pup, Lolly, might have her heart set on that title! I agree with you that packaged foods are often sadly undersized. However, I'm all about maximizing those servings without adding a lot of calories. Here are some clever ways to pump up your portions...
Supersize Snack Mixes with Light PopcornReady-to-eat snack mixes are great, but who can stick to a single serving, which is typically less than a cup?! And since they're often calorie dense, you don't want to go overboard with how much you eat. That's why I like to boost these mixes with a low-calorie, high-volume favorite: light popcorn! It works well with both sweet and savory snacks. Some other great additions are freeze-dried fruit and high-fiber cereal. Heck, you could skip the premade snack mixes and just combine those three!
Pump Up Pasta with Veggie NoodlesI usually skip real pasta altogether in favor of spiralized veggies, but if you need your fix of the real thing, combine the two! Bulk up pasta with spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or (a recent love of mine) turnip noodles. Prep the veggie noodles in advance, so you have them on hand and ready to go. And when it comes to mac 'n cheese, steamed cauliflower florets can go undercover. Once they're coated with cheese sauce, you'll barely realize they're there!
Grow Your OatmealOatmeal makes a great breakfast (it's even good for dinner!), but did you know you can make it even better? Enter "growing oatmeal!" By using twice the amount of liquid and cooking the oats for twice as long as ordinary old-fashioned oatmeal, you get a ginormous portion with the same amount of calories as traditional oatmeal. Check out my growing oatmeal recipes here, and for even more, pick up a copy of Hungry Girl Clean & Hungry!
Amp Up Asian-Style Frozen Dinners with Bean Sprouts or Broccoli SlawLet's face it: Pretty much all frozen meals could use a boost! Stir-fried bean sprouts and broccoli cole slaw have noodle-like textures that work perfectly in Asian-style dinners. If you need more sauce, just add a splash of reduced-sodium soy sauce. These tricks work with Chinese takeout too!
Perfect Premade Salads with Extra LettucePremade salads are certainly convenient, but be wary of their calorie-dense ingredients like dressing, croutons, and cheeses. If these ingredients are in their own pouches, try using only half. I often skip the dressing altogether in favor of salsa, a squirt of lemon, or a drizzle of straight-up balsamic vinegar. Then supersize the whole thing with additional chopped lettuce! Big salads are always in style...
Chew on this:
Today, June 7th, is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. Did you know you can have an entire pint of chocolate-flavored Enlighted The Good-for-You Ice Cream for just 240 calories? It's true!
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