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World's Best Food Expanders (Super-Sizers!)
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World's Best Food Expanders (Super-Sizers!)

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04.05.13
 

These food expanders are MAGICAL. Use them to supersize your portions! Got questions? We've got answers...

 
 
  Portabellas and More Mushrooms!


Why Mushrooms? One large portabella mushroom or a cup of chopped mushrooms has roughly 20 calories, a gram of fiber, and nearly 2g protein. Fungus power!

What Can They Expand? Mushrooms are especially good in meat dishes. The texture and taste work perfectly.

Recipes, Please! For starters, on a recent episode of The Dr. Oz Show, HG Lisa used mushrooms to create bulked-up burgers, Bolognese sauce, beef fajitas, and meatloaf. Click here for all the recipes. And mushrooms are instrumental in this HG-rific Taco Meat. Want to skip the meat altogether? Whip up this hearty Takes-the-Cake Ziti Bake, these meat-free veggie patties, our Dan-Good Chili, and these Mega-Meaty Meatless Tacos! You can even use mushrooms to fill out a decadent Chinese food dish: Check out our Veggie-Loaded Cashew Chicken!

 
  Zucchini!


Why Zucchini? A medium zucchini has around 30 calories, 2g fiber, and 2.5g protein. And you can eat the skin, which is always nice.

What Can It Expand? Pasta! Whether it's thinly peeled like fettuccine or cut into slabs similar to lasagna noodles, zucchini does a masterful job of impersonating pasta.

Recipes, Please! Here's your basic half-zucchini/half-fettuccine bowl. (Feel free to use any kind of fettuccine. Bonus points if it has fiber!) For something a little more special, whip up our Super-Sized Spinach Fettuccine Girlfredo! As for lasagna, take your pick from classic EZ Cheesy Zucchini Lasagna, Hungry Girlfredo White Lasagna, and Veggie-rific Noodle-Free Lasagna! Speaking of noodle-free, this Zucchini-Ribbon Salad tastes just like pasta salad, despite its lack of actual pasta. That rocks!

 
 
 
  Puffed Wheat!


Why Puffed Wheat? Cereal doesn't get any lower in calories. A whole cup has only 60 fat-free calories!

What Can It Expand? Primarily, other cereals. Both in your breakfast bowl and in classic cereal-based creations...

Recipes, Please! How's about a GINORMOUS Cereal Bowl-anza with under 300 calories? And granola is yummy, but the servings are often teeny with high calorie and fat counts. Enter Hungry Girl-nola! Puffed wheat is also a star ingredient in Krispymallow Treats, HG's take on Rice Krispies Treats. Check out the original recipe, this seasonal selection, and a seriously candy-rific version. Got HUNGRY GIRL TO THE MAX!? Don't miss the PB Chocolate Krispymallow Treats!

 
  Cauliflower!


Why Cauliflower? A cup of chopped cauliflower has about 30 calories, 2g fiber, and 2g protein. And its expanding ability is the stuff of LEGEND.

What Can It Expand? Cauliflower is a go-to super-sizer when it comes to starchy dishes -- anything with potatoes, pasta, or rice. It blends in seamlessly...

Recipes, Please! Let's start with potatoes, because our Miracle Mashies are a force to be reckoned with. (See also: Great Garlic Miracle Mashies and Loaded Miracle Mashies.) And feel free to use mashed cauliflower in your shepherd's pie, a la our Hungry Chick Shepherd's Pie. Or skip potatoes entirely with HG's famous I Can't Believe It's Not Potato Salad! We've also got mac 'n cheese creations (Big Bacon, Green Chile, and Mega Mac & Cheese, to name a few) and even risotto-style recipes (one with pumpkin and one with shrimp). We're nuts like that.

 
 
 
  Broccoli Cole Slaw!


Why Broccoli Cole Slaw? This mix of shredded broccoli stems with other veggies clocks in at 25 calories, 3g fiber, and 2g protein per cup. Plus, it couldn't be more convenient. Pre-shredded, pre-washed... some (like the kind by Mann's) can even be steamed in the bag!

What Can It Expand? Unexpected things! Keep reading, because the possibilities are endless.

Recipes, Please! Our moo shu swap benefits hugely from the addition of broccoli cole slaw, and this recipe for Turkey & Veggie Meatloaf Minis is one of our favorite slaw-enhanced dishes! This giant stir-fry utilizes BCS as well as another food expander, Tofu Shirataki noodles! And if you want a noodle-free stir-fry, look no further than this Spicy Thai-Style No-Cook Stir-Fry.

 
  94% Fat-Free Microwave Popcorn!


Why Popcorn? You can eat about 5 cups of this popcorn for 100 calories and 1.5g fat, plus 4g fiber. THAT'S WHY.

What Can It Expand? Your snacks! Mix more calorie-dense goodies with popcorn for a large-and-in-charge snack mix.

Recipes, Please! Keep it classic with our original snack mix, the Party Poppin' Trail Mix. Slightly more inventive is the Chewy S'mores Snack Mix, featuring Tootsie Rolls! Intrigued? Good. You'll love the Salted Caramel Popcorn Mix and the Ultimate Movie-Viewing Snack Mix. And for those of you into portion control, here are three recipes with 100 calories per serving, and single-serve instructions...

 
 

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CHEW ON THIS:

Today, April 5th, is the gooiest of food holidays, National Caramel Day. "Eat Caramel Swirl Cream Puffs," you say? Don't mind if we do...

Click here for a printable, text-only version of this page.

We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.


*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

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