Filling your fridge with all the delicious guilt-free items in the world won't mean diddly if you don't have some basic tools on hand to help make guilt-free "food assembly" super-simple. Check out the MVPs of the Hungry Girl kitchen...
Digital Food Scale
You've probably already got a measuring cup and some measuring spoons. (And if you don't, get some ASAP!) But do you break them out every time you ought to? Even if you're really good at estimating portions, you could unintentionally take in a lot of extra calories. Especially since the volume per serving (1/2 cup, for example) isn't always completely accurate -- the weight is the most exact. (Nutrition labels always list weight in addition to or instead of volume.) That's why a digital food scale is SO important. Just place a bowl or plate on the scale, and then set the scale to zero. Spoon out your food 'til you hit the right weight. Wanna add something else? Reset the scale to zero and repeat! So easy, so accurate, and you won't have to clean various measuring cups and spoons. Use it for pretty much anything -- ice cream, cereal, snacks, recipes, and more. Look for one that measures both grams and ounces and has a "zero" or "tare" button (that's how you reset the scale to zero while there's stuff already on it). Click here for the very same scale we're currently using at the HG HQ.
Giant Microwave-Safe Mugs
They're not just for oversized coffee drinks, people. A large microwave-friendly mug can be life-changing. Why? Because you can use it to make super-easy egg scrambles in the microwave! Just give the inside of your mug a spritz of nonstick spray, and then add some fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original) and your favorite omelette fixins (cheese, veggies... nothing that requires extensive cooking). Nuke for a minute, stir, and nuke again for another minute or so. Instant scrambly satisfaction! Click here for SIX guilt-free "egg mug" recipes. P.S. Our apologies to the guy attempting to sell overpriced omelette makers on late-night infomercials... our way is better.
Blended items are 25% more fun than non-blended items. (It's a fact.) Smoothies, frozen coffee drinks, icy cocktails, and OF COURSE, high-fiber breadcrumbs made from breakfast cereal for faux-frying -- all incredibly awesome. But dragging out a giant blender can be a pain, particularly when you only need to blend up a small amount of something. Enter the Magic Bullet -- pretty much THE most used appliance at the HG HQ. It's WAY easy to store on the counter, and it's fantastic for pulverizing just about anything (but stick with edibles). Click here to check out some of the sets offered. Then get one... This thing is truly magical.
Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
You read right. A roll of good-quality tinfoil can be a girl's BFF when it comes to easy cooking with practically no cleanup. You just lay out a giant piece of foil and spray it with some nonstick spray. Toss your goodies in the center -- meat, fish, veggies, sauce, spices, whatever. Fold and seal the edges to create a little packet, place it on a baking sheet, and pop it in a preheated oven. Tada! Your food will cook in next to no time, and you won't be left with a crusty baking dish to clean. Sweet! Click here for some of our favorite foil-pack recipes, and click here for the full 411 on cooking foods in foil. And, yes, it's great for lining baking pans too.
Face it: Things tastes better with grill marks. (Why, exactly, is one of life's great mysteries.) Chicken, slabs of eggplant and other veggies, seafood, burgers, everything. But even if you're lucky enough to have a full-on outdoor grill, firing the thing up is often more trouble than it's worth. (The preparation, the cleaning, the nosy neighbors!) Which is why a basic grill pan is ingenious. We're nuts about our Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick Square Grill Pan, but there are a lot of other impressive options out there, too. Get your hands on one and then use it to grill up our Outside-In Cheeseburger Patty, Tremendous Top-Shelf Turkey Burger, or Island Insanity Burger. Hooray!
HG IN THE NEWS! - Check out yesterday's awesome LA Times article about Hungry Girl by clicking here. Hooray!
CHEW ON THIS: Today, July 23rd, is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day. Take your pick from the pretty extensive line-up of light ones offered by Dreyer's/Edy's -- there's French Vanilla, Vanilla Bean and, um, Vanilla. Congrats, vanilla, we think you're better than chocolate!
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*The Points® 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 Points® registered trademark.
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