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Hungry Girl Today: 12.03.08


Hungry Girl,

A lot of your recipes call for turkey bacon. I HATE cooking bacon. Do you

have any recommendations for bacon products that will do the trick?

Achin' for a Bacon Sub

Dear Achin',

Excellent question. I want to start off by saying that cooking bacon is pretty

simple these days, because you can just cover it with a paper towel, and

nuke it for a few minutes. Then it's done. Plus, that extra-lean turkey bacon

by Jennie-O comes precooked, so it takes less than a minute in the

microwave. But if you don't even feel like doing that (which is totally fine --

I'm not judging you), I have a FANTASTIC alternative. Many companies (like

Oscar Mayer and Hormel) now offer great-tasting bacon bits made from REAL

bacon, usually found near the salad dressings. (Our local market, Ralphs,

even has its own!) Those "crunchy" imitation bacon bits -- while good on

salads and as potato-toppers -- are hard and extremely fake-tasting. But

these are soft, authentic-tasting, and delicious. Make sure to get the ones

labeled "real bacon bits". As far as calories and fat, they're not a bad choice

either. Most have just 25 calories and 1.5g fat per tablespoon (POINTS®

value 1*). They're so full of flavor that typically one serving is all you need.

So swap a tablespoon of those real bacon pieces for a strip of turkey bacon

in any HG recipe -- except maybe our bacon-wrapped shrimp (that probably

wouldn't work without glue -- ha!). Have fun!


It's shopping season. How can I avoid overdoing it at the mall? And I'm not

talking about my holiday gift budget -- I'm talking about my calorie budget.


Fearing the Food Court

Dear Fearing,

Yup, it certainly is shopping season right now. And shopping at a crowded

mall can be a time-consuming and energy-draining experience. Even if you

think you're only going to run in for an hour or less, chances are you'll wind

up stuck there for WAY more time than that, and you'll eventually get

hungry. There's no way to sugar-coat this -- the mall food court can be a

dangerous place. I'm a carb-fiend, so I find the butter-soaked pretzels with

all their crazy flavors and toppings extremely enticing. Then of course there

are the ginormous pizza slices, oily Mexican and Chinese food, overstuffed

cheesy potatoes, etc., etc. There are many obvious bad choices at the mall.

But scarier are the items PRETENDING to be healthy and low in calories --

the (500-calorie) smoothies, the (fatty) Caesar salads, the (mayo-infested)

tuna salad... EEEKS! I would recommend not eating food from the mall at all.

This isn't as hard as it sounds. Just bring some emergency snacks to hold

you over. Some of my favorites are 100-calorie packs of almonds, jerky,

and VitaTops. Snack bars and fruit are great, too. Those should keep your

appetite in check until you can get a real meal... off the premises! If you

don't have any emergency snacks (horrors!), try to find the best high-

protein, non-saucy options available. A salad with grilled chicken or turkey

slices is usually easy to find, and it's my go-to food court option. And instead

of dressing, use salsa. That typically saves you a TON of fat and calories.

Mexican places and delis are two good places to find this little mall survival

meal. Oooh, and click here for HG's best & worst food court finds over at

Yahoo! Food. Happy shopping (and chewing!).

For links in this email go to:

Looking for a snazzy and affordable holiday gift? Why not buy someone you

LOVE the HG cookbook? It's a great stocking stuffer (if you have a big

stocking). Woohoo!



This week is Cookie Cutter Week. We've got TWO brand-new cookie-packed

recipes coming up tomorrow. They don't require cutting, but we did cut a lot

of calories when we made 'em.

Have a question for Hungry Girl? Send it in! She answers two new Qs each

week (but cannot respond to emails personally).

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