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Hungry Girl Today: 7.15.09


Hungry Girl,

I love artichokes, and I've heard that they're super-low in calories, so I don't
want to blow it with a fattening dip! What's a guilt-free option for dipping
artichoke leaves in at restaurants?


Dear Artichoke-Challenged,

Artichokes themselves ARE very low in calories, and they're also really fun to
eat (like a little project!). A large one has just 70 calories or so, plus a ton of
fiber. But before we talk dips, you should know that the calorie count above
only applies to an artichoke that's been cooked without any oil at all. Thing
is, so many restaurants marinate and/or grill artichokes in WAY too much oil.
Sometimes, they also top 'em with cheesy, buttery breadcrumbs or oily
dressing. Then they give you crazy-fattening dipping sauces along with a
shiny, oily version of that vegetable. Bad news! If you order the Fire-Roasted
Fresh Artichoke at The Cheesecake Factory, you'll be served a 1,028-calorie
appetizer -- and the ones at other places probably aren't much better! That's
obviously crazy. So what do you do? For starters, make sure you order a
plain, STEAMED artichoke -- that's the best way to ensure it isn't cooked with
oil. The grilled ones almost always pack in lots of oil -- there's no way around
it. Then, instead of the mayo-y, creamy sauce they usually give you, ask for
SALSA. Salsa is THE best thing ever to dip your artichoke leaves into. Yum!
You can also squirt your artichoke with lemon and sprinkle it with a little salt
and pepper -- simple, but SO good. Happy chewing!


I've been seeing a product called Miracle Noodle that looks like the Tofu
Shirataki you always write about. Is it the same thing? If not, what's the


Dear Noodle-Confused,

I've been meaning to answer this question FOREVER, because so many
people have written in asking about those things. Miracle Noodles (a.k.a.
straight-up shirataki noodles) are NOT the same as Tofu Shirataki noodles.
Miracle Noodles are made mostly of glucomannan (Japanese yam flour) and
don't contain any tofu at all. That means they have fewer calories -- ZERO
per serving, as opposed to Tofu Shirataki's 20 calories per serving -- and are
safe for people with soy allergies to consume. But the big difference is the
texture. Miracle Noodles are even chewier, tougher, and less pasta-like than
Tofu Shirataki. The tofu really helps give shirataki noodles a more "pasta-
like" taste and texture. Some people go for Miracle Noodles because they are
calorie-free, but I really think the Tofu Shirataki noodles are way better and
worth the calories (still only 20 per serving!). I do like Miracle Noodles and
other straight-up shirataki noodles, but they don't hold sauces nearly as well
as Tofu Shirataki and aren't quite the incredible pasta swap that Tofu
Shirataki is. And I stay away from the thicker pasta shapes that Miracle
Noodles come in -- those are way too chewy. Bottom line? If you are on the
fence at all about Tofu Shirataki, I don't think you'll be a fan of the ones
without tofu. But if you're a die-hard Tofu Shirataki maniac, or if you can't
(or choose not to) eat soy products, you can give the Miracle Noodles a try.
That's my advice. For more on Tofu Shirataki and to find out where to buy it,
click here. For recipes, click here. And definitely check out the Tofu Shirataki
section of the "Fun With..." chapter in the first HG cookbook!

For links in this email go to:

HG on TV All Over the U.S. Tomorrow! Catch Lisa (a.k.a. HG) chatting it up
on your local morning news. She'll be on a slew of shows nationwide
TOMORROW (Thursday, 7/16) discussing the HG cookbook Hungry Girl 200
Under 200. Click here to see when she'll be on!

Today, July 15th, is National Tapioca Pudding Day. Celebrate with Kozy
Shack's delicious No Sugar Added version. SOOOO AWESOME and just 90
calories per pudding cup!

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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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